Summer Means Camping

Cape Disappointment campsite

We did manage to get two camping trips in this summer and for more than a couple of days this time. We spent a week in June at Cape Disappointment State Park. It was my first time there and I really want to go again, only this time maybe in July when it is warmer. It wasn’t cold but it wasn’t swimming and basking in the sun weather either. Although my grandson would have argued with you about that one.

My grandson playing in the surf. Meanwhile the rest of us are covering up with hoodies and blankets.

Each night the sound of the surf slamming against the rocks put me to sleep. The beach by the campsite was a young boys heaven. Lots of rocks and driftwood to climb all over. I think the two boys spent at least an hour just rock climbing one large rock. Little monkeys were clinging to the sides of the rock by their fingertips and toes. No fear in them at all.

I saw the most interesting looking log lying on the beach nearby. It looked like a hairy monster or something. It had little mollusks clinging to the fiber of the wood and I had to try and get a picture of it. None of them did it any justice that’s for sure.

Waterlogged log

Can you see the wood fibers? At least that’s what I’m assuming it is.

A closer look at the mollusks. I’m not even sure what they are exactly, maybe some type of mussel?

Of course we did a few short hikes. Five and eight year-olds might have a ton of energy but they can’t hang in there very long on long walks. There were a couple of lighthouses as you would expect and some gorgeous scenery. I need to take some photography courses so I can get the best use out of my camera. I’m afraid I didn’t get as good of shots as I had wanted. I could envision how I wanted the photo but the end result kept coming up short.

One of the most fun things we did was drive over to Long Beach and drive on to the “World’s Longest Beach”. It was just the novelty of being able to drive directly on to the beach and then drive down it for quite a way. We found a little spot and stayed for a few hours to let the boys splash around in the surf and play in the sand.

Long Beach, WA

I seem to be the de facto camp cook so the girls asked me to keep things more simple this time. They thought we spent too much time eating and cleaning up with not enough time to explore. I could see their point so we tried to keep a simple menu and made sure to do most of the prep ahead of time. It’s not that we haven’t done that before but this time I chopped the veggies ahead of time for whatever we might need them for, made sure the lettuce and cheese was shredded for some things, etc. I even whipped up the eggs ahead of time and stored them in a plastic juice container so we didn’t have to worry about eggshells and bowls and whisks. We still had our scrambled eggs with a whole lot less mess and even better…less trash! The menu consisted of sloppy joes, walking tacos, chicken salad for lunches, hot dogs and bratwurst, and a foil packet sausage meal. The boys loved being able to cook their own hot dogs over the campfire. The foil packet meal wasn’t the success I’d hoped it would be. Live and learn. Next time we need to make sure we allow the fire to burn hot and then down to glowing coals. That is perfect for cooking foil packets over a campfire. We had flames burning our packets as the butter dripped out. Also need to make sure we seal the packets tighter.

Walking tacos! Look at that grin.

The walking tacos are so simple and I think were the boys’ favorite meal. We prepared the taco meat filling at home and simply warmed it up at the campsite. Added some shredded cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and sour cream to a small bag of Fritos. The boys wanted Doritos instead but Fritos really are the best, well at least in my opinion.

Can’t resist sharing this bubble.

Cade, my grandson, definitely wants to go back next year and I totally agree with him. This year he specifically asked to go to Ft. Flagler. That was the first camping trip he went on with us but he was only four at the time so doesn’t really remember it. He simply told us he wanted to go on the boat again. We have to take a 30-minute ferry ride and then drive another 30 minutes to get to the state park. The Fort is actually on an island called Marrowstone Island. There is one little bridge that you have to cross to get to the island. The island itself really isn’t that far from the mainland but it is technically an island because it is surrounded by water. The island was used to protect the coast during WWI, WWII and the Korean War. They have a nice museum and you can tour the bunkers and gun emplacements.

Ft. Flagler campsite

We went on a couple of nice hikes. They have some beautifully groomed trails and none of them are over a mile and are quite easy walks. Being coastal defense they of course had a nice beach and Cade being the water baby he is had to spend some time there too. It was much quieter here than at Cape Disappointment. The waves weren’t as large or as strong it didn’t seem.

What more could you ask for than the beach with mountains in the background?

One of the great things about the coast is the wind. Perfect kite flying conditions and Cade couldn’t wait to try it out. We actually bought him a kite in Long Beach but we never put it together and used it so this time made sure we brought it with us and put it together. He struggled but got it up there for a bit.

Cade loves guns. The bigger the better so I knew he would love seeing the gun emplacements.

He’s pretending to shoot of course.

It was an extremely relaxing trip and we always enjoy camping at Ft. Flagler.

Beautiful sunsets over the water.

A madrona tree glowing in the sunset.

Even an eagle flying along the beach.

Next year we are thinking of moving inland and camping around Leavenworth.