We had driven over 1000 miles along the Pacific Coast in an epic trip from Seattle to San Francisco. My husband had stayed home with our oldest who was working, and so it was just me and my 14 yr old son and 11 yr old daughter.
If you wait for ideal conditions you’ll never do anything. Just get out there. There is so much to see.
Hwy 101 was amazing, mostly two lanes and beautiful. I had survived driving it alone, back feeling fine and only one speeding ticket. Hey, I was passing an 18 wheeler so totally justifiable. But still $300.
After we left Olympic National Park, we continued three hours down Hwy 101 to Seaside, Oregon. The rest of Washington was pretty nondescript, although we caught our first couple glimpses of the Pacific Ocean. We crossed the mouth of the Columbia River across the magnificent Astoria-Megler Bridge which kinda wigged me out at one end…I don’t like heights.
We arrived in Seaside, Oregon in the evening. I had booked a hotel right on the beach with an ocean side first floor room.
The kids were in heaven.
We go on a family vacation every year…sometimes more than one We had traveled sooo much in 2013, and 2014 had dawned difficult, so somehow I found summer 2014 fast approaching and nothing was planned. Well I couldn’t have that. I think the plan pretty much came about because I had never been to Oregon, and the kids lacked Washington and California as well, so boom. A Pacific Coast trip was birthed.
It doesn’t take much inspiration to get me on the road…
Backpacking with kids is immensely rewarding. For me and for them. I encourage anyone with kids to try it. Start them young, start them slow. And know their limitations.
But don’t be scared. They can do so much more than you think. So can you.
I have backpacked with my kids more than a dozen times, and never once with another adult, or a man, or a gun, or cell service. Sure things go wrong. But no one is going to get eaten by a bear or fall off a cliff. Overcoming the inevitable mishaps is part of the journey. And the confidence gained by accomplishing, conquering, and persevering is lifelong.
To wander. To explore, travel, experience. It brings me life. I wander through forest, down ravines, across meadows, along beaches, over rocks and logs, scramble up bluffs. If I’m outside, I’m happy. So naturally my kids were going to love the outdoors as well. But with a wonderful husband that doesn’t particularly enjoy being outside I wasn’t sure how much I could accomplish.