1st Camper Review ~ The Windward Forest
I had stayed in this area of Washington State and was specifically looking for a place to explore more of it. Booking:
A breeze as always with the HipCamp platform. Once the Host confirmed my questions, I was booked in minutes - 1st camper discount is applied at final checkout.
I fired off some questions to Walt via the HipCamp site to confirm a couple things prior to hitting the road. Walt was quick to respond (within 15 mins). Walt answered my questions and informed me of a fire ban. (good safety detail), this allowed me to verify my Biolite stove would be ok to use. Walt requested a call when I crossed a certain bridge in order to arrange to meet me on arrival.
Walt clarified a GPS issue with directions, super accurate.
Walt was waiting when I pulled in, greeted me with a smile and a "Hello Jeff" (small thing, but a host who can't recall your name - meh?) I found Walt to be pleasant, a phenomenal conversationalist, knowledgeable in a wide array of topics, and able to toss in a good joke smack dab in the middle of a conversation without missing a beat.
When pulling into The Windward Forest - you pull up to a blue & white trailer where you meet your Host, Walt. As you pull up and park your eye will be drawn to several structures, workshop, living quarters, shipping containers, large pallet sized plastic containers, etc. all this is part of the Windward Research Project and more information can be found at windward.org
The campsite itself had a nice open air Adirondack shack that sleeps several people. A fire pit a few feet away (burn ban though, so I was not ale to use it), & surrounding the pit were half log benches. As you drive into the site (yes, you can park beside it) there is a dual chemical pit toilet (one stall was nailed shut and unavailable) and 75+/- yards away was a propane shower building with 2 stalls. There were additional structures on property; a rain barn with several old couches, propane stoves, & potable water spigot for camper use. A welcome shack & crafts shack were close by the barn.
Walt had discussed with me a venture his organization was undertaking with natural burial sites as an alternative to peoples current options and large end of life expenses. He described a site he was working on for the parents of Emma, a young lady who had passed recently before realizing her dream of living in the Pacific NW. He shared she was from NY state, something we had in common, and on Saturday morning as I was hiking the property, Walt hollered and asked if I would assist him with some site prep for Emma's resting place. I was honored to do what little I could, both for Emma and to lend a hand to Walt with a bit of physical labor. May Emma rest in peace beneath the Cherry tree Walt is planting to inter her ashes where she will over look a small open glen.
THE RESEARCH CENTER:
Walt informed me that one of his interns was waiting to meet me and show me the research centers animals; sheep, goats, pigs, chickens, rabbits, all raised and cared for to sustain the research center employees, residents, and guests. Hannah & Opelyn gave me a brief tour through the area and an up close meet and greet with some piglets.
This ongoing experimentation with community building in a sustainable fashion as an alternative to what modern day society has evolved and established is an interesting perspective on the human condition and worthy of some consideration. I'm not sure if Walt has found the right recipe, but he is clearly true to his vision in his persistency.
Again, keep working, low cost, & sustainable in mind. The structures are solidly built, however, they do show there wear and tear form years of use. This would be an ideal place for those who love to get outdoors, but also have a passion for improving where they've been. Walt and his team would always welcome a helping hand or two!
Thank you Walt and Windward for the experience, a place to hang my tent, and the honor of assisting in a very small way with Emma's site.
Let's Go People - GEToffTHE-B10PATH ! Jeff S.
*Reviews of anything, as always, are subjective and in the eye or mind of the beholder so to speak. My reviews are based on attributes I value and believe other HipCampers will find valuable in making their own choices and decisions.
Ultimately, experiencing a place, a thing, or a person is your own best test - after all - You know Yourself best!
Where do I begin . . .
Contentment Acres is all that your gracious host, Pamela, says it is - but it's quite a bit much more! I had the luxury of being this past weekends only guest and I will return here again - here's why.
Mountain Views - Mt Hood (from the pavilion, a hammock, or the hay field? Yes to all
Camping variety - From tent camping to tent Glamping - Contentment Acres has it all - move off from the main campus into the woods or stay nice and close to enjoy a more groomed, civilized atmosphere - while these old bones can still do it - I prefer a tent.
Amenities - ConTENTment Acres is one of the most well thought out properties I've had the pleasure of camping at. The layout is particular and well planned; outdoor propane shower, outhouses built to last longer than most homes, nice open air pavilion & outdoor cook kitchen, fire pits, hammock sites - when you walk this property you can feel Pam's passion for the land, the mountains, and for building her small slice of Heaven on earth in order to share it with others. Built by Pam and her brother, the care and craftsmanship employed here are outstanding.
Your Host, Pamela - you know good people when you meet them and take the time to hear their story - Pam is good people through and through, a pleasure to talk with and she has some great stories about reclaiming the property from the wild, rescuing all manner of four legged critters, and getting to know her neighbors ;-D
There is quite a bit of humor and some great lessons in those stories, if you listen closely.
When you hear the odd screech as night falls and can't quite figure it out, well enough said . . . you will chuckle when you learn the answer, I know I did.
IF you hear a sound like galloping coming at you from behind, chances are it's not a bear, it's just Pam's pup, another rescue who she nursed back to health - he's harmless, lovable, and just lookin for new friends and a belly rub.
I know I will return here for the views, the peace and quiet, the mountain squalls, the wind, and the trip up and back along the Columbia was icing on the cake!