"The family who camps together....

Thursday, July 23, 2009

...stays together." This really is a quote coined by author Gary Smalley. I remember hearing these words back before four boys with a love for adventure and outdoors made their way into my life. We enjoyed a few one or two night trips here and there but two years ago I declared a hiatus from camping. The previous three campouts were under let's say "damp" conditions. The last one was a literal torrential downpour. As we got our soggy selves home, it took SIX hours to unload and clean up. This activity was just going to have to be "boys only" for a while. Maybe forever.
Never say "never". Our family was in desperate need of a break and the funds did not allow for my style of camping: a four star hotel with a soaking jacuzzi tub and room service. "Let's go camp on the Oregon Coast." Uh. OK. Sure. I gritted my teeth and agreed to the idea.

The planner in me wanted to break out the map, make some phone calls, secure reservations and create the spreadsheet. Getting the other party to succumb to this plan was a tall order. I was reminded that every time we lacked reservations, God had always come through in a big way. Besides, "what if we're having a great time somewhere and want to stay a little longer? It would be a bummer to have pressure to get to the next destination." So we went for it and God did not let us down.

Day 1: Made it to just past Astoria, Oregon at the beginning of Hwy. 101. We stopped at a burger place for dinner and asked the locals for their suggestions. It was unanimous: Fort Stevens State Park--6 miles away. We pulled in around 7:00 and got the last campsite right next to a huge grassy field. A paved trail took you straight to the Pacific Ocean a mile away. It was perfect.

Today's highlight: Passing by a roadside firewood stand, just outside the state park, done on the "honor system".
Forgettable moment: Seattle traffic, Tacoma traffic, Olympia traffic

Day 2: Everyone was up and biking around by 8:00. I took a walk to the beach and even thought it was foggy, just hearing the sound of the ocean was music to my ears. When I started walking back to the campsite I heard some kids screaming and laughing. I looked to my left and realized, " I know them. Those are my kids." Discontent to simply play in the sand, they were up on the sandhill doing front flips to the beach below. Of course they were. I got some great pictures until "Ranger Rick" stopped by and asked them stop.

Packed up after breakfast and headed south. We passed state park after state park and every one of their signs said: "campground full". Ok, maybe this "living by faith" thing was a bad idea. We came upon the town of Seal Rock and a private RV park. Their sign said "vacancy" and "hot showers". We pulled in and discovered they had three small tent site available. We scored one directly across from the ocean and set up camp. Ahhhh.

Today's highlight: A huge private cove all to ourselves for the boys to run to their heart's content.
Forgettable moment: The "West Coast Chopper Family" who pulled in across from us at 10:30. Apparently the only words their four kids understood were "shut up" and "butthead". They were definitely entertaining.

Day 3: Packed up around 11:00 and headed south again. Our destination was the Sand Dunes Recreational area near Reedsport. Again, we passed "campground full" signs constantly. Suddenly Trey felt led to return to a small park we had passed five miles ago. Rock Creek Park had one campsite left and it was HUGE. The shallow creek behind it led under the road and straight to the beach. Instead of spending any more time setting up, we set up the tent and jumped back in the car to Florence. You could see the dunes from the road and they were amazing. As quickly as they came into view, the kids also saw other kids "sandboarding". We rented them each a board at "Sandmaster Park" and off they went.

Went back to the campsite around dinnertime and we enjoyed the campfire while the boys biked to their heart's content.
Today's highlight: Watching the boys reconnect and play hard together.
Forgettable moment: Wind. Lots of wind.

Days 4-6 coming tomorrow...............


2 Responses to “"The family who camps together....”

Lemonade Makin' Mama said...

Awesome photos!!

Oh, and thanks for your offer of lending me "clean camping gear"... that made me laugh. I think I've got everything a person could possibly need, and if I don't, I am sure Maria will have it... We work well like that. :)

Have a wonderful weekend!

lacey said...

Good to have you home!