Deer's Head ca. 2002

Deer, Dogs and Deep Thoughts

Last evening, around dusk, I was walking with a few of our campers out back (mountain-term for just about anywhere that’s not where you currently are; in this case, the meadow).  I was showing them a hoof print of what is presumably a very large elk, explaining how they follow a trail down Bald Mountain, through our neighbor’s property, then on to our meadow and out to the beach for water.


Well, just as we bent down to put our Sherlock Holmes investigating skills to the test, along came a deer.  We thought it was a cute little thing so we stood to watch it, and there she stood, staring back at us.  It seemed we could have gone on for hours just staring at each other, when I realized we were going to have to make the first move.  I thought to myself, the deer must think she’s protecting herself by standing still.  Not so if I had been a hunter!

I went about my evening and, after nightfall, our faithful “guard” dog, Chloe decided to bark at some unassuming campers resting on our porch, checking emails, etc. It occurred to me, first, that a dog must be talented to both bark and wag their tails at people simultaneously.  And, second, I realized how species of animals react entirely different to people when startled by them.  A deer stands still, staring, and hoping not to be noticed.  While a dog is jumping, leaping, barking and wagging, begging to be paid attention to.


I know people (humans….) who exhibit some of the same social skills, don’t you?

Fortunately, I have never come face to face with a Cougar but am told they will stalk you, wait until you are alone and then pounce.  Yikes! (Also similar to behavior of some people LOL).

So, who are you most like?  Introverted deer, extroverted dog or some other animal in the wild?


Happy Trails, whoever you are… :)


Yakima Beer Blog - Hops!

Ode to Beer!

Most people in and around Washington know that the Yakima Valley is recognized for it’s wine.  With nearly 100 local wineries and tasting rooms there’s nothing that wont satisfy even the most discerning of tastes.

But, did you know that 78% of the entire nation’s hops are grown here in the Yakima Valley as well??

While most hops get sent across state line to become something delicious, craft beverage companies are beginning to take their stance locally as well.  That’s right…. you don’t have to drive to Portland to get a decent micro-brew anymore.  Yakima offers several varieties, it’s almost always sunny and only 30 minutes drive from camping at Elk Ridge Campground.  So, why not sample a few, pic your fave and bring it on up to enjoy at your little cabin on the Naches River?

Yakima Beer Blog

Better yet…..

How would you like to attend a special event weekend and have the local beer, wine, and cider (or moonshine… )brought directly to you while your camping with us?  We’re talking food, brew, music, fire and a comfy place to lay your head.  Well, that’s in the works too so stay tuned!

How many of YOU would like to be a part of a weekend of tasting what the Yakima Valley has to offer?




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Goodbye Summer, Hello Fall

Our first two weeks of Fall have come and gone and new campground projects are already underway. Leaves are turning color, the nights are becoming crisp and cool and days are still sunny and warm. With the end of an amazing and busy summer behind us I thought it fitting to do a summer recap blog for those that have been following us since the beginning. We have been blessed by so many of you who have been kind enough to stop in and give us compliments on our progress so far. It’s humbling to have so many friends, new and old, who have captured our vision for Elk Ridge and want to see her shine in the Nile Valley like she did back in her hay-day.

Looking back is sometimes challenging for us since we are always excited about “what’s next” but I will give it a try :) Here are just a few highlights from our first summer at Elk Ridge Campground:


We hosted three outdoor weddings in our meadow on the Naches River. They were unique, beautiful and unforgettable as much to us as to the Bride and Groom on their special day.


We also hosted several family reunions that booked part or all of the entire campground. Sorry folks, we now consider ourselves part of your families and you are STUCK with us!



New Sign!

Our website was launched and now has online booking capabilities. In the offline world,  we brought in over 300 tons of new gravel. Meanwhile, our vintage neon sign was restored to it’s original Union 76 colors, blue and orange.



Several international travelers chose us for impromptu stays on their journeys. We hosted campers from Spain, Switzerland, France, Holland, Germany and Sweden.


Our location next to Jim Sprick Community Park enabled us to offer accommodations during events like Nile Valley Days in July and Chinook Fest in September.




tvMore recently, we installed a 106 inch HD projector screen in our multipurpose room so our hunters (
and other 12’s) can watch the Seahawks this Fall.
We plan to use this in the future for movies as well!






And MOST importantly……..


Elk Ridge Campground gained Tim Hoefer as a full time resident, owner, operator, visionary and one of a kind campground host. :)

fire pic



It was a busy summer, but are so very excited for the days, months and seasons ahead! Thank you, thank you, thank you to each and every one of you who have made our first summer as hosts of Elk Ridge Campground a success and beautiful memory!!  Tim and I appreciate your encouragement and support!



Happy Trails,