Camping at Pacific Beach State Park
Impromptu Overnight Camp
Some of our trips require well thought out plans. Sometimes though, we just need to get outdoors. The work week had been hectic and we miraculously ended up with a free evening. We seized the opportunity and found a campground with open spots. It's been awhile since we paid a visit to the Pacific Ocean, so over the weekend we made a drive west to Pacific Beach State Park. The park is adjacent to the beach and is surrounded by the town of Moclips. It's a 10-acre park with 2,300 feet of sandy shoreline, which makes great for beach combing.
Camping and Exploring
We arrived around 1700, setup our site real quick, then walked down to the water. As we were walking through the park it quickly became apparent that this park is home to some semi-permanent RV campers. The majority of them all had kite flags and wind sock thingies on poles at their sites, they all appeared to be of the retirement age, and their RVs looked to have been sitting in the same spot for quite a while. They were all polite but the feeling we had was that this park was home to a regular crowd, and we felt a bit out of place. No problems though.
It's a very short walk to the sand, passing through a small picnic area there's a little sidewalk leading down to the beach. From there it's a short walk to the water. We saw plenty of others out here. Some flying kites, some walking dogs, some getting their vehicles stuck in the sand, and a group of regulars that had a beach fire pit going while a couple of them were using sticks and rope to create some enormous sized soap bubbles.
The beach stretches for what appears miles. Shell fragments, bits of sand dollars, remnants of jelly fish and the ever present seagulls lined the path of the water's edge. The sea breeze was steady, chilly and damp. The hypnotic rise and fall of the ocean waves was as relaxing as a massage. The salt air and the setting sun were putting all things right in our world again.
After exploring the area for about an hour we headed back to our campsite. This wasn't the best campground for privacy. All sites were out in the open, far too close to one another, and no trees to act as a type of barrier. The tent sites, of which there were only about 7 (that we noticed), had just enough room to back a vehicle into, with a picnic table to the side of it and a tent behind that. And that was it. Very crammed in. Luckily, one site to the side of us was unoccupied and it was getting dark.
A glass of wine and a bottle of IPA were in order. We relaxed in our chairs and read for about an hour. Then we headed to bed right after the dark set in. The park was quiet throughout the night, with the crashing Pacific giving a comforting and constant, natural lullaby to fall asleep to. Getting up in the middle of the night to use the restroom gave us a moment to look up to the sky. Although we were near a small town, and there were plenty of park lights illuminated, we could still see quite a number of stars and details of the Milky Way.
The next morning we woke early and began to dry out the tent. There was no rain in the night, but the amount of dew and sea mist that accumulated on the tent would make one believe there was. We moved the tent over to an empty site with full sun. It took about an hour to fully dry. Lots of water.
After packing up we drove a little ways north up 1st St., made a left on Homer St., and a right on Analyde Gap Rd. This lead us to the vehicle access point for the beach. We drove about a mile along the morning shoreline, parked, and walked around for a bit. It was peaceful out here.
This was just an overnight trip, but a much needed break from the hustle and bustle of life. Sure, this wasn't our favorite campsite, but it was a needed respite. Sometimes just the act of getting outside is enough to give us a reset. Spending a night under the stars and syncing with the rhythm of the waves, this was what we needed, we're glad we made the trip.