Ecola State Park is a Gnome Sanctuary
Trip Start Jul 13, 2013
24Trip End Aug 05, 2013
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And that's really all you have to do to keep a three year-old engaged on an otherwise grizzle-inducing hike.
Tillamook Cheese Factory was rejected late last night as it's an hour away and, well, a cheese factory. I have no doubt that it is an impressive place and that the finer details of cheese production are riveting but...it's a cheese factory.
We had a light breakfast at the campsite this morning and set out in the finest mist-rain to Ecola State Park. It's about 20 minutes from our campsite.
We initially walked down to Indian Beach to look for tidal pools and to watch the surfers
Mel introduced the idea of gnomes early on and surreptitiously threw stones into the woods to keep Henry busy. We developed quite a little back story for these gnomes as the hike went on and on and on.
The Park is gorgeous and the paths are very well maintained. I never get tired of the old growth trees covered in dripping moss and the paths lined with ferns, a fine mist gathering at the tree tops. It is, as Henry put it, very mysterious.
The hike to the top was a mile and a quarter and was a steep ascent the whole way. Mel had Penny strapped to her chest and I had Henry on my shoulders. We're no slouches when it comes to walking but this was a taxing climb.
Both our shirts were soaked through two-thirds of the way to the top and our legs were turning to jelly.
When we hit flat ground and turned the last corner we saw the lighthouse
We headed back down and saw a little wildlife: a rabbit, a slug and a wasp's nest.
It all counts when you're on holiday.
By this stage of the hike, gnomes had, for whatever reason, taken on a terrifying quality and Henry wouldn't come down off of my shoulders for anything. I had to avoid gnome holes at all costs while ensuring that I didn't stray too close to the path's edge.
The end of the trail was cause for a celebratory luncheon. We had hiked for two hours with our respective burdens and had generated a mean appetite.
Back to the Pig'n Pancake for a round of Mr. Pig's Burgers and orders of crepes and blueberry pancakes
It's beer o'clock now. Tonight we are planning on a proper search for tidal pools (I shan't rest) down at Haystock Rock. The tide goes out at 4:42pm so we'll try after dinner.
Nap time went late as the usual suspect mucked about in bed. When I finally went to wake him he had raided the diaper caddy and put five pull-ups on.
We decided to split up for the first part of the evening. I would take Henry down to Haystack Rock and look for tidal pools while Mel would tend to Penny's needs.
I badly misremembered the location of Haystack and I plodded through loose sand, tidal streams and more sand for half an hour before we got to the tidal pools. By this time the tides were beginning to creep back in so we made it a quick visit
Henry saw two starfish, a few little fish, barnacles (not very exciting) and an orange shell that he decided was Nemo.
Good enough, right? No. We needed to find Nemo's Dad.
That didn't happen and we really needed to leave for safety's sake. I negotiated bringing back a bag of sand to our campsite in exchange for no tantrum. Seemed reasonable at the time except the bag was bloody heavy and I already had my impossibly lazy son on my shoulders.
By the time I got to the trailer I was yet again soaked in sweat and bagged.
We had a late dinner shortly after at Ecola Seafoods Restaurant and Market. I had Fish'n Chips (Pacific Cod) while Mel opted for the Crab Cakes. We both gave it a 3.5/5. It was tasty but improvements were identifiable.
And now we're absolutely knackered. Something tomorrow. Sleeping in, definitely.
Oh yeah, new beer: Dead Guy Ale, Newport - 'Rogue' (percentage unknown as I burnt the box).
Unremarkable at first blush. More research required...
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