Leah bachhuber

Live, read, travel, explore, enjoy

Category: Oregon

Nehalem Bay Yurt Camping

You know you are a true Oregonian when you go camping in the rain. Well, to be fair, we were yurt camping which is high on the glamping spectrum and is FAR easier to camp when the weather is unfavorable. Given that we live in Oregon and Oregon seems to have blown up with ourdoorsy, camping types in recent years, camping in close proximity to Portland is no longer an “on-a-whim” type of thing. We booked a yurt at Nehalem Bay State Park with a group of friends last year. It was my and the kids’ first time yurt camping, and we had a blast, despite some heavy rains on the first day and some night “challenges” from the kids.

Now that both the kids are mobile and can actually run off and play with other kids, camping is actually really fun. The general reaction we get when we tell people we are going camping with an 18-month-old and a 3-year-old is, “Why would you do that to yourselves?” Both recent camping trips have turned out really well, though. Of course, there are the challenges, bedtime difficulties, early wake-ups, and sugar highs (and subsequent lows), but I mentally prepare for that because: camping.

The Nehalem Bay Yurts were awesome: they include a bunk bed with a twin on top and full on bottom, and a pull-out futon with a full mattress. We brought the Pack’n’Play for Charlie, so everyone had their own bed. Best of all, the yurts have heaters in them. Unbeknownst to me, Daniel had cranked the heater to 80 degrees, so I was actually too hot at night – when does that ever happen camping? But really, having the heater makes staying the cold night with kids pretty easy. Ava woke in the morning at 4:50am and immediately woke the rest of us up. But, after Jet Boiled coffee and some fresh air, we were in good spirits.

We were rewarded for sticking out a raining evening and night with beautiful, sunny, blue skies the next day. The kids loved playing at the beach and getting sandy.

Spray Rodeo – 2017

Another great Memorial Day rodeo weekend in the books! We headed to Shelton Wayside campground on Friday and spent two nights, returning home on Sunday. We did go camping one night last summer, but Charlie was still in full-on baby mode, so this was the first official camping trip with two mobile kids. To be honest, I was mentally preparing for the worst. We generally tend to avoid sleeping in the same room as the kids at all costs and always seek out vacation lodging options where everyone can have their own sleep space (this means Charlie has slept in more than a handful closets and bathrooms in his life). I was envisioning over-tired kids who wouldn’t go to bed, kids crying in the night, kids waking up at the crack of dawn, kids having to use the outhouse at 4am, etc…

As it turns out, I was very pleasantly surprised by how awesome the camping trip turned out. The kids had SO much fun and it was SO much fun for us to watch them really enjoy themselves. Ava is starting to enter the phase where she can really play with other kids, rather than just along side other kids. My friend Ashley had her kids there too, Rory (4.5) and Riley (8.5), and Ava and Rory totally hit it off and played so well together. Charlie loved just wandering around the campsite, exploring. Both the kids were so tired by bedtime that they easily passed out without much cajoling. On Night 1, Charlie woke up crying around 2:30am, probably because he was too cold. Despite the 90 degree day temperatures, the temps dropped to extremely chilly at night. It took us about 2 hours to finally get him to sleep, and luckily Ava slept through it all. But, once we woke up, saw the sun shining, and drank a cup of coffee, all was right with the world. On the second night, we put a hat on Charlie before bed, and had him sleep on his Pack’n’Play mattress between us, and he fell right asleep and slept through the night.

Saturday was taken up with rodeo events. Daniel started off the day by running the Spray Half Marathon. We met him in town for the buckaroo breakfast. Ava had a orange tang mustache for the entirety of the trip after downing two cups of the sweet elixir. Then, the rodeo parade, which Ava absolutely loved because she got to admire the rodeo queens with their glittery horses and sparkly shirts. Ava also really enjoyed the rodeo itself, and was quite perplexed by why the cowboys kept falling off the bucking broncos. Charlie seemed to enjoy himself too. The hardest part of the whole experience was the heat. The days heated up to above 90 degrees, which was quite difficult with two very small children.

Overall, we had a blast, more fun than I anticipated. The trip was a great test for us, because now we realized that a) we can do more camping this summer and b) we can be a little more flexible with vacations because sleeping in the same space as the kids actually wasn’t so bad.

Summit Meadow Cabins, 2017

We spent the weekend in a cozy cabin at Summit Meadows, a short walk from Trillium Lake. Last time I was at Summit Meadows, the snow pack was long gone, but this time we had a great base of snow (and it was still coming down!) for snowshoeing around the lake and gazing out at the falling flakes.

It just so happened to also be Ava’s third birthday on Friday! We celebrated with cupcakes and presents after dinner.

Summit Meadow Cabins

Spent the weekend in this lovely A-frame cabin on Mt. Hood. On our past trips the entire landscape has been covered with snow. This winter has been unseasonably warm and there was not a flake of snow in sight. The rained nearly the entire weekend, but we still managed to get out for a soggy hike around the perimeter of Trillium Lake. It was relaxing and restful, the perfect getaway before finals week.


Spray Rodeo 2014

Last weekend we took Ava on her very first Spray trip! It was the general consensus that Ava is the youngest Spray-goer in Spray history (at least within our campsite). We had an awesome time with everyone and Ava did very well – we were so impressed! The car ride there and back was what made me the most nervous, but she mostly slept through the whole thing, and we made two stops both ways, that coincided with lunch and gas.

We arrived Friday evening and set up camp. The three of us shared a tent borrowed from my dad (the REI Basecamp 6) and we had more than enough room for all our stuff. I brought a blow-up Thermarest mattress that Ava used right next to me.

Saturday we went to the pancake breakfast and parade in Spray and then went to the rodeo for the afternoon. I was a lot of fun to be back there, just a year ago we got engaged at the rodeo! Now we are back with our daughter… While we had a great time at the rodeo, it was certainly a different experience being there with Ava. We felt that mostly we were tending to her needs: changing her, feeding her, making sure she wasn’t too hot or in the sun too much. By the end of the rodeo I realized I had caught about half of one bronc ride (they are approximately 7 seconds long). Well, I guess I did spend a lot of my time that I could have watched events chatting with Jane (it was Jane’s first time to the rodeo too!).

Sunday we were up for a little adventure, but were a tad wary of hiking in the hills right next to our campground because they are pretty notorious for being full of ticks and we weren’t sure about ticks getting on Ava. So, Daniel, Sam, Ava and I packed up in my car and headed for Picture Gorge, about 45 minutes east of Spray. We ended our drive east in Dayville and stopped to buy sunscreen. We took a short rest to get Ava out of the car at the mercantile (this was a real, legit mercantile store) and a bunch of the motorcycle dudes had just happened to be stopping too (Memorial Day weekend just happens to also be the same time the A.B.A.T.E. crew has their annual meeting (American Bikers Against Totalitarian Establishment), so the general area is usually swarming with Harley-riding dudes and dudettes. All the grizzly riders saw Ava and were commenting on how cute and beautiful she was. Haha! It was kind of adorable.

After we picked up sunscreen we headed back west for a hike at Blue Basin, which goes through the awesome John Day fossil beds. The scenery was just gorgeous. Daniel carried Ava the whole hike (3.5 miles) in the Ergo and she did fine, although I was pretty overheated myself. After our hike we headed to the Thomas Condon Paleontology Center, to learn about fossils and we were all praying they would have ice-cream there but, whomp, they did not.

We headed home Monday morning and stopped for a burger and curly fries at the Eastwind Drive-In in Cascade Locks.

Overall – we had an amazing time! I was so happy we got to bring Ava and that she did so well. I think having her there definitely was fun for the whole Spray crew. Can’t wait for next year!


Thanksgiving and 25 Weeks

This is a week late but, oh well! Last weekend we had a wonderful, friend and family-filled Thanksgiving. We started off the weekend of festivities with a bang at my best friend Jane’s house for a Hannukah latke feast with the Tuckers.

Thursday morning we went on a short hike in Forest Park with the Bachhubers and the Rellers (with a warm stop at Starbucks first). The afternoon and evening was spent with my mom, grandparents, Uncle Ben, et al at mom’s house. It was a feast of epic proportions, it is just unfortunate that my stomach is shrinking considerably. After dinner we had a rousing game of Trivial Pursuit.

Friday we headed to Rockaway and spent the day and night with my dad, aunt and uncle, cousins and more. Lucky for us, my aunt and her sister are from Columbian, so we got a homemade pallella for dinner (Spanish, not Columbian food, but it was still zesty and delicious!). The house was full so that night Daniel and I spent the night at the Bachhuber’s beach house.

Saturday morning was lazy and wonderful. We got breakfast at Bread and Ocean and then went for a long walk on the beach, with coffees in hand. Nothing like the beach to relax and unwind after an action-packed couple of days. We headed home and I spent some time with Jane before she headed back to Virginia.

photo 2-11At “Witches.” 1463128_10201048571243878_1741360580_nPre-hike…. Freezing!!!!photo 3-9 Umm… I’m not sure why we didn’t get a better picture of Thanksgiving dinner. This is Daniel testing out his panorama mode… photo 4-7 Saturday morning walk on the beach. Making good use of my new Hunter boots! photo 1-1225 weeks pregnant!

Honeymoon in Sunriver

Yesterday we returned from our honeymoon in Sunriver, OR. Around the time I realized I was pregnant, Daniel and I realized that going on a huge, bang-up honeymoon to Turkey and Greece was probably no longer in the cards due to my extreme exhaustion. Although I am dying to go to Turkey and Greece, we decided we better save that trip for when I have my normal 100% energy back. So, instead we decided to head to Sunriver, one of my favorite spots in Oregon. Doing so was definitely a great decision as the week was totally conducive to rest and relaxation.

The week consisted on a LOT of sleep. Seriously: the first day we were there I took a 2 hour nap, and then proceeded to sleep 10 hours during the night. I kept with the 9 to 10 hours of sleep per night after that, as I was catching up on lots of sleepless nights and exhaustion from wedding planning and the actual wedding itself.

In addition to lots of sleeping and napping, we spent our time reading (me: Freedom by Jonathan Franzen and Daniel: two sci-fi novels), taking walks to the Village, going on bike rides, watching Carolyn’s tennis matches (Daniel’s mom happened to have a tennis tournament in Sunriver when we were there), going on a canoe trip of the Deschutes, a long hike to Benham Falls, and (mostly Daniel) gazing at the copious amounts of small planes coming in and out of the Sunriver Airport. All-in-all, it was SUCH a luxury to just be 100% lazy and do nothing but lay around and immerse ourselves in our books (we had rented one movie, Silver Linings Playbook, near the beginning of the week, but failed to even watch that as we both preferred the novelty of simply being able to read for hours at a time. We spent the last night having a fun dinner with Carolyn and Daniel’s family friends, Scott and Sarah Grewe, at the Lodge (which amazingly, for how many times I’ve been to Sunriver, I had never been to before!).

Daniel and I both returned to Portland feeling rested and fresh, ready to be productive again and go back to normal life (whatever that is)!

We didn’t take many photos during our honeymoon (I think our cheeks still hurt from so many photos from the wedding, but here are a few:

Canoeing the Deschutes - Cardinal Landing Bridge right ahead!
Canoeing the Deschutes – Cardinal Landing Bridge right ahead!
On a hike to Benham Falls.
On a hike to Benham Falls. Can you spot the baby bump? It is starting to show.
On an evening walk.
On an evening walk.

We Got Hitched!

It’s official! Daniel and I are married!

We tied the knot on September 1, 2013, in front of Haystack Rock in Cannon Beach, Oregon, alongside 180 of our loved ones. It was a spectacular day and it honestly exceeded all my expectations. I don’t buy the “wedding is the best day of your life” train of thought, because that suggest that all the other days aren’t as good, and that’s definitely not true! But, our wedding day actually was one of the best, most memorable, fun and love-filled days I’ve experienced.

The weekend was special on many levels. First of all, I got to spend several days with all my best friends (together!) and my family, many of whom drove and/or flew in to Portland from far-away locations such as Victoria, BC, Baltimore, Virginia, Jackson Hole, Tucson, and Singapore! I felt honored and humbled that so many people decided to make the journey to come spend the weekend with us.

Our wedding day was miraculous. A few days before the wedding the forecast called for rain. But that quickly began to change (I checked ever hour for a few days!) and the 40% chance of rain morphed into 72 degrees and sunny. We took it as a great omen that on September 1st the skies were pure blue and the breeze was warm. In fact, both Daniel and I got a little sunburn going during the photo session. The ceremony itself, conducted by my Grandma Weezie, was beautiful and exactly what we wanted: outside, under the sun, in a traditional Oregonian setting. After the ceremony we all headed into the Surfsand ballroom for some delicious dinner, toasts, cake and dancing. After the reception the stragglers headed back out to the beach for a bonfire.

The day itself was a whirlwind. Both Daniel and I woke up the next day and said: “Whoa, are we really married?” The whole weekend was so special, and much of that is thanks to our families and friends who helped all along the way and on the big day. I will truly never forget September 1, 2013. Now the sunburns have faded, the dress is put away, and the wedding cards are opened, but the best thing about the day lasts forever, that I got to marry my number one best friend in the world and spend the rest of my life with him. 🙂

More photos to come when I get the official batch. In case you are wondering, here is the info on our wedding:

Leah’s dress: David’s Bridal; Leah’s hair: Done by the lovely Madeline Bachhuber (no, she is not a professional, she’s just that good!); Cake: Sarah Lovald at Wicked Delights Bakery; Photographer: Lauren Nicole Berichon Photography; Ceremony and Reception: Surfsand Resort, Cannon Beach, OR; Flowers: by New Seasons Market; Guy’s Suits: Mr Formal rentals.


We’re Engaged!!

Wow, it has been quite the whirlwind few days and I’ve been meaning to write a post, but have hardly had a moment’s downtime. By now, I’ve washed all my camping laundry, shampooed the smell of camp fire out of my hair, and have completed several tick checks. But… the big news of the weekend: no cowboys were taken away in ambulances, it only rained once, we made grilled pizza over the fire and… DANIEL AND I GOT ENGAGED ON SUNDAY!!!!!! 🙂

Daniel wrote his side of the story here. Now, I thought I would share mine.

So, it’s Sunday, day 2, of the Spray Rodeo, one of my favorite events of the year. Going to the rodeo is a family tradition that I have been doing since I was six years old.  I love going to Spray, Oregon. It’s about 3.5 hours from Portland, but a world away in my book. It’s the most amazing little slice of Americana you could ask for. No pretenses here. Spray rodeo attracts the real cowboys, whose life is all about rodeo and, probably, farming. I enjoy immersing myself in the scene over Memorial Day Weekend.

It’s mid-way through Day 2 of the rodeo. They had just finished the cow-milking contest and were about to do the women’s 1/4 mile horse race. I was sitting in the stands next to Kathy Albert, a good family friend. We were talking about all sorts of things, commenting on the rodeo, and enjoying looking at the rodeo names (think: Brian Bain, Dan Durfey, JJ Harrison, Jade Crosley, BJ Taruscio… you get the point). It had been a great rodeo year, and we still have a few more events to go. Notably: bull riding, which is always my favorite. All the sudden, Scott Allen, the long-time Spray announcer, changed the pace of events and said (in his Southern twang): “Alright ladies and gentlemen. We have a special announcement…”

Kathy and I peered over at him and, lo and behold, who was standing there, but Daniel! We both looked at each other and I said: “What’s Daniel doing in the ring?” Kathy said: “Maybe he wants to ride bulls.” Then Daniel took over the mic and this happened:

I was so shocked and nervous, that the whole thing was a bit of a blur. I know this for sure because the next day I finally got cell-phone service, and called my best friend (and now Maid of Honor!) Jane. Later she saw the video and said: “I know you must have been so shocked and excited, because you didn’t even mention that the rodeo clown said you look 15 when you called me!” Of course, she knows me too well, because I usually get annoyed when people say I look 15.

Of course, I said yes! Shell-shocked, we walked out of the arena, and they promptly got back to business, with the women’s quarter-mile race. We went to find Joann, the rodeo organizer who let Daniel pull this stunt, to thank her. She was still in Frank’s Pub. We walked into Frank’s Pub (an alcohol drinking section of the bandstand) and everyone cheered. Joann was happy as a clam, and informed us this was the first time  in rodeo history this had happened. The proprietress of Frank’s gave us a few beer tokens. “It’s on us!” she shouted. We went back to get a beer. I was hoping for a nice IPA to top of the moment. “Whaddya got?” I asked the woman. “Coors or Coors Light,” she replied. Coors Light it was. We toasted our Coors in the pub and welcomed the onslaught of cowboys who came up to us to say congratulations.

It was an amazing day in Spray Rodeo history, one that I will NEVER forget! When the excitement calmed down, Daniel and I practiced saying that we were now each other’s “fiance.” And then, as the shock wore off, I realized I get to marry my best friend!


Manzanita Getaway

After a long, stressful week, Daniel, Jordan, Haley, Olive and I fled the city for lovely Manzanita. We arrived in the early evening and took a quick walk on the beach before deciding on a dinner spot. We headed to Wheeler for dinner at the Rising Star Cafe, a tiny little restaurant with about 20 seats. Each one of us got some permutation of pasta/noodles. After dinner we headed back to the Bachhuber beach home for a movie. We watched Zero Dark Thirty, about the killing of Osama Bin Laden, which was good, although I fell asleep a few times.

This morning Daniel and I woke up around 8:30am, and Jordan and Haley were already at the beach, walking Olive. We went out for a quick beach run and met back up with Jordan and Haley at Bread and Ocean for a DELICIOUS breakfast. Pro tip: get the Egg McOcean breakfast sandwich. To die for. After breakfast and coffee, we poked around town and then walked to the beach so Olive could get some more of her boundless energy out. Then, back to the house, where we met up with Tom and Carolyn. A little while later we headed back to town for more food: burritos at Left Coast Siesta. We definitely hadn’t had enough food yet, so we went to the Manzanita candy store to taste test some “Sea Foam.” The four of us were about to have food babies, so we decided to go for a hike up Neahkahnie Mountain. Definitely a good decision: it was a beautiful, sunny day. As we approached the top a little fog came in, which didn’t obscure the view, but added a slightly mystical feel to the summit.

The Oregon Coast has the ceaseless ability to rejuvenate me and make feel relaxed. We described it as feeling “beachy.” When you are not feeling “beachy,” all you want to do is work and get ahead with your responsibilities. When you are feeling “beachy” you remember that a lot of those things don’t actually matter that much.

On the way home Daniel slept, thank goodness, or else he surely would have convinced us all to stop for fro-yo.



Top photo: by Haley. Middle photo: by Daniel. Bottom photo: by Jordan. No photos by me, I was too busy becoming one with nature.

%d bloggers like this: