Campfire Tales

Forgot to reserve that campsite for the long weekend? This evening you can (likely) still take advantage of the first come, first-serve sites out at Oxbow Regional Park near Troutdale. And once you unload the family cruiser at one of the 67 spots, a few which are perched above the banks of the Sandy River, and stake your tent down, rest easy, because your entertainment for the kids for the night is already taken care of. Tonight, folk singer Dave Orleans picks his guitar strings in the park’s cozy outdoor amphitheater, and tomorrow night, Oregon Shadow Theater stops by for an evening shadow puppet show. Just add s’mores.

First come, First-Served
Folking singing and shadow puppets around the campfire not your cup of tea? Click here for a link to Oregon State Parks list of first come, first-serve campgrounds. My advice: if you want to snag one, get rolling now.

Bonney Butte
If the weather holds up, day-tripping bird-lovers can make the trek out to Bonney Butte near Mount Hood. The 5,500-foot peak is ground zero for the state’s largest concentration of migrating hawks. And each September members of the Utah-based group Hawk Watch International come to count the dizzying numbers of migrating Sharp-shinned Hawks, Red-tailed Hawks, Cooper’s Hawks, Golden Eagles, and Merlins that ride the thermal drafts here while cruising down the Pacific Flyway. The 360-degree view of the surrounding mountains is pretty superb, too.

Get Out More Tour
If you’re looking for a few new tips to round out your backpacking repertoire, you can’t do better than stopping by the Portland REI on Saturday for the Backpacker Get Out More Tour. Learn how to find a properly sized pack, or just get the lowdown on that new Big Agnes sleeping bag or those trekking poles you’ve been eyeing, all of which come with Backpacker’s stamp of approval.