I spent a great many years living on the “West Coast” of British Columbia and loved it, despite the rain. The question became, after more than twenty years of living away from the coast, might I still like it? Might it be that elusive place in the world that cries “HOME” that we have been searching for?
That question stimulated us to actively seek a camp-hosting position on the Oregon Coast, a favorite holiday destination of our younger years. Recalling those long beach walks, rain/shine/or both, the joy of finding beach glass, of laughing at the antics of the sandpipers as they ‘ebbed’ and ‘flowed’ with the incoming waves, of sitting silently watching as the creatures of the tidal pools ventured out, of the sun on my face, wind in my hair, had us longing for more of the same. Lucky for us, William Tugman State Park needed “Meet and Greet Hosts” for the months of April and May.
What a beautiful place to spend two months. W. Tugman Campground is in the southern part of the state between Reedsport on the north and Coos Bay on the south. The campground lies on the shores of beautiful Eel Lake. Even the three weeks of constant rain in April was made worthwhile by the views and reflections of Eel Lake in the misty rain, the calls of the Canada geese looking for and finding the perfect place to raise their young, salamanders swimming near the surface of the lake and finally, the sun, breaking through the clouds, highlighting the lakes details. Morning, noon, night; rain or shine, we appreciated being on the shores of Eel Lake.
With the coming of the sun we “fair weather kayakers” turned once again to the pursuit of kayaking. We had to time it just right since the sun usually didn’t break through the clouds until around 10 am and around noon, the wind would start to blow, creating white caps out on the lake. (Although….the wind did start Mikal to wondering what it would be like to “sail” in the kayaks and to order us each a sail.)
Our “hosting” duties required that we be present and available to help campers with a variety of requests, including selling firewood, yurts, bike helmets and making sure the kids wore them (required by law are in Oregon), eradicating bees nests from electrical posts, dealing with overly loud campers after 10pm at night, cleaning up after the fire department had to put out a fire in the day use area resulting from partiers dumping the rest of their hot coals and trash in the garbage can after they finished BBQ-ing, sweeping up bat guano from the floor, counters, and sink in the gazebo, litter-picking, cleaning fire pits and locking up the trash compacter (only after making sure no-one was inside it collecting cans or other such treasures….yes, it did happen). There was even an Easter Egg hunt including an Easter Bunny who arrived on the front of the local fire engine. Never a dull moment in the life of a camp host!