Posts Tagged ‘nehalem’

By Cameron McKirdy

I’ve had my hippie van for a week, and have burned through tanks of petrol.  I’ve found several spots to crash out for a night or longer that are free places to stay, and I’m willing to share this and more with you today – only on Survival Bros.

The first type of location I scouted out are places open 24 hours to the public.  There aren’t many in small towns, but large grocery stores are a good start.   Be on the look out for other campers, and recreation vehicles at the far end of parking lots.  If you had to spend a night car camping in city limits, this isn’t a bad choice, because you probably won’t be hassled.  Don’t forget you can always post up, and get some ZZZ’s at Rest Stops.  I spent a night this week the parked at one.  You’ll have access to the bathroom at all hours, trash, and potable water (in some cases).  

Camping in a van solo can be lonesome.  So I made an effort to hangout with other preppers, this time way outside of the city.  The VW van, which I’ve named Shaggy, has been mobbing hard, so I felt comfortable driving to BLM land in the Clatsop Country Forest.  I have AAA towing up to 100 miles, so I have no fear going off the grid.  However, I still had cell phone service in the mountains, thanks to a well-placed tower.  Two bros of mine led me to Lost Lake this week for a getaway.  It’s stocked with thousands of trout begging to be plucked from the depths.  I watched my buddies fish for a few hours, while I played with the dog, and poured drinks.  I brought rum, and sparkling cider.  The Martinelli’s was an excellent chaser.

Camping at the lake, or in the parking lot is prohibited, so we made our own spot down another gravel road.  The lookout was spectacular.  Below you can see a valley, and the Nehalem river.  Which you can watch me and my Dad raft by clicking this link to YouTube.  The fish were cooked on a spit for an hour or so, and tasted delicious.  I wanted to take a bite out of the side of a raw fish, but I will save the sushi for when I’m being trendy in town.  Wasabi, soy sauce, and ginger are a must anyways.

Nehalem River viewpoint

I didn’t feel like waiting for food to cook, so I grabbed two bags of Mountain House food, and heated water on my portable butane camp stove.  It took four minutes to get it boiling.  Then I opened the food pouches, and dumped the water right in.  I resealed the grub, and in eight minutes I was ready to chow down.  Now normally I would share, or save some of a feast this size, but I went beast mode, and devoured both bags.  I combined the Mountain House biscuit and gravy meal, with scrambled eggs and bacon.  It was terrific!  I forgot to pack utensils though, so I used a six inch blade to carefully shovel calories into my face.  In case you are wondering, the knife I used is called the COAST F611.  It’s a survival tool I’ve been playing around with a lot lately, and I like it.

Camping food bag

mountain house meals

eating with Coast F611

trout fishing

 Dinner is served!  Even our dog got some fish.

fish on spit

Fire looking cool.

Pabst Beer can cup

Tactical Gypsy made his own coffee cup in the morning from a beer can.

VW Vanagon GL 1986

Shaggy the VW Vanagon is a tank, and handled the gravel roads like a boss. 

Roscoe Dog

In the A.M. my two bros, the mutt, and I went back to the lake.   I was busy getting fishing tips, journaling for fun, and doing basic breathing and stretching techniques.  I love my yoga!   We walked a trail skirting the water, and attempted to hook more gilled vertebrates.  The fish were teasing us.  Jumping out of the water and splashing near us.  We did see one breach the surface and smack into a floating log.  That was funny.  Not amusing was the dog getting all muddy and wet, then coming right up to me to shake off.  Of all the places.  I almost took a swim, but decided to save that for another time.  I didn’t need a bath that bad.  Besides, have you ever seen a clean hippie?  More from the road soon friends.  Best wishes. 

Lost Lake Fishing

 

 

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This was a wild trip.  My Dad and I had been scouting the river, and planning the ride down the Nehalem river for months.  He read all he could find on the dangers, and decided to try floating from a higher point at Spruce Run.  After pumping the 14 foot cataraft up, we got it loaded on the trailer, and headed south past Cannon Beach on Highway 101.  Our friend Steve tagged along.  He knows the Nehalem well, and has been fishing for Steelhead on it for years.  We used his rig to shuttle us back to the trailer, and drag the raft up a steep bank at Beaver Slide after traveling 13.3 miles.

This journey didn’t go exactly as planned.  We unhooked the raft too soon, and it fell off the trailer when we were backing it up to the water.  After that mishap, we picked it up by hand, and got her wet.  It was a smooth ride at first, but early into the excursion we lost an oar lock.  Thankfully, Pops was wise enough to have an extra on hand.  Without the oar lock, we would have lost an oar and been screwed.  I had a great time chatting with the boys, and relaxing.  We were also trying to locate a lost dog, that had a $2500 reward for information resulting in his rescue.  No luck on that.  We did however see a coyote, fish, and a bald eagle. 

cataraft on river

Hauling the massive raft on the custom trailer

The Nehalem got rougher, and more dangerous as we got lower on the river.  The water was freezing, and we were wet.  I had a wetsuit, booties, and gloves to stay warm.  On a quick stop I used the spring water I collected to make Mountain House spaghetti with my Jetboil Zip camping stove.  Steve and I warmed our hands on the hot bag as the food cooked.  Near the end of our unexpected journey we ran into more trouble.  We got hung up on a boulder, and spun around.  Then at Salmonberry Drop we got blasted by a 7 foot wave, and my camera went out.  You gotta watch the video in 720p HD.  It was a hell of an adventure.  We got out alive, but not without a little suffering.  We won’t be rafting the Nehalem again soon.

Here’s a fun video I made of the first time my Dad and I rafted the lower part of the Nehalem River.