Camping '17 || Fort Bragg, CA


If you're like me, the word 'camping' will instantly make you want to marathon the Friday the 13th movies (minus Jason Goes To Hell.. that one is a bit cray-cray.. yeah, I say that about a movie that isn't Jason X but I actually enjoyed that one. Sue me.). But if you aren't a homebody, the word 'camping' may actually make you want to, you know, camp. Insane! During my recent trip to the States, my partner and I planned a midweek camping trip to Fort Bragg, which is somewhere in California. Originally we had planned to spend 2 nights in the wilderness but after some complications with confirming the spot and a night spent at a rather lovely motel eating RoundTable pizza and drinking far too much wine, we wound up with only one night. Nevertheless, we achieved everything we wanted and actually, it turned into one of those failed adventures that somehow ends up better than you could've initially imagined. One we'll definitely tell the grandchildren.

I digress, kind of, anyway, eventually we bought a new spot at the walk-in section of Mackerricher State Park, which was actually more secluded and bigger than most of the booked sites. So if you're willing to risk it, I'd most definitely recommend seeing if you can get a spot in that sector. We chose to stay at Spot Two, partly due to the little trail you had to take off the path to get to the site (as pictured below), making our site well hidden and much more romantic than having a RV parked a mere 10 feet away from you. Not gonna lie, semi regretted that decision when I needed to pee late into the night, but that's what camping buddies are for.

Trecking our things from the car to the campsite was less fun, but definitely made me feel like Cheryl Strayed which is always a good thing. Though I thankfully kept my toenails during the process. (That makes no sense if you haven't read Wild, so... um.. read it?) My partner is a yearly camper so he already had the skills required to build a tent and not get us murdered with the fire, so I'd highly recommend you get a him to camp with. He was certainly my favourite part of the experience.

And here is a bonus photo of me and my mother's alter ego (don't ask) showing off our grand tent that we 100% helped build. Heck, we did half the work. Yeah, I'm lying. We mostly stood to the side, took photos, and vocally appreciated the view of my fiance doing it. No shame. I got some butt-worthy shots. PS: Mind the look I was going for. It's called slightly-hungover-no-makeup-frizzy-hair-chic.

After unpacking our food supplies into the animal-proof locker and making a quick run into town to pick up the oil that we had forgotten, we made a yummy brunch that consisted of prepped veggie pasta salad, potato salad, avocado, and scrambled eggs. Odd mix but quite enjoyable. Would eat again. Side-note: maybe don't keep your avocado with the dry ice, makes it taste all kinds of fizzy.

After we ate our brunch, we headed out.. wait, can it be classed as 'going out' if you're camping? Err... we headed away(?) from the campsite to have a little trail adventure and make a quick stop at the gift store to buy some postcards and bookmarks, the standard trip tradition. 

On the walk back to our campsite we decided to cut through the practically vacant beach. It was truly a beautiful spot and whilst we were there, we indulged in the always incredible thing of feeling the ocean on our bare feet. I write that as though it's some immense thing when in reality, at least for me, it mostly involves a lot of squeaking and chickening out as soon as the tide comes toward me. It's a working progress. But still, beautiful.

After the walk, we were both ready to get comfortable and spent the next few hours playing games such as Sushi Go and Zombie Dice until our fire was roaring and our stomachs were asking for something yummy. Hot dogs! Yum! (Weird fancy speciality flavour for him and non-meat for me). I'll admit that this next meal went super, super, super badly for my ego. A fire and Anne apparently don't mix too well, so I may of accidentally murdered a few hot dogs during the process of cooking. Each time the fire would make a popping sound, I'd jump half a mile and flip my sausage off of the skewer and into the flames. Yeah. Not my smoothest moments.

I failed at taking photos from here until it was bedtime, but you aren't missing out on much. We continued with our games, cooked some corn on the cob, and made smores. Many, many, many smores. They were yummy but again, many of my marshmallows found themselves burning to death during this process. I feel bad for each and every one of them.

We continued playing until the fire burned down, and then made our merry way to bed - a plastic cup of red wine in tow. Sleeping in a tent was interesting, and though this may be an utterly girly thing to say, I strongly suggest you take a fitted sheet to cover a blowup mattress (if that is what you have). It makes the world of difference and prevents you bouncing off of the bed when your sleeping buddy fidgets. Just sayin'. I digress, again, apologies. Sleeping was fine, though our camp was invaded during the night by a pesky raccoon who stole a good chunk of our garbage. The crime! The rudeness! It was rather amusing, even if I may of accidentally startled my partner by leaping up like Michael Myers every time the animal made a sound. Yeah.. sorry, sweetheart.
By morning we were well rested and ready for the long drive home.. Well, after coffee and pancakes. Obviously. We can't all be Superman. My mother helped (again, don't ask).

And of course, following breakfast, we had time for one more snack before we packed everything back up.

With our car back to being stuffed with supplies and our camping site bare to the grass, we headed off to the local Seal Watching spot that had been recommended by the park rancher. Sadly we didn't spot any seals, but the view was something to be admired nonetheless.

Before our trip came to a final close, we headed to Glass Beach (Read all about that here: "Glass Windows Of This World || Glass Beach, Fort Bragg"), made sure to hit a few libraries, and then finally returned home. During the drive we stopped at the roadside to take a few shots of the wonderful views.

To summarise the entirety of the trip, it was perfect. Exactly what I wanted my first camping experience to be like and though we had a few hiccups in the beginning, what with being stranded and all, I wouldn't of changed a thing. Things will never go perfectly to plan and despite my ongoing struggle with last minute changes, when I'm with my better half I have learnt to embrace them. We're still building memories and I never want anything to ruin what could be a beautiful story, you know? Fort Bragg was a near perfect place and most certainly somewhere that you can look at in awe. I don't think I'll ever decide whether I'm a forest or ocean girl, but why choose when there are places that offer both?

  • A Comfortable Sweater For Sitting Around The Campfire (Just steal Bill's)
  • Red Wine
  • Games. All The Games.
  • Your Mother's Alter Ego
  • Family-Sized Bag Of Marshmallows
And lastly,
  • Balls Of Steel For When The Fire Pops
What are your camping essentials? Favourite camping spots? Let me know!

- Anne x

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