The Trip: Where I Dipped my Hat, Plus More
This year, we left for our camping trip during a heat wave, and I started a travel journal with the idea of recording every body of water we jumped into. As the weather got cooler, I lost my focus and it evolved into general notes: some of the best meals we have, and questions that we wanted to research later, events and impressions and even sketches. Here are a few excerpts (with a shout-out to Badgerbag for the example of her diary-format posts):
7/22: Lake Sylvia. Just outside Mantesanto, WA. Nice swimming area, blazing hot day.
Astoria Aquatic Center: Indoor pool. Nice water slide, SLOW lazy river.
7/23: Beach at Cape Disappointment
7/24: Coffenberry Lake at Fort Stevens. Rented paddleboat, jumped out to keep MG company swimming in lake, she climbed back in but I couldn't! RW had to paddle back to the dock with me hanging onto the boat.
Drove and drove.
Stopped at Tillamook Cheese Factory, the Disneyland of Cheese.
7/25: Dipped toes in ocean. Very windy.
Drove and drove to Bandon: Mediocre fish taco, good ice cream.
MG looks like Jack Sparrow with 5 braids flying.
7/26: Hot chcolate and pop-tarts for breakfast!
RW read Ramona while I re-braided MG's hair. 8 braids this time.
Explored beach--strong winds & fog.
Vertiginous feeling of CA state line: can we really be so far from home and from everywhere familiar? It's 350 miles to SF, even.
Crescent City, CA has great playground near waterfront. Lots of Asian kids I thought, but now I think they were Native American, from the res nearby. Some at least were bilingual in a language I couldn't identify.
Chatted with mom from Gold Beach, OR. She drives her kid 1+ hours to Crescent City for swim team. She was reading a book from the library but stopped to help us with dinner recommendations. I really wanted to hear about her life there, I wonder and wonder what it's like to live in the little towns we drive through and she'd recently moved from Portland suburbs. But just then MG fell from monkey bars & hurt herself & I had to run.
Great burgers & ice cream at unprepossessing joint off 101, near Pizza Hut. Owner chatty and friendly, gave MG free postcard, recommended campsites, gave us a great map & told us about the lighthouse, all the while slagging environmentalists & Latinos ("It's Del NORT county, not Del Nor-tay. Or they'll think you're [hushed voice] Hispanic."). The sometimes-dirty bargain of tourism on both sides: we'll take friendliness/tips where we can get them; he'll take customers, ditto.
Camping by Jed Smith river. Stars, stars, stars.
7/27-7/30: The Secret Campground. Ocean.
While there: braided MG's hair with 16 braids while RW read aloud. Over an hour. I think I can do any number of braids as long as they're an exponential multiple of 2.
7/31: Back in Oregon. Stopped at Cave Junction, at the Info Center. The helpful ranger told RW *everything* and let her take over her computer to look up campsites!
Grants Pass: hot, strip malls, trafficky. RW says: "seething mass of nowhere."
Picknicking at little park outside Gold Hill, huge branch fell off tree overhanging picnic table and just missed RW. Freaky.
Shakes @ Phil's Frosties in Shady Cove. RW had a great blackberry shake; I got a fudge malted. MG thrilled to have own root beer float & refused us sips.
Wanted to visit caves but MG was asleep & so we kept driving instead.
Camping at Joseph Stuart Lake Park, near Prospect. Site right near playground! MG ran on own to play while I made dinner & RW set up van.
Campground is open & grassy, like a huge neighborhood park soccer field. huge RVs on either side of us. Peeked inside one & saw microwave--it looked just like a kitchen in a house.
Boys in tree couldn't get over the fact that I was cooking hot dogs over firepit: "What are you doing? Why??"
On other side: they brought a little plastic wading pool! A whole bunch of people on that side, from WA, OR, & Texas-- big family reunion. One woman called out to me: "You got my steak ready yet?"
8/1 Early Start. Had to drag MG away from playground. She made us promise to come back sometime.
Crater Lake! All day I was thinking we'd be able to go for a swim. But it turns out that it's not a swimming lake at all: over a mile from the crater edges down to the water, and the info woman said the water's sometimes 34 degrees. We stopped at lookout points. MG tried to be patient w/my fear of heights.
MG played in snow by the road.
Swam at beach near Diamond Lake resort. Cold breezy air; I had the shivers. Resort strangely empty; eerie feeling around it.