On camping in late July in the Pacific Northwest: A Haiku

By Julianne Dalcanton | July 22, 2007 5:05 pm

Sixty-one degrees
In soaking rains, kids playing
jumprope with bull kelp


  • Bruce

    I am SO jealous; we’ve wanted to stay at Sook Harbor ever since we heard about it.
    The Pacific Northwest kicks ass for beauty in all its forms.

  • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/cosmicvariance/julianne Julianne

    We were down at Cape Dissapointment (which sounds like a terrible place for a trip), at the mouth of the Columbia River. Huge beaches, rocky promintories, Lewis & Clarke reenactors, and a new Maya Lin piece. However, unlike the usual northwest summer drought, it poured for three days straight. The kids did not care in the least, and ran around in a rain-soaked Lord-of-the-Flies-influenced pack. The adults had enough brandy and tequila that they didn’t care much either.

  • http://www.globalspynetwork.com Scott

    Speaking (or writing in this case) as a recently-transplanted Oregonian now living in Charlotte NC, I’m extremely jealous. I’ve spend many a day camping in the coastal range and on the coast, and there’s just nothing like it anywhere.

    In 6th grade, we had”Outdoor School,” where the whole class went to a camp somewhere in the coastal range for a week. We learned basic survival skills, how to estimate board feet of lumber in a tree, what plant to use for toilet paper, and orienteering. It rained the whole week (early May, as I recall) and was full of 6th-grade angst.

    Still, it was one of the best experiences of my childhood. That’s a big reason why I continued to camp out that way after I “grew up.”

    As for the bull kelp: my dad and a friend played french horn in an orchestra and used the kelp for horns one time. They cut the kelp to the right length and played it as a natural (no valves) horn. Sounded pretty good, but smelled bad.

    So yeah, the Charlotte has NASCAR but I miss nature.

  • Richard

    If you haven’t been there yet, try the Olympic National Park. It has almost everything: mountains with glaciers, rain forest, beautiful lakes, rivers and water falls, and 40-50 miles of wilderness beach on the ocean. I haven’t been there for many years, and still have very vivid memories.

  • tyler

    Scott, I feel for ya. I was born in NC and now live in Oregon. The Blue Ridge is beautiful, but nothing compares to the Cascadian wilderness, and if I ever have to move away I will be very, very sad. Rainy weeks in July are atypical but not unheard of, sorry you got unlucky.

    Even in the rain, though, you can keep an eye out for the magnificent, endangered Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus.

  • Elliot

    third week in july
    prairie flowers in full bloom
    fresh smell has faded


  • http://www.kaleberg.com Kaleberg

    I’ll second Olympic National Park. It does have everything. We retired out here and live minutes from the park. If you want to get some ideas for your next trip, check out our http://www.kaleberg.com website.


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