We left Yellowstone and headed to Bend, OR where Pat’s brother and his family live. This is what Hope had been waiting for – to see her cousin Luke! This came at a great time as I think we all needed some play time, family time, and time inside of a structure other than our tent! We hung out, visited a lava cave, falls, creeks, rivers, ponds, and breweries!
This was the perfect time to decompress a bit from our travels. We were a bit scared of the coast as we’ve heard it rains a lot and is cold. I’ve been feeling a bit “done” with being freezing every night in our tent, so we briefly thought about buying an old pop-up trailer for the rest of the trip, but decided against it.
A big thank you to Pat’s brother and his family for hosting us – all 5 of us plus our naughty dog!
We were supposed to go straight to my brother’s new house in Pe Ell, Washington but there was a problem with the building inspection so their move in date is delayed. Which also means our visit date is delayed. We decided to visit the Oregon Coast for a week and hoped to visit soon after that.
Washburne Campground (just outside of Florence) June 17-19:
We left the house in Bend Friday morning and made our way through Eugene to the Oregon Coast. All of the reservable campgrounds were full, so we crossed our fingers and hoped that the one central Oregon campground that is first come, first serve would have space! We rolled in around 4:15 and got the last spot – thank goodness! We really didn’t care if it was a good campsite or not, we just wanted a place to set up the tent. We walked into the tent area of the campground and I felt like I was in a fairly tale. The trees were massive with moss growing everywhere. Mushrooms, lush vegetation and the sound of the ocean enveloped us. We were beyond excited. Not to mention they had flush toilets, showers, and no mosquitos! Not only did we have an awesome campsite, but we were able to stay for 3 nights which meant no tearing down and setting up every.single.day.
It might sound like I’m exaggerating, and it might be because of the cruddy campsites we had up until then, but this place was magical – several bluebirds (the sign for my deceased Uncle) came to our campground every morning. There was a trail from the campground to the beach across the street. On the coastal highway that took us to our campsite we stopped at a special viewpoint of the Heceta Lighthouse. Pat was just going to stop to take a picture and then told us we had to get out of the car and look – there was a grey whale spouting and breaching in the bay and sea lions on the rock below. See – I told you this place was magical!
The two full days we had in this special area were spent looking in tide pools, playing on the sandy beaches, and taking in the breathtaking scenery. We felt so lucky to be here and thought about the fact that we have been gone from home visiting amazing locations, learning a lot (see future post on World Schooling), and spending time with family for 2 whole weeks. That is normally the amount of time we would have for the entire year to take off from work – and with Pat’s job duties would never have been able to do it during the summer when the kids had time off from school. We truly feel like we have been eating dessert first and are so grateful to have this time.
June 23-July 17th: Pe Ell, WA
We headed to my brother’s house in Pe Ell, Washington after taking our time heading North. We stopped at the Tillamook Factory for some cheese tasting and ice cream and made another laundromat stop.
My brother thought his house would be ready for move-in by the time we got there, but unfortunately the county inspector and well testing folks had some communication issues and we didn’t get into the house until June 29th – so we had several more night in the tent. During this time, Pat left for a boat survey in Grenada (see future post on our continued boat search!) and Charlie decided to rip a hole in the door of the tent when we left him in there by himself so we had to cover it with a huge tarp to keep the weather/animals out.
We’ve been having a good time visiting with family, getting to know my brother’s future in-laws better, and just being able to relax a bit from the constant driving. Grant’s 7th b-day was on June 30th and we were a bit worried it wouldn’t feel special away from his friends and normal birthday activities, but his Uncle, Aunt, and their extended family helped make the day special with decorations, gifts, and spending the day at an amusement park!
Pat is headed to Nova Scotia for another boat shopping trip, we’ll spend a few days in Seattle, and then leave (hopefully to our boat!) right after my brother’s wedding on July 16th.