Sand, Sea, Dog Fights and Serenity…

When I think of the word serenity I often think of the famous “Serenity Now” Seinfeld episode.  Often times our life is chaotic as well. The end of the year was one of those chaotic times for us at home. We had two kids having their end of year graduations(8th grade and 6th grade), one kid having flag football playoffs and parties, and one wild and crazy end of year party here at home with FIFTEEN 12 year olds. The last few weeks I felt like that Seinfeld episode and often wanted to scream those same words “Serenity Now”. The definition of Serenity is this: “the state or quality of being serene, calm, or tranquil; sereneness”,  which is exactly how I felt the minute my feet hit the sand at Cape Disappointment State Park. It was a much needed break from the end of school year chaos and the perfect place to get serenity.

This was not our first time at Cape Disappointment. We were here last year for the first time, well it was not really the first time for me as I was here when I was a kid, back when it was Fort Canby State Park. This is my favorite state park in Washington even in spite of the really long drive. It takes us 4, sometimes 5 hours to get there depending on Seattle traffic and the southern stretch of 101 is pretty windy (Maggie gets car sick every time). The way down is worse than the way back as there are no rest areas to stop at. There is one in Elma on the way back. This helps break up the trip and gets the “I’m hungry” kids in the back taken care of. I absolutely love this park, it has everything you could possibly need (well unless you want cell phone signal as there is NONE inside the campground loops). We were fortunate this year as well to be able to share our love for this park with family and friends. We were joined by not one, but two sets of aunts and uncles as well as a surprise visit from my best friend and her family from high school (she swears she told me she was coming but I think she forgot! 🙂 )  So what could be better than experiencing that much needed serenity alone? Well of course it is experiencing it with friends and family.

This time we took a different approach to our stay here and spent the majority of the time at the campground. We did take a trip out to check out the local sights, when I say “sights” I mean amazing vistas of nature. This was my aunts and uncles first time to the park so we wanted to make sure they got to experience the beautiful views.  We also had another mission, we learned our favorite fellow camping bloggers of the “Wheelin It” fame were hosting at the lighthouse. We had hoped to meet them when we visited the lighthouse. Sadly they were not on shift when we were there and it seems we missed them by only about 30 minutes. We did however get to see a mama deer and her baby for a brief moment which was cool. This time I went up to the top of the lighthouse (no more bum ankle like last time) where there was 5 strong bars of cell signal and 3G where I quickly snapped and posted a picture to facebook for all my friends and family back home to see. You can not beat the view from up there, it is amazing and it makes me thankful we live in this scenic state.

The rest of our weekend was filled with kite flying, beach combing, great campfires with great company, and hide and seek in the dark with glow in the dark necklaces. Well the hide and seek was for kids only! Did I mention the weather was sunny and 70 degrees all weekend. It could not have been better. We spent hours on the beach with our feet in the sand. I love the beach here, it is so beautiful with that view of the lighthouse right there. There are no cars on the beach and plenty of driftwood to build forts  and wind breaks as we carve out our little spot to hang out. There are also a lot of interesting options for taking photographs, especially when you have a professional photographer with you with my uncle. He was able to take a great family photo of us. When we got the business of photo taking out of the way we just soaked in the sun rays and listened to the sounds of the waves crashing on the beach. The peaceful calm was shattered at one point however by a dog fight on the beach.

That dog fight is a good reminder of what can sometimes happen when you let your dogs off leash. My family is a huge dog family. We each have a dog well most of us have two. When we all get together we have a dog party and over the years have rarely had a dog fight. Our dogs all get along great which is remarkable to say the least. This fight did not involve our dogs thankfully. There is something about the beach that affects the dogs and they all want to take off and run. As soon as our pugs hit the sand it’s like they are inspired to bounce and run and put their faces in the sand. It is hard keeping them leashed when we have to but we do it for their own safety. The only time we let them off is if there are no other people, and dogs around. We were able to do so one morning but after that the beach was a little bit too crowded. The dog fight we witnessed happened when one of the unleashed dogs playing on the beach wandered in to greet some other dogs on the beach who were leashed. The choc lab mix that was off leash ended up getting his neck in lock-jaw bite from a boxer which in the end eventually lead to the boxer’s owner getting bit pretty badly when he tried to separate the two dogs. The dogs ended up being fine. It was the dog’s owner that got the worst of it as it usually always is when you intervene in a dog fight but it got us thinking had it been one of our dogs the outcome may have been a lot worse.  The lesson here is that even if your dog is well behaved off leash you do not know how another dog is going to react and most of the time it happens faster than you can blink.

Cape Disappointment is anything but disappointing. We can not wait to get back here hopefully next year. Have you been to Cape Disappointment State Park? Let us know what you think in the comments below.