Trippin’ | Overnight Picnicking on the Oregon Coast

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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  • Reply J'Ann July 5, 2012 at 6:46 pm

    Would love to replicate that experience, with my own bunch of crazies hehe

  • Reply Kelly July 5, 2012 at 8:49 pm

    Yay camping! I don’t think I can fit it in this year, but a campfire needs to happen somehow….

  • Reply camille July 6, 2012 at 4:08 am

    I thought that travel-mug cocktail was in a jam jar at first, and really, either would do for my next camping adventure – pre-make the drinks, put them in something with a tight lid, and whip them out at the appropriate moment once you’re there! Brilliant.

  • Reply Raj @Pink Chai Style July 8, 2012 at 8:27 am

    Sounds like a wonderful trip away. I haven’t been camping in almost 15 years…feels like it might be time! Totally with you on the need to unplug, especially when you are self-employed. I’m really looking forward to my technology free weekend next week:)

    Pink Chai Style

  • Reply Liv July 10, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    that looks like a wonderful trip – all you needed were a few surfboards on the roof and you would be set! I’ve always wanted to do a surf trip down the oregon coast and when I do, I’ll have to check in with you on where to camp by the sea.

    Ps – stayed in a some cool mongolian style yurts this past weekend on surf trip to tofino – i think you would love it. It’s on a native reserve and although not hard core “real camping’, it gets you pretty close up to nature (you’re right by the beach and in the cedar forest). And yup, you can even chop wood for the gas stove if you want.

  • Reply Kelsey Dundon July 19, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    J’Ann – Do it! You’ll love it!

    Kelly – Beachside bonfire?

    Camille – A jam jar would be even cooler. Next time!

    Raj – Tech-free is where it’s at!

    Liv — I am so going to go check out those yurts.

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