|Camping in the Oregon Coast range...day one.|
On Friday June 28th, I headed out to the Oregon Coast Range to go camping for a week (8 days, but who is counting?). I do not care for those sites with bathrooms/showers/electricity and people right on top of you. When I go out...I like to be AWAY from people. Oregon has some amazing hike in and dispersed sites. And even better...they are FREE.
|My "back porch"|
I went early to beat the crowds heading out for the big 4th of July weekend. Denise would meet me a few hours later and then our friends Erik and Kelley would join us on Saturday. It turned out to be a good idea because even leaving as early as I did, the surrounding dispersed sites were full up by that evening. The only downside of the first night was that we forgot the air pump and had to sleep on VERY rocky ground. We both agreed it was the worst night of sleep in our life. I did not get the exact location that I hoped for, but I was pretty happy with where we landed. Good news was that, by that Sunday morning, the area I had my heart set on opened up...so we moved.
|The "dream" site before.|
Being miles in from the nearest highway, there was no sort of cell service. It felt strange being so absolutely out of contact with civilization. Don't get me wrong...it was amazing. I admit it was disconcerting, but you start to get to the point where you really let go of the world and just enjoy the lack of input. We did have to head in to the nearest town a few times, and whoever went always brought the phones so they would download emails and any possible phone messages.
|The "dream" site once we got moved in.|
Once we settled in, I was able to read a few books, and Denise and I finished each night listening to the audio version of one of the "Wheel of Time" books. Since they are all around 30 hours, and we only listened when we settled in for sleep, we didn't finish one, but we made a nice dent.
|Tyrion took some time to warm up to the water.|
The real fun was watching our Border Collies, Aoife and Tyrion, really get a chance to run and play as much and as intensely as they liked. Aoife loved the water...Tyrion took some time, but eventually really got into it. The real fun was watching how each took a ball from the river bed. Tyrion used his paws to roll it closer to shore and then grabbed it quick. Aoife just dunked her face under and grabbed it. At the end of the day...both were exhausted. Tyrion claimed his own chair, but Aoife had no problems just going into the tent and crashing on the bed.
|Aoife loved the tent.|
We did take a really nice hike and saw some beautiful scenery. The peace and quiet was amazing. It also helpd act as a mental reset button for me. I used this time to really try and put myself in the shoes of somebody surviving the zombie apocalypse. I discovered a few things. I would really miss the simple things...like an actual toilet. Also, you NEVER feel clean. Even after a bath in the river.
|A view from the trail at the start of the hike.|
|The hike begins...|
Also...if you cook over fire, it is NOTHING like a stove or oven. It takes a very different skill set to cook over flames or wood coals. Once you get away from people, time moves at a different pace. The morning seemed to fly, but the afternoons almost lasted forever. Then, once it starts to get dark, time speeds up again. I can't explain it, but it was consistent each day (and Denise agrees).
|Hugging the wife and showing off the ink.|
One of the other things I was able to observe was how nature reclaims the world. We found an area washed out by a flood that used to be a logging road. The grass was waist high where the road once cut through the forest after just over two years of nobody tending or using that area. It was eye opening.
|Post hike naps...|
Overall, it was very inspirational. We enjoyed it so much that we stretched it out an extra day. However, to be honest, we could not wait to get home and, take a hot shower, sleep in our bed, and sit on a couch or recliner.
|Don't let the smiles fool you...we were heading home in 5 minutes.|
|Yes...we are really leaving now.|
I am glad to be home, I missed a lot of things about being in the midst of civilization. However, I look forward to my next journey out. The Pacific Northwest has the best camping for whatever you like...even if you have to use a camper or want showers, restrooms and all that stuff that I consider "cheating".