Ever since we went to the Redwoods and Oregon Coast last year we have been dying to take the kids with us again.
Day 1. We loaded the kids in the car and left at 3:45 am. Yes that is right, these crazy parents did it! It worked out well too! After driving all day we got to the redwood forest at a decentish time. Like 6:00 or 7:00. The campground we wanted was full (we had reservations for the rest of the trip but since we had moved our trip up at the last minute the first night was the only night we weren't able to get a reservation switched for). Anyway, we found a different campground up the road about 20 minutes. THe forest there was still really pretty and it was a lot cheaper too! We were pleased and the kids were so excited to be out of the car!!!!
Day 2. We took the kids to "The Playground". It's the name we gave a portion of the redwood forest we found last year that had several fallen trees. Brent had so much fun playing on it last year that we couldn't wait to take the kids. They were so excited to be walking on these gigantic trails that were actually tree trunks!
We had a few issues with the boys at this spot. Griz fell down off the log, got caught by a rasberry bush and was hanging there upside down yelling for help. We were grateful for the bush! It kept him from falling on his head. A few minutes later we were not grateful for a different raspberry bush that Chico accidently grabbed onto and got teeny tiny little thorns in his hand. He was very upset and in a lot of pain. After struggling with trying to get the thorns out and near hysteria he asked for a blessing and Brent gave him one. It was cool being in the forest and feeling closer to the spirit and having the spirit even stronger while Brent was giving him a priesthood blessing. Chico could feel the spirit too and he picked up Griz in a big bear hug and accidently knocked Griz into a stump that was behind him resulting in Griz cutting his ear. *sigh* Luckily he was pretty tough about it and we were able to go on a nice walk and see some beautiful scenery.
Looks like he fell in a hole, but he is actually sitting in the roots of the fallen tree:
When we were on top of those logs, sometimes we were as high as twenty feet off the ground!
This was such a cool tree that we played on.
Sanna found an octupus tree to stand next to. Isn't that cute?
Later that day we went to the beach in Crescent City. It was a wee bit too cold for Sanna to play at in my opinion so she and I stayed warm in the car while the boys dug. That was cool and all until some guy came up to my window asking if I had any weed. It was rather shocking to me because I really don't feel like anyone would assume that about me, especially since I had Utah plates and had my baby in the car with me. Anyway, I finally got out of the car and took some pics of the kids and of the crab they found. I even tried holding it. Totally creeped me out!
Our campsite that we had inside the redwood forest. Man those trees were so huge!
While Brent was packing up camp the next morning to leave I took the kids down to the ranger station so we could learn about identifying pine cones. It was cool and the kids were SO into it and SO excited that they were able to earn their california junior ranger badge.
We drove down to the Southern part of the redwoods and got a backcountry permit so we could go backpacking through the redwoods. Talk about AWESOME experience!!!!
But talk about HARD to do with three little kids who can't/won't carry any of their own stuff. Brent is the coolest dad on earth to be willing to carry that load for them. Daddy of the year for sure!!!
There was one wide river crossing which was fun but a wee bit intimidating with such heavy loads and me carrying the precious cargo (namely Sanna and the camera)
We finally found a really cool place to camp right on the river bank. While I was taking these beautiful pics the boys were bathing themselves with soap in the river because they walked through poison oak. So grateful we brought the soap!
While I was preparing dinner and Brent was preparing camp he found a toad. Chico LOVED it and named it Hopper. He was so funny with that toad. He kept telling us how Hopper was feeling and what Hopper thought of everything. Poor Hopper probably just wanted to be free, judging by how many times he jumped out of the kiddos hands. Chico got pretty good at handling him and picking him right back up.
Can it get any cuter than this!?
THe rocks weren't the most comfortable but it was still a really neat place to camp. Look at the progression of these next pics with Griz hamming it up.
Playing with Hopper down by the stream.
Whittling a stick for marshmallows.
Besides being scared a bear was going to come through camp it was a pretty decent night. Brent did a good job bear proofing our campground before bed. Then the next morning he discovered he had left a string cheese in his pocket. Nice.
Next morning the boys were looking for Hopper again (since we made Chico release it into the wild again before bed) and Griz found a little frog! Which he named Hopper!
Then Chico found a toad again. It looked similar enough to Hopper that we thought it might be him but comparing the pics I kinda don't think it's the original Hopper, but he sure was happy to have found and caught him. That toad was constantly jumping out of his hands!
Griz did an amazing good job at holding Hopper the Frog in his hands. He didn't hop out too often. He looked so neat!
Well we said a sad farewell to the Hoppers and packed up camp and started the long hike back. Okay so it was only like 2 miles but when you're carrying that much weight and trying to motivate a 3 year old to keep going it feels like ten.
We were a bit stressed about meeting a wild animal on the trail, namely a bear. Seeing fresh poop with raspberry seeds (as seen in the next pic) every once and a while didn't help alleviate our concerns. Nor did hearing a growl in the bushes next to me on the trail. I swear it was a growl of an animal but if it was Sanna I will be very embarrassed. Guess we'll never know.
At one point Sanna was getting pretty upset and needed to nurse but we didn't want to stop hiking so I hiked while I was nursing her. That's a new accomplishment I never thought I'd do in my life. So anyway, with me nursing her, Brent took the child backpack carrier that I had been using and wore it on the front. When Sanna was done nursing I slid her in the pack he was carrying. Then we decided it would be funny to throw the boys in his arms. We took a picture of him carrying everything that we took backpacking with us minus the camera and me. That is probably about 200 pounds all together
He hiked like that for a little bit and I felt extremely dumb walking next to him with nothing but the camera but it sure did feel nice, not gonna lie! We finally got back to the car and I was reading the sign by the trail head that said it was also mountain lion country. Got me wondering if the growl I heard was a mountain lion. Guess I'll never know!
Completely exhausted we loaded into the car and headed up the coast. We stopped at the Ranger station to get their national parks junior ranger badges, they were asleep in the car and it was so fun to show it to them when they woke up. They had worked hard to get it! We drove and drove up the coast and when we got to a certain point in Oregon that we can't remember the name of I dropped Brent and the boys off so they could play at the beach while I went shopping and grabbed some burgers for dinner. Then we drove further up the coast until we couldn't take the screaming from Sanna anymore. We decided we were too tired to set up camp at the campground we had reserved and we found a dump hotel room to stay in instead. It was cheap but it had two beds! Chico could even tell what a dump it was. He said so! And he said how much it stunk (like cigarette smoke though he didn't know what the smell was, just that it stunk). It was nice to get a shower and not have to set up the sleeping bags. We needed that break! Next morning we started our way up to Cannon Beach where our final camping destination was waiting for us. We did stop and buy some fish and chips on the way. We also stopped and bought a clamming gun. We got to the campground and got settled then headed over to the beach for tons of fun!
What a BEAUTIFUL beach!!!
Sanna saw this kid walking past her kicking a soccer ball. She started crawling after him as fast as she could. It was so cute.
We got some beautiful pictures that day for sure.
I just loved watching these cute kids running from the waves. They got so soaked, it was so cute.
Brent impersonating Griz telling him that he knows his letters! (Brent wrote his name in the sand).
Besides the seagulls stealing our food and our bumper falling off the car, it was one of the funnest evenings ever. The water was actually not too bad there, hence why we were running in the waves and getting wet. And the sand was just gorgeous there, so fun to walk in.
Back at camp that night...
The next morning we had to take the car to the repair shop at Cannon Beach to have the bumper put back on. It was fun getting to see the beach again while we waited, the lighting was cool for another picture.
Then we drove down to Hug Point beach where we spent a major part of that day watercoloring, sand castle building, swimming in freezing water, eating sand, and taking beautiful pictures.
Griz was so funny about wearing goggles to go swimming. Too bad it was too cold for him to get very far in there. It didn't stop Brent though.
We dragged the kids away from our sand castle building and went down the road a bit more to Kelly's crab shack. We were pretty excited to try out crabbing for the first time. Sanna was sleeping like a log so she and I stayed in the car while the boys did it.
Griz LOVED it. He had the time of his life out there. Chico joined me in the car but Griz stayed out there the whole time running from one place to the next helping Brent, chasing seagulls away, pulling in the trap, throwing it in. He was so happy, it was so cute.
They caught some awesome crabs but unfortunately none of them were quite big enough to keep so they didn't get to keep any of them to cook and eat. So instead we went to the Old Oregon Smokehouse to get some amazing seafood. Crab cakes with pico de gallo.... prawn shrimp.... clam chowder in a bread bowl... and the boys favorite, soda pop! But seriously, we chowed down on that food. Chico still talks about how good the shrimp was. I'm excited to try out a new secret ingredient that I think I figured out from eating their clam chowder. And I also would love to try out making crab cakes like that some day. I can't wait until we live in the Pacific Northwest someday. It's gonna be awesome. Anyway, after we ate the clam chowder we went next door to an ice cream shop and got some huge ice cream cones. We could hardly finish them!