West Coast Diaries – Part Twelve: Florence, Oregon

May 25. We arrived in Florence, at the Honeyman State Park campground. Man, this place is awesome. HUGE dunes everywhere – like absolute mountains of sand. It’s amazing. Plus ATVs screaming around, HOMO SAPIENS EVERYWHERE! I’ve never seen a campground so full. All the hookup sites were taken.

We set up camp and had some lunch. Then me and Dad took the dogs out for a walk. To avoid Pearl screaming and barking at every homo sapien in sight, we took the little sandy woodsy trail behind our campsite, which wound through the woods and emptied out in a sand dune. From this sand dune, we could see a GIANT sand dune a little further off in the distance. I pointed and turned to Dad and said, “Let’s go up there!” And we did.

The climb was so tiring. We had to cut through the forest via a little trail which was obviously blazed by small children, tunneling 3 feet high under trees and shrubs and things. Dad had to carry Pearl, she was eating the sand and stumbling around. And Rocket was just kind of smiling like a drunken fool. After the forest trail, the dune was straight up, a 75 degree angle, at least. It was insane! I was practically on my hands and knees, crawling up the thing. It was pretty intense and fun at the same time. When we reached the top, the view was incredible! You could see for miles and miles, out to the sparkly ocean. It was so pretty.

We drove down to the ocean, were we ran around on the beach until it started to rain. The beaches are different there – very wide with lots of sand and high dunes.

May 26. I woke up at three o’clock in the morning, because Pearl was sick. We ended up having to take her to a nearby vet only to learn that she’d eaten too much sand (by total accident, sorry dog!) but thankfully she recovered quickly.

After that entire ordeal, we headed out to the little town of Florence to poke around. We went in some shops and bought some lovely things. Then we headed back home to check on Pearl. She was doing fine, which I was super super glad of. Me and Dad took off on our bikes and took a short ride, then we decided to take Katie for a hike up the giant dune. She took her skimboard along, because we thought it might work for sandboarding or something. But it didn’t. Much too heavy. It was fun, hiking up there again.

And I got an idea while we were up there – would an inflatable tube, like a pool toy work to slide down the dunes on? It seemed very possible. So I convinced Dad to drive us into town and to the store, where we found pool toys. They were seriously small – but hey! Worth a try.

And we did try them, quite bravely. Dad blew up our miniature inflatable pool toys and we trekked off into the woods with them. At the first shallow sand dune we walked past a ranger dude who was cleaning up the fire of someone who wasn’t supposed to do that there. We probably looked like crazy children – hiking off into the dunes with our two little pool toys. Running through the hobbit forest trail with our mini inflatables. Clawing up through the sand to get to the very top—

We did try it. But alas, it was an EPIC FAIL. We just kind of sat there, on the edge of a steep slope on the top of the giant mountain of sand, planted on our miniature neon pool toys – not sliding anywhere, but simply looking like idiots.

I turned to Dad and said in my most obvious of voices, “Whelp. This isn’t working.”

“No, it’s not.” He stood up, and we deflated the pool toys and hid them in Dad’s pockets, so we didn’t have to carry them back through the trail – “Lest we look like fools a second time.” as Dad wisely put it.

After this, me and Katie and Dad all went for a little bike ride down to the end of the park and back. At the end, there’s this little pull-off thing where some cars were parked so we stopped there to take a few pictures. There was a woman standing at the water’s edge a few yards away, playing a Native American song on a pan flute. IT WAS SO AWESOME.

We peddled back to the campsite and Dad made flatbread pizzas over the campfire and Mom made salads and we all had a lovely time. Oh and Dad made the fire super smoky in the sunlight so I could take epic pictures. He’s awesome.  




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