Stub Stewart redux: cabin camping in the snow

Speaking of crazy weather…

A looooong time ago, my buddy Pete, who I met forever ago on a Cycle Wild trip, planned a weekend cabin-camping bike excursion to Stub Stewart. In fact, his planning is what initially reminded me that cabin camping was even an option, and what led to my solo trip out there a few weeks ago.

When we planned this weekend, of course, we didn’t know that it might snow. Because c’mon, it doesn’t really snow in Portland. But sure enough, when we all met at the Orenco MAX stop on Saturday morning with the ambient temperature barely above freezing, Pete mentioned offhandedly that his friend who was riding down from Stub Stewart to meet us had sent him some pictures that made the Banks-Vernonia bike path look a little questionable.

snowy-stub-stewart(though of course the roads were plowed;)

But whatever. We were already up and packed and ready to go, so bring on the weather.

Thus it was that we made an amazingly beautiful and rather slushy ride up to Stub Stewart State Park. It’s always a lovely ride through the forest up there, and with the dusting of white it was only more gorgeous.

banks-vernonia-trail(so peaceful, too)

The higher up the trail we got, the snowier it got, and though it was never overtly dangerous it sure made for some more attentive biking.

banks-vernonia-james(luckily, everyone was basically a snow-biking professional by the end of it;)


This kind of weather is exactly what cabin camping was made for. When we got to our cabins, soggy and frozen, we could crank up the heat, strip off our wet things, dry out, eat, chat, and hang out under a covered roof. Except that not two minutes after we got into our cabin, I accidentally locked us out of it, with my panniers, my waterproof layers, and all my warm things hung up nice and neatly inside. Oops. Luckily the campground host rescued us fairly quickly.

stub-stewart-cabin-6(cozy cabins: more useful when you don’t lock yourself out!)

All night, it rained and snowed and rained and snowed, making the sleeping particularly cozy: there’s nothing like snuggling into a warm, dry bag while the weather rages around you. And in the morning, when I got up early to go running (squish, squish, squish through the slush), it snowed some more. Beautiful.

stub-stewart(snowy and cloudy and sunny all at once:)

Pete has a more detail-oriented account over on his blog if you’re interested (I’m always jealous of people who can actually write ride reports in an interesting fashion). As for me, suffice it to say that this was exactly what this crazy-weather weekend needed. Like I always say, borderline shitty weather makes it so tempting sometimes to stay in, but it’s always worth it to venture out. And having cabin reservations that beckoned us into the frozenness made for the best possible use of our weekend.

I feel like I have fully enjoyed our un-Portlandy winter weather lately, thanks to biking and walking and running. Thanks, legs! :) And thanks to Pete for dreaming up this weekend excursion in the first place.

(A few more pictures here if you’re interested.)



  1. If I hadn’t been committed to this and a group of people, it would have been a great couch weekend.

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