So on Saturday night we decided that Sunday we were going to go somewhere awesome. Wallowa Lake. Beautiful, serene, and everything I want out of a camping experience. We decided to play our little spontatneous vacation safe and call ahead. No vacancies. OK, so we went to Hat Rock. For those that don’t know… it’s basically the opposite of Wallowa Lake. Opposite.
It’s desert land. But, the Columbia River isn’t too far, and there were spots open. Plus, hey it’s only 45 minutes away. We loaded up our stuff and threw the dogs in the truck right after church on Sunday. The campsite wasn’t bad. It wasn’t natural trees, but planted shrubs, and we could literally respond to the campers 10 ft away from us if we wanted in on the apparent drama they had going, but hey, we were camping!
So on Monday morning, Memorial Day, we decided to walk the ‘trail’ that a fellow camper had told us led to the beach on the Columbia. Little did we know how long that ‘trail’ aka gravel path through the desert was going to take to get to the beach.
Let me just say, that when you think you’re going on a walk to the beach that isn’t far, you don’t bother bringing tons of water, sun block, etc. It’s just a quick walk with the dogs so they can poo.
The ‘trail’ was essentially 3 miles through the desert sun, one way. I was complaining for about the last 1/2 of it. My little doggy was thirsty, but too stupid to drink from any rock that I deemed ‘bowl shaped’. So he trudged, while sometimes wheezing 😦 the whole way without water. Our other dog was willing to entertain my rock-bowl and drank. I had about 10 oz of water to get all 4 of us there, all of which we consumed, assuming that there would be a bathroom or something to get water when we got there.
No such luck.
When we did get to the beach there were bathrooms that looked nice on the outside, but were porta-pottys on the inside. No water.
The dogs drank from the river and had some fun running around.
We bummed some water off of some other people that were more prepared than we were. Thank God for generous people.
I said I did NOT want to walk down that sandy gravel path on the way back, so we decided to take the road. We didn’t know that the road just led straight to the 60 mph highway. So, we didn’t want to turn back, just to take the path, and so we walked the highway. Yes, with our dogs. Yes, on the small shoulder.
Yes, we actually saw a dead skull and bones along the way. (Presumably coyote, but I was quite certain it was a sign that I’d never make it home alive.)
Miles and miles (ok, maybe 2) along the highway.
I do not recommend trying to walk from Hat Rock to Weyerhouser Beach without water, proper shoes, a doggy bowl, and an extreme love of the possibility that you may encounter a rattle snake. Just drive. Or go to Wallowa Lake.