“It’s just another day in paradise!” an old man cheerfully replied after greeting me at a coffee shop on my last day of the trip. Oregon is definitely a watersport paradise that I try to get away to as much as I can! This trip had a very different feel to it since I went with a couple of my windsurf enthusiast friends on their old school camper van. That was my home for the 5 days we were on the road, on the road chasing the wind!
Our first stop after a long drive during the night was Hood River. We have arrived at 3 o’clock in the morning, pulled in the side of the dirt road, prepared our camper and fell asleep. Next morning after breakfast, we head to the river! Unfortunately the winds weren’t the best that day, it was either blowing so strong that I was being completely overpowered (which was scary and awesome lol) or the wind was very low that left me mostly frustrated. After a few runs across the river trying to find the most windy spot, we just came back and grabbed our beer.
The next day the water was flat with no sign of any wind, we headed towards Jones Beach that’s closer towards the Oregon Coast since the forecast was much more promising. Being sluggish and unmotivated, we took our time and only made it to Jones Beach around 7pm. There was still wind, and I quickly rigged up my sail and went in the water to windsurf until the sun went completely down, was an awesome experience! We found a spot to park around the trees by the beach, and I was happy that I didn’t have to unrig my gear, leaving it overnight for the next day. We were all excited about that spot and the winds for the next day were promising. I went to bed satisfied that night.
The next morning, we were woken up by an old man who turned out to be the beach property owner. And apparently we weren’t allowed to stay there overnight, and we were told that we had to leave by that following night. So our plan to stay the rest of the trip at that perfect spot was ruined, either way the winds didn’t turn out to be so great that day. But that spot would be amazing when the wind condition is good, it’s such a beautiful spot! I will definitely be coming back there!
That night we have stayed at a city park in Clatskanie, they have overnight 5$ camping with hot showers… It felt great to take a hot shower after a few days without having one! The next morning we went back to Jones Beach to find it completely windless, everyone was disappointed because it was our last day until we had to head back to Canada. Everyone just wanted to stay at the beach, drink beer and chill. But that didn’t satisfy me, so I pushed everyone to get on the road and head to the coast which was an hour way where I could at least do some surfing. Luckily I was successful at making everyone agree to drive to the coast, because right after we passed Astoria (little town right before the coast on Columbia River) the winds were heavily blowing! So all excited and full of energy, we were looking for a spot to launch from. We found this beautiful beach in Fort Stevens State Park, quickly rigged our gear, and jumped in the water. This session was awesome! It made the whole trip worth it! Haven’t had that much fun windsurfing in awhile… Unfortunately I ended up breaking my mast after a couple hours of windsurfing, luckily I was within 500 meters from shore, but it still took what felt like half an hour to swim dragging my windsurf and sail in the water behind me. It would have been a much harder to get back if it broke on me when I was a couple kilometres away from shore. Later on my more experienced windsurf buddy explained what I’d have to do in a situation if I was far away from shore, I’d have to take apart my sail and tie it all up on the board to create less drag, a lesson that perhaps will come in handy one day.
That night we had found a nice open field where we parked our camper and drank watching the starts! Was an awesome trip! Altho it wasn’t all fun, there was much of work that had to be done, mostly by loading and unloading our gear every time we changed location or were stopping to sleep, at the end of the trip we got very efficient at it and it didn’t take us too much time as it did in the beginning. We have also cooked most of our meals in the camper, which is very different from what I’m used to when I do my road trips. It was a different experience overall for me, which was great!
At the hook in Hood River
On our way to Jones Beach
My buddy chilling between windsurfing sessions at Jones Beach
Teaching a less experienced windsurfing friend how to beach start. Jones Beach
Windsurfing at Fort Stevens