Sunday, July 30, 2017

A trip to the oregon coast

Every morning I woke up to the sound of the ocean waves crashing against the coastline, and every night I drifted into dreamland doing the same.  It may sound dramatic but this trip truly changed my life.  So much was put into perspective for me.  I was so much more aware of what's important, what brings me joy, and what fills me with peace.  
When Mike suggested we should have a reunion with his family and visit the Redwoods I was thrilled.  I'd never been and honestly, any excuse to visit the Pacific Northwest is fine by me.  I grew up loving the greenery, the water, the wild blackberries, and the wildlife as I lived in Washington State as a child.  It's where I feel most at peace and where I feel most at home.  The sometimes dreary weather never stops anyone from enjoying the outdoors and the fresh air fills your lungs and soul with clarity.  I miss the PNW everyday.
I'll be the first to praise my hubby in planning this trip.  He found the most amazing AirBnB right on the coast in a cute little town in Brookings Oregon.  It was minutes away from the most beautiful beaches and a quick 30 minute drive to the Redwoods.  The view from our room was breathtaking and the location was secluded yet close to the amenities and activities we were hoping to enjoy. Our first stop upon arriving was the beach.  The kids loved searching for shells and as the tide washed out we found jellyfish, starfish, a sea slug, crabs, and anemones.  No need to visit the aquarium!  Happiness really is sandy toes and a shell in your pocket.
Mike carried Daisy in the Jublii carrier through one of the hikes in the Redwoods and she left a sweet little sweaty profile for us to laugh at when we took her out.
The Redwoods were unreal.  In my mind I could image the magnitude of these trees but standing below them, looking up into the sky and not being able to see the tops was unimaginable.  Before we left on our trip someone told me to be still and quiet while in the Redwoods; to listen to the sounds.  There was a peace within the forest that I can't quite put into words.  There was no sound. Birds weren't chirping, the wind was stopped, and while I stood beneath the vastness of these trees I felt calm, relaxed, and serene. I wished I could have laid down on the forest floor and felt that peace for a while longer.  
Pictures truly don't do this place justice.  It is so incredibly beautiful and awesome. Here are a few places we visited and a few thoughts on what to expect.

Stout Grove: This is where parts of Star Wars Return of the Jedi was filmed. It's a really easy little loop stroll that the kids and adults enjoyed.  Along the trail are lots of areas to stop and places where the kids can crawl around on the logs and roots of the trees.  Nature's playground for sure.  Bug spray is a must...the mosquitoes were all over the place!

Simpson-Reed Trail: This is also a super easy loop trail.  Again, lots of places for the kids to enjoy and great photo opts.

Boy Scout Trail: While this trail was not difficult at all it was long.  We didn't even make it 1/3 of the way before the kids were over it and wanted to go back.  So I would advise to choose something else to hike if you're with kiddos.  Not worth the complaining.

I'd say it's pretty obvious that the kids loved the beach.  We made a stop there everyday.  And even though it was chilly it was still really fun to walk around and explore.  We went to quite a few beaches near Brookings and every single one was different and had new things to check out.
Mill Beach:  This beach was a quick walk away from our AirBnB.  It was easy to get to and had awesome tide pools during low tide.  Lots of shells for the kids to collect and really beautiful drift wood as well.  

Secret Beach: When we searched for beaches to visit, this one was a must.  It's a quiet little beach and it's only access is a bit of a steep hike through the trees and down a boulder.  We all made it there though so it's for sure not too difficult to get to.  It's serene and unpopulated.

Lone Ranch Beach: One of my favorites and I guess it was one of the kids favorites too.  We arrived in the morning around low tide and the rocks were covered in starfish, anemone, mussels, and barnacle.  The kids loved exploring and climbing on all the rocks. The waves brought in beautiful stones and shells as well.
Harris Beach State Park: Another favorite!  At high tide, the dips in the sand fill with water and then pools are left at low tide.  The kids played in the ocean water pools where it was warmer and shallow.  It was great for rinsing off all that sand too.  There was tons of room on the beach to fly kites and build sand castles, and the kids even got buried in the warm sand.  

One of my favorite activities was playing in the rivers.  Chetco River is right in Brookings and the water gets warmer the farther upstream you go.  We read about a swimming hole called Elephant Rock up the river and had to check it out.  The kids splashed around the rocky shores and the parents jumped off the big boulders into the river.  If you're into a thrill you'll have to check it out.  We found the easiest way to get there was driving up Chetco river about 13 miles and taking the Redwood Bar exit and then driving back down on the bar about a half a mile.  You'll stop at the end of the bar and see the big Elephant Rock.

Another river we visited was Smith River.  I have never seen such a gorgeous river in my life.  The water is turquoise blue and clear as clear can be.  The water is COLD but refreshing and it was such a thrill to jump in the frigid water.  

Can you even believe the view from our AirBnB?  It was dreamy.

I left a part of my heart on this trip.  I'll always look back on all we did with such fondness.  I hope to never loose that feeling of peace I experienced in the Redwoods and I hope to never loose fact that time with family is more important than anything in the world.  I'm so grateful the kids could see, feel, and experience all they did and I pray we will return again someday to enjoy it all again.

No comments: