December Camping – Champoeg State Park

Update: Yes, we’re still camping!  It’ll be COLD, so dress accordingly!  (29 for the overnight low, 40s during the day)  We’re leaving AT 10am.  Get there between 9am and 9:30am if you want coffee & donuts!

Champoeg State Park at Sunset in FallThat’s right – it’s time once again for bike camping, and we’re headed back to Champoeg State Park, the site of Oregon’s first provisional government.  Champoeg is the start, mid or endpoint of a number of supported rides during the year, and no stranger to bikes.  It also lies at the northern end of the Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway.  Nestled in the French Prairie area near the town of St. Paul, Champoeg was once a large town and bustling ferry stop along the Willamette River, until a flood in 1861 wiped out the entire town.  Though the citizens tried to rebuild, a second flood put a final end to their dreams of rivaling Oregon City.

Champoeg has a day use area with disc golf, a visitor’s center and a couple of museums.  The nearby historic store at Butteville is closed for the season, but the park itself is open year-round and has on-site ice and firewood.

We will be camping the first weekend of December – Dec 4-5.  The ride will start outside Voodoo Too at 10am (sharp).  Voodoo Too opens at 6am, so if you get there early, there will be plenty of opportunity to get donuts and coffee for the start of the ride.  The hiker/biker camp at Champoeg costs $5 per person.  Weather will likely be wet and cold – temperatures that night will likely drop to the low 40s, so you’ll want to dress appropriately.

By this time, you’re probably asking “why the heck do I want to camp in THAT?”  Well, I have a couple of answers for you:

  • We will have some surprise camping guests – Russ & Laura from Path Less Pedaled.  Russ and Laura just spent 15 months living on the road on their bikes.  If you want to know what it’s like to live minimally, travel year-round over 10,000 miles, and deal with all kinds of weather, here’s your chance to find out! (update – Laura can’t make this trip, she will be at BikeCraft that weekend.  If you’re not coming camping, please consider going to BikeCraft!)
  • Too cold for mosquitos!
  • A nice, warm fire, good people to hang out with, and stimulating conversation
  • Free, hot showers
  • The “A” Loop is closed.  That means no RVs – hiker/biker shares the bathroom/showers with the yurts, but other than that, it’s just us

If you’re intimidated by the idea of winter camping, consider coming to our FREE Winter Camping class (Bike Camping 102) on Saturday, November 20th at the Portland Hawthorne Hostel.  You can find out how easy it is to camp in the off-season with just a little preparation to deal with the colder and wetter days.

I hope you’ll consider camping with us on the first weekend of December – it should be a great trip!