Last week I spend a few days camping at Metzler Park Campground in Estacada, Oregon. I’m so used to camping alone that camping with grandchildren is a polar opposite experience for me. I met my daughter, son-in-law, my four grandchildren, and Sam their Great Dane mix, for what has become our annual family camping trip. The kids range in age from 2 to 12 years old. They are a flurry of activity, noise, and movement, as most kids are.
Camping at Metzler Park Campground
Murphy and I always arrive after the kids so they can guide me into our site. We go to Metzler Park Campground in Estacada, Oregon, a Clackamas County park. It’s an easy drive for them and only about 150 miles or 2.5 hours for me, depending on Portland traffic. Metzler is an older park with narrow roads and is heavily treed. It can be a little tricky to get my Airstream into some of the sites but it’s doable. I wouldn’t attempt a much larger RV unless you can get a reservation for one of the few larger and more easily accessible sites.
About the Park
Metzler Park Campground is southeast of Portland and feels like you’re a world away from the chaos Portland has become in the last couple of years. The campground is quiet, spread out with large sites, and plenty of shade. There are 75 campsites. 60 of them have electric and water hookups. There are bathrooms, showers, and a dump station.
There was a burn ban in place while we were there so we didn’t get to enjoy a campfire. My daughter made s’mores on her cookstove and the kids were happy. (I was too.)
The first night it was really cold for them. They were in their tent and it got down to around 45 degrees. I had the heat on in the trailer. The remaining nights were much warmer with lows in the 50s.
I had my first newsletter scheduled to go out on Tuesday morning and discovered there was no wifi or cell reception at our site so I went back and forth between there and a big common area with picnic tables where Murphy and I could hang out and I could work.
We spent an afternoon at Clear Creek, the creek that runs through the park. The kids and the dogs played in the water. Sam is huge and weighs about 120 pounds and Murphy is about 80 pounds. That’s 200 pounds of dog running by splashing mud on us with each pass. They has a great time and both of them slept like the dead that night.
We were raided by chipmunks during our trip to play in the water. Sadly, they got into all sorts of things. Did you know chipmunks love tomatoes?
This little one still can’t decide if grammie is safe to make friends with. One of these days little girl, one of these days.
Our trip ended abruptly one day early due to some sort of tummy bug ravaging the second oldest. I hear it was a very long night. Rather than have the little ones all fall like dominos, they opted to head home. It’s a good thing because the littlest one got sick the following night. So far, everyone else is still standing.
Things to Remember
All in all, we had a great time camping at Metzler Park Campground. I’m already looking forward to next year. If you visit Metzler, remember the cell signal is fair to none depending on where you camp. The sites are not meant for big rigs but there are a couple that will work.
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