I got a call from my friend Brock, who normally resides in that strange place called Wisconsin and subjects himself to the tortures of medical school, telling me that he was in Oregon with my other good buddy Jason, who normally resides in Seaside, Oregon. They wanted to hang out with me of all people, so I suggested we go camping on the Oregon coast since I had never done that and it seemed like an appropriately macho thing to do. I took some pictures too, so click on through to see the pictures and read a few words.
Brock picked me up yesterday, and we drove up to Seaside, Oregon, which is up in the northwest point of Oregon. There we met up with Jason who had reserved for us a campsite at a large campground on the coast. We arrived at the campground in the late afternoon. We chucked our wood out of the car, and then walked up to the beach to check it out. Here is what it looks like:
Pretty empty, huh? Well, it was a little cool for a mid-June day, and it was a Monday afterall. However, the beach wasn’t totally empty. There was a shipwreck!
I took a couple of artsy photos too:
And here’s the obligatory self-portrait of me with my back to the Pacific:
After poking around on the beach for a bit, we left to get some meat for the fire. When we returned from the store, we found somebody or something had absconded with our firewood. We vented some frustration and then hunted around for the wood-snatchers. We found our wood quickly, which had been taken by a family who legitimately thought we had abandoned it. I was in charge of making the fire, and all my childhood experiences with fire (innocent and not-so-innocent) paid off and I got the fire going with the first try:
While we were having fun watching the fire burn, it began to drizzle. Even more menacingly, we noticed lightning off in the distance. I talked to the guys into going down to the beach to watch the lightning storm. When we got to the beach the full moon, half obscured by storm clouds, was reflected on the ocean. I wish I could have gotten a better picture of it, but my camera wasn’t up to the challenge:
For a while we watched a huge storm head gather to the north, waiting for each bright electric bolt to streak across the dark sky. Occasionally one would flash and seconds later we could hear the thunder faintly over the pounding surf. Farther out to sea, more unseen clouds gathered and lightning flashed. The horizon became hazzy with the coming rain, and we started walking back towards our car. Almost as soon as we turned around we saw another kind of lightning: the blue and red kind. Yeah, so we shouldn’t have been on the beach because it had closed two hours earlier, but it was worth it. Those moments when you have nature’s power and menacing wonder being exhibited all around you is truly remarkable. The officer only checked Brock’s license and then told us to vacate the area.
We spent the next few hours tending to our precious fire as it slowly consumed all the fuel we had collected. Eventually we crawled into our bed which was 3 sleeping bags on top of thin padding on top of a blue tarp. Our only other protection from the elements was a thin plastic sheet we spread over ourselves. I just couldn’t get comfortable at all that night, so I slept very little. We were lucky that there was only a light drizzle that night. Later that morning, we checked out the local artillery bunkers that protected the Oregon coast:
The bunkers were surpringly clean and free from the stench of urine.
Jason also showed us around Seaside a bit, since he grew up there. He took us on a quick hike up to the cliffs overlooking the bay area, and I had this pic snapped: