Amidst the COVID-19 lockdowns, my boyfriend and I started feeling a bit trapped in our two bedroom apartment. Almost three months being stuck inside, having no access to our amenities (which includes pools, gyms, parks, etc.), we decided to take a road trip to his mom’s up in WA. However, knowing us and our constant mood swings paired with our mutual hate for driving, we researched different routes we can take depending on where we wanted to potentially stop for a night; making it a two day journey instead of a full twenty hour trip.
I sat down on my Apple Maps and looked through OR. Driving to Portland would have been a stretch, as it would have added an extra few hours to our journey. I then looked through national parks and noticed the “Umpqua Hot Spring” and noticed it was on the route to our final destination. I had always wanted to visit a natural hot spring, and both my boyfriend and I have a love for long hikes and nature adventures. I hopped on Airbnb and found a campsite that offered glamping tents. I had never gone real life camping before (i.e sleeping in a tent outside), and figured this would be something we had never done before. The added bonus, was we would have a king sized bed to sleep in, which made us all the more excited to camp and have a good night’s rest all at the same time.
The listing looked welcoming and adorable. The pictures included a full sized tent, with a bed, couch and hardwood floors on the inside. In the description, I noticed that the owners mentioned a heated bed, as it does tend to drop down to the low forty’s. Note: when booking an airbnb, always read the reviews! Looking over them, I noticed that many past guests mentioned how clean it was, along how unique. We were sold; we booked our glamp tent, and anxiously awaited our road trip! Our glamping site was about a ten and a half hour drive from our Los Angeles apartment. Before leaving, I made sure to read B’s article on road trip tips (linked here!) to make sure we were well prepared for our first long road trip together.
We were a bit nervous in the beginning but managed to make it to the site in great moods, despite a little bit of a delay in our drive (hey, bathroom breaks and in-n-out breaks are pretty mandatory on the road!). Driving to the campsite was a bit of a journey, as it was about twenty-five miles off the main road, and truly in the middle of nowhere. Throughout our drive in the Umpqua National Forest, we kept looking at each other with the looks of “what did we just get ourselves into?” While we were optimistic that our night’s stay would be fun, we were growing a bit weary on how safe we truly would be.
We pulled up to our campsite, called “The Last Resort,” which was whimsical given where we were. It was a complete campsite with multiple cabins, glamp tents, spots for RV’s and even spots for people who want to go straight up camping. If I could describe how we felt pulling in – it would be ironically, safe. All our worries simply vanished, as we were greeted by the friendliest owners who made us feel right at home. Checking in was easy, and they prepped us for COVID rules and how their communal facilities would work. We appreciated how they took steps to make sure that social distancing was placed, all while having the freedom of being in your own camp world. After we checked in, we opted to buy some firewood (a huge bundle was only six bucks!) and a propane grill. We had brought over a cooler full of food to BBQ that night and were excited to settle in, build a campfire and enjoy our one night glamping. The one thing we anticipated was zero phone service. Dustin, the owner had mentioned that the Wi-Fi was insanely slow, but we assured him that we were excited to have a night away from technology. As long as our families knew we were safe, that is all we cared about. So, if having phone reception is important to you – this is not the glampsite I recommend!
Once we pulled our car into our parking space, which was conveniently right next to our tent, we unloaded what we needed and got down to relaxing. Walking into the tent was an absolute dream… full, comfy linens on the bed, simple toiletries in our room, a water dispenser and mood lamps for the lighting fixtures were the perfect touch. Dustin had brought over our grill, and my boyfriend set up our campfire while I started cooking. I kept it simple, ribeyes, baked potato on the grill and a salad. If I could recommend anything, grab one of those salads in a bag! It is so easy to simply mix all the ingredients in the bag, shake it up and serve. We had also brought a bottle of red wine to enjoy, and truly got to relax by the fire, eat a delicious meal, and enjoy being together in the outdoors.
For dessert, we of course brought s’mores. I had never done traditional s’mores by the fire before, and my partner did a great job making me probably the best s’mores I’ve ever had in my life. Once it got super dark, we decided to head to bed, as we had plans to head over to a short hike to the hot springs before we took off on our eight hour journey the next day. On another note – walking into the tent once it was dark was a whole other mood. It was incredibly romantic with the dim camp lights and so cozy. We slept amazing, and loved every minute of our adventure so far.
The next day, we got up early to hit the road. Twenty minutes east of the campsite was the Umpqua Hot Springs. Getting there was a bit of a rough road (quite literally), yet when we got there we got a parking spot and hiked a quarter mile to the springs. We brought a backpack with two beach towels, bug spray and two bottles of water. I had also brought an extra pair of socks, because I had planned on wearing mine into the spring. Not knowing if there are hard rocks, mud, etc on the bottom would be a surprise for my feet, so going in prepared is always a good call!
The hike was a bit exhausting (mostly all up hill), but once you get to the springs it is absolutely worth the view, and the relaxation benefits are a bonus. The springs lived up to its name – hot, but more than I expected! We didn’t last very long relaxing, as our bodies were turning tomato red from the heat, but the experience itself was something I will never forget! It was so cool to have experienced nature’s natural hot tub. There were a total of eight springs, and while it was a bit busy, there was enough room for everyone to enjoy their own hot spring.
All in all, our glamping adventure was more than we bargained for. We simply did not want to leave, and not being able to access the “real world” for a night brought us together in ways I never thought. If you ever have the opportunity to go on a roadtrip with someone you love (whether it be a significant other, best friend, relative), I highly recommend visiting this glampsite we went to. You can find out more here: https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/38020391?source_impression_id=p3_1591635722_PPVGJeH5Mua3fZkw&guests=1&adults=1
Have you ever gone glamping?