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Seniors go on two-day camping trip for memories sake

Fyrne Taylor, 91, takes an outdoor trip to the Columbia Gorge like she did with her husband, Ray
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Several plucky senior citizens have proved that you're never too old to go camping.

A 'Forget-Me-Not' camping trip for Fyrne Taylor, 91, a resident at Marquis Care in Forest Grove, turned into an adventure June 22-23.

'It was Fyrne's wish to go camping as she used to with her husband,' said LaRayne Barrios, the care center's activity director. Fyrne and Ray, who is deceased, would pack up their pickup and head camping.

'They apparently really roughed it - no tent, just a bed in the back of the pickup and their cookware,' Barrios said. 'Fyrne tells us that she got real good at cooking most anything over the fire.'

Taylor, who doesn't like to camp at the beach 'because of the mess of the sand,' Barrios said, was asked about camping in the woods at Cascade Locks in the Columbia Gorge.

'Fyrne said, 'I've been there many a time - that would be nice.' We made the arrangements to stay in camping cabins at the Cascade Locks KOA Kampground.'

Taylor, joined by Nellie Tilford, Glen Erskine, Ed Swick, Jack Hirsch and Margaret Anderson, a cadre of volunteers and a registered nurse, left early Thursday morning, June 22. After setting up camp, they headed to the Bonneville Fish Hatchery for a tour of the trout and sturgeon ponds.

'Fyrne enjoyed feeding the trout,' Barrios pointed out.

Later that afternoon the tourists headed back to camp to start a campfire and roast hotdogs and s'mores. After their meal, they enjoyed a chocolate cake that Taylor insisted on taking 'because she always had chocolate cake with her husband on their trips,' Barrios noted.

'Fyrne was the last resident by the fire and at 11 p.m. she still wasn't ready to go to bed - but we encouraged her to go so she would be rested for the busy day to come,' said Barrios.

The next morning, everyone woke to a pancake, fried egg and bacon breakfast, then packed up camp and headed home.

A final stop at Multnomah Falls capped off the trip, with everyone walking to the landing for a closer look.

'We had lunch there before returning home,' Barrios said. 'It was a wonderful trip and everyone had fun.

'The residents are still talking about it.'

'Every time you talk to Fyrne about going camping,' Barrios added, 'a smile comes to her face.'