Monday, September 6, 2010

Our Camping Adventure

Recently Chris and I went camping with my family out on the Olympic Peninsula. Chris had to work on Friday and since we didn't know how busy ferries can be, we decided that we could just leave after he got home from work. Little did we know that weekends are a very busy time for ferries and that we would have to wait in the ferry line for 2 hours. Making our trip out to Lake Ozette 6 hours instead of the planned 4. It was, however, fun to ride on the ferry with Chris as we enjoyed the relaxing and smooth ride across the Puget Sound.
Once we got on the other side, we realized that our journey had just begun. Our destination took us through very remote and highly unpopulated towns, letting us enjoy the scenery around us. Washington is a very beautiful place to live, if only it didn't rain so much. On our journey to the camp grounds we ran into long, winding roads. When you keep seeing sign after sign of caution winding roads ahead mile after mile, you know you are going to be in trouble. Let's just say that getting out to Lake Ozette is an adventure by itself.

After many hours of being on the road we finally made it to the campsite where my parents had said they were at, Lost Resort. It's no coincidence it's called Lost Resort, as it is 21 miles down a deserted road out in the middle of no where. Once we got there we realized that my parents had never told us what campsite they were at. Since it was 10:30 at night and there was no cell reception out there, we figured we were out of luck and would simply have to drive around until we spotted my dad's red truck. After doing a loop twice around the campsite, going out on foot seemed to be our only option. Im sure many campers were annoyed after getting headlights and now flashlights shined into their campsite, along with the occasional MCKELL....MOM.....DAD. As we were walking around we ran into a deer that was seriously only about 5 feet away from us. I know it is lame to get scared of a deer but yes Bambi did frighten me. When you are in their territory deer have the right to run you over if they want to, and take my word for it when a deer is staring at you in the middle of the night they are a lot bigger and scarier than you think they would be. Needless to say I quickly ran away from the deer as Chris was laughing at me.
After continually going around the campsite on foot and not finding my family we began to think that maybe we were in the wrong place. We found out from some other campers that there was another campsite just down the road. As we pulled in we finally saw my dad's truck parked in the first camping site. So what turned into a 30 minute scavenger hunt could have been a two second find if we had been in the right place. Although it was a very stressful car ride, the reward was worth it in the end.
After pulling into the campsite I looked up at the night sky and saw hundreds of stars. I had never seen a night sky so clear as it was that night. I guess that's what happens when you are out in the middle of the woods, very far from civilization. Not only were the stars clear but there were tons of shooting stars and I could actually see the tail following behind it. After talking with my family for awhile, my mom and I swore that we heard a bear close by. So we all quickly said goodnight and ran into our bear proof tents.
The next day we continued our journey by taking a 3 mile board walk hike through the rain forest down to the beach. It was low tide so the beach was covered with dried up seaweed, which had attracted an innumerable host of flies. It was kind of a disgusting end to our hike, which was disappointing. Luckily we had the good sense to not let that get us down, so we hiked for another 1/2 mile down the beach and saw that the tide was so low that there was a path to a sacred indian ground, which we found out later was called Cannonball Island. It was there that we found a nice patch of clean sand and clear ocean water. This might not be that exciting for those who are used to California-esque beaches, but in Washington sandy beaches are a very rare to commodity. So I guess our hike was well worth it in the end after all.
After our hike back, swimming in the lake to cool down and swapping stories by the campfire, we decided it was time to head home. Seeing as we didn't want to have to wait another 2 hours in a ferry line, we decided to follow my dad and take another way home. It was still a four hour ride home but that didn't bother me nearly as much as almost getting hit by a crazy driver. That's a whole other story in itself but luckily the car missed both my dad and us. Needless to say it was quite an adventure and we both had a great time.
This trip reminded me of the many camping trips we took when I was growing up. Let's just say those trips were never organized and were very spontaneous. I remember one time we didn't pack any real food and we ate crackers and fruit snacks for dinner, then we all slept in the car since we didn't even bring a tent. But I have to say that trip was one of the most memorable and fun camping trips I've been on. It was on this trip that we discovered Strawberry Creek, a place that holds many fond memories for everyone in my family. I think it's the unplanned and spontaneous things in life you remember the most.

What is your favorite camping memory?

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