the first few days

wednesday we drove to silver falls in oregon. we arrived optimistic, refreshed even with our first night of camping ahead of us. we set up our tent, we rolled out our bedding and we were ready. however, it was also at that time when we realized that we a) had food to cook and no stove, b) decided not to bring our bikes but watched with envy as every other family in the site rode around joyously, c) were 30 minutes from the nearest restaurant, d) had no firewood, but no smores stuff either so that one was kind of a wash and e) had one small headlamp to service all our lighting needs. the night was very nice nonetheless. we got some hiking in before dinner and slept beautifully in our new tent.

the second night we spent in the redwoods on the coast of northern california. we got a late start in the day by the time we'd packed up, found somewhere to eat breakfast that wouldn't necessitate back-tracking and made a stop at target, costco and joe's sporting goods to procure a lantern, contact solution, a camp stove and propane for said stove. the redwoods were very nice. the camp site was clean and wooded with enough separation between the sites to feel semi-private.

the next day we drove a short way to the beach where we planned to spend a good portion of the day, partially for the enjoyment of it and partially so that on this, our longest driving day, ani would spend a significant part of the drive time asleep. we found a beach that was off the main road a bit and held the promise of seclusion even if we had to take our lives in our hands to hike down to the sand.

we picked our way carefully down sandy trails stepping on exposed roots when possible and avoiding the sections that offered no more traction than a slip 'n slide. we almost turned back at several points but ultimately we pushed on. as we made the final hop down onto the sand, we could see that the trek had been worthwhile. the beach was nestled in a cove, littered with rock islands of various size. however, rather than fumble over the description and leave you with a mediocre picture of the place, here are some pics to prove how beautiful it was.

2 weeks in bite-sized chunks

on wednesday, august 8th, a new chapter in life began for me. i didn't know it at the time, but i was stepping into the dimly-lit vestibule separating young adulthood from full-fledged adulthood. there've been a few instances in my life thus far when i've felt a sense of being a person, on my own, in charge of my own destiny. but these instances, however brief, had more to do with autonomy than turning into my own father. there were several moments throughout this journey when i felt a sense of kinship with my parents, knowing what i apparently put them through so many years ago with my aching desire to help check into the hotel room or have them explain the deep reasoning behind every little thing they did. (why? but why? but why?)

the other sensation that peppered my journey was, and this is almost embarrassing to admit for some reason, the feeling that i was the father in some chevy chase movie about taking a cross country trip. some of the key elements that contributed to this were our clutch going out unexpectedly, discovering that our campsite had been overrun by ants by way of inadvertently eating some, a "check engine" light illuminating somewhere between the two "d"s and the "w-h," a late night repack of recently unpacked camping gear due to potential emergency room trip and the kid throwing up in the car, once all over herself, once caught by mom in a napkin and thrown out the window without so much as a bathroom break to clean up.