Our Second Week of Life on the Road

Deception Pass, Washington. August 24 – September 1


It was not exactly our smartest parenting moment.

We had thought it a brilliant idea, only moments later to realize we had set a trap for ourselves. “Let’s let them decide.” My husband suggested from the driver seat. We were leaving Newport, Oregon, where we had settled for a few days to watch the Total Eclipse. Heading North out of town, we ran into stand still traffic, a line of eclipse chasers headed back to life and work. “We could cut east for a while, head to the Columbia River Gorge, then back to the ocean later.” Neither he nor I could decide, so we bounced the idea to the back seat. “Boys, do you want to go see some waterfalls for a few days? Or stay at the ocean?”

Zeke, our six-year-old, enthusiastically answered, “Waterfalls!” a split second before his younger brother, Ellis, yelled, “Ocean!”. Their littlest brother–he is pretty sharp for his age–but having no idea what we were discussing, his vote didn’t quite count yet. And so we had a tie. After a coin toss, we found ourselves waterfall bound, and my mama heart tore just a bit as little Ellison sniffed back tears from the seat behind me.

The little guy is so patient. For four days he eagerly explored the forest and waterfalls with us, but I knew all along that his young heart was set on salty waves and sunsets over the horizon. When we arrived back at the Pacific a few evenings later, his daddy scooped him up from the dinner table and took him to the beach to catch the sunset. He came back all smiles and pockets full of shells.

Besides not putting our decisions to a vote in the backseat, here are a few other things we have learned from our second week on the road:

“Work can wait. Life can not. This takes time to learn and relearn.”

Drape blankets over the toddler’s bed, and he might actually nap in the afternoon.

If you don’t reserve a campsite months in advance, be prepared to up and relocate every few days, landing wherever has a spot for you.

Just like at home, we will do what we make time for. Changing your location and lifestyle will not automatically lend to a slower pace of life. We must carve out and designate time for that which is most important to us, or it will not happen.

What we are eating:

Smoothies (Glad we brought our blender!)

Fantastic fish tacos at Seabolts Smokehouse

Dinner of Tilamook white cheddar, smoked salmon dip, and smoked Cajun salmon (after another trip to Seabolts Smokehouse…)

Instant pot minestrone

Egg burritos. Thanks to a friend in Idaho who introduced us to “eggs” Ellis can have. Later that day he told me, “Today was a great day.” “Why is that buddy?” I asked him. He replied, “Because of eggs that don’t hurt my tummy.”

Another crab boil in the Instant pot

Instant pot clam chowder

Gluten free pastries!

Ellis did not want to try out our new kayak on the lake, because he “had never tried that before.” Once we convinced him to get on, we couldn’t get him off the thing.

We took the boys to explore Fort Casey on Whidbey Island. Grayson grew up exploring that old military base with his own brothers. We laid in the grass as a family and watched kites glide across the sky next to the Puget Sound.

The boys made friends at the campground with:  Aaliyah, Ellie, Kaden, Ashley, and Gracie the Parrot.

Grayson ran many of the trails that he’ll be running a 50k race on in December.

The boys took their very first ferry ride! We spent the day on Orcas Island, introducing them to Moran State Park, and catching up with friends until we nearly missed our ferry back to the mainland. We were the last car they allowed on the last ferry of the night before turning people away.

Questions of the week:

Ellis:  “How do hurricanes happen?”

Zeke: “Is the ocean in the middle of the world?”

It felt good to settle in the same area for a week. Without all of the bouncing around, we had more time to devote to reading, writing, running, and simply being together. This trip is already teaching me so much about the importance of a right relationship between rest, play, and work. But I would have more time to process that during our next week, when we settled closer to Seattle, camping out in our (very gracious) friends’ yard…


Eryn Lynum is a speaker and the author of 936 Pennies: Discovering the Joy of Intentional Parenting. (Bethany House Publishers, 2018) She lives in Northern Colorado with her husband and three boys, where they spend their time hiking, camping, and exploring the Rocky Mountains. She loves to travel and share at conferences, churches, and writers’ groups. Every opportunity she gets, she is out exploring God’s creation with her family.

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