Pacific City and more specifically, Cape Kiwanda. Back when dinosaurs roamed the earth & Eric & I were just DATING... we came here (chaperoned by family, of course!) and hiked the terrain. There are some HUGE hills made of sand that have hiking paths at the top & lots of area to explore. My Tennessee lungs (meaning... SEA LEVEL) had a hard time adjusting to the Oregon altitude (even though, being at the coast IS sea level... that was my excuse. DON'T RUIN IT FOR ME.) and I was unable to go very high or very far. As you can see, from the AMAZING example above, I only went as high as the first "level" on that hill. It's hard to gauge from photographs like this one but the hill goes up at about a 45-degree angle. And the sand.... the sand is like confectioner's sugar. SO soft, your foot SINKS into it which makes climbing up a 45-degree angle a CHALLENGE.
But today - - today as we approached this thing... I told Eric my "outside-of-the-box challenge was that I was going to climb TO THE TOP. I'm pretty certain he didn't think it was going to happen. It was already "misting" which, at the Oregon coast, means it feels like some jerk is constantly squirting your eyes with a fine-misted water bottle. Relentlessly. However... the Hempel children were with us & they were game for the climb and if THEY can do it... I can do it... RIGHT???!? Right.
And so we did it. We climbed and climbed. And there were times I had to go up on my hands and knees because it was so steep and I am so fat BUT I DID IT. When we got to the top, we had some geo-caching business to attend to. There were two geo-caches on top & we were only able to find one. I'm pretty sure some jerk must have found and removed the other one. The four of us had THE BEST TIME exploring all of the paths & the "wild life." (meaning one HUGE banana slug) I was so proud of the children- especially Corbin. He's three & he led the way on the paths. When I was at my worst on the hike, you know... 15 feet from THE TOP and crawling... Corbin came back down the path & took my hand to help me to the top. Which was sweet... but then I HAD to MAKE myself climb up because he wanted to think he was pulling me. Kids.
And THIS is the view from the top.
THIS is what we miss out on, if we don't try. It was worth it. The time with the kids & with Eric... the memories we created for the kids and the examples we set for them. I'm so thankful that we didn't take the easy route and putz around on the beach.
It would have been easy to say "I can't."
We chose to go UP.
And as you know.... what comes up... must come down. The BEST of climbing 45 degrees UP in SOFT sand is you can HAUL BUTT coming down & catch some AIR. The kids were at the bottom in about 12 seconds however Dr. Hempel & I are old enough & smart enough to take our time & enjoy the trip down.
And I had to show Eric how it's done...
This isn't our last trip to the Oregon coast this summer. And when we go back, we're going to find more ways to challenge ourselves while exhausting the children.
I can't wait!