Monday, June 30, 2008

Finally- a bit of camping

This past weekend I finally went camping! It seemed like every time I was hiking in Peru with Heather, I vocalized my need to go camping. I think she was getting sick of my whining, with good reason. Finally I went for a very short camping trip this past weekend. Unfortunately, everyone else but Baby was busy, so we set out for another BandB adventure. I learned a few things as I embarked on my first solo camping trip and wanted to share a few observations with you all.

These are my thoughts broken up into quadrants (Who knew I was so anal?) They are as follows:
My trip brought me to the coastal range where I had two goals: fishing and surfing. I left first thing Saturday morning and battled traffic on highway 26 until Elsie. The plan was to fish at Lost Lake, catch some trout and spend the night at the nearby campground. Well, the campground was completely full, so I improvised. I ended up finding a private spot on the Nehalem River up about 3 miles that was kind of close to other campers (maybe 3/4 of a mile). I could hear nearby campers laughing in the distance, which brought me some comfort. I set up camp and headed up the hill to Lost Lake. The views atop this hill were beautiful!
The road took me straight to the lake where there was parking and a few hike-in camping spots. Had I known there would have been a few families already camped out up there, I would have waited to set up camp and stayed next to the lake. Next time. Baby and I started our hike around the lake and I can honestly say I have never been around so many mosquitoes! Luckily I moved fast enough to avoid being eaten alive. After dropping a line in a few places, I found a good fishing spot. I was using a castmaster and after two casts, had two fish. The first was super small and luckily I was able to free it. The second fish was a 10 inch Rainbow and for some unknown reason- well I know the reason- I was a bit confident and let it go thinking I could get a bigger one. My fish friendly side was telling me that bait fishing would make it easier to release the smaller ones. These fish were not going for the powerbait, so I quickly switched back to the castmaster hoping to hook some dinner. The shadows must have changed and the fish had lost interest. It was getting late and I was tired and hungry. After a few more attempts on my walk around the lake and a quick swim, I gave up on the fish. I also had to give up on my plans for spicy black bean trout burritos. It was a sad moment.
Every time I try to have a nice picture with Baby, she freezes up and stares at me like I'm the worst Mom ever! I think she has some sixth sense that alerts her of the timer option on my camera and as a result, almost every picture we have is of her staring at my cheek. Nice Baby-
Back at camp, I was enjoying myself so much I decided to maybe stay a second night on the river. I enjoyed a VERY relaxing evening with my pb and j, baked sour cream and cheddar lays, campfire, doggy and book. It was great. I also made a friend. Meet Mr. Mosquito! The next morning, I awoke hungry for oatmeal. Had some breakfast and started to read through my dissertation. This was by far the most disappointing part of my trip. I have to turn in my final copy this coming Wednesday and needed to do some editing this weekend. I brought my stuff, but as usual was unable to be productive and immediately started to make myself feel sick with guilt. I decided that my second night would have to be sacrificed if I wanted to surf. So I packed up and was at Surf Sands by noon. The beach was more packed than I had ever seen it, but I braved the crowds, suited up and actually caught quite a few choppy Oregon waves. Peru surfing was great, but I felt like I was back home.
This little trip has only intensified my need to backpack and spend time outdoors. I think Nurse Betty (from my job) and I are off for a trip next weekend and I can hardly wait to get back out there!

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