Okay, so, camping, right? There’s a few things you need for it, like, a few essential components. You need an RV or a tent or a bed in the back of a Subaru to sleep on, right? You also need some snacks or meals or something to eat. Some water is good, and logs to burn or blankets to keep warm.
You know what else you need?
A freaking campsite!
And you know what there are exactly none of in all of Florence, OR right now?
Campsites, hotels, motels, or inns. It turns out that this weekend is the annual “drive our classic Ford Broncos over the sound dunes” gathering for the Pacific Northwest Broncos Club which – while it sounds pretty cool, actually – is currently my least favorite organization on the planet.
After checking several campgrounds in person, calling more, and even getting turned away by the seediest of small town hotels, we dragged ourselves in to an Abby’s Pizzeria, defeated (so defeated that I said “screw it, gimme bread!“).
And there… there we found a blessed, pure angel bathed in golden light.
We walked up to the counter, and found a Greek pizza on the menu that sounded fantastic. After being told “no” all day long, we were so excited to be able to get something that we really wanted. We ordered, and the server said, “Oh, we are out of that.”
“We are out of that.”
“You can’t have it.”
I think we must have both looked like we were going to cry, because she quickly said “I’m just joking, it’s a joke!”
We laughed, sad, sobbing laughs, and told her about our day. And then, rays of brilliant, ethereal light shone from behind her like a sunset over Mount Olympus, as her coworker descended from on high to say, “The Casino will let you stay overnight for free.”
The casino. Will let you stay. OVERNIGHT! For. FREE!
We ate our pizza, a most delicious and invigorating meal, and then climbed back in our poor, overloaded, overworked Subaru and drove to the Casino on the edge of town. We signed up for their “players reward” program, got our car registered with security, and were sent over to a corner of the parking lot, where we moved all of our luggage to the front seat, climbed on to the platform bed, and finally went to sleep.
We thought it’d be moon- and star-light peaking through the curtains my wife hung, instead of the neon of a casino, but you can still call it camping.
Today, we look again for a real campsite.