We did a lot of driving on our camping trip. A lot. Let me put it this way, we drove six hours from our home in Washington to camp in Oregon so we could drive two hours north back to Washington. Oh yes, we did. On this day we drove across the Astoria-Megler Bridge. This bridge crosses the Colombia River and goes from Astoria, OR to Point Ellis, WA.
Don’t worry, we didn’t just drive to Point Ellis and turn around. We also used the bathroom there. And I took this cool picture:
Apollo started crying when we crossed under the Washington sign not the bridge. He was not ready to be done camping.
And then we ate the most delicious pizza ever at Pizza Hut. Yes, I know we were camping. But our drive took so long and we did so much exploring…it was 5:30 and we still had at least a 2 hour drive back to our campsite. So we ate pizza and enjoyed every, hot, cheesy bite.
We also explored a ton of fun beaches. This particular day was so foggy I wasn’t sure a single picture was going to turn out. I was delighted with the results!
My kids loved jumping into the big waves of the open sea. Because we had to fit so much stuff (camping gear and clothes for 9 people) into such a small space, I had each child pack just two complete changes of clothes. Halfway through our trip, I headed to a laundromat with Merriann. And here is where I learned a unique money saving tip.
When camping with friends and heading to the laundromat, make sure you have only $102 in your pocket. Exchange the two dollar bills for quarters then ask your friend for some money (since you can’t put your $100 bill in the change machine). Your friend will either have to give you quarters or drive you to a nearby store or bank, since you rode in her van <— money saving tip #2
And here’s how not to save money on a camping trip:
Have a last minute snafu while packing up the van and arrive at the campground in another state with not one but two tents without proper tent poles. Then drive to a nearby store and purchase two. new. tents.
On the other hand, our kids are great campers. Everyone but Apollo can set up tents quickly and efficiently. One of the best decisions we made on this trip was to let Mordecai and Avi sleep in their own (separate) tents. Both have sensory issues, and this way there was no one to bug them, and no one for them to bug. Taking an idea from Teen Missions, I inspected tents each day and handed out licorice to anyone with a clean tent. Let me tell you, those tents were darn near perfect! It was well worth the sugar and artificial colors.
Everything that makes Apollo a difficult child day-to-day makes him a great camper. My other kids would never have slept peacefully in the same bed with us at age five. Apollo? That’s his favorite place to be, so squeezed between Chuck and myself in a tent was pure bliss. And four years of 100 mile drives for doctor visits have made him a great traveler as well.
To be continued…