Travel Bug| Buck Lake

Prior to Summer beginning, I had all these romanticized thoughts of me spending many lazy days and afternoons in the great outdoors, my kids joining me on my outdoor adventures… it was going to be the best Summer yet!

… It didn’t take long to realize that wasn’t quite how it was going to work out. For the last several Summer I struggled terribly with work-life balance, worrying constantly about what my teenagers were doing while I worked long hours at the office (often times 50 hours per week, plus I was on-call 24/7 so work usually spilled over into my “days off”). The anticipation of this Summer was incredibly strong, and I had so many fun ideas and things for us to finally be able to do together freely.

The reality is my kids aren’t babies anymore (one is going to be an “adult” next month) Neither of them wants to hang out with me all day being tourists in our own state for the millionth time. Plus my daughter is not a fan of the outdoors.

Anyhow, I manage to occasionally convince her to join me, and last Thursday was one of those days! Just the weekend before, a friend of ours posted to Facebook about a day trip toΒ Buck Lake and the photos were gorgeous, I knew I had to go as soon as possible.

So, off we went. Allie, her two closest friends, and myself. It was a very long drive. Winding in and out, following the Clackamas river which was thick with tree lined banks, fluffy with bright green leaves… the sun peeking through as the car turned. Finally after what seemed a life time (about an hour), we ventured away from the winding river road and up into the pines of the Mt. Hood National Forest. Up, up we drove. I had to be very watchful of the directions because there was no service and I knew I wouldn’t be able to use my phone to map my way back, so I played close attention to each turn, noting details and keeping my rights and lefts in order.

Gravel roads for days

After some time we came to a gravel road, and after traveling down it for a short while my iPhone map directions said we had arrived… but there was no lake, and no trailhead in sight. Luckily I has a screen shot of some written directions that helped me find the actual trailhead (it’s always a reminder of how much I need to prepare in advance for these trips I make, you can’t replace paper maps!) Finally the trailhead was within view!

Trail Head Marker

I wasn’t entirely sure how long the trail was, but I had my hiking pack filled with towels, snacks, water and extra clothing, and another separate tote bag filled with two deflated water floaties… so I was hoping it was short. It definitely wasn’t long, I’m guessing less than half a mile, but I’m not used to carrying a tote bag! It was nice having the extra company as I hiked, I always get a little nervous out in the deep wilderness with no cell service.

Buck Lake, Mt. Hood National Forest, Oregon
Buck Lake, Mt. Hood National Forest, Oregon

The long drive and short hike were worth it, this lake is crystal clear. Gorgeous in every way. There was only one small group there, two ladies and two little children. However I was there on a weekday, so I am sure it is much busier on weekends… like most anywhere during Oregon Summers.

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Me relaxing in the shade!

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The above photo is my Women Who HIkeΒ “members” Β patch, I still haven’t decided where I am going to put it. I think I’m getting a new hiking pack soon so I’ll most likely save it until I pick the perfect pack! I love this community of women, and how important hiking and the outdoors is to their being, and how it has molded them into the women they are today. I know for me, hiking and outdoor life has been extremely influential and hiking primarily alone has been an amazing experience and opportunity to learn a lot about myself.

The four of us spent several hours there in the sun (and shade), I only had two floaties so I let Allie’s friends use them, since Allie wasn’t up for getting in the lake that day. She sat along the shore and dipped her feet in and hung out with me. Although she was fairly whiney about the giant bugs, the numerous salamanders in the water… and the yellow and black water snake swimming about, she did pretty good. Tho’ she made it clear she HATESΒ the outdoors and “never” wants to adventure with me again. (I’m still deciding if I should keep pushing those boundaries, or respect her stance on not being “outdoorsy”)

My motto has always been that life is lived outside our comfort zones! But I certainly don’t need another reason for my angsty teen daughter to hate me 😜

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It’s hard to see the salamanders in this photo but there were dozens swimming around at any given moment. So adorable!

I’ve spent the last two days with a cold and feel pretty awful so I’m looking forward to getting out there some time this week (since Allie will be away for a few days visiting family), I have a growing list of hikes that need some attention!

Happy Tuesday fit fam, don’t forget to get outside and play!

-Beach Body Bliss 🌴

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