Adventures in Oregon: Camping in Mt. Hood National Forest

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Two weekends ago, the mister and I took our first official camping trip together. We got really lucky and scored a wonderful campsite in a gorgeous campground, Kingfisher, which is located in Mt. Hood National Forest, about an hour southeast of Portland. We were able to book it just two days ahead of time, right before the Labor day weekend! Such a score. Sitting near natural hot springs along the Collawash River, we had access to dipping our feet in the refreshing, crisp water, and also going up the road seven miles to take a soak in the renowned Bagby Hot Springs. A mile and a half hike in and back, you could soak in a wood bathhouse in the middle of a heavily wooded area. With a little bit of a wait and patience, you can have a room all to yourself and a lovely few of the surrounding greenery. I’d highly recommend it.

We also took a wonderful 7 mile hike earlier that day following along the river. It was absolutely breathtaking. The river was so clear and colorful, it was tempting to drive right in!

For one of our dinner meals, I insisted we make one of my favorite childhood camping meals, salmon burgers. My stepmom gave me the secret recipe so I could finally make them myself (recipe after the break). They definitely hit the spot. We used my cast iron Lodge for all of the cooking… you really don’t need much else. It was especially great for cooking sausage patties, hash browns and eggs for breakfast!

If you live in or around the Portland area, I’d highly recommend a trip into the woods in this national forest! It’s quite a beautiful sight to behold.

Yolanda’s Salmon Camp Burgers

(and yes, that really is the name of them)

Makes about 6 patties

  • two 6-7 oz. cans of salmon
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups bread crumbs
  • 2/3 cup chopped celery
  • 1/3 chopped red onion
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

Mix and form into patties. Fry in an open skillet for about 10 minutes until browned. Sandwich between a bun and fixin’s, like mayo, tomato, avocado, you name it. If bringing these camping, I’d recommend doing all of this mixing and forming beforehand at home before you get out in the wilderness… you’ll save yourself a mess and a bit of time. Enjoy!

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