Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Day 1 - Sunday, Sept.16 - Astoria/Gnat Creek

We are finally home! I miss the road, the camping, and the experiencing SO much. It was incredibly hard to come home.

My day to day life doesn't feel too stable these days and I think somehow being on the road and just living by moment to moment decisions felt comfortable. I think what we are all reminded of on vacation is that our daily lives are simply too busy, and much of it not particularly productive. Now that I am home I am finding myself motivated to make some small changes.

Blogging on the road turned out not to be really an option, but I tried to get a lot of good photos and take notes for myself so that I can journal it all after the fact.

Here we go...

Day One

Finally Sunday late morning I felt ready to go. Nim was totally underwhelmed by my car packing skills:

I have this theory that it is my use of brown paper bags and general messiness that make the car look like it wasn't worth breaking into.

We went 1-5 south, picked up Hwy 4 around Kelso and finally were crossing the Lewis and Clark Bridge into Oregon:

On our way into Astoria I realized I had been driving a few hours straight and that Nim was totally driving me nuts. He hadn't really had a hike on Saturday, he had the drama of moving the cats, and then Sunday morning was spent staying out of my way while I packed the car.

So we stopped at the Gnat Creek Hatchery. Totally unscheduled, I knew nothing about it. It was also about 3pm and Nim hadn't eaten since the morning (very quickly into the hike I realized that his hunger was making him a little beast). 

I asked a very nice man about the hiking trails around the area and he said about 1/2 mile or so. So I left almost everything in the car (including extra water) and set out.

And the man was right, it is about 1/2 mile or so to the cute little falls and flat rock area.

Then we ran into this sign and of course I wanted to know where this trail went:

Basically this trail went on and ON. Clearly a ton of mountain bike use and most of the time the trail is looking down on a ravine. I later found a mountain bike site about the trail and lets just say it goes a lot longer than 1/2 mile.

It is a beautiful area and I terribly unprepared (including hiking in jeans which if you sweat like I to is pure misery). Nim managed to injure himself on the way back (enough to make me panic that our trip was already over) but it was more of a "poke" to the nerve injury and the leg never bothered him again.

There was water for him along the trail (although not food and he likes to make EVERYONE suffer when he is hungry), I was definitely thirsty when I returned and we were both starving. Unfortunately for both of us he then had a wait at least an hour for his first meal due to my OCD regarding bloat and torsion.

Astoria is really beautiful and I considered just stopping there for the night but I wanted to get a little farther. We did get out on this little view point on the Columbia river. You can tell it is already sunset. 

Nim was pretty tired from our Gnat Creek adventure and didn't love the stairs up to this overlook.

Ultimately we would make it to Cannon Beach Sunday night for our first tent experience. Probably not the best planning considering I had to set up a tent in the dark and Cannon Beach is a bit upper-scale tourism, but it would end up making for a beautiful Monday morning...


  1. I can't wait to see more of your adventure. One our best family vacations was at Cannon Beach sometime in the mid-1970's (okay that dates me). I'm sure it has changed a bit since then except that Haystack rock is probably where it has always been.

    Thanks for your kind words on Nina's passing.


    1. :) The haystack rock is definitely still there. :) I would say it has been about 15 years since I have been to the Cannon Beach area and it seems even different to me. It is definitely beautiful though.

      Absolutely on Nina. I think because I am still in the young dog stage I really reflect a lot on the senior dogs I know who have recently passed. It reminds me that they just don't live long enough.