Silver Falls Oregon - Beatty Family Pacific Northwest Trip 2015 Part One
Started out early Thursday morning with two wide-awake babes. It seems our plans to move them sleeping into the car at five am failed miserably, they were bouncing-off-the-windshield excited. Pops was running late and drives super slow, not ideal circumstances for a caravan,
but we stayed together all the way northward. Stopped somewhere around Redding for cream cheese bagels and gas. It was actually going pretty well.
By the time we got to Ashland everyone was so ready for a break from the road. After Papa caught up and found us, we all stretched our legs at Lithia park and shared sandwiches, played and forded the creek.
For hundreds of miles and miles up north over the long tall states of California and Oregon, the front or back of Papa's truck became a familiar and frustrating (when he'd slow down and be lost again) or relieving (when he's comfortably following at a nice gait and not swerving around being preoccupied) sight. It gets super exciting when you know you're close, you leave the interstate and now the cozy little backroads of Oregon take you through Christmas tree farms and haybales to the Silvery waters and pines of your destination.
To where Joey and Em wait with wood to split for a campfire and beers to crack open and laughter and a little Scout-sprite to greet us gleefully. We set up camp in the darkening dusk and stayed up late.
Family camping mugs await in morning light. There's nothing like boiling your coffee and starting your day out right in the great outdoors.
We had a rough night with Tootie catching a case of the runs that lasted for the first three days of our trips and hit at the most unexpected and inopportune moments; she is pretty meticulous and would scream I need to go potty RIGHT NOW and sometimes that was easier said than done. I decided that traveling with a potty-trained small child is actually harder than traveling with a babe in diapers. We became very VERY familiar with the campground bathrooms; she also likes to take an excruciatingly long time in the stall to be sure she is done. She was a real trooper through it all besides that first night though, and retained her infinite cheer.
In the morning she was ready to go exploring. Dino backpack and all.
Camping with babies can be challenging but it also makes every moment extra special. The sun on their faces, the way they light up at the sounds of the birds or the buzz of a bee, their little beanies that they insist on putting on all by themselves, their excitement about the arrows painted on the one-way campground roads, their excitement over everything actually, pretending the curb is a horsey, taking turns pushing the double stroller we packed last minute in pops' truck that came in super handy, toting unflaggingly their cherished naked and dirty plastic baby dolls. Crayons and skinned knees and sing-songs.
One of Scout's favorite things on this trip was to run to me joyfully on the road as I approached from our site or the bathroom or whatever and shout "Heb! Heb!" with a squeal of delight and scramble into my arms. It gets pretty addictive.
Next day we headed out on half of the Ten Falls hike.
It already feels so long ago. I would turn around and go right back in a heartbeat. Walk my baby to sleep to the sound of rushing water around every bend, under the moss of trees stooped with age and rain and wisdom. Under the mist as they look up with their funny sweet faces all aglow and fascinated with a big deep sigh "ahhhh!"
A little cove where we stopped for PBJs and splashed around in the creek awhile.
Where we climbed up out of the ravine it got kind of steep. Lucy and I were cheering when we reached the top.
Recharging at the lodge never felt so good.
Silver Falls State Park has a recreational swimming hole that was bustling that bright Friday afternoon. The girls enjoyed it immensely. I loved watching Lucy watch the bigger kids and try to emulate them. If two pre-teen girls were chasing each other and splashing along the shore, she'd run and kick the water and copy them, glancing at them shyly. She also likes to just say a very casual "hi" that the other kids usually don't even hear. My little heartlight.
Baby mermaids are the cutest ones.
And then, just an afternoon and evening full of general camping fun. Walks and hammocks and tree climbing, mac and cheese, wine and a full blue moon.
Not many people can make Polly laugh this hard. She loves her Jojo and Memmy dizzily.
Next morning, eggs for breakfast with a side of Spike.
That day proved to be our hardest one. We traveled from basically Salem Oregon to Olympia Washington and it took us all day. Lucy had to stop so many times because of her diarrhea problem, once right on the side of the freeway (nothing happened but she thought she needed to go, and when she thinks so, she shrieks it so frantically that you can't ignore it). Plus our air conditioner wasn't working, we were cramped, it was so hot and Polly was uncomfortable and had developed a racking cough. By the time we limped into Olympia, Polly was screaming uncontrollably; I was driving but the only thing that would calm her was my hand reaching back over the seat and holding hers. Darin honestly thought we should turn around and go home. I was near tears. Home was over six hundred miles away, not to mention this trip is the biggest event of my year. The weariness and desperation is hard to even explain or recall properly now, but traveling with babies can do that to you. I just had a feeling that if we could make it to the beach, get out of the car, get on with our trip...everything would be fine. I was right.
But first we found our way to downtown Olympia and had dinner. Pops had stayed with us the whole harrowing time and bought dinner for us at Quality Burrito. The joint was fairly empty and the server was a delight and let the girls run around freely and climb barstools and high chairs and survey the scene. Everyone gobbled their food and after we left in search of a grocery store, we found a Trader Joe's on our way out of town. It was a good sign. We could get everything we needed down to the bar of soap and my coconut creamer. It was late, almost dark, when we got out of town and then Pops almost immediately got lost from us with no idea where we were going. We eventually met back up in the strange little haunted coastal town of Aberdeen, and followed each other up into the dark night of the Olympic Peninsula. It was about 10:30 when we arrived at Kalaloch Beach, breathed in the fresh mossy night, and set up camp, and thus another adventure began.