Routine has finally settled in, but in the oddest way. We have the set-up and tear-down of the van, meal prep, daily hygiene and such all squared away. We have our specific roles and the kids have pretty much learned where to hide out to stay out of the way in such confined spaces.
However, instead of heading off to work or sending the kids off to school, we spend the rest of each day in the most non-routine ways. Whether hiking to a random overlook or making up a “free campsite”, the trip continues to be an adventure.
The last few days have been some of the best, with a spontaneous stop at a garlic fest, a tour of the Tillamook cheese plant, and a beach BBQ (with an overnighter right on the sand).
Today’s unexpected memory of a lifetime was the Devil’s Churn, a day use area that isn’t marked on the map and is settled very inauspiciously on the side of the 101 on the Oregon coast.
We originally passed the stop, but eager to stretch our legs after some farmer’s market lunch fare in Yachats, we turned back and were rewarded with a serious highlight of the entire trip.
A short hike down some steep switchbacks led to enormous waves crashing into an increasingly narrow lava rock inlet that led back to a cave, causing a loud, reverberating roar as the waves crashed in and out.
While this was incredible in and of itself, the memories were cemented when we ventured out toward the mouth of the inlet where the occasional large crests would smash against the rocks and shower down into the tide pools.
Having been hiking around the rocks for at least 30 minutes, we were fairly certain we were a safe distance from the water, but the ocean thought otherwise…
Soaked to the bone on a pretty chilly Oregon day, the kids first screamed and then laughed with delight, begging the sea to send in another giant “sneaker” wave (the sign had warned us of these mischievous soakers on the way down).
Best day ever.