We had our best tree-fetching experience to date! It’s so cool to live biking distance to a proper tree farm and even better to go there with a group of friends.
We’ve always fetched our tree solo before, but enjoyed a bikey community aspect at the bonfire at the end of the season. Here’s a look back at previous trees:
- Xmas 2016 was our previous funnest tree purchase experience when we got it at the Swansons Nursery Reindeer Festival.
- Xmas 2015 was the year I brought the kids to the bonfire.
- Xmas 2014 was the year I carried our tree and our neighbor’s huge tree to the bonfire.
- Xmas 2013 was the first year I carried a tree (a twofer) to the bonfire and was bitten with the tree-carrying bug.
Check out the album of 33 photos from the current tree. Our group was 16: eight adults, eight kids, and one dog.
It was a nice mixture of bikes, here it is broken down by family:
- mom on Surly Big Dummy longtail cargo bike for tree, dad/kid on Bantam Bicycle Works tandem, kid on her own 650b Surly Straggler bike
- mom on Bike Friday Haul-a-Day midtail cargo bike carrying one kid, dad on regular bike with trailer made from double jogging stroller for tree, kid on her own 26″ beach cruiser bike
- partner on Bantam Bicycle Works bike with trailer for tree, dad/kid on Bantam Bicycle Works tandem
- mom on Surly Big Dummy longtail cargo bike for tree, 2 kids on their own 24″ and 26″ Islabikes Beinns
- mom on Yuba Mundo longtail cargo bike for tree, kid on his own 26″ Islabikes Beinn
I don’t know the name of the tree farm, but it’s in Milwaukie on the southeast corner of SE Freeman Rd & SE Lake Rd. There are 100s of trees, averaging six feet tall, and they all cost $30. There are lots of saws, endless twine to squish down fluffy branches for transport, and tree-purchasing kids may collect as many chiweenie-sized trees from the ground (aka fallen branches) as they want. Their hours are “We’re open when I’m here” per what the owner told Andy, our ride organizer. Our group ride to the farm was only 2.5 miles from our friends’ house in Milwaukie, but we rode over 15 miles total for the day. That’s a lot for my kids!
We take a bit of a roundabout route to get to Milwaukie for quiet, flat streets (otherwise there’s a big, busy downhill on the way there and uphill on the way back). This makes the trip 4.5 miles instead of 2, but it takes us by Cartlandia so we stocked up on Voodoo Doughnuts.
Using this gentle route on the way home meant we got to experience the infamous east wind along the Springwater Corridor Trail. I asked the kids if they prefer wind or rain and they said rain, but I’m not sold. The wind is a pain, all right, and the tree caught quite a bit of it, but we didn’t get pushed around too much. Plus we were dry upon arriving home. So for me, the jury is still out, but I’ll surely form an opinion over the course of winter.
On the way home we stopped at the Milwaukie Station Food Cart Pod for lunch. Food cart pods are so great for kids and dogs! Some even have tents and heaters. And breaking up big bike rides with food stops is critical.