In keeping with our tradition of shoehorning additional stops into an already busy schedule, we extended our trip by a day to camp in Redwood National and State Parks. Parts of it are national. Parts of it are state. As far as we can determine, there aren’t any drive in camping spots in the National park, so we found an ideal spot at the State Park. The site is flanked by massive redwood trees, within hearing distance of a sonorous river, and a hop skip an a jump from bathrooms that don’t stink. To me, the perfect spot.
To others as well. After cruising the camp grounds to pick out our site and paying for it at the rangers station, we returned to set up camp and discovered someone’s blankets and pillows now on the picnic table. “Well, that’s going to be awkward,” thought I. Someone clearly had come through after us and thought they could claim the spot by leaving some items there. And, probably, if that pillow and blanket had been there when we were scoping out the site, we would have looked elsewhere. But it wasn’t and now we had paid for it. So when a young women came over as we backed into our spot to tell us that she was holding the spot until her mom came back with the camping permit I had to be the one to explain that camping sites are “held” by paying for the spot, which we had already done. It didn’t help that, five minutes later, the mother did come back with a permit for the spot. Apparently the ranger sold two permits. But as the campsite was first-come-first-serve, it was for them to find another spot. Which was just a general downer to start our time here.
All the same, we had our spot and time enough for a short hike. Discovering that we had one last bottle of PBR in the not so cool cooler, we grabbed our chairs and settled by the river, with the beer sitting in the water but held in one place with rocks. Sharing a beer on an empty river bank was the perfect coda to the day.
Or, perhaps the fire was the perfect coda. We bought fire wood to roast some bratwurst we had picked up in a small town in Oregon. The brats were precooked but can a brat truly ever be cooked enough when there is a camp fire and a stick? I argue no! And they certainly didn’t suffer for our pyro tendencies. Perhaps their time in open flame was what truly brought out the richness and delicate tang of the brat. Though, that may be more to the credit of Taylor’s Sausage, who made it. Thank goodness for it’s flavor. We weren’t traveling with ketchup, mustard, or relish. The brats had to hold their own. And by the time all the firewood had died down to the last glowing embers, crackling their way to oblivion, we had consumed every last bratwurst in the package. There were no regrets.
So, yes, there were many, excellent codas.