I camped a lot as a kid. Every summer my parents would pile us all into the minivan (my brother, sister and I had to sit side by side with our German Shepherd on our laps) and trek across North America. It’s how I did most of my early traveling — I saw two Provinces and countless States that way, ate a lot of hotdogs, drank a lot of hot cocoa and slurped back a lot of instant oatmeal. I loved it and to this day the smell of campfire instantly relaxes me.
I hadn’t been camping in 10 years so I figured it was about time I made my triumphant return to the tent. Turns out things have changed. We now needed to figure out how to charge a cell phone while in the middle of nowhere (I didn’t — I own my own business so I was in desperate need of a little unplugged time).
Figure out how to chop firewood (not my forte).
And re-learn how to build a campfire in crazy winds.
We stayed in Oregon’s Nehalem Bay State Park in a campground that itself is unremarkable — aside from the fact that you can rent horses — but whose beach is out of this world. White sand stretches for miles and there are very few people on it.
We went with friends who are real foodies so we treated this camping trip like a sleepover picnic. Instead of hitting up Fred Meyer for Ball Park Franks, we stocked up on farm-fresh groceries at the Portland State University Farmers Market (if you go, get the smoked salmon!) and made porcini and sage linguini with quinoa salad.
And spritzers in travel mugs.
That we took to the beach.
Which is also where we made ‘smores. Because some things should never change.
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