camping times

Jeff and I are going camping this weekend with some friends and some dogs. Ever since I read the Bon Appétit feature on the Pacific Northwest I've been trying to make a camping trip to the Washington coast happen.

Quite a few years ago Jeff and I had a Washington camping adventure with two friends of ours. We went down to camp and search out a natural hot springs that we had read about. It was supposed to have a beautiful view from the hot pools and be well-maintained, though not commercialized. We drove down to Washington late in the evening, probably with no clue about how far we had to go and definitely without any idea about where we might camp. We stopped at a gas station for provisions: beer and cigarettes, if I remember my early twenties correctly. We forgot firewood.

I remember sitting around a single mini maglite flashlight in "candle" mode at a picnic table in a closed campground with Laura, Rosie, and Jeff. It must have been winter or late fall, because there were no other campers in the park at all. We all slept in a four-man tent that we had rented from the outdoor equipment store Jeff and I worked at in Vancouver.

In the morning we followed the directions we had to find the road to walk into the hot springs from. We followed a rough trail off a slightly less rough road and located the power lines that were meant to guide us through what appeared on first look (and second pass) to be completely impenetrable bush. Thwarted repeatedly by our inability to locate the markers meant to guide us to this hot springs paradise, we eventually turned back towards the car. Down the highway we passed a ranger station and decided to stop in to ask about the elusive hot springs. Turns out we had been on the right track, but the hot spring pools had been dismantled and the trail purposely destroyed by the landowners who were sick of risking litigation from hot springs users. Damn American tendency to sue! We would stick to Canadian hot springs for years thereafter. And there are some good ones.

It was kind of like this, but not really:

Where do you go camping in your part of the world? We mostly stick to mountains and forest, so I'm looking forward to this coastal excursion.


  1. I've been craving a camping trip today & it's only been 2 weeks since my last one! I say we camp when I get up there, yes? I'd love a Canadian camping trip! =)

  2. I haven't been camping in a long while but I loved camping when we lived in Southern California--you couldn't ask for better weather!

  3. Lovely blog!

    I really like the idea of a coastal camping trip! Most of my camping excursions take place in the woods/valleys of upstate NY. While I've traveled up the eastern coast of the U.S, I've not had the experience of camping in those areas. I think it would be amazing to camp around the coast of Maine.

    So, I've got to ask: what is your favorite kind of "camp food fare"?


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