September 2006 - Gold Bluff's Beach  

  Last month the Familia Family went back in time. We spent a fun-packed three days camping in a remote, beachside campsite on the Northern California Coast. This particular camping trip, with all its little rituals, is a long-standing tradition in Sarah's family. Her grandfather used to take his family up the California Coast searching for wild strawberries to improve his breeding program. On one of these trips, he discovered Gold Bluffs Beach, a little collection of campsites right on the sand. Since the campsite is nearly in Oregon, we were happy to take advantage of room, board, and grandma/grandpa hugs on the way, so we stopped off in Woodland to stay with Sarah's family. They also lent us a lot of camping gear.

We were on our way again on Tuesday morning. In spite of a forest fire, we made it through to the ocean. A few miles through the towering stumps of the white, dusty enchanted forest, and we were treated to a view of the coast. After a moment of panic caused by the ranger forgetting to take down the "no vacancy" sign, we claimed a campsite, set up camp, and took a nice little walk on the beach.

We woke up the next morning to find our tent, chairs, campsite, and half our pillows soaking wet. But a little rain wasn't going to stop us! We set off on a hike through fern canyon, soaking in the atmosphere of thousands of years of slow waterfalls. After winding through the mossy canyon, we came out in the meadow above, where Axa had her first taste of blackberries. It was love at first taste. She talked about them all the way home. After returning to our campsite for lunch, we draped everything wet out in the emerging sun and drove to Agate Beach, where Tony found his very first agate! Axa enjoyed collecting rocks too, although she noticed they all tasted the same: salty. After dinner Tony and Sarah sat around the fire and read a book together while Axa slept. Then we all snuggled in the tent to keep warm.

The next morning dawned sunny and beautiful. We packed up the camping gear, loaded it into the car, and set off on the promised blackberry-hunting expedition. Axa slumbered while Tony and Sarah collected blackberries. When she awoke and looked down at a bowl of berries as big as her head, she thought she must still be dreaming. She ate almost the whole thing. After collecting enough blackberries to have a respectable dessert of blackberries and ice cream, we set off on our way home.

Another successful camping trip at Gold Bluffs Beach.


traveling in style

Gold Bluffs campground

Fern Canyon (where
"The Lost World: Jurassic
Park" was filmed)

wild elk

Agate Beach

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