Day 17-18: Nehlam State Park - Pacific Ocean

As I sit hear typing this I hear the Pacific Ocean waves coming onto shore, the crackel of the campfire and feel the stong breeze coming off the water. Welcome to Nehlam, Oregon. We left Missoula, MT and headed due west all the way to the west coast. I am sure Glacier NP is nice (northwest Montana), however our warmth and comfort was our priority so we canceled our trip there. We stopped along the way to the west coast at Lewis and Clark State Park in Montana and stayed the night. It was a great little park along the L&C trail that had flush toilets and showers. Don’t get too excited, the showers cost 25 cents each three minutes, and for me that would equate to nearly $3.00 for a shower. Pretty expensive! So I passed. I was still pretty clean from the 2 showers I had taken at the Ponderosa Lodge. Lela and I had actually bought chocolate, grahm crackers, and marshmallows in Yellowstone to make smores but because the weather was bad and our fire pit was snowed over, that never happened. So we made smores at L&C park. I found that the trick here is to make sure the the chocolate gets melted too, so just put some on a grahm cracker on the edge of the fire to get it a little warmed up. Once you place the toasted marshmellow on there, it’s perfect.
In the morning we had some cheesey scrambled eggs and then set out to make it to Nehlam State Park in Oregon. We chose this park because of it’s location and in case it was full there were some more camping sites further north up the coastal highway. We were so excited to be able to see the ocean again. We started out our trip on the Atlantic and finally we were going to make it to the Pacific. We were psyched. We followed the Columbia River, which separates Washington from Oregon. The day before we had stopped at Cabella’s and spoke with a guy named “Lee” who actually grew up at the mouth of the Columbia river. It was also warm again, temperatures were actually in the 70’s! Lela was enjoying it wearing her red tank-top in the van. I was manning the iPod/radio. Orange napped almost the whole way.
Once we arrived at the park, we paid for our site and made camp for the night. This state park was the most equiped of any park we had stayed at during our entire trip. Every site had electricity and water. We made sure to use the recently purchased heater from Walmart. We walked along the beach feeling that we had actually accomplished something. It was a great feeling to know that God had given us such a great opportunity and agreed to let us do. We were so thankful. Thankful that the van had made it, thankful that we were healthy, thankful that Orange was healthy, thankful that someone had been looking out for us the whole time. We picked up rocks along the beach, marveled at the nearby cliffs, and stepped over the huge pieces of driftwood. We were in our element. This was where we wanted to be.
I slept a long time that night, longer than I had wanted, but this what I had needed. After breakfast we took a 2 mile bike ride along the park. We found the park’s airstrip, met up with a deer along the trail, went to the site where people can bring their horses, and took some pictures near the water. We came back and took a long nap in the tent. For some reason a tent is so comfortable during the daytime. Please try it soon if you get a chance. After we woke we went to the local store and picked up some fish, corn, zucchini, and dessert for dinner. I am writing this with a full stomach while listening to some tunes, seated next to the campfire. The hair on my shins feels like it’s burning.
Tomorrow we will arrive at our destination of Seattle. It will be bittersweet. We have come so far, had so much fun, but I wish it could go on longer. But it is now time to get back down to business with graduate school applications and work. Trips cannot last forever.
I will blog one more time once we get to Seattle. After that I have to decide whether to keep up the blog during our stay, start a new one, or just discontinue. Talk to you next time!

(pix will be above)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Guys, Glad to hear that you made it and are having a good time. Your Mom and Dad are here and have delivered Pop Pop to Elkins. Everyone is having a good time. We are looking forward to seeing Nanny tomorrow. Talk to you soon. Love, Aunt Mindy