Monday, June 22, 2009

La Wis Wis Revisited

We needed to have some time away this weekend, so we made an impromptu visit to La Wis Wis campground near Packwood WA. My family came here ever year for my entire childhood and I've enjoyed bring my kids and grandkids back several times over the last few years. I had some trouble posting pictures tonight but will try again later in another post. We visited the usual places; the blue hole and Purcell Falls. You just haven 't visited La Wis Wis unless you go there.
The falls have change a lot since we visited last with Christy and Al and girls and Clyle and Skip.

Unfortunately it rained for most of the visit. Dave accidentally brought the rain flap for our larger tent, so we put it over the top of the original which was a blessing and a curse. I'm sure it protected us from some additional rain, but the last day it had formed considerable condensation and was dripping on us.

Even with the rain, we still had bouts of sunshine and we both enjoyed it very much. It was nostalgic as always as I recalled all the fun family times that I had there as a child.

As we were cleaning up and anxious to be heading out, I carried the last bag of trash to the garbage and a wave of emotions came over me. It came on quite unexpectedly and I had a pit in the bottom of my stomach that I had lost something never to be regained. I longed for the days when my brother and sister and I ran in these woods playing whatever game that we saw fit for the time, and fishing with my Dad and him teaching me how to gut a fish, and Mom cooking those great campfire dinners. All of the family and friends that would meet us there and spend weeks on end during the summer times. There is so much familiar here, yet so much that is gone... my Mom and Dad, the relationship that I had with a brother and a sister, the family and friends that are nothing but a memory now. At this time the memories just don't seem to be enough. Now it's back home, back to work, back to the familiar, back to this life now. I don't even know if I want to ever go back to La Wis Wis, those memories were so hard today.


Cheryl said...

Hi There,
I enjoyed reading your post about La Wis Wis. I am hoping to take my family camping later this month and I am looking for a place that is similar to the campground my family went to year after year (in Connecticut). One of the things we did as kids when we camped was spend a lot of time playing, swimming and floating in the river. I'm wondering if you can tell me what the river is like at the La Wis Wis campground. Is there a beach area suitable for younger kids? Is the water freezing cold or is the temperature good for swimming? Do people bring inner tubes, etc. to float on the river? Any information you could share about the park and the opportunities to be in the river would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks very much.
Cheryl (Portland, OR)

InkyFingers said...

I'm so glad that you enjoyed the post. It's not really too far from Portland actually, just a few miles south of Rainier. The water is very cold, as it comes right off of the glacier. It is a fork of the Cowlitz river. But it is actually very fun to swim in on a hot day. The river itself is quite swift but there is an area within the campground that is called the "blue hole" and it is calm and serene. You actually have to swim across to get to the little sandy beach. If your kids are teens they will love the rope swing off the cliff. Inner tubes are great just for lounging in this area, but not in the rapids. A short little uphill hike from within the park is Purcell Falls, and if you go up high enough there are little pools that myself, kids and grandkids have all played in and sled down the water sculpted rock. This is in the pictures posted above. Keeping in mind that wind storms and weather disturbances do change the terrain some, but the trail is usually clear up to the top. There are no "structured" activities within the park, but lots of little trails and adventures to go on. There is no electricity but they do have some flush toilets now (not when I was a kid though)lol. If you end up going there, let me know how you liked it.