“D’you know what I just realized?”
“This is the first time I’ve gone camping as an adult, by myself, without my family.”
“Do you feel like a grown up?”
“Yes, I do. Feels good.”
My hero is right. It does feel good. We packed up the tent and ditched the city in search of the great Pacific Ocean. Actually, I wasn’t so much in it for the ocean ’cause I knew it would be cold, I was firstly looking forward to legitimate, soft sand.
We were up at 7am and gone by 10am. We made damn good time, too, except we missed an important highway turnoff that would’ve led us directly to Twin Harbors State Park. Instead we arrived at Long Beach which is maybe 50 miles south. In this way, we were able to work together to pinpoint exactly where we’d gotten off track and problem solve ourselves into a new plan. And that’s just what we did.
Our campsite wasn’t one of the deluxe ones with its own spigot, but it did feature a fire pit, picnic table and a nice clearing for a tent. The website for campground reservations is pretty accurate which made it easy to find the most secluded spot possible. We had our own little trail that led up to the woods and no one else to the right or left.
The beach was about a mile hike with a sweet trail that winds through trees, up a hill, down a hill and up again until the pathway clears, then there’s ocean and nothing but ocean for miles and miles.
I don’t think I’ll ever get over a cold beach. It just processes as an error in my mind. Living in Orlando, FL meant I could drive for 45 minutes and swim in the warm ocean if I had a headache. If you had that option, wouldn’t you say, F#ck Tylenol?! I know you would. I used to do it all the time. Here, the ocean is a commodity. You drive 3 or 4 (or 7 hours if you get lost like us) hours to arrive at a cold ass beach. Ouch Pacific. But Super Plaid ain’t no punks (and I didn’t bring a purple plaid bikini to leave it in a bag) so we went out in the chilly waters. It never got comfortable enough to go waist deep, but after a while my legs acclimated enough to find comfort.
My favorite beach pastime is just to walk out into it, towards a swell of sizable waves until the ocean tries to eject you out again and to just stand there until the water recedes and the sand escapes from underfoot. Sort of feels like you’ve fought something, and you’ve won and lost at the same time. It teaches my body something about picking battles, but I can’t really put a finger on it.
Back at base camp we built a fire and roasted some hot dogs over it. Wieners and white wine out of beer bottles.
Keepin classy, y’all.
We saved the s’mores for breakfast the next morning. The single best s’mores I’ve ever had, by the way. They were so good there was no time for photographs. They just didn’t last that long. It’s all in the chocolate. We used Chocolove’s Sea Salt & Almond Dark Chocolate. Do it. You need it. Right now.
After a quick jog on the beach with Honeybee we headed back to camp to pack it all up again. It takes a special man to make a lady feel like a princess in the forest.