Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Reservations at Dungeness Spit

Dungeness in February

The summer is set. I just received my confirmation for our July trip to the Dungeness Recreation Area on the Olympic Peninsula. While I know some people like to fly by the seat of their pants, and at one time I would have too, but these days I can’t imagine traveling into unknown territory, boys in tow, without a confirmed place to pitch the tent.

Reservable sites at Dungeness are new. Thank you Clallam County! They don’t have an on-line reservation system like Washington State Parks, but you can mail in a reservation, requesting your preferred site. The turn around was fairly quick – i got my confirmation about a week after I mailed in my reservation request. They do have a function on the website that allows you to check which sites are available on the days you want. However, even after checking their availability list and putting three alternate sites down I still didn’t get any of the campsites I requested - so don’t get your hopes up. But still I am grateful that at least we got one and it’s NOT next to the toilet – phew!

Dungeness Recreation Area - Info and Reservations


Friday, April 24, 2009

Outdoor activities for the web generation

Just discovered this way awesome website AndyCamper.com It's got print out activity cards, videos, info on geo-caching (which I have no clue about but it appears to have something to do with the outdoors and electronic gadgets – so obviously worth investigating).

I'm going to spend some time poking around but it looks awfully promising...i'll report back soon.

What's your favorite Andycamper activity?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Hiking with kids workshop

Over the past few months I've been doing a bunch of research while planning our summer adventures. I've been trawling the net, asking friends, posting on listserves, and I've hopefully some of the advice I've collected is good. Time will tell - and I will spill the dirt here!

I'm expecting the dirt spilling it to be somewhat cathartic. My husband is likely hoping it will mean less time spent de-briefing him on my latest foray into the wilds of REI.

I really hope to provide something of use in most posts but we'll see how that goes. I do have one for today though. The Washington Trails Association is holding a workshop about hiking with children in some Everett and Seattle libraries in May. Considering my 4 year old complains about walking the 10 minutes it takes to get to school I need all the help i can get.


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

lessons of summers past - part one

The first time we went camping with the kids the boys were barely one and just shy of three. We left impossibly early and drove a ridiculous four or five hours, from Seattle to the Oregon Coast, for one night of camping with friends at Nehalem Bay State Park. Thank goodness Nehalem is soooo gorgeous...
Lessons from Nehalem '07

  • air mattress - good (for 2)
  • down comforter - great
  • three man tent for a family of 4 - only in an emergency!
  • camping with friends with kids of similar ages - essential

Liberation from the backpack

I feel i must get something straight from the get go. I'm no camping purist. Backpacks, ultalight tent, titanium cooking gear - some of it hangs in my storage room - but mostly it is covered in dust. Before kids I had an illusion of becoming an outdoorswoman and although I still harbor images of myself hiking somewhere in a stunning alpine meadow, I have now fully embraced the car as an essential part of my camping toolkit - and what sweet liberation it is. Maybe one day when i don't have to haul diapers (in and out) of hike in campsites, or explain to a four year old what made the claw marks on the bear barrell, will i return to the wilderness. For now though i am going to relish the luxury of our huge 20 pound tent, queen air mattress, tricycles and training wheels on paved campground roads, and running water near by.