Camping Season 2014 gone with the wind!

It has been a busy couple of months for our family and I have not been able to post as much as I would have liked. When school started for the kids this year, the time I had to update our blog was very limited. We have one kid  in high school for the first time and helping him keep up with homework has consumed most of my time. On top of that I broke my beloved camera on the first day of school taking pictures of the bus taking the kids off to school. The sidewalk was not to friendly to the camera when my ankle decided to give out leading to a nice face plant on the ground. Without the budget for a new camera we were stuck with just the cell phone for our September weekend trip to Lake Wenatchee State Park and I was too sad to blog about it. While the cell phone takes decent enough photos they are no match for my camera so my loving husband bought me a new upgraded version (Canon SX50) before our planned annual getaway to Grayland Beach State Park where we ended our camping season with wind, family and a milestone birthday party.

Months of planning and carefully reserving an entire loop at Grayland Beach State Park with family members didn’t stop the slew of storms coming in the weekend before Halloween. There is nothing like a bit of sideways rain for a weekend of fun! We had one night with the stars out for a nice campfire and some late night clamming, but one night only, as the winds picked up and the rain came down in sheets. To escape the misery and cold what else do you do but head into town to drink beer. Westport is a nice little town but in the off season it is pretty empty. We hit the main road into town only to find the only grocery store in town had closed down and the bowling alley was for sale. Our main destination, the Westport Brewing Company, was open and ready for some guests however, and we sure enjoyed the beer. The Westport Brewing Company is actually a converted garage. The owner turned it into quite the place and we enjoyed our time inside. She was a gracious host (so was her cat). The beer was fantastic and we left filling multiple growlers to bring back to camp.

Back at camp the wind started coming in and the weather forecast changed a bit adding a high wind watch to the already soggy weather. Which meant the awning came in and all our chairs got soaked. We did leave the Coleman canopy out which weathered the storm fine, at least ours did. Two other canopies in our other sites blew over in the middle of the night which led us to a dilemma. This weekend had a purpose other than a simple family gathering. This weekend was a planned surprise party for my aunt’s 60th birthday. Without awnings and canopies to shield us from the rain where on earth were we going to put the 20+ people for the party. We held onto hope for the morning that we may miss the bulk of the storm (the high wind watch had been canceled) but then my phone goes off with a weather alert. Yep you guessed it, high wind warning, with incoming 60mph winds. So this time along with the awning, down came the Coleman canopy and into the trailer we went and boy did the trailer shake! I wondered if we were going to blow over.

We all were hunkered down in our RVs waiting for the remaining guests to make it into the campground. They were delayed by a road closure due to falling trees and power lines being down. Once the arrived we had an “emergency meeting” of the planning committee for the party. The purpose, where are we gonna cram all these people? The answer was one of the yurts we had also reserved for the weekend. It worked out great even though setting up inside was challenging due to my aunt wanting to help set up the “potluck” she knew we were having. We had to corral her with babysitting duties to keep her inside her RV! Yes she had ALL of the children in her RV the entire afternoon. 🙂 In the end we pulled off a great surprise and my cousins did a great job decorating the yurt. How many of you can say you had a surprise birthday party in a yurt in a wind storm? My guess is not many. The theme of the weekend turned from “wine themed” to the “I love my family” theme as my aunt so happily proclaimed after her surprise. It was a great weekend that we will never forget.

So now we will get the trailer ready for winter with some warranty work (more on that later oh Keystone you disappoint me). We are already making our plans for next summer with a trip to the Oregon Coast and of course our favorite Washington State Parks, Cape Disappointment State Park and Rasar State Park. We are not done with the planning either who knows where else we could go, Canada? Time will tell.