I can’t remember how many times we have camped at our favorite camp, Jesse M. Honeyman State Park in Oregon. Sitting around the campfire this year, we tried to remember our history in the park. I know we stopped by the park in 1958, when Oldest Son was an infant, but we didn’t camp then. We returned with two small children in 1964, and again in the mid-70s with Youngest Son. Our first Three Generational trip to the park was in 1995, we think, when our first granddaughter was thirteen. Those were outstanding visits; we couldn’t remember the others.
This year there were eight of us, Oldest Son and his Grown Daughter and her Boyfriend; Youngest Son and his Wife and Two-year-old; my Husband and Me. (Youngest Son did not want names used to protect their privacy, so I’m doing this Asian style.) We set up four tents in two side-by-side camp sites, and used Oldest’s side as our cooking and socializing area, so Two-year-old could nap quietly. Her schedule determined all of our activities. We hiked up and ran down the dunes, some of us swam in the lakes, we cooked and ate and enjoyed the company. Oldest Son, Daughter and Boyfriend had an exhilarating ride over the dunes on a dune buggy. One night, when everyone else was asleep, Oldest Son walked out on the dunes to enjoy the full moon. (“Why didn’t you wake me?” I asked him.)
We had wonderful meals, “grillables” on two nights (steak, hot dogs, sausages); Mexican rice with black beans, warm tortillas, and guacamole; pasta with pesto and/or caponata. Lunches were cheeses, bologna, crackers, olives, tomatoes, cucumbers, and fruits. We had oranges, bananas, blueberries, Bing cherries, cantaloupe and watermelon, and two kinds of zucchini breads and two kinds of homemade cookies. Also nuts, chips and the makings of s’mores.
On our last day, we did something foolish, something we should have known better than to do. We packed up our food and left it on the table while we went to the dunes. When we came back, two squirrels were enjoying a bag of tortilla chips. The last six peanut butter cookies and the pistaccio nuts were gone, the open pack of Graham crackers and the marshmallows were ruined. We should have locked the food in a car.
It was a long drive from Seattle to Honeyman. The younger campers suggested that next year we find a camp closer to home, but the two sons didn’t agree. They have their own childhood memories of playing on the dunes, and they’re not about to give that up.