They say Memorial Day is the unofficial start to summer…we’d add that it’s the unofficial start to summer camping trips, too!
We had a great time on our first summer camping trip with Azure over Memorial Day weekend. We met some friends down in California, at Humboldt Redwoods State Park. It was an amazing location! We stayed at the Burlington Campground, right in the middle of the giant Redwoods. The campground is smack dab on the Avenue of the Giants, a 31-mile portion of old Highway 101 that goes right through the Redwoods forest; it was spectacular!
The campground had great facilities: showers (which were key to a 5-night camping trip!), flush toilets (such luxury!), a Visitors Center with tons of amazing information and displays about the giant Redwoods, campfire programs each night, and bear boxes in every campsite. Although, I must say, when we first saw the bear boxes, we were a little unnerved, but it was great to have a secure spot for your food – or in our case, our garbage! (And, thankfully, we didn’t see any bears!) Our campsite was right on the road, so we were a little worried about traffic noise – but we didn’t see (or hear) too many cars passing by, so it ended up not being an issue.
Right across the road from the campground was a small, interpretative trail through the forest; we had fun hiking, looking up at the massive Redwoods, and hunting for banana slugs. Well, hunting isn’t really the right word because they were just out and about, pretty much all over! I think those banana slugs are feeding on whatever helps the Redwoods get so tall, considering how immense they were!
We hopped in our car and took a quick drive up to the Founder’s Grove Nature Loop Trail, which was amazing. So many downed trees, including the Dyerville Giant which was once the tallest tree in the world! And, for those Star Wars fans out there, it pretty much felt like we were going to stumble upon an Ewok at any moment…
Since we live in Portland, Oregon, it was a bit of a haul for us to get down to northern California, but the road trip was half the fun of the camping trip! We spent one night on the way down at Lake Selmac in Southern Oregon, a beautiful lake we’d never been to before. Our campsite was right on the lake; so peaceful!
Then, on our way home, we drove up the Oregon Coast on Highway 101 and stopped for the night in Bandon, OR; on our last day, we headed east along Highway 38…a beautiful stretch of Oregon highway neither of us had ever been on before! Rolling green hills, peaceful rivers and lots more campgrounds that we need to explore!
All in all, it was a successful first camping trip of the season, and I don’t think we would have had nearly as much fun (or comfort!) had we been using our old tent and air mattress. The memory foam mattress in Azure was super comfy for our 5 night trip, and it was so great being able to just pull up and unhook, then open the hatch, grab a drink, shake out our camp chairs and relax!
Here’s to many more summer camping adventures!
-Jeff + Jess