Category Archives: camping

Thriving In My Thrifty Week–April 12, 2021

We had another nice, long weekend camping. This trip was different in several ways. One difference is in the amount of outdoor activities we were able to engage in, since the weather was so nice. I’m glad we had so much fun, because this is the last trip for a while.

We had some out-of-town relatives who were staying down at the beach and my aunt got a condo down there so she could visit with them. That condo comes with a crab dock. Need I say more?

After 2 afternoons of crabbing, a few were captured. They aren’t showing up well in this bucket, as they were Red Rock Crabs. One Dungeness was also caught. All were eaten by us, aunts/uncles/nieces/nephews/ etc.

We had one nice, group dinner over at the condo and enjoyed visiting. We were camped at a near-by campground and everyone came and went at will.

One day, our family hiked the Drift Creek Falls Trail.

We hiked 2.9 miles down into a canyon, along a little creek, up the other side, across a suspension bridge and to the water fall. We enjoyed the hike very much, especially the part where we climbed right back out of that canyon without too much trouble. We surprised ourselves, in a good way! I will say Rob overdid a little though, because with his 2 trips down to the ocean that day rock collecting, plus this hike, he did over 7 miles. He was a little sore the next day, but the dog couldn’t move for 2 days, so…..Rob wins:)

We raked for cockle clams at low tide one day. Patsy got 1 measly clam. The rest of us got skunked. We put the baby back to live another day. We will try again some day when the tide is lower.

The weather was gorgeous. It only rained one night, and not very much. There was quite a bit of wind at times, which felt cold, but mostly it was pleasant and sunny. Yesterday, while Rob and our older nephew were crabbing, Patsy, Jake and I walked to the boardwalk viewing area. I know the picture does not show them well, but those tiny specks in the sky are people surfing with large 1/2 parachutes (parasurfing?). There was also a windsurfer with a bright sail out in the water. I hadn’t seen that before in this location.

Another different thing for us was today. We needed to come home, but had nothing pressing in the afternoon to return early for, so decided to stay down there until early afternoon. (We usually leave first thing in the morning when coming home). We decided to drive to a nearby beach and take a walk before hooking up and driving home. I was delighted to find that beautiful rock/sand formation pictured above while I was walking. The rest of them hunted for rocks and shells and a certain little boy got his shoes completely wet in a creek, and had to come home barefoot. Now, that’s a beach trip. I love it!

As usual, we got a large amount of fun for a very small fist full of dollars. Obviously, nothing is free, and we used gas to drive around. Thankfully, we had some gas rewards on our Fred Meyer card, so we used those. We always save them for when the van needs gas.

We used our park pass to camp. We used the dock at my aunt’s condo to crab with equipment we have owned for years. Rob bought some chicken to crab with, but a lady on the dock gave him hers when she got tired of crabbing, so we cooked ours, as it was on ice and perfectly good, and used hers for crabbing. We used our rakes to rake for clams. Rob had recently picked up another one at a garage sale and painted its tines blue, just for this purpose.

The Drift Creek Falls Trail had a very small parking fee, which was nice since our park pass doesn’t cover that place.

Several times we put food from the camper in a bag and took it along when we drove somewhere. We got some food from McDonald’s and used the app to save money. (McD’s is Jake’s favorite and we wanted everyone to get to do something they wanted.). We ate meals at the camper and, once, at the condo. We enjoyed visiting with all family members who were there.

I was able to use up several items in the camper fridge, such as spreadable butter, from a couple of weeks ago, and many things from our fridge. I love putting leftovers from the house right into the camper fridge so they get used, and vice versa when we return. I bought a few things from Grocery Outlet before we went and we didn’t have to shop, except for milk, while we were there. There’s plenty left so I don’t have to shop for a few days now, unless I’m SO tempted by the 97c ice cream at Safeway that I can’t stand not to get it….

We don’t have any more camping trips planned for quite some time, and I’m o.k. with that–there’s lots to do around here. We’ve already started doing the laundry from the trip and I’m looking forward to getting out into the yard and garden as the week progresses. It should be a fun week, in its own way.

Thriving In My Thrifty Week– March 1, 2021

We finally got to go camping! We had hoped to go a week ago, but the ice storm ruined our fun. Last summer, trip after trip was cancelled from Rob’s surgery, wildfires, Covid closing campsites, and so on. We hardly got to go. It was starting to feel like de ja vu, but we found an available spot when we had to postpone.

Most of last week was spent busily cooking, cleaning, watching the baby and driving the girls around, as they did not get power until Tuesday night. They were out for 11 nights–they finally went home that very night once power was restored. That day was beyond busy, as there were so many errands, trips to take people here and there, that Rob and I think we drove out 13 times between the two of us to take someone somewhere, or get prescriptions, etc.! Yikes. Hands down, it’s the most we’ve done in one day since Covid started!!!

We even managed to squeeze in our son, Anthony’s, birthday party. We had to change times on him once, which is not good for autistic/Aspberger’s sons, as he loves his routine, so we had to just carry on by putting them on one end of the table, us on the other and all the girls and baby in the other room with their plates. It felt great to be able to get together at last and he had a good time.

I made him a cake–chocolate, as requested. Of course, this all happened on the same day as all the errands, and the power returning to the girls’ house. So, while Rob was taking him home, I took the girls home, helped turn on the breakers, helped clean the rotten food from the fridge, and took Lovana shopping. We went to Grocery Outlet, and she re-filled her fridge. At least most things were bargains at that store. The next day, I picked up a few other items for them that were forgotten, and took a few things from my storage. It was so nice to have extra to share.

The baby was gifted a port-a-crib by one of my friends, and he was popped right in it in front of their gas fireplace and was settling down all cozy and warm when I finally went home.

I finished getting ready Wednesday, then we finally got away on Thursday. We were pretty tired, so the first day, we didn’t do much, and in fact swapped off taking naps.

We took a few walks. We saw this tree on a hike we took.

Rob and Patsy went rock hunting, but the surf was so wild, and high that they didn’t stay long. Rob felt it was actually dangerous where they were, so left after they scrambled higher onto the path and watched waves cover the path where they just were a minute before. We took a drive one day, and saw even more wild waves. That was the day we got candy at a candy store, and Rob waited in line outside of a little hole-in-the-wall restaurant next door to the candy shop and ordered 2 large fries, thinking we could all share. What he got was 2 huge take-out cartons of plank fries, piping hot and delicious, and we couldn’t even finish them between the 4 of us. What a nice treat!

I had been preparing the camper for this camping season for several weeks–cleaning, organizing, and so forth. I had already filled the fridge with fresh veggies and dairy products when we realized we were not actually going last week. I was able to bring all of that into the house, of course, and not waste it. I found great deals when I went to replace it when we found we could get away last Thursday. One item was milk for 44c/1/2 gallon. I prefer 1/2 gallons in the camper anyway, so it was a super sweet deal for me.

We take our own food, purchased at sale prices or in bulk and transferred into containers. Even the most hard-core McDonald’s lover realized that we cannot pull through a drive through on our way to camping, so he does not beg us to do that. Whew!!! I cooked several things ahead of time such as chili, pork Chile verde, taco meat, hard-boiled eggs and cooked white rice (for Jake mostly). I bought bagels and cream cheese for an easy breakfast in the car this morning on our way home. (Rob never wants to cook a big breakfast, or even sit down while he is packing up, so eats in the car on the day we go home.). Our camper has a very nice propane stove, fridge and freezer, they are just small. Rob often cooks outside, but we knew the weather was going to be rainy part of the time, so I made other arrangements this trip. We did manage one hot dog roast, though.

Of course, Jake went camping with us, as he does every time he can manage it. I did several hours of school with him Friday morning, but otherwise, he was free to play.

Rob and the kids found a garage sale and Jake bought a Mousetrap game for $1. He and I spent an afternoon building the trap and simply trapping the plastic mice. It was pretty fun. He and Patsy played with it another hour or so, and I put it away for next time we go. We also played Quixx and he built his camper Legos. I read aloud for hours, as he became interested in a book about the Dutch resistance in WWII, “The Winged Watchman.”

We even got to go to church on Sunday. We chose one Rob had heard good things about in the town near the campground, and had a nice, socially distanced service. They were following mask wearing to the max, so we felt very safe, and had a wonderful time. Since last Sunday was our first time back in any church building for a year, we didn’t want to miss the second chance we had to go! Everyone was as friendly as can be from 6 feet distance, the sermon was enlightening, and the kids got cookies in little packages afterwards, making them very happy!

It was fun to get away, and equally fun to come home. We got everything put away, and the laundry was started. The weather was so nice this afternoon, Rob and I took a good walk, then I worked outside in the yard, clipping and pruning and weeding, until the yard debris bin was full, just in time for it to be emptied tomorrow. I always like it when it starts to feel like spring and I can get outside!

Thriving In My Thrifty Week–October 13, 2020

We slipped away this week for a few days and went camping.

We went to South Beach State Park, at Newport. The weather ranged from nice, warm and relatively sunny to stormy, windy and rainy. It was extreme and very changeable! One stormy day, we took a short drive south on Hwy. 101 and saw lots of beaches that would be fun to explore on a nicer day than that one.

Rob and Patsy spent several afternoons down on the sand, collecting rocks. Even on days that were rainy and windy, they enjoyed their time down there. I stayed back at the camper and read several books, sewed, and slept. I had downloaded several books from the library app to read, and took a couple of actual books, too. At the last minute before we left, I grabbed some fabric and my sewing machine and during the trip, I worked on putting together a quilt top with fabric I’ve had for a long time. I also used several pieces I received in kits at a shop hop I went to a year ago. I had decided I didn’t want to make those particular blocks, but didn’t want to waste the fabric. I’ve got a ways to go, but I have a plan now, and am making progress.

I took several long walks with them, went for a drive, and we took Patsy to the candy/ice cream store one time.

Camping is super fun and economical for us. We used our park pass to pay for the campsite. We took food for all our meals, and I packed a picnic for the first day. Lots of our home-preserved food was used in those meals. Our trip was fairly short this time, so we wanted to get down there early. We knew our campsite wouldn’t be ready until afternoon, so we just went to the day use area until it was time. It was funny when we checked in to see if we could get into our spot early. The ranger suggested we drive into town for a “bite to eat” while we waited. I politely said we’d be back at 2, like he told us, and got back in the van, inwardly chuckling. Think that one over….why would we want to drive a 15-passenger van towing a 32 foot trailer back to town, find a place to park it, and eat at a restaurant and then find a spot to turn it around to come back? During Covid-19, no less? Someone else might want to do that, but not us–it was much easier to pack some food into a cooler:).

Last evening, I took one more quick walk down the beach look-out path. We woke up again to a windy, stormy, rainy day.

Rob hooked up the camper while standing in about 2 inches of water this morning. I helped him. The rain was blowing sideways in the gusty, strong wind. Because you have to empty your trailer tanks at the entrance of this park, we put dry clothes inside the camper door, and just changed real quick after we hooked up, then drove to empty, so we didn’t have to stay soaking, sopping wet!

Before we went, I was able to pick several items from the garden to use in meals, and we took the rest with us. I was surprised at how much garden lettuce I ended up with. We had salad every day, mixed with a head I had on hand. Yum! I packed leftovers into the camper out of the fridge in the house and we ate them up. I cooked rice and marinated some chicken for the first night to make it easy. I did some cupboard cleaning while I was camping, and pulled out a basket of food that needs to be used. I ran out of time and didn’t make it to the store for last minute food items before we left. We made out fine. I won’t go again until next weekend, as there is still plenty, which always saves me money when I skip a week of shopping. I have several meals planned for the next few days, starting with chicken-rice soup, which I made for supper tonight. Jake will come over tomorrow, as usual, and he eats that, so I won’t have to run to the store for “Jake-food” for a few days.

It was great to get the camper out. For various reasons, we’ve had to cancel almost every reservation we’ve made, so this was only our second camping trip during the last year. Hopefully, there will be more before too long!