Over Labor Day weekend, Nathan and I escaped to the Oregon coast for a short camping trip with my parents. We went to Beverly Beach, which is one of my very few “approved” campgrounds. I have a lot of requirements for an acceptable campground, including but not limited to: flushing toilets, showers, minimal dirt and bugs, weather that is not too hot, and a low risk of being mauled by a bear while I sleep. All in all, I do not think these are unreasonable requirements.
I was a little nervous about camping with my parents. Not because I don’t love spending time with my parents, but because they have a much higher appreciation of nature than I do. As in, they aren’t afraid of dirt, bugs, and bears. They even like hiking! Yikes. I am really not a nature person (or a camping person, for that matter). I just really like going to the beach. So off we went.
The weather was absolutely beautiful all weekend. We spent most of Saturday at the beach, enjoying the sunshine and getting A LOT of exercise.
My parents, being ambitious and nature loving and all that, took off on a walk and disappeared immediately. I, on the other hand, dawdled slowly down the beach, then got water in my shoes and had to take a break to dry off. This is when I learned the lesson that driftwood does indeed have splinters, and you should sit on driftwood at your own risk. Just an FYI.
While we were sitting, Nathan pointed out a cliff in the distance. He thought the cliff looked really similar to Devil’s Punchbowl, a state park day use area that we usually drive to from our campground. Somehow, he managed to convince me that it would be a good idea to walk there and see if it really was the Punchbowl.
So we walked. And walked. And walked some more. We passed my parents, who had walked to the distant cliff and were on their way back to camp with my dad’s prized beach finds.
My parents said that they didn’t see any access from the beach to the top of the cliff, and that they did not think it was Devil’s Punchbowl. Nathan insisted, so he and I continued walking. And walking. So much walking . . . but finally, we reached the cliff. And the stairs. The millions and millions of stairs. But FINALLY we reached the top.
Once we reached the top, we noticed a large crowd gathered at the lookout over the Punchbowl. It was low tide, so the Punchbowl couldn’t be that interesting. We wandered over and were rewarded with the sight that made the walk all worth it. WHALES! Not one, not two, not three, not four, not five, not six, not seven, but a whole gigantic POD of whales! (TAKE THAT, STUPID LEBRON JAMES!)
As you may know, seeing whales is one of my most favorite things ever. I get very excited and jump up and down like a child. Judge all you want. Seeing a whale breach is one of my life goals (sadly, despite an hour and a half of whale watching that day, none of the whales breached). But it made up for it by seeing so many at one time. There must have been some good food in that water, because the whales were everywhere! After several texts to my mom about how cool the whales were and how they were missing it, she and my dad texted that they were heading back. I figured they were about halfway back to the campground beach and must just be turning around.
When they finally showed up over a half an hour later, I asked what took them so long. Somehow, they had managed to walk all the way back to our campsite and smuggle in my dad’s prized seaweed by the time Nathan and I reached the Punchbowl. And then they turned around and walked all the way back! (I told you these people love exercise and nature.) They were glad they had walked back though, because the whales were still swimming all over the place. It was so much fun to watch.
The walk back really tired everyone out, so we spent the afternoon relaxing, reading, and eating some yummy food!
Just before dinner, the Nature-aholics struck again and somehow forced me into a hike on the nature trail around the campground. I sort of blame Nathan for this, because he agreed to go and therefore I was forcefully dragged along. I did try to make a break for it a couple times and turn around to go back to camp (I would have succeeded too, if not for my husband. Apparently he pays more attention to what I am up to than I thought.) I nearly had a heart attack when we stepped onto the trail and saw the sign saying, “CAUTION! A bear was sighted here on _______.” Nathan and my parents claim that this sign was just posted just in case someone ever DID see a bear, and the fact that the date was blank meant no bear had been spotted. Since my escape attempts had failed, I had no choice but to believe them. So they won, and I unwillingly went on a hike. (But you better believe I whined the whole way.) We had a nice dinner out in Newport and yummy s’mores for dessert.
On Sunday, my parents went home and Nathan & I stayed one more day. The weather was even more perfect that day! We spent Sunday laying on the beach like lazy bums. We ate lunch, read books, and it was warm, sunny, and perfect. The best part was, the whales were still around, and we could see them spouting from the beach!!! The trip was definitely a success in the whale watching department. We ate dinner at the campground that night and enjoyed the sunset on the beach.
All in all, it was a much needed, relaxing, and fun vacation. Hopefully we can do it again next year!