On a recent weekend, I went on an overnight camping trip on my 2007 Suzuki V-Strom 650 to Forest Creek Campground within the Mt. Hood National Forest.

360-degree video of campsite

The purpose of the trip was to get my bike camping gear sorted out before I take some multi-day trips this summer. Forest Creek Campground is nearby, about an hour from my home, and I have visited it before–just never staying overnight.

Forest Creek Campground lies on the old Barlow Road, an alternate route settlers took around the south side of Mt. Hood to get to the Willamette Valley. This avoided the dangerous route rafting down the Columbia River.

I was greeted by two middle aged guys staying in campers, Dave and Scott. They are brothers who have been spending Mother’s Day weekend at Forest Creek since the early 1970s. Their 90 year-old mother would be showing up the following day. After some initial chit-chat, I set to work getting my camp set up.

Forest Creek Campground, 2007 Suzuki V-Strom 650

I got my tent erected and made dinner–dehydrated rice and chicken. It’s not bad as far as dehydrated meals go, and it’s super easy to make. Just add 16 ounces of boiling water right into the bag, stir, and seal. After a 9 minute wait, dinner is ready. The only dishes to clean up is a spoon.

I read for a little bit, then wandered over to Dave and Scott’s camp to chat. Scott had a 12-week old yellow lab named “Seven” that fell out of a cute tree and hit every branch on the way down. While we talked, a doe came into camp and snacked on the peanut shells the guys discarded nearby.

It got down to 35 degrees during the night so I inserted my sleeping bag liner into my 40-degree bag. I’ve had colder nights, but the chill made it difficult to sleep. There was also a heavy dew so my tent and ground cloth were very wet when breaking camp the next morning.

I was up at 5:20 and, after making a dehydrated breakfast of southwest hash, I packed up and was back on the bike by 7 AM, and home by 8 AM.