Last night we did some research to find out when low tide would be on the Oregon Coast. We wanted to see some tidal pools at the beach as Charlie and I remember being able to see cool starfish and sea urchins and such in the tidal pools. All the recommendations we found were to make sure we get there an hour or two before low tide so as to have plenty of time to explore before the tide started coming back in. Our research showed that low tide would be around lunch time, so we got everyone up nice and early for our drive to the coast. They were all so excited because we were going to the beach. We kept reminding them that this beach was going to be different than what they were used to. It rained off and on during our drive, but we were going anyway.
We drove to Ecola State Park on the Oregon coast, just a little south of Astoria. We had decided not to bring any bathing suits because we were all just going to be wading around. Of course, I didn’t bring a change of clothes for everyone either. Will I ever learn? The one thing we did do right was that everyone brought their sandals that were able to go in the water. Those were great for climbing around on the rocks. When we first got there, it was quite chilly, rainy, and overcast. After a while, it began clearing up some. Despite the wet clothes, everyone had a great time. I don’t think anyone wanted to leave, except maybe Ryon who can’t quit talking about how he wants more food. We all really enjoyed climbing over the rocks to get to more tidal pools and seeing what wildlife we could find. We didn’t find any sea urchins, but we did find starfish and sea anemones as well as some beautiful shells and small sand crabs. The kids loved playing in the water. We never let AnaClaire out of her backpack, so she missed out, poor thing. I just didn’t want her getting cold. The things you miss out on as a baby…
After our wonderful time at Ecola State Park, we decided to hit some outlets that we had passed on the way in. I had been wishing that we packed another pair of pants for everyone, so we bought pants for several of the younger kids. As we were leaving the outlets, Charlie saw a Claire’s store and decided to stop. We had told Alex for her birthday a month ago that she could get her ears pierced, so I took her in to mark it off our list. She did fantastic! She was a real trooper. I believe she now feels like quite the young lady. Charlie even decided to come in to witness it – he is struggling with his first girl getting older, but he is doing a marvelous job!
After the outlets, we went over to Fort Clatsop. This was where Lewis and Clark spent the winter after reaching the mouth of the Columbia River at the Pacific Ocean. They built a small fort there, which is no longer in existence. However, a replica has been made from the detailed journals that were kept by members of the Corps of Discovery. I am a real fan of the Lewis and Clark expedition, so this was fascinating to me. If anyone is interested in a good book on the subject, I read Undaunted Courage by Stephen Ambrose a couple years ago and loved it. Annette, Isaac, and Amelia once again did the Jr. Ranger program and received their badges. Everyone enjoyed the movie and the museum. Some of the littles were even able to dress up as members of the Corps of Discovery. As we were leaving, we visited a little with another large family from Vancouver, WA, who were expecting their 11th child. It is always nice to visit with people who have a lot of the same experiences in life as you do.
We finally headed back to the campground, about a two hour drive from the coast. The kids are now making comments like, “A two hour drive? That’s nothing.” God blessed us with another wonderful day together. The kids and I are really enjoying having Charlie around for our entire day. I think he is too. He certainly hasn’t made any comments about being ready to go back to work. If only we could find a way to do this for a living…