SE Oregon Camping / Meteor-watch, Memorial Day weekend
posted March 21, 2014 5:37 PM   RSS | iCal | +googleCal

Sat May 24 at 8:00 AM, Page Springs Campground
Steens Loop, Frenchglen, OR, USA (Map & Directions)
I finally followed up on this Proposed post, and it looks like Page Springs Campground near Steens Mountain will be our rendezvous point for Memorial Day weekend (May 23-25), when a spectacular meteor shower is scheduled to happen.
NOTE: Spreadsheet started to help coordinate food and other supplies.

Page Springs Campground web page (includes directions)

location on Google Maps
Note that that's an over-6-hour drive from Portland.

The campground is located 3 miles from Frenchglen, OR (gas, ice, snacks available), off of Steens Mountain Loop Road, next to the Donner und Blitzen River and a trailhead for the Blitzen River Trail. It has concrete picnic tables, fire rings, drinking water, and restrooms. The cost is $8 per vehicle per night.

The person I talked to said the sites are fairly large, maybe room for 4 tents, and there's no limit on the number of people per site. They don't take reservations but she seemed confident that there would be sites available on Memorial Day weekend. Even so, I plan to take Friday off from work and get an early start so I can arrive mid-afternoon and snag a site or two (depending on how many people commit).

I think it would be cozier and more sociable to group up on a couple of sites, rather than have individual sites strung out across the campground. That would also make it easier to pool our cooking/ice-chest/campfire resources. Of course each of us can decide what we want to do once we get there, especially since we don't have to pre-reserve sites; but that's my two cents.

It looks like the Steens Mt. Loop Road would be a beautiful drive, and we could also visit Alvord Hot Springs if we wanted to.

BE PREPARED - Based on the area's weather history according to Weather Underground, the end of May tends to see 60's during the day and 40's or even upper 30's at night - *possibly* a touch of precipitation. It's absolutely possible to enjoy camping in cooler weather if you're properly prepared - dressing in layers, wool/silk or modern low-temp fabrics, keeping hands/feet/head covered, staying dry, sleeping on air mattresses to help insulate against cold ground, warm blankets, plenty of firewood, hot food and beverages, etc.

No mention of firewood availability either at the campground or in Frenchglen; it might be wise to stock up before you come. I've still got a bit of firewood available at my house if anyone wants to stop by before then and throw some in their trunk to bring along (if so, MeMail me).
posted by Greg_Ace to Meetup (91 comments total)

I would love to attend, but I have a Petrology class camping trip the same weekend, also somewhere in SE Oregon. So I'm with you in spirit. (And I'll definitely update here if it somehow turns out to the same campground!)
posted by Secretariat at 1:23 PM on March 23, 2014

I have taken that Friday off, and mr. hippybear and I will be heading down there early on Friday morning. (Google Maps tells us it's about an 8 hour drive from Eastern WA.)

Are we planning on individual food events, or shared potluck lunches or dinners or anything like that?

I will forward this to other eastern WA MeFites. Let's see if we can get a good group for this! I'm quite looking forward to it, whether it be 3 attending or 30.
posted by hippybear at 1:42 PM on March 23, 2014

Are we planning on individual food events, or shared potluck lunches or dinners or anything like that?

That's a good question, and worthy of further discussion in this thread. My personal feeling is that communal cooking and dining can be fun so I'm encouraging it. Maybe I'll start a spreadsheet so we can avoid food overlap and figure out how many meat-eaters and vegetarians will be coming.
posted by Greg_Ace at 2:52 PM on March 23, 2014

I was thinking of going white water rafting next month but this would be much cheaper! (while still getting me out of Portland and into the high desert.) I'm a solid maybe at this point.
posted by vespabelle at 3:24 PM on March 23, 2014

One way to avoid food overlap.
posted by Greg_Ace at 7:11 PM on March 23, 2014

I have put in my time off request!
posted by vespabelle at 11:27 AM on March 29, 2014

I just noticed the event's date was off by almost two months (??). Now fixed.
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:55 AM on April 3, 2014

We have a very large camping shelter thing. Like large enough to park a car under. We will bring it to provide shade or shelter as needed. Bring your own chair! (Maybe a camping table or two would also be useful.)
posted by hippybear at 5:27 PM on April 3, 2014

I can bring a sturdy plastic folding table that's 6'x2.5' and seats about 6 people.
posted by Greg_Ace at 5:35 PM on April 3, 2014

We're only a month out from this. Do we have planning to do, or is everything in place?
posted by hippybear at 4:08 PM on April 20, 2014

Yeah, I was going to update the thread sometime this week. Unless we get a sudden eleventh-hour influx of people, it looks like it'll be a small crowd - which is fine. We can either cobble together a plan right here in the thread, or I can start a spreadsheet for coordinating stuff like food and rides if necessary. Especially with a smaller group, it should be easy to collaborate on breakfasts and dinners at least.

I'm going to be by myself, but could probably carry one other person and their stuff. Apart from tent/sleeping bag/clothes, I plan on bringing:

- Firewood, hatchet, matches, kindling/paper
- Coleman stove
- Cast-iron dutch oven (large pot) and skillet
- Various cooking implements
- Stovetop vacuum coffee pot and LOTS of coffee
- Large container of potable water (just in case)
- Plates and cups for 4
- Lantern and flashlights (one of which can even recharge a phone via USB!!)
- Two camp chairs
- Aforementioned folding table
- Ice chest with ice, and food TBD
- Beer/wine (because why the hell not?)
- 15x70 binoculars + tripod, for meteor/sky gazing

Possible activities:

- Trip/photo-safari around Steens Mtn Loop Rd.
- Trip/photo-safari along valley on SE side of Steens Mtn cliffs - incl. hot tub?
- Gazing raptly into campfire

Further ideas welcome!
posted by Greg_Ace at 7:46 PM on April 20, 2014

Whoops - "hot tub" = hot springs.
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:23 PM on April 20, 2014

I have to make sure I'm not on call that weekend, and get over the possibility that the few of you whom I've actually met won't be there, but I'd like to go. I am in favor of car camping, although it has been awhile, the night sky, and hot springs. Especially if actual campfires are allowed and there can be some shared cookery.

Would anyone be interested in a carpool from Portland?
posted by janell at 9:07 PM on April 20, 2014

I can bring:

Mad Libs!
Caol Ila scotch
most of the usual camping gear except a stove. (RIP Buddy L) including chairs/folding stool
lots of paper plates and wicker plate holders
a geology themed poundcake
edelweiss sausages

Seems like we should coordinate food since it seems like it's going to be a small-ish group.

(basically camping for me is eating, sitting around, small bits of hiking and then more sitting and eating. and poking the fire with sticks.)
posted by vespabelle at 9:01 AM on April 21, 2014

a geology themed poundcake

I'm going to assume that does not mean "Ow! This thing's as hard as a rock!"
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:57 AM on April 21, 2014

I suddenly remembered about gas, and about how damn big and empty eastern Oregon is. So here's a quick guide to the distance between Portland and...

Prineville - 148 mi
Burns - 280 mi
Frenchglen - 330 mi
(Frenchglen is the town nearest the campsite, and I've verified there are gas stations there)

Distance from Spokane to the campsite is about 450-500, depending on what route you take. If you take the shortest route (directly S along US-395), you go through a who-o-o-o-ole lot o' nothin' for 250 miles between Pendleton and Frenchglen. Turning left at Pendleton and taking I-84 to Ontario OR will put you within 130 miles of Burns (which also has gas), then another 70 or so to the campsite.

Also, if we do day trips:
Steens Mtn Loop - 76 mi
Round trip to Alvord Hot Springs - 250 mi

Of course YMMV, so if you don't know how far a tank of gas is likely to take you, best to figure it out between now and then!

Also keep in mind that cellphone (not sure about standalone GPS, but mine's in my phone) coverage will be spotty to non-existent out there. I plan to stock up on printed maps.
posted by Greg_Ace at 2:01 PM on April 21, 2014

Even though I'm not going, here's my slightly outdated 2 cents:

Years ago when I took this trip, I'm guessing we stayed at that same campground. I recall we fueled up in Frenchglen on the way into the campground and the way out, whether we needed it or not (for safety reasons). We also took a few driving trips from the campground (which didn't have gas). At the time, Frenchglen didn't have much besides gas, so it would be a good idea to do any last minute shopping before Frenchglen.

Also, this may have changed, but the last stretch of the trip, someplace after Frenchglen, was a little slower going- the roads were gravel and washboarded. It's not exactly rough road- any type of car can drive on it, the roads are safe, but at certain speeds you'll shake your teeth out. Someone with more gravel road experience than me might know, but I seem to recall there being a happy medium between slow and fast that we found to be least annoying? This is the same for some of the side trips- so you may find that you don't want to drive on teeth-chattering roads at medium speed for 250 miles. I haven't been to the Hot Springs, though, so I don't know the condition of that road. Roads might be different conditions at different times of the year, too.

There was water at the campground (a pump), but we packed some jugs of water just in case- and took them along for daytrips from the campground. I don't remember there being any water at the various viewpoints, and I'm not certain about pit toilets beyond the campsite.
posted by Secretariat at 8:10 PM on April 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

I can go! Looks like the last diesel is in Burns.

It doesn't seem like we need it as this point (except as a prep table, perhaps), but I have a folding table or two if we wanted more table-area. I am sorely lacking in camping chairs, though, so I'm glad vespabelle is well supplied.

What communal things can I help with?
Groceries for sure
Aluminum foil?
Vast quantities of ice?
More of Greg's firewood stash?
More water?
Marshmellows and skewers?

On the food/grocery planning front:
1. What food restrictions/preferences want to be accommodated? I'm an omnivore who doesn't much care for mushrooms but isn't allergic.
2. What level of camping cooking are we after on the basic-to-elaborate spectrum?
posted by janell at 10:29 AM on April 26, 2014

We've still got 3 weeks before things get close enough to the wire to start buying actual groceries, but no reason we can't at least begin the meal-planning process.

I'm expecting this to last from Friday dinner through Sunday breakfast before we all high-tail it back to civilization and jobs and such. That means two dinners, two breakfasts, and one lunch (also each of us will need to consider in-transit food on our own).

Here's a couple suggestions, let me know what you think:
- I can make up a big pot of stew for one dinner
- I can bring pre-made pancake batter for one breakfast
- I'd be more than willing to chip in on, say, steaks for grilling

Re: firewood - Memail me if you're willing to swing by my house the week before and pick up some wood.
posted by Greg_Ace at 3:28 PM on April 26, 2014

I am at this point expecting I will be coming, while Sec is off on a field trip. I will have a car but probably not a tent so shacking up with someone would be useful if that's workable.
posted by cortex at 4:57 PM on April 26, 2014

My tent's just big enough for two people, so that's an option if nothing roomier is available.
posted by Greg_Ace at 2:34 PM on April 27, 2014

(By "just big enough" I mean there'd be some space in between the sleeping bags, and room in the hexagonal corners for shoes, backpacks, etc. but it wouldn't be like opposite ends of the room or anything.)
posted by Greg_Ace at 2:46 PM on April 27, 2014

I am borrowing a tent from a buddy, so I am not sure how big it is. I think we will figure something out.

For the second breakfast (perhaps on Sunday) we could do individual packets of baked eggs. With precooked potatoes and various (pre-chopped, also maybe) other ingredients -- hot peppers, onions, etc. Its relatively low cleanup for the last day, and flexible for people getting up at different times.
posted by janell at 10:11 PM on April 27, 2014

I can bring enough edelweiss sausages for Friday night. Maybe with baked potatoes or sweet potatoes for dinner (and a salad maybe?)

Perhaps we need a spreadsheet?
posted by vespabelle at 10:36 AM on April 28, 2014

Spreadsheet started. Feel free to add/expand as necessary.
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:54 AM on April 28, 2014

Wait, what? This is Memorial Day weekend, and we're ending the campout after Sunday breakfast???
posted by hippybear at 8:30 PM on May 5, 2014 that you mention it, that was totally an assumption on my part. I guess internally I was expecting to drive home Sunday and "recuperate" Monday, but you know what happens when you ass-u-me...

So - opinions? suggestions? Who wants to stay through Monday morning? I admit that would give us more time to explore.
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:35 PM on May 5, 2014

Well, the mister and I were planning on driving back on Monday after breakfast and I got Tuesday off for recuperation. But I do understand, the crowd will thin as it sees fit.

So, at least two of us will be there through Monday morning....
posted by hippybear at 8:44 PM on May 5, 2014

Sounds good. Spreadsheet duly extended.
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:59 PM on May 5, 2014

I was hoping to head back on Monday as well. Jannell and I are going to carpool, so I HOPE SHE WANTS TO DO THAT TOO!

I can take on another meal. I was thinking grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup for one of the lunches? or a chicken curry for dinner? I'll wait and see what Cortex offers up though.
posted by vespabelle at 11:02 AM on May 6, 2014

Yeps. I need to be back for Tuesday but we can definitely go to the hot springs if we stay through Monday breakfast. No?
posted by janell at 9:19 PM on May 6, 2014

Yes!! What it lacks in sophistication is more than made up for by the view.
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:19 PM on May 6, 2014

I'll wait and see what Cortex offers up though.

Cortex ain't gonna offer up nuthin. He's freeloading the entire weekend, cashing in chips he thinks he's earned by skewing his mod practices toward those going on this camping trip. That's how he rolls.
posted by hippybear at 6:56 PM on May 8, 2014

Ha, sorry, somehow I thought I had commented in here but then I noticed the thread's conspicuous absence from my Recent Activity as I was thinking about this this morning. I would be happy to get in on provisions and some cookin', just (obviously, I guess) haven't got myself organized yet on the details here.
posted by cortex at 7:10 AM on May 9, 2014

And of course once I do finally say something, scheduling stuff has come up such that I'm not going to make it to this after all. Have fun spottin' the meteors!
posted by cortex at 6:23 PM on May 9, 2014

Do folks like grits? (duh, of course "folks" like them!) I've got some that I should not eat all by myself! Maybe for Monday breakfast?

and maybe sunday lunch we could fend for ourselves with leftovers and what not?

weather looks like it's going to be warm instead of insanely hot which is nice.
posted by vespabelle at 10:33 AM on May 13, 2014

I'll vouch for the tastiness of grits...especially yellow grits, with some melted cheddar and salsa in it and grilled shrimp on top; or white grits with breakfast sausage patties!
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:40 AM on May 13, 2014

I am pro-grits, and I think the unstructured Sunday lunch scrounging is probably a good idea.
posted by janell at 12:28 PM on May 13, 2014

So, a text-format round-up of what I see on the spreadsheet:

Friday Dinner: Sausages, salad, and cheese plate
Saturday Breakfast: Pancakes and bacon (anyone bringing syrup?)
Saturday Lunch: Cheeseburgers with optional Hatch green chile
Saturday Dinner: Stew and Topographic cake
Sunday Breakfast: Baked eggs
Sunday Lunch:
Sunday Dinner: BYO Steaks (any side dishes with this?)
Monday Breakfast: grits

Equipment: Coleman stove, dutch oven, skillet, propane grill, coffeepot, shelter, table, some chairs, various other fun stuff

What appears to be lacking (to me): eating utensils, more chairs, smaller pot for cooking, lunch for Sunday, breakfast for Monday

If everyone brings some firewood, we should be good for at least a couple of nights of quality fire-having, provided we don't go crazy with starting early or going late. Everyone seems to be bringing water, but yes, everyone should bring water. A gallon per person per day, minimum. We seem to have the alcohol quota covered, but then we are MeFites. :)

I guess this is mostly a reminder for everyone coming to look over the spreadsheet linked above and think about their own personal needs for a weekend camping without much renewal of supplies and think about what holes they might have in their plans.

This is coming up very quickly. And I am bouncy-excited! :D
posted by hippybear at 6:56 PM on May 13, 2014

(anyone bringing syrup?)

Yes. Added to spreadsheet.

BYO Steaks (any side dishes with this?)

Suggestions: grilled onion/peppers, other veggies to grill (marinating them works wonders), salad...

eating utensils

I have mismatched place settings (utensils, metal plates and bowls, and mugs) for 4, and sharp steak knives for 6. I also have additional reusable hard-plastic plates I can bring, as well as a couple of chef/food-prep knives and a cutting board. Oh, and also a plastic tub we can use for washing up (all added to spreadsheet). Hopefully someone can bring a couple more utensil sets and a couple bowls ... and anything else I've forgotten.


I still have some I need to use up; I can carry some of it, but anyone who wants to come by next week can MeMail me to arrange a time to pick up a few more pieces.

... a reminder for everyone coming to look over the spreadsheet

Yes please! It looks like it will be just the 5 (or maybe 6?) of us, so any essentials not yet covered are up to us and us alone.

I'm pretty chuffed too, this will be a hoot!
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:54 PM on May 13, 2014

The Oregonian says Friday night (or the wee hours Saturday morning) is the peak for passing through the comet residue.

This has a figure showing where in the sky the hypothetical meteors will be coming from - I wouldn't have been able to point at Camelopardalis (the Giraffe) before today. The article is full of expectation-lowering gloom, but:
"The good news is that either way, North Americans will have the best visibility, because the optimal viewing time is expected to be when the skies are still dark - between 2 and 4 a.m. EDT on May 24th. If the meteor showers prove to be as substantial as some experts predict, they will called the 'May Camelopardalids'"
posted by janell at 12:25 PM on May 14, 2014

added eggs to the grits!

anyone have sausage preferences/hates? spicy? cheesey? weiner-y?
I'll also bring mustard and kraut of course.
posted by vespabelle at 2:08 PM on May 14, 2014

I was planning to get an 18-pack of eggs, figuring 2-3 eggs/person and that any extra eggs would get eaten later (on steaks, subsequent breakfasts, etc.) Should I up that to 2dozen?

(vespabelle: I like coarse mustards and any sausage that doesn't contain apples or birds. Some sausages with apples a/o birds are OK, but generally the texture is not appealing to me).

I had been thinking that we'd have a fire on Sunday morning, so baking individual breakfasts in foil makes sense as people straggle their way up and about, and pre-cooking most of the vegetables makes that super easy. If we think we'd do breakfast on a stove, then I'd rather do the cooking on site and people can do to-order eggs or a communal hash. Thoughts, preferences?

My grocery list for this (primarily Sunday breakfast, and assuming baked) is this:
- eggs (including eggs for Monday's grits, too - let's consolidate)
- potatoes, precooked and cut up, maybe pre-roasted/browned depending on my Thursday)
- onions, sweated if not caramelized
- green peppers, sweated if not caramelized
- some hot peppers (e.g. Mama Lil's)
- some garlic, probably some chives/chive blossoms and thyme and rosemary from my yard
- ham (diced)
- cheese - diced or grated, although perhaps we can consolidate with the cheese-for-grits and the cheese-for-cheeseburgers. I will bring a grater that has its own tupperware.
- probably some tortillas and salsa because that is a good way to eat breakfast.
- salt, pepper, neutral oil, probably some butter if we go the stove route...
- probably some salty snacks
- marshmellows (for evening fire)
- bread, PB, jam for packing a lunch Sunday if we go over to the hot springs.
- syrup for the pancakes

And I'm assuming we'll share:
+ green chilies from hippybear
+ BYO hot sauce (I'll probably bring the "Brother Bru Bru" that I've been liking lately, and I'll share)
+ diced up any leftover sausages from Friday breakfast
+ diced up any leftover bacon from Saturday breakfast

I can also bring a cabbage (etc.) for a super easy (and non-mayo) slaw to go with the steaks so we can have some vegetables, if that sounds good to people. It just needs a bunch of things cut up and heating a small amount of oil. Thoughts?

Steaks are BYO? Or Greg is buying and we're reimbursing? What about stove fuel?
posted by janell at 4:21 PM on May 14, 2014

Steaks are BYO? - Yeah, it would probably be easiest to bring your own favorite cut, and we can grill 'em all together.

Sausages: I'm pretty open; I like spicy but it's not a requirement.

Sunday breakfast: I also was figuring on a morning fire, so the foil-wrapped/baked individual breakfasts sound like an excellent plan.

Pancakes: I'll be bringing a big jug of real maple syrup, so we're probably set there.

I'll also bring the ingredients for a big pot of stew (including meat? or do we have any vegetarians/vegans attending?).

If anyone has special coffee they prefer, bring it; otherwise I'll have plenty of Colombian Supremo from Fred Meyer...makes a darn good cup when properly prepared.
posted by Greg_Ace at 5:38 PM on May 14, 2014

We're bringing our propane weber grill with a giant tank of propane, so if the coleman stove runs out of fuel, we can make due with that as a stove top.
posted by hippybear at 5:42 AM on May 15, 2014

Dang, that's hardcore!
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:19 AM on May 15, 2014

It's not THAT hardcore. It's just what we have. It will make grilling easy, for certain.
posted by hippybear at 7:57 PM on May 15, 2014

I took another look at my firewood stash, and it's smaller than I realized. Janell is planning to stop by this week and pick up some, and I'm going to bring the rest. But that's still not going to be much, so we may need to look for more. Or limit our fires to small, ornamental-only ones.
posted by Greg_Ace at 3:55 PM on May 19, 2014

I have more than enough wood. seriously < beavis >I've got a lot of wood < /beavis >.
posted by vespabelle at 7:47 PM on May 19, 2014

That's more a Butthead thing to say. Beavis would be going "Fire! Fire!"
posted by hippybear at 7:58 PM on May 19, 2014

In that case, I guess it makes more sense for me to load all of my remaining firewood in my own car and save room in janell's car for some of vespabelle's impressively massive wood. In fact, since it's just-me in my car and vespabelle and janell are carpooling, perhaps I should stop by and take on even more?
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:36 PM on May 19, 2014

If you can take all your wood in your car, vespabelle and I can forage for more on the way. Or if her wood above is literal, we'll schlep it.
posted by janell at 8:47 PM on May 19, 2014

Sounds good. A MeMail conversation I had with Secretariat makes me think that scrounging additional firewood is a good possibility - apparently the forest service cuts down a lot of smaller branches around this time of the year. So yeah, I'll bring mine and you bring yours, and it'll all work out.
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:19 PM on May 19, 2014

We'll find some firewood to bring, too. I have some disassembled pallet boards in the garage we can bring, they stack really flat and burn like nobody's business.

We may have to keep the fires small and decorative, but fires can and will be had.
posted by hippybear at 10:37 PM on May 19, 2014

Just a reminder -- the campground costs $8/night per vehicle and probably doesn't take plastic, so bring some cash.
posted by hippybear at 6:39 AM on May 20, 2014

Also, the NWS forecast page for that area.
posted by hippybear at 6:41 AM on May 20, 2014

If the image tag worked, I'd show you my wood! heh heh.
posted by vespabelle at 11:54 AM on May 20, 2014

I'm sure you'll have plenty of chances to flaunt your wood this weekend.
posted by Greg_Ace at 3:18 PM on May 20, 2014

I totally missed this thread, and I still need to go back and read everything, but hippybear just pointed me here and I think I'm going to try and make it. Well, assuming y'all are OK with more goddamn furries showing up. It'd be me, rowanyote (another MeFite) and maybe a plus one who's not a MeFite but is MeFi-aware.

We'll be driving through Portland Friday night and have lots of room in the ginormous van (no, really - it's a Sprinter, it's friggin' huge) for another person and a bunch of gear, if anybody's tight on space. We'll be coming from Seattle, along with several bundles of Sonora-dry hardwood scraps from rowanyote's old furniture-making gig.
posted by hackwolf at 10:40 PM on May 20, 2014

hackwolf: Right on, it will be nice to see you again. You might look at the spreadsheet and at the discussion about what people are bringing to share for meals and try to figure out side-dishes or things you feel have been forgotten on the list to bring.

Also, everyone else, we have 2 or 3 more for meals, so plan accordingly.

I'm going to try to find some bowls I can bring, as we seem to be short on those, and I will bring a slew of mismatched utensils, too.
posted by hippybear at 6:33 AM on May 21, 2014

Excellent, more people! hackwolf, you might try MeMailing Lutoslawski to see if he's still planning to come and needs a ride; all the other Portlanders will already be on the road Friday morning.

As hippybear says, the spreadsheet (as well as the thread itself) is chock-full of info, but let us know if you have any questions.
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:21 AM on May 21, 2014

Yay more people! I adjusted my shopping, but did not (despite the projection above) pick up any supplies to enable lunch-foraging on Sunday. The spreadsheet is accurate. I might defer to other folk for beer-bringing, since we have a lot of refrigerated groceries in one small car already.

Do you people eat dairy/gelatin? I'm kinda itchy to make a giant batch of panna cotta (say for Saturday night dessert) with last summer's blackcaps in syrup as a topping. I'd find the cooler space, somehow. :)
posted by janell at 8:04 PM on May 21, 2014

Neither I nor mr. hippybear fear dairy or gelatin.

Also, hackwolf, if you do have questions... the clock is ticking... I'm loading the car tomorrow night and going to sleep and leaving Cheney around 6am. I think many others are also leaving Friday morning.
posted by hippybear at 9:11 PM on May 21, 2014

panna cotta is fine with me.

hackwolf - heads up: one night we plan to grill bring-your-own-steaks, so plan ahead if you want to get in on that.
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:02 PM on May 21, 2014

posted by hippybear at 10:19 PM on May 21, 2014

If it's any consolation, so did I. Before packing the car tomorrow I'll have to make a trip to get steak and scotch, and fill up the nearly-empty gas tank.
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:21 PM on May 21, 2014

Whew, ok, sorry for the delay in responding - work is behind a monitored firewall, so no personal internet during the day for me. MeMail away to Lutoslawski, people engaged, plans spooling up, etc, we're a go.

I've added what we're bringing to the spreadsheet. I know we're coming into this pretty late, so we'll have enough backup food to be self-contained, along with personal camping utensils, cookware, propane stove, and all the usual stuff. The van is big enough to sleep in, and we'll have a backup tent or two, depending on which boxes get thrown in during the last-minute packing binge tomorrow.

We've got some dessert-like stuff in the works, including muffins and a peach cobbler and whatever else we can work up in a hurry

Beer! We can handle the beer problem, and should have cooler space to rotate it into. Is there anything that people prefer in that department? I tend to like ales, but will throw a case of cheap lager in too (Tecate, maybe?) for those that prefer it, and a growler from the Elysian.

If anybody else is short on space, feel free to ditch your wood and let us know that we should bring extra - we've got plenty of it, and plenty of space to put it in.

Rowanyote and Rik and I are all omnivores of the first order - meat, dairy, fat-free vegan, roadkill, whatever is there we'll happily eat if there's extra.

I wouldn't normally bring it camping, but I do have a super-quiet 2KW generator if anybody would find that useful.
posted by hackwolf at 10:42 PM on May 21, 2014

Hmmm, not sure whether we'd need a generator. Ultimately up to you of course, and perhaps someone else will speak up in favor of it, but otherwise maybe set that to low priority/only if it fits after everything else is packed?
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:18 PM on May 21, 2014

If you can kidnap DJ Recca and his equipment, then pack all that plus the generator and we'll have a mini-rave. :P (kidding)
posted by hippybear at 5:49 AM on May 22, 2014

Hey everyone. I am going from a maybe to a no for this trip as I'm having some oral surgery and probably won't feel up to it. Have an awesome amazing time!
posted by Lutoslawski at 7:44 AM on May 22, 2014

Sorry you'll miss it, hope you feel better soon.

By the way, it looks like there's also a $5/person fee at Alvord Hot Springs now. Be prepared.
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:30 AM on May 22, 2014

Chatting with hippybear this evening. I've been a maybe, a yes, and a no. My energy has been so scattered lately (long story) I just couldn't commit, and still can't, but a couple five hour drives and a campfire are sounding very attractive right now.

Would an impromptu showing up on Sunday afternoon be cool?

If so I'll bring my own steak for the grill. I've got my camping gear. Cash to donate for others' expenses, or to Help Fund Metafilter.

I'm sorry, I've been really flaky about this, but it is what it is and I hope that's OK.
posted by wallabear at 9:48 PM on May 22, 2014

I don't think that'll be a problem at all. C'mon down!

Be aware that we might be off to Alvord Hot Springs sometime that day (not like a definite plan or anything, just a possibility). But we'll try to leave some sort of "Metafilter" sign on our campsite if that happens, and in any case we'll be back for dinner.
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:21 PM on May 22, 2014

Thanks Greg.
posted by wallabear at 9:22 AM on May 23, 2014

I just got here and it looks like the campground is full!!
posted by Greg_Ace at 2:21 PM on May 23, 2014

UPDATE... Steens MtnResort. Say you're part of the Evans group.
posted by Greg_Ace at 2:44 PM on May 23, 2014

To clarify... Steens Mtn Resort is about 100 yards before Page Springs Campground. I've reserved 2 and possibly 3 sites that can fit a couple tents each. Shade, water, good views, showers, Wi-Fi!
posted by Greg_Ace at 3:06 PM on May 23, 2014

Thanks, Greg!
posted by hackwolf at 8:07 PM on May 23, 2014

Hackwolf, the campground office lady will tell you, too, but we are on the outer ring road f the campground with two sites. The most obvious landmark (if you don't see hippybear) is a pair of gray VW golf hatchbacks parked too close together.
posted by janell at 2:29 PM on May 24, 2014

Seems I've picked up a bug from a coworker... sigh. Hope you're all having fun, maybe see you next time.
posted by wallabear at 4:10 PM on May 24, 2014

I don't take a lot of photos, but I have posted a couple of early Saturday morning. Early sun on the hillside, and fog rising off the marsh.
posted by hippybear at 7:47 PM on May 26, 2014

So, wonderful weekend, great people, beautiful place, very mosquito-friendly.

Had good laughs, lots of food (holy crap, I need to step up my camping food game around these people), a beautiful dramatic drive to a very nice hot spring for a soak, scotch, amazing ginger mead, a bit too much sun, and ZERO meteors (game canceled due to rain).

Very nice, *****, would do again.
posted by hippybear at 7:53 PM on May 26, 2014

Are those 5 surrogate meteors, hippybear?

Thanks to all who came! I had SO much fun (except for the last 1/3 of the trip home when the end-of-holiday-weekend traffic heading back to PDX was totally insane) that I'm already planning another one!

Pictures will be up in a couple of days.
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:32 PM on May 26, 2014

Most Metafilter part of the weekend: Dueling Aeropresses!
posted by vespabelle at 7:59 AM on May 27, 2014

Now we see the coffee inherent in the system! Help, help I'm being aer-oppressed!
posted by hippybear at 1:20 PM on May 27, 2014

Supreme caffeinated power derives from a pressure on the beans, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony!
posted by Greg_Ace at 3:05 PM on May 27, 2014

Strange men lying in tents distributing beverages is no basis for a system of government.
posted by Greg_Ace at 3:08 PM on May 27, 2014

The Lady of the Bean, her arm covered in the purest shimmering gold-plated reusable mesh filter screen, held aloft a mug of Hacienda La Esmeralda...

Thanks everybody for a really fantastic weekend, and being awesome and great conversation and just generally cool to hang out with. I'll be better prepared for the next one, I swear!
posted by hackwolf at 7:56 PM on May 28, 2014

I FINALLY added photos! See the link in the upper right corner of the event page.
posted by Greg_Ace at 12:54 PM on June 5, 2014

The scenery is so lovely and colorful when it isn't obscured by palimpsest layers of DEET-sunscreen-DEET-sunscreen-DEET. Thanks for posting them.
posted by janell at 7:18 PM on June 5, 2014

Great photos! So beautiful out there.
posted by Secretariat at 10:13 AM on June 8, 2014

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