Monday, August 6, 2012

Camping, Take 2: Dosewallips State Park

On our way home from work last week, Katie and I were discussing some of the blogs we follow when I had the sudden realization that we have our own blog. It has seriously been over half a year since either of us has posted anything. And of course when anyone asks me, "So, what have you been up to lately?" my answer is unanimously, "Oh not much." That isn't entirely true, so let's get going on writing that wrong.

There will be a series of posts over the next week or two that will cover what exactly we've been up to the last few months. To confuse everyone as much as possible, I'm going to start at the present and work my way backwards.

The Great Outdoors wasn't something I was exposed to much as a kid, and that's been something Katie has taken a great interest in changing. It combines a couple of her passions: connecting with nature, going places never visited before, mini-road trips, and going to REI and spending a ton of money.

We went camping two summers ago at Lake Wenatchee State Park, where I got about a dozen mosquito bites while unloading the car. I spent 2 days covered in some surely toxic mixture of DEET, mosquito coil smoke, sunscreen, and calamine lotion. The experience didn't leave a sour taste in my mouth so-to-speak, but it was definitely tart.

My feet had so many bites I had to wear shoes in order to deter my constant need to itch. Not even the mosquito coils helped. The Rainier helped a little. (July 2010)

This past weekend we trekked over to Hood Canal (which is a fjord!) to camp at Dosewallips State Park. It's a very different camping experience than Lake Wenatchee: pretty flat, less privacy, and most importantly: a lot less mosquitoes.

Katie patiently waiting for her campfire. Thanks goes out to the previous campers who left the gigantic log in the pit which we took full advantage of in building our fires both nights.
There was one party a few campsites away from us that appeared to be a weekend getaway where all the dads took their sons for some camping debauchery. One child, let's call him Logan, because that is what his dad screamed every five minutes, was the King Terrorizer of the group. He would ride his bike in the opposite direction of the rest of the kids, try to do tricks on his Razor scooter (which always resulted in failure and him doing several barrel rolls across the pavement), and shot anything and everything with his water gun. At one point he even pistol-whipped one of the other kids.

My run-in with Logan happened at the water tap where I was rinsing off a cutting board. He was there standing defiantly with his pump-action water shotgun. As I was finishing up he looks at me square and says, "I'm going to shoot you," like he's some sort of cold-hearted-son-of-a-bitch 7 year-old Russian mobster. Knowing that there wasn't really anything I could do if I wanted to avoid a situation with Logan's dad, I threw my arms up and said, "Okay..." and of course he blasts me right in the front of my shorts so it looked like I peed myself. In retrospect I bet I could have got a high-five from his dad if I would have done the, "hey cool super soaker dood, can i see it for a sec?" and drowned him with his own gun, but I took the higher/wussier road.

We decided to take Greta along for the trip, mostly just to see how she'd handle it. Turns out that she can be an actual dog: playing around in the dirt, lying in the grass, and "protecting" us from all those other evil people and dogs at the campground by barking without remorse. It also turns out she can't handle more than about 5 minutes of direct sunlight before she gets so hot she begins uber-panting.

On guard

On Saturday, in between grilling, drinking beer in fold-up camp chairs, and enjoying a couple great campfires, we ventured out to the park's beach. We both thought that it would be pretty close to the campground, but in actuality it's about a mile. It was a nice, flat trail with a pretty mucky section near the end. There were a few dozen folks hanging out at the water's edge.

Beach at Dosewallips

While we didn't make it that far our, we did spot a seal pup nestled in between a couple of pieces of driftwood. We were sitting on a piece not too far away when I kept hearing some sort of shuffling behind us. Finally I got a glimpse and figured out what it was.

See! It's that gray lump underneath those other gray things!

After an inappropriately long nap in the shade, we hopped in the car to see what else the area had to offer. There was another state park, Triton Cove, not too far down the road which consisted of a small rock beach and a boat launch. I skipped rocks (doing the prerequisite try-to-skip-a-ten-pound-rock joke) while Katie soaked in the views. It's really a beautiful area with high peaks plunging right down in to the water. She also found this tiiiiiiny (albeit dead) crab.

Triton Cove
Pretty dead.
Here's a short tour of our campsite #67 and a shot of what it looked like in the morning. We both had a lot of fun and look forward to the next time we camp there!

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