A Magical Place: Camp Westwind Day 1

A few weeks ago we spent Memorial day weekend at Camp Westwind. We had a wonderful time exploring, hiking, playing games and making new friends. Sadly it ended in the worst way imaginable but, with a couple of weeks behind me, I feel as though I am now ready to share the happier parts of our weekend.

Camp Westwind is located just outside Lincoln City on the Oregon Coast. The camp is accessible only by barge (or canoe) over the Salmon River at high tide or a 2 mile walk in from highway 101. We arrived with the main group early on a Friday morning to catch the barge across the river. It was raining and a little miserable and I found myself wondering if our choice for a 3 day weekend at camp with relative strangers was a good one. The boys kept themselves busy skipping rocks and finding friends while we waited for the barge.

After a short wait the boys and I found ourselves on the very first ride across the river while Kei stayed behind to help load the luggage on the barge.

After we reached the other side of the river, our small group started walking up to camp. It was on this walk that I met some new friends who told me they had been coming to Westwind for years and that it’s a magical place. I remained skeptical while my legs grew weary of the walk along the dirt road. I’ve never been fully comfortable in new environments, especially those that include shared bathrooms and cabins and the prospect of meeting about 50 new people. But these new friends with their warm welcome gave me hope that it would be less scary than I imagined.

And, you know what? It wasn’t scary at all and it was even more than a little bit magical. We made new friends, enjoyed long walks along the beach, explored tide pools and hiked up (what felt like) mountains. Our little family enjoyed three days of feeling disconnected from the real world, figuratively and literally (I couldn’t get a phone signal). It was like being stranded on a deserted island, but with three good meals a day and a keg at night.

Here are some photos from day 1, including a a baby seal sighting that made me grateful for my new zoom lens.

No need to check your eyesight – that’s Thomas running with a friend, not Samuel.

This boat came all the way from Japan.

Back soon with photos from Day 2 when the sun made a rare appearance on the Oregon coast.


  1. I am happy for you that you have gotten to a place where you can look back at your time there and remember the joy you experienced. I cannot imagine that horror of what you saw; and you and your family have been in my prayers the last few weeks. Peace, Raine

  2. Pingback: Camp Westwind: That’s a Wrap « Nicole Ishida Photography

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