This is my absolute favorite time of year at Fort Steilacoom Park. There are a few leaves starting to change color, it’s sunny, but cooling off in the early evenings, and the smell of rotten fruit is in the air.
It may sound gross, rotten anything is kinda gross….but, I really love it. There are tons of blackberries all through the park, and everywhere you run, walk, or bike you can smell the sweet scent of overripe blackberries in the air.
On one of our last bike rides we rode past the wild/abandoned orchard and Sky really wanted to stop and pick apples…she’s been asking all summer to pick apples, so we promised her a fruit picking trip to the park. A few days ago we grabbed some gloves (very helpful to keep hands stain free while picking blackberries), bags, and some grabby things that reach high, or low, for things and off we went to get some fruit.
We had so much fun picking fruit and climbing trees! I filled a large yogurt container with blackberries and they have been so good in my morning smoothie! Mark and Sky wondered down to the orchard and picked bags and bags of apples, and Mark found a plumb tree! The orchard is untended and very wild, but the fruit is good, and it’s free!
Sky and I made applesauce this afternoon and while a bit runny it’s really good! What a fun way to start winding down summer! I plan on squeezing in more park time to enjoy the scent and maybe eat a few more blackberries before they are gone!
We finally did it…we broke in (literally in some instances) our new camp trailer! The trailer has been sitting in our driveway since purchasing it back in Dec, and it’s been driving us crazy not hitting a campground with it for 5 months!
Spring Break 2018 was the perfect opportunity to get a nice long road trip/camping trip in the trailer. We did our research (thank you NW Magazine for the destination idea) and booked a 6 night stay at Sunset Bay State Park near Coos Bay Or.
First off let me say we had an amazing trip! The beaches were wonderful, some of the best tide pool exploring ever, sea lions and seals galore, beach combing treasures found, sweet little towns to explore, sand dune adventures, and really good sea food. The weather was pretty great given it’s early spring on the coast. The temps were very comfortable, even on the drizzly or rainy days, it still felt pretty good out. Perhaps the best part was having very limited cell phone service. I loved having uninterrupted time with my two loves. And, I got so much reading done! So much so that the battery on my (borrowed) e-reader died every day (for my birthday Mark and Sky got me a brand new Paperwhite Kindle as my old one died on me. I had been borrowing Marks Kindle, but really did love it that much as it had a lot more bells and whistles, was heavier and the battery didn’t last more than a day…paperwhite charges last weeks!).
Anyway, all in all we had a truly lovely Spring Break, and none of us really wanted to head back to “real” life. But, remember when I said we broke in the trailer…the trip did have it’s share of “what the what is going on”!
The morning we were supposed to hit the road it appeared the refrigerator (full of camping meals) was not working. Great way to start the trip, not. So we delay leaving until the dealership opened and headed there to see if there was anything they could do. Turns out the refrigerator was working…the display panel wasn’t displaying because the trailer batteries were dead (they charge while driving). We were plugged into power at home, so I still don’t understand this issue at all, but the actual refrigerator was working the whole time. Just a nice little 2 hour delay on what was already going to be a long day of travel. And, yes we could have just used coolers, and were prepared to do so if needed, but we wanted to use the refrigerator in our brand new trailer for a 7 day trip.
Next on the hit list, after a day of eating out for lunch and dinner, and lots of treats in between, Sky threw up all over the dinning benches. Just too much good stuff in too short a time, but man did it stink up the place. We had to pull the covers off all the cushions in the dinette and find a dry cleaner the next morning. No way did we want to risk that smell settling into the covers. Thankfully there was a dry cleaner that could clean the covers and have them done for us the morning we left to come home.
After that the dog decided to chew on a corner of the slide out and messed up the upholstery on one corner (she also chewed part of the wood framing around the seats back when we ate dinner in the trailer a few months ago). I guess Ruthie is just making it her own.
By day 3 I wanted to take a shower, only to discover there is no hot water in the shower. There was scalding hot water in the bathroom sink, and warm water in the kitchen, but cold, cold, cold in the shower. I was already ready to jump in the shower, and didn’t have quarters, so opted to take a cold shower rather than use the campground showers. Turns out Or. State Parks don’t require quarters…would have been nice to know that before I tried shaving my legs in stone cold water. Whatever, it woke me up! We later found out from a fellow camper who owns the same trailer brand that there is an anti-scald setting for the shower that needs to be bypassed. He had the instructions how to do it, so we can totally fix that thankfully.
Perhaps the most frustrating, and expensive, thing that happened was the DVD player broke. I’m not going to get into the how or why so as to protect the innocent who may read through this blog when they are older, but it’s an all in one unit that controls the sound for the entire trailer, and will now have to be replaced. There are a few other “little” things that need to be fixed after our trip some due to the trip (6 yr olds and dogs are hard on trailers!) and others due to things that were not working from the start and will be fixed by the dealership.
Like I said though, we had a blast exploring that area of the OR Coast, we love our new trailer, Ruthie is an excellent camping/exploring dog, and we can’t wait for more camping adventures for Team Yeatman!
Today I’m thankful that we live close to a park that offers us miles and miles of bike riding. I love any activity that the three of us can do together like running (not so much now, but I loved our family runs when Sky was younger), yoga, hiking, biking.
Living down the street from the park makes it pretty easy to head down there right after work and get some good bike time in.
I try to get pictures and videos of our rides…Sky loves watching herself ride her bike in the videos. It’s like she’s amazed she’s able to do it. It’s not easy though. I’m not the most confident one-handed rider, and I for sure don’t want to drop my phone, it cost more than my bike! But, I want those memories documented. One of us needs a Go Pro for the handlebars or something!
Anyway, I’m thankful to have this time with my two favorite people, and see Sky practice and practice at something and get so excited when she takes off on her own, or doesn’t fall over when she stops. She’s setting mileage goals for our rides and is up to 6.5 miles now! Go go girl!
This summer is going down as the summer of family bike rides! Sky has gotten so much better on her bike and is taking on longer more challenging rides every time we go out.
It’s sort of crazy to me that she’s on a bmx bike with no gears yet is riding right there along with Mark and I like a champ.
The other night at the park she made it up the steepest, paved, hill the park has. She had to work for it (way harder work than it was for Mark and I with our gears) but she was determined and she made it!
So proud of her! I’m seriously loving our family bike rides. I’m already trying to figure out our schedule once school starts so we can fit in homework, dance, swimming, and bike rides. Wow…that makes me tired just typing it. But, we will make it happen!
Today I’m thankful for Team Yeatman vacation time. We tend to do a lot of trips and long weekends with friends and family, which we love. But, I’m always thankful when the three of us go on vacation and enjoy ourselves, and enjoy each other. (Not that I’m thankful we don’t have our friends/family with us, just thankful that if they can’t be with us we are ok just being the three of us…although all we heard from Sky all week was how much fun she was going to have with her cousins during the second part of our trip…which I’m fine with because they are pretty awesome, and she only sees them every few years).
I want us to be each others best company, and even though I know we need breaks from each other, it feels good to spend a solid week just the three of us, and enjoy it!
I’ll share more vacation stuff once all the photos are edited etc…Mark has a ton of great photos that I want to share as well!