Currently I am sitting in front of a toasty, mesmerizing camp fire; living out of a car, sleeping in a tent, with no agenda or daily schedule. And life could not feel any more amazing.
We departed 819 NE 68th Street in Seattle mid-day Sunday, for our final time, with a car full of our belongings for the next ten months ((I was confident it would all fit – it would have to fit – but it still surprised me to see how full my car was/is and that it actually does all fit, yay!)). While bittersweet to clear out the house and hand over the keys, I was fully ready to hit the road and begin the real adventures.
Overnight stop number one brought us to Nehalem Bay State Park campground, just south of Cannon Beach, in Oregon. The drive down 101 so far has been incredible, and we will continue that route into California. By the way, Oregon ((say it with me “Ore [like iron ore] – Again”)) is so incredibly cool, you guys. Lodged between two tech-heavy states Washington & California, Oregon can get away with not trying to fit in. To me, they thrive just being themselves. Oregonians take such great care of their parks & land, and the laid-back adorable seaside towns are in abundance. Oregon has everything ((and I mean everything)) to offer – gorgeous ocean beaches, dense forests, cities, mountains, lakes, wineries, cycling (even on major roadways they have designated scenic bikeways – the only state in the country to do so) sand dunes, hiking, golfing, 130+ breweries, fresh seafood, berries, and above all of that…no sales tax!
The first night, I lay in our cozy little tent snuggled up warm in my sleeping bag thinking oh my goodness this is really our life right now! Almost certain I went to sleep with a sizable grin on my face, with a snoring hubs next to me.
On the park map, I noticed an unassuming 2-mile trail and suggested we go for a morning walk. It quickly turned into a three-hour tour, beginning along the beach until we reached the spit, and then returning to the campground on the sandy trail to get a drink and a bite to eat for lunch. Lessons learned – do not assume 2 miles is a short walk when there is sand involved, and take drinking water next time!
Later, we drove to Cannon Beach to wander around the shops and get some photos of the infamous Haystack Rock. It is the fourth largest sea stack in the world, and therefore fittingly a popular tourist destination. It happened to be low tide when we got there, which is the best time to visit, as you can get right up to it and see all the sea life living on and around the rock. The only unpleasant part? It reeks of bird poo, as thousands of birds and other sea creatures call this rock home.
Do you know what famous 1985 film included scenes of the rocks?
This first stop has confirmed our original presumption that two nights are a solid amount of time for a relaxing stay. Most destinations we have planned are at least two nights; some three or four. Even though our small tent takes only minutes to set up, it would feel a bit rushed to pack up everything the very next morning. Some destinations have not yet been determined on how many nights we will stay, which gives us that flexibility to stop when we are tired, or extend a stay in a place at which feels right to take a little more time.
Thanks for following along our journey via the blog, and for all the support thus far. It really puts a smile on my face!
Stay tuned for more Oregon…our next stop will bring us just south of Florence ((after a stop at a tire place as I just noticed something metal lodged in one of the front tires…groan))