Back in 2014, I was unemployed for a few months. Fortunately, it was summer and my friends own land “down by the river”, near the town where I live. I took a few days around the 4th of July to camp at their river lot. There was a small army of us, most of us recently unemployed from the same company that had just gone out of business. Like they say, there is strength in numbers. The internet signal was good at the river lot, so we basked in the sun while we searched for new jobs. Boomer also enjoyed this brief stay-cation as he got to spend some quality time doing what he loves best, swimming in the river.
This stay-cation was the first venture into camping with a dog for me. I have a small two person tent which is the perfect space for Boomer and me to share. Fast forward two years into the future and I found myself pitching the tent again. This time I was setting it up for three: Boomer, Jovi, and I. It was summer again, but instead of setting up at my friend’s river lot I was setting up on the Oregon Coast.
I am not the biggest fan of camping, but I was trying to conserve money while on my trip to Newport Oregon last year. We camped two nights, one night at a KOA in Waldport and one night at Beachside State Recreation Site. Campsites are much less expensive than a hotel room and they save money on pet fees. Pet fees are probably the most annoying part of travel for me now. Especially now that I have two dogs because often I pay two pet fees per night. Sometimes these fees are more than it would cost to board my dogs for the night. I pay it because I want my dogs with me, but it causes my teeth to grit at some of the pet fees hotels charge.
In addition to being pet-friendly, Oregon State Parks have awesome campsites that are not only spacious but have amenities like flush toilets and showers. Even this girl who doesn’t like camping can’t scoff at that.
While at the Beachside Campground I pitched our tent and set up my camp chair ready to enjoy the evening. Except I had forgotten one thing, firewood. How could I enjoy a night of camping without a campfire? Well, the camp gods shined down on me and the camp host came zipping up with bundles of firewood for $5 USD. It was pretty handy, although you can plan ahead and pick up firewood bundles in the town of Newport.
The Beachside Campground does have a downside, it is close to the highway. I am a fairly light sleeper so the cars buzzing by on the highway did occasionally wake me up. As did the sunrise. In addition to being a light sleeper, I am also sensitive to light. These are some of the reasons I don’t camp often. Although getting up early does have it’s advantages. Like having the beach to yourself. The campground is only feet away from the ocean. The crashing waves can be heard from the campground, reminding you of how lucky you are to be camping at the ocean.
I took the dogs out to the beach and let them run along the shoreline. Boomer loves the ocean and enjoyed the freedom immensely, running in and out of the ocean. Jovi, for the most part, stuck nearby, like the good little dog that she is, occasionally chasing Boomer, because that’s also what she likes to do.
The Beachside State Recreation Site was by far my favorite beach of the beaches we visited throughout our stay in Oregon last year. The beach is wide open with very little debris or driftwood on the actual beach. This allowed for lots of space to roam on the white sandy beach. There is a day use fee for the park but if you camped it is included in your camping fee. Tents, RV and yurt sites are available at the Beachside Campground. There is also one dog-friendly yurt unit. Due to me making our arrangements so close to when we were camping I was not able to reserve a yurt, but I hope to try out a yurt in the future.
I think camping with the two dogs went fairly well. I mean how could it not when you are camping at such a rad place, like the ocean? This trip was also a good test for camping with the dogs. I love testing short trips or ideas out before I do them for longer trips. I used this travel testing tactic back in 2012 before Boomer and I took off for our first solo road trip to South Dakota. Our test trip was only three days long but it gave me the confidence to travel longer. It also gave me some insight on how to handle traveling with a dog. I am by no means an expert, as I learn something each time I travel with my dogs, but with every venture, I take away something important.
So with some lessons learned we are hoping later this summer to camp again. Boomer, Jovi and I will hopefully be camping a lot as we take a tour of Idaho, visiting all the state parks. It is an ambitious venture that I have planned for us. There are 28 of them!