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Sleeping in the Outdoors but Indoors...

Updated: Mar 23

During a year of basically zero travel, over Thanksgiving weekend, since we couldn't travel back to the Midwest to be with family, we made the 8-hour drive up to the southern Oregon coast to stay in a one-room "seaside shanty" on the ocean. We knew it was going to be rustic, but it wasn't until after we booked it that we discovered just how rustic it was: No electricity, no water, no plumbing, and no heat.

But the ocean. We did have the ocean. And the beach and the waves. Pretty much right out the front door.

And oh, was it damp and chilly, with daytime highs in the 40s and overnight lows were probably in the 20s and 30s. Although we both grew up in the Midwest, where humidity is a real thing throughout the summer, fall, and spring, we've lived in the dry Sierra high desert alpine climate for about 8 years now and we are definitely no longer acclimated to dampness -- and this trip proved it. To us, it was frigid to the bone. So, it's a really good thing that Jason thought to pack his cold-weather sleeping bags to keep us warm overnight.

Cooking meals was interesting. We only had the outdoor gas grill to work with, so we tried to plan meals accordingly, like a yummy oatmeal breakfast with honey, dried cranberries, cinnamon, and pecans by boiling water in a pot on the grill. Well, that process kind of took longer than we thought, and the honey basically froze, so we had to warm it up on the grill (which ended up melting and misshaping the container a little!), but we did manage to get our oatmeal made each of the mornings and it was hot and delicious. We also had turkey sandwiches and grilled brats. One of the evenings, we "broke down" and ordered takeout pizza from a local restaurant, because we just didn't feel like standing outside freezing while grilling more brats. But we ate the pizza in our (warm) vehicle while parked alongside a pretty Christmas light display at a museum depot. It was warmer than going back to the shanty to eat!

Overall, we had great weather and somehow landed there during a window of time without any rain. This allowed us to do a great deal of exploring around this beautiful coastal area. We started by walking along the beach that was right out our front door. The tide was low, so we found fun things like this "boulder" (I guess I'm more of a "mountain person" these days...) full of sea anemones and even a purplish starfish!

And we came across many jellyfish along the shore. I'm not sure if these ones that get "stuck" on land survive and go back out when the tide rises or if they are goners.

And the colors in the sky were amazingly pretty. We even caught a light rainbow over the ocean in this one!

But the beautiful oceanside was just the tip of the damp iceberg....


Here's a summary of photos and video clips from this weekend road trip:


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