When my parents had told me we were going camping for the summer of 2013, a flood of memories cascaded through my thoughts. How excited I was, I can’t even begin to explain it. All of my siblings were excited as well, each of us loving camping in our own ways. For me, camping had been filled with sunny adventurous and plenty of walks on the beach. Which I missed so much, since we hadn’t camped in such a long time.
My parents had made the arrangements necessary, and all we had to do was wait. I could have sworn the school year had passed by so slowly as if knowing my eagerness to camp, and torturing me further, confining me within school. But eventually, the last day of school came and my thoughts whirled in excitement at the thought of revisiting the Oregon coast.
On the 22nd of June, we set out south to Oregon deciding to stop at a hotel in Portland for rest instead of advancing all 5 hours of the trip to our destination. Eventually, 24 hours passed and again we were on the road headed south. I slept most of the trip but woke up to my mother driving down a snake-like road. This terrified me, as I was seated next to the window and had a glance down a 30 foot drop (an estimation from my memory, all I know is that the drop was STEEP.) My mother was laughing nervously, actually all of us were. We made jokes about it, tumbling over the side and getting caught in the trees. The car winded down the constant turns, that were sometimes high up on a ledge or down on safe ground. Either way, we were constantly surrounded by a dense amount of tall trees that filtered in little bits of sunlight.
After some time, the trees thinned out and disappeared into a huge plateau of lush grass. It looked like the country side, not at all like a campsite. In my thoughts, I wondered if my Dad had possibly gotten us lost. However, I didn’t mind it a bit since the sun was high up in the sky. I hadn’t seen sun in a couple of days, since dreary Washington had been covered in a sheet of gray clouds. All I could see outside my window was a large amount of flat land with hills as a nice backdrop. My disappointment ended when I saw the Nehalem river right beside the highway. Was this where we were staying, I wondered, and my sister echoed my thoughts aloud. We all scoffed at the idea, seeing as the river didn’t even have a decent area to set up our tents. But my father had parked in the lot sandwiched between the highway and the river itself.
Out, we all tumbled from the car. Glad to be on our feet after being shut in a car for hours. I glanced at my dad, who was seated in the drivers seat of his SUV with his device. My dad told us we were taking a break from driving for a bit, and to use the restroom if we needed it. Some of us made our way to the bathroom while the others headed down to the river. To my disappointment one of the ways to the river had been blocked by caution tape. The bottom of the stairs had collapsed somehow, and my eyes instantly searched for another entrance, finding one further down. My sister and niece followed, stopping halfway to snap a quick picture. We took more pictures down by the river before being called back to the cars by our dad.
Resuming our trip, it took an additional 45 minutes to actually reach the area we were headed, but along the way I had a beautiful view of the Nehalem bay. Instead of traveling all the way to our campsite, my dad decided to stop by the beach instead. Oh my. When we all had gotten out of the car, my niece was practically screeching in joy about the ocean.
We could already hear the waves crashing against the shore, but unfortunately we couldn’t see it. A hill of sand and trees blocked our view. The area reminded all of us of our usual campsite in Newport, that had an area that was almost identical to Nehalem’s beach. The nostalgia really set in then, and the realization that we were actually camping hit me head on and I became a ball of energy. I made my way up the sandy hill with plenty of energy. It wasn’t until I was halfway up the hill that I came to the conclusion that this hill was steep and killer; my energy almost completely depleted. I was out of breath and ready to give up when I finally reached the top, getting an extensive view of the beautiful beach that Nehalem provided. Suddenly, the climb up was so worth it.
The beach. The sand. The waves. All were finally in my reach. The Puget sound didn’t come anywhere close to what I got to see. It was spectacular. The water glimmered, catching rays of sunlight and lapping up against the shore. The sand stretched on, from my left and from my right, sparkling and glinting. It wasn’t simply pebbles or rocks like the beach back at our city, it was sand. And so much of it too. My niece was already sprinting towards the water followed by us kids. We splashed about, crying out as the cold water slapped against our ankles.
The Oregon coast, after two years of wishing to see it, we were there. Finally, was all I could think of, for I was too caught up in my amazement and awe. The ocean filled up my view, continuing on to the horizon that was starting to turn hues of oranges and reds. Breathtaking. My summer, though it had only started, had been made complete, all thanks to my wonderful parents.