Day Six: Friday, May 25th, Bandon (The People’s Coast), OR

Happy Campers

Well, it wasn’t a deluge, but it was raining when we woke up in the morning. Spitting. Spitting vigorously. Almost a week in and this is the first time we’ve had to tear down wet, so I won’t whine too loudly. Dry tents are little miracles, every time.

We only had 3+ hours on the road this morning to reach Bullards Beach State Park on the coast. Only downside was that the mountains were completely fogged in the whole way down, so imagination must fill in what our sightseeing could not. I’m sure it was… gorgeous.



The Oregon Coast is the longest stretch of of public beach in the world. Back in the 60s, they made it so with HB 1601, the infamous Beach Bill. So now every millimeter of coast is open to the public, The People’s Beach. What. A. Great. Idea.

Beach-lovers Emily and Sarah

Bullards, The Campground, is packed to the gills for the holiday weekend, and I am thrilled that we gave up on the seat-of-the-pants thoughts we were originally having.

Nightmare fodder. Thankfully we didn’t have to call in the expertise of hindsight on that one!


We’re in the back of the backmost loop, nestled between two yurts. The Memorial Day revelers are out in force, giant rigs festooned in red, white, and blue camper decor and patio lights, people crawling everywhere. The park is well-wooded, so where we are there is plenty of shade. With highs in the 50s I don’t know if it’s as necessary as back home summer camping, but I still like some greenery.

They have designed the grounds here much like a sardine can, but somehow it’s cozy. On a different day, I might use a different word, but for today it is cozy. Makes me feel like I’m living on an island somewhere tropical. And cold.

We had a campsite to setup this afternoon, but we we quickly headed out to the water and spent as much time on the beach as we could.



I’m not sure I can put my finger on why, but the beach is decidedly different here than on the East Coast. 50 degrees is a whole lot different than 100, but temperature cannot be the only thing coloring my lenses. There is a completely different feel. About the beach. About the area. No two oceans are the same, it seems.

Some Perspective, for my pontifications: I’ve spent time on probably a 30-mile stretch of the East Coast. I’ve now spent a few hours on about a quarter mile swath of the West Coast. Clearly, I am an expert.

I can’t say as I took to the ocean as quickly as my family did. Over there or over here. The constant presence of once-living-now-not sea life littering ocean beaches plays a big role in my nose-wrinkling I think. It takes a little bit to acclimate to.




I have, over the span of many years, learned an important tidbit about myself: I am somewhat resistant to new things. I am quick to label ‘new and different’ as ‘ugly and desolate.’ Quick to shut the door on amazing things just because they don’t fit my limited framework yet. This is not one of my finer traits. It is, however, one that is very handy to understand about myself. It’s a good thing to get a grip on. I can step back and give a little more grace when I know I’m just a monster.

Headed back down for sunset

It’s not you. It is most definitely me.

So as I crested the dunes upon first arrival today, I didn’t fall in love like the rest of my crew. I appraised quietly, stepped through and around the washed-up shrine to the departed sea-folk, and let it soak in slowly. It is still soaking. I’m pretty sure morning light will bring with it a new wave of adoration that I wasn’t able to completely embrace today, so I’ll make the most of the bits of early-game appreciation I’ve got.

You would think it would help to remember the roadsides back home littered by roadkill carcasses. It doesn’t. I didn’t say it made sense.

IMG_20180525_201845.jpgWe spent about four hours out there all-tolled today–between camp chores, a grocery stop and lit-fill-up at the visitor center, dinner-fixing, and the obligatory s’mores–and even that small chunk of time let some love seep in. I’m just slow on the uptake. Don’t rush me.

img_20180525_200150.jpgThe sunset, I will say, was unreal. And helped along by the decision of my two kiddos to drag the picnic quilt out of the van and work on some sunset beach acro-yoga.


I mean, picturesque, right?

It’s 11:00, and we’re just now falling in. The s’mores are to blame.

I’m glad we booked ourselves for four nights here. I’m looking forward to three full days along the southernmost reaches of this People’s Coast. I have a sneaking suspicion I’ll be in love soon enough.

Salt dreams,

Important Parenthetical: The quilt of many colors lighting up the beach was made by my wee baby Sarah, and rides alongside a similar (though noticeably longer-loved and tattered) quilt made by my great-grandmother. They are co-captains of Team Picnic, and only leave the $900 van when called into action, to catch dribbles of mustard, or careening Sarahs.

The acro-yoga-bats were made by me. 😉


The Whole Enchilada:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a website or blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: