Whelp, I have officially completed my first multi night, multi site solo camping trip. It was pretty uneventful to say the least. I had my first cold in over a year and a half so I basically turned the Airstream into my own personal quarantine capsule. What my body needed was rest, so that’s what I gave it!Despite my illness induced laziness, I did learn a couple of valuable lessons during this time spent alone:
- If your neighbors offer to help you back into your site while you’re camping solo, let them!
The first night I spent on my own, I made my way to the Oregon Coast and spent the night at Nehalem State Park. It was my first time ever having to back the trailer into a spot and I was nervous. What made things worse was that I was by myself. Well, I had Paisley there but I can guarantee you she was not up to the task of helping me drive roughly 14,000 lbs backwards.
My nerves were not quelled by the fact that there was also someone in a truck behind me waiting for me to perfectly execute this back-in on the first attempt so they could get by. To say I had performance anxiety would be an understatement! I ran back to them and apologized, hands still shaking from the adrenaline of trying to back my house in between the two trees that flanked either side of the space.
The neighbors across the way, a friendly Canadian couple, asked if I was by myself and offered to help. I gratefully accepted their offer and drove around the loop to allow the patient people behind me to go on their way and to reset my brain for attempt number two.
In spite of the fact that my new Canadian friend had to literally tell me which way to turn the wheel, I felt pretty accomplished to have perfectly executed every direction he had given me. We were home for the evening!
- If there is no one around to help you back into your site, it’s OK! If anything, there’s less pressure on you to get it right the first time!
This is exactly what happened to me at Memaloose State Park, the second place I stayed on my solo adventure, and you know what? I nailed it on my first try! Yeah, it was a little crooked and it took me about 15 minutes of maneuvering to finally say “I’m done!” but hey, I did it, ALL BY MYSELF. Boomcakes.
- While towing a trailer, don’t always trust an alternate route offered by your navigation system.
I made the mistake of choosing the “shorter” route offered due to a 12 minute slow down and wound up being taken through a very hilly residential area of Portland followed by part of the downtown area only to get stuck in more traffic, all to save 12 minutes! After all was said and done, I got in much later than I would have had I just stuck with the original plan.
Though I was experiencing chest cold from hell, I’d still say my first trip sans Duke was a tremendous success. I had a great day wasting time in the Tolovana Beach park, getting my tan on, taking some pictures and sticking my feet in the Pacific Ocean followed by a night spent on a sand spit which is Nehalem State Park. The next day, I headed back east and spent a couple of nights in the Columbia River gorge which is a totally different kind of beautiful! I give Oregon a 10/10 on the badassery scale. There’s a lot to do there and I feel like I barely scratched the surface. Can’t wait to be back, hopefully with the Duke in tow.
Now, we are off to Canada until September!
I’ll be spending a fair bit of this adventure alone and for much longer spans of time so I’m sure I’ll have many more lessons to share down the road… literally.