We slowly continued south on the washboard Burr Trail. I call it Zen driving when life forces restrict my speed. Fighting the forces is useless, so I tell myself to appreciate the details one can see and experience at a slow speed. It was a slow jarring drive.
My mind today kept returning to the message written on my mirror: “Objects in mirror are closer than they appear.” I twisted the phrase in my mind: “Drive times are longer than they appear on maps.” I had estimated about 3 hours of driving today and I was so very wrong. The day began with my assumption that the east section of the Green River Cutoff Road by The Wedge would be similar to the west section. What a bad assumption. The road got narrow and windy, not like the west section gravel freeway. It was so unlike what I expected that I pulled out my GPS to make sure we were on the correct road and hadn’t made a wrong turn. Onward, we slowly went. Up and down and twisting through canyons on a single lane road at times, not encountering another sole. I was so focused on driving, that below is the only photo I took along the way.
The trip to The Wedge had involved many miles of driving for me, an air flight for my friend that joined me in Salt Lake City and then more miles driving. Then there was the chores of grocery shopping, buying items forgotten, and filling the trailer water tank in Huntington. When we reached The Wedge the land cried out for us to slow down. It held on to us. We found our campsite and settled in for two nights.
After picking up my friend at the Salt Lake City airport we headed south. The Scofield Campground was a functional stop for the night. We ate dinner, slept, drank coffee and left.
- The Scofield campground is located north of Price, Utah and west of Highway 6 about 15 miles.
- The campground wasn’t appealing to me, but it was functional.
- I didn’t see any showers.
- We were the only ones at the campground.
Loving my trip to Utah in 2014, I decided to head back to see more of the incredible sights. In plotting my path to Utah I identified a campground at the Curlew National Grasslands by Snowville, Utah that seemed like a good location to spend a night. It turned out the stop was better than good, it was wonderful. The summer’s campground host and I (plus three dogs) were the only ones there that night enjoying the open view and wildlife. Big open sky in a quite area. The simple campground is a green oasis on Stone Reservoir surrounded by 360 degrees of long views which put a smile on the face of this western Washington city girl.
Those that have read my blog posts on camping sites know that I do not frequent established campgrounds. But life is full of unanticipated twists and turns. I found myself wanting a simple January vacation this year. A vacation where I didn’t have to make a lot of decisions like where to camp, where to find food, and what to do each day. So I decided to volunteer where I would have limited decisions to make. For the month of January I was a docent at the Heceta Head lighthouse. In exchange for volunteering as a docent I received free camping in the Carl Washburne campground with all hookups. The first time I have “camped” with complete hookups. Kind of glamping not camping.
Today I leave the beach and the life of a lighthouse docent and go home to my alternate reality of being an engineer. I leave behind a life scheduled by the tide table and the
lighthouse. A life where I had started to memorize the curves in the road and know which beach access is good at which tide. A life where I knew enough to chat with the locals about fossils and agates, and where to shop in town. And a life were I learned how to pronounce Yachats, Heceta, Umpqua, Yaquina, and Fresnel. Living here has been comfortable and simple. I’ve enjoyed it.
But challenges and adventures are the spice of life. It is time to move on.
Today was my last day of being a lighthouse docent. The weather gave me a grand farewell, it was the best weather I have had at the lighthouse during my stay. But my time here had come to an end so I hang up my vest and hat.
I don’t think my month being a docent at Heceta Head and living at the Carl Washburne campground could have been any better than it was. Everyone – the fellow docents, the campground hosts, the park ranger Debbie and park staff were enjoyable and pleasant to be with. And the public appreciated our effort to provide them tours.
Thank you everyone for making my month enjoyable and meaningful.
My hat is off and paws up to praise the Oregon State Parks. The state knows how to show off their fabulous beach to the visitor. The parks are clean, the restrooms have toilet paper, there are lots of restrooms along the coast, dogs can run off leash on the beaches, there are lots of beach accesses, and they have a great volunteer program. What a list.
I celebrate Oregon State Park’s approach to dogs. They choose to focus on managing dogs and dog owner’s behavior instead of restricting dogs. Dogs poop bags and waste containers are everywhere; at way side stops, at parks, at trail heads. Park your car and you see poop bags and a waste container. And dogs are everywhere with most people at the campground having brought a dog with them. It all seems to work. I see very little poop not picked up and I’ve only seen one dog not leashed when it should have been. The results are happy people and happy dogs.
I’ve started to reflect about my time here at Heceta, knowing that the days are numbered until I leave on Saturday. My last full day of exploring and playing was today. Thursday and Friday I will work at the lighthouse and then I’m gone. Today I stopped at beaches that I hadn’t visited before, looking for agates and letting the dogs run and play. A nice relaxing day.