Gretel’s First Camping Trip

We just had a week vacation. We are saving money for our wedding so we decided to forgo the long travel for a Staycation instead. S had never been to Deception Pass, and it had been about 15 years since I had been to the area (and I had never actually camped there) so we packed up the car and headed over to camp for a couple of days at Deception Pass State Park.

I had to make the reservations a month in advance. Since I had never been to the campground I had to pick from the selection of available sites online sight-unseen. I picked one that looked close to the beach and was listed as “moderately” private. We got lucky because it turned out to be a super short walk to the beach AND the restrooms….which is important for a girl at 4 am.

We took the Mukilteo-Clinton Ferry over and planned to take Highway 20 and I-5 home so that S could get the whole effect. During our ferry crossing we say a Navy Aircraft Carrier cross in front of the ferry. It must have been a big deal because the boat had aircraft on it and there were two runner boats with machine guns exploring out in front of the boat. It was pretty cool.

This was Gretel’s first camping trip. We stayed in the campground two nights. She made it seem like it was no big deal hanging out on the dirt among the trees. We laid Chester and Gretel’s dog beds on the ground to make it more comfortable for them. They also spent a lot of time hanging out in our camp chairs with us.

Chester was an old hand at this but we were happily surprised that Gretel did really well. She didn’t even freak out when a squirrel paid us a visit or the other dogs in the campground would bark.

We didn’t fair so well. My Neo Air camp pad sprung a leak sometime during our first night and I got terrible sleep because I had to sleep on the rocky, cold ground. Talk about the princess and the pea J We (I) also managed to bring less food than we needed. We almost headed home to our warm bed and stocked fried but decided to make a trip into Oak Harbor instead to resupply and buy a cheap foam sleeping pad to get us through the second night.

We were at the park for three days. We walked over the Deception Pass Bridge, hiked up to Goose Rock, hiked up and down West and North Beaches, watched fisherman catch Pink Salmon from the shore and enjoyed the beach sunsets.


She had no fear at North Beach though when she decided to get uber adventurous and do some rock climbing. Seriously, this girl attempted technical scrambles with lose rock that I am not sure I would even climb. Since her only safety was us holding her leash below her we didn’t let her go as high as she wanted for fear she would fall and hurt herself. Had we been at the top I have no doubt that she would have make the while climb. We need to figure out a belay system for her :)

It was great to spend a vacation close to home exploring one of the best places Washington has to offer. Usually we rush to drive two states away for our adventure so this was much more relaxing. We spent most of the time so relaxed that we didn’t even know what day or time it was. Who cares, right? It’s vacation.

Now that we know that Gretel is a super camper (like we had doubts), next on our list is an overnight backpacking trip. We just have to find the time to squeeze it into our “real life”.

Look for more photos coming tomorrow on Wordless Wednesday.


  1. Tammy says

    I have to admit to never having camped as an adult! My husband (who hasn’t either) is quite interested in possibly doing so in the Redwoods now that we’re in northern CA. I’m not too sure about this venture though! I LOVE the last picture! Maybe Gretel was a mountain goat in a previous life!

    • says

      I think camping is great. The thought of sleeping on the ground and getting dirty may not seem so appealing from your couch but once you are actually there the feeling of being immersed in nature is great. You should totally go :) Having the right gear to make you comfortable though makes all the difference.

  2. says

    Lovely! Swift and Kool are good campers, too, which surprised me. Those weiners can sure surprise us, can’t they? It’d be fun to do a trip together sometime.

  3. Tanya says

    What an awesome holiday. Gretel is such a sporty girl too. I’m sure mine would have wanted me to pick her up. LOL

  4. says

    Beautiful pictures. Looks like it was a fun time and you had cold weather gear with you. Are we in the same country? It has been sweltering here!

    So was the aircraft carrier really big?

  5. Mumsy, Chancy and Crew says

    Absolutely wonderful pictures. You all go to some really gorgeous places. Always love the pictures of the sweet doggies. Hugs and nose kisses for all!

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