The Troll Goes To Camp
When I was but a wee lass, I used to attend a Girls' Camp each summer out in Eastern Washington. I went for six years in a row, then didn't go back again. I have some very good and very bad memories of the place. I learned a lot about plants and developed a love of botany that I someday hope to satisfy. I hiked and swam and sang with the other girls. I rode my first horse there, and learned that I love traditional storytelling. I also got appendicitis while at camp one year and had a very memorable ride back over the mountain pass to a doctor my mother trusted. Another year I was sitting at the evening show enjoying the entertainment when my father arrived completely unexpectedly to take me home for my grandmother's funeral.
Recently I learned that my little sister is now a counselor at the same camp. She asked if I'd like to come up and visit for a bit. I jumped at the chance, and took a day trip alone up to the campground. But... I wasn't entirely alone. I decided to bring Torvald along.
This first image shows Torvald at the entrance to the camp. While we were there, we always just called it "Girls' Camp". This sign was the only reason I knew what the camp was called. It's been repainted and possibly even replaced in the sixteen plus years since I was last at the camp, but it's still good ol' Lockamora. Five of the years I went to this ranch for camp we used this campground. The other time we used Camp Trillium.
This is Torvald on the ladder at one of the residences of Camp Lockamora. I'm happy to report that the same old buildings are still there, with some minor improvements in the form of slightly better roof coverings. What are they, you ask?
Open A-Frames. Basically two walls that meet at the top, and two levels. This particular A-Frame was still being prepared for human habitation by the campers, and was full of bugs flying in swarms inside. When I was last at camp, the A-Frames had plain shingles on the roofs. All of them now have metal roofs over a tarp over the old shingles. I seem to recall they could get somewhat leaky. Here's a longer shot of the A-Frame showing a little more detail.
When I was at camp, we always cooked our meals over the coals from an open fire. Since then, there have been more and more burn bans, and part of the time campers aren't allowed to cook with fire... they have to use more modern Coleman Stoves. However, every campsite still has a trusty Dutch Oven with which you can make any campground meal under the sun. Torvald looks quite natural posing with one.
I'll forgive you if you are ignorant of this term, as Camp Lockamora and the surrounding camps are the only places I've ever heard it used. One year at camp I got partnered up with a deaf girl who created a song based on a Sesame Street tune. We sang it aloud and with our hands. "'B' is for Biffy, that's good enough for me!" It brought down the house.
This is a Biffy. Also known as honey bucket, porta-potty, outhouse... I'm sure you can come up with some names of your own.
Not to drone on about it, but even the biffies have been massively improved since I went to camp there. The protective sheds are new, which gives them better stability along with keeping them in "the shade" all the time. In addition, a washing up facility has been built, with flushing toilets and showers, just a quarter mile up the trail from the camp. They were just starting construction on those new buildings when I last went to camp. Now the buildings look a little old and very well used.
I wandered around the campground a bit, and talked with a few people. Nobody there had been around back in my day. They were just carrying on the old traditions. I popped up into the treehouse, wandered by the river, remembered being a kid. After awhile I decided to take off. I said my farewells to my sister, who was riding herd on a group of 16-year-olds... girls who hadn't even been born the last time I went to the camp. Then I took off. But instead of heading right home, I went a little farther to visit a tourist site.
I've been to Roslyn once before. For those of you not in the know, it's where Northern Exposure was filmed. This little town in Eastern Washington doubled for Cicely, Alaska. The Roslyn Cafe got an extra apostrophe "s" on it during the show, but it's now back to its original glory. And Torvald of course had to get his picture taken in front of it.
After Roslyn, I headed back over the pass toward home. I decided to stop in North Bend for lunch, then realized that it was only a short trip to Snoqualmie Falls. So I headed over to the falls to get a few more pictures before going home.
This is a rare shot. Torvald was more interested in looking at the falls than in posing, so I took an image of his back. This is on the observation deck, and Torvald is looking at the falls through the railing.
Torvald reluctantly agreed to allow me to hold him long enough to get a clear shot of him next to the falls.
The other folk on the observation deck were very amused by the troll, and I got a few pithy comments on him. When I mentioned I'd just come from Roslyn, one joker quipped that I'd gotten pictures of "Norwegian Exposure". ha ha. Sheesh.
Last up, here's a couple of shots of Torvald with the park sign. I try to get Torvald with the sign images whenever possible, just because it's funny. I'm not sure which really turned out better, though. The one with Torvald in front of the sign:
Or the one with Torvald on top of the sign:
Well, that's it for this edition of the Torvald Times. I will no doubt attempt to take more pictures in the future. I'm hoping that Eric and I can manage a day trip or even an overnighter to someplace nearby but touristy this summer. And I still need to get Torvald down to Fremont to visit... well, that's for another day.
Watch my blog for future updates to this section of Travels With The Troll.