Goodbye to the Ocean

 Goodbye to the Ocean

Roadtrek Near Rocks and OceanWe’re spending our last few days on the Pacific coast before we head inland to Yan’s Roadtrek gathering this weekend, and it’s with a certain nostalgia that we look out over the water, knowing we won’t be back for months and months.

Although we travel all over the continent in our class B RV, we seem to be at our most relaxed and carefree along the Pacific coast in the summer -not that the rest of the year in other locales is that oppressive.  This year we’re going to head inland early and see some fall color back east.

Back when I was still working and we lived in Florida, many of our two week vacations involved a coast to coast drive to get out here and look out over the big, big water. There were plenty of beaches back east, of course, and we enjoyed them, but given a chance we always headed west. Half the vacation was driving on the interstate and we burned up many gallons of fuel, but this just seemed to be the place to be to get away from it all.

tidepoolThe west coast may seem mundane to people who have spent their whole lives out here, but to us it’s magical. The cliffs and rocky headlands for which it is famous are nowhere to be found back east.  All the plants and animals are new to us.   Best of all, it’s relatively uninhabited once you get more than a couple of hours’ drive from the big cities, which is rare back on the Atlantic coast.

Even when we were just driving through in a car, we sought out the stretches where you were the only person on the beach.   You lose that close comfortable feeling of well-worn paths, and it’s just you and the shoreline and 6,000 miles of nothing out in front of you. Out here, it’s the people who are small and insignificant, and the landscape that is big. It bothers some people, but we really embrace it.

kirk_creek2Our first complete year on the road, we stayed inland until Labor Day, and came out onto the coast in Oregon, drifting south as the weather cooled, and ending up in Big Sur until it was time to drive “home” to Florida for Thanksgiving with the family.

The second year we came right out as soon as the rains stopped in April and went up and down the coast all summer, again leaving in mid-November.

This year, we’ve been out here for a couple of months, and it just seems like the time has been too short. We know that, like everywhere we visit, we’re cherry-picking the best weather of the year, and that once November gets here the weather and camping will be miserable until April, but still…

strawberryI don’t really know why we glommed onto this strange existence of living in a Roadtrek and moving twice a day to various spots up and down the coastal highway, setting up and staring out over the blue water day and night.

I think some of it is the old rhythm of the workaday world, where summer is the time when you’re REALLY on vacation. Some of it is the call of this place. And some of it is the idea of being far away from everything you’re familiar with. Whatever it is, we like it.

Goodbye until next year, ocean.

campskunk

"campskunk" is a blissfully retired former public servant who has left the challenges of how to run the government to younger and less cynical hands, and wanders the continent in his Roadtrek Class B RV with his wife and cat. In addition to his work in the public sector, he has also at various times been a mechanic and delivery driver, skills which come in handy in his new role. Because his former job involved the forensic evaluation and sometimes the subsequent detention of some not-so-nice people, he uses the name campskunk instead of his legal name on the Internet. His was not the type of job where customer service feedback would be welcome.

17 Comments

  • Hey Campskunk, I was born and raised on the West Coast and never, ever tire of it…such variety from the west coast of Vancouver Island (Tofino area particuarly), all through the Salish Sea in BC and Washington (including BC’s Sunshine Coast and Gulf Islands, and Washington’s San Juan Islands), and then down to the Oregon coast. Sometimes I like to go inland for a while just so that I can return to the coast, take in that salty sea air and know I am home. Happy trails!

    • I so want to see Tofino – where is the best place to camp in that area?

      • Judi, google Tofino and tons of info comes up. I haven’t camped there for years as I have relatives close by but I used to tent camp on Long Beach. We would actually fly in and camp. It all depends how close to Tofino you want to be. Google also Pacific Rim Park for info, Bella Pacifica (have beach side sites), Green Point (don’t believe beach sites) , Crystal Cove. The Tofino info site has a filter so you can find what you want. I will contact my relatives and see if they have recommendations

        • I had a reservation at Bella and then read reviews that were all very negative. So I cancelled the reservation. The majority of the complaints were of rudeness from the staff, and I can certainly attest to that. The staff is very rude and not helpful at all, and I was only asking about which sites were water front. Thank you for any recommendations! Are there places to boondock?

          • Judi, here is a great blog site. They stayed in the Crystal Cove RV park and then boondocked on Long Beach. Some great pictures and also recipes.

          • Sorry, I forgot to give you the site for Tofino boondocking.
            http://just5moreminutes.com/blog/?cat=97. There is more info on google. All looks good.

  • I think you are Oregonians by default. I’ve lived in Oregon for a little over 5 years and I’m in love with the coastline. And by the way, the camping at Silver Falls is great in December during the Christmas Festival, where I’ll be helping kids make Christmas crafts. I was planning to go to Yan’s GT this weekend but I have a nasty cold so regretfully I’ve had to cancel. I look forward to meeting you guys at some other time.

  • I am a transplant to CA from the east coast.i forget that others people have winter. If you are ever in San Diego, let me know. I will be there by this coming weekend.

    • we usually wait until april and pop out onto the coast around Malibu, but i may get lobbied to head west sooner, and the san diego area is the only habitable stretch of coast that early in the year. besides, we’ve never explored it, so we’ll get there eventually.

  • Looks like you’re off the coast of Oregon?

  • Show us some inside pics too please 😉

  • Lovely

  • OOPPSS! there it is! What a great time! LOVED the occasional trip to Gold beach…the best hair dresser in the world is there!. A beautiful book store full of antiques, a mall in the school with tons of local art on the walls for sale. Then the ocean…seeing my TB …such great memories…great write up but ya coulda given a Kleenex warning! LOL

    • i’m recalling it fondly myself, and wish i were out there now. this summer is flying by.

  • stayed there, great place to boondock overnight, the rocks in the background, bring the Sydney Opera House to mind…

  • Cuanto cuesta un juguete asi!!!

  • Really enjoy following the “Roadtreking” adventures! We have a Class B+. Counting down the days to retirement that we can go adventuring too.

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