We had a lot of questions this summer why our campground was called Tollgate. Well, the answer is a pretty cool one if you ask me. Everyone has heard of the Oregon Trail, this was the last section of the Oregon Trail called the Barlow Road, and less than ¼ mile from our Host site was the replica of the Barlow Road Tollgate. The tollgate replica itself didn’t look like much, but to someone traveling on the Oregon Trail, it was an obstacle you had to go through and you had to pay a small fee to do just that. It was neat to think wagons filled with supplies and all of a families possessions were coming through this gate 100 years ago bringing people to the lush valley on the other side.
While in the forrest, we decided to make ourselves at home for the summer. This included eating the many berries that were around us, the salmon berries were a favorite. They are named salmon berries since they look like clumps of salmon eggs, they start out yellow and turn red when ripe, and they are HUGE. There were also red huckleberries, blackberries, thimble berries, and salal berries just to name a few. We also decided to plant a few veggies – Lettuce in the Laundry Basket and a Tomato plant in the tote. These didn’t end up producing much since we didn’t have enough direct sunlight in amongst the trees but it was still a fun project (only about 1 hour each day for sunlight to directly shine on the plants).
I had fun keeping our very dark campsite lit up using our antique railroad lanterns. The lantern with the clear globe is actually an OSL (Oregon Short Line) lantern that my grandpa gave Chas several years ago for Christmas. It was fun watching them flicker all night, I used the clear one several times as my light while going to the bathroom in the vault toilets. Once your eyes are adjusted to the low light level, you can see pretty good with these.
The girls had fun making fairy houses in the woods surrounding our site, Laini had a favorite “Thinking Spot” under one of the red huckleberry bushes across from the bus. The designs they came up with using the natural art supplies they were surrounded with were amazing. I think they were fairy landing pads personally…