On the road along the Oregon coast - 2008 . . .
during our travels in the Pacific Northwest
Page 1 of 4
The Oregon coast was beautiful and many attractions were nearby. In the north sandy beaches and huge rocks share the shore, farther south the sand dunes are predominate but the water is always rough. The State of Oregon provides many pull-offs, view points, waysides and state parks where the public can enjoy the views. Most of them are free of charge. We enjoyed the Oregon coast for fifteen days.
Because we spent fifteen days along the Oregon coast,.
we have split our travels along the coast into four pages.
Use the links below to move around Page 1.
Astoria Fort Stevens State Park Astoria Column Riverfront Trolley
Cannon Beach Nehalem Bay State Park
Arriving in Astoria, OR gave us another close look at the Columbia River.
Later we would learn about the 'pilot' boats at the Columbia River Maritime Museum - one of the attractions we visited in Astoria.
We drove through Astoria and over the bridge to Warrenton and to the Fort Stevens State Park. Oregon has a good state park system. We plan to use it frequently because they are on prime land along the coast. In 1998, Oregon voted to use Lottery profits to support state parks.
Top of Page
Fort Stevens State Park
We set-up the HHII and toured the park. Our first stop was at the South Jetty Viewing Platform.
This platform provided a nice place for photographing if you
were able stand up.
The wind was so strong the platform was swaying. One woman said. "I can't stay on this" and left.
To your left . . .
In front of you, nothing but water.
To your right . . .
The next stop was at the Columbia River on the other side of the peninsula.
Washington and the bridge to Washington in Astoria.
This lighthouse across the Columbia River is in Washington.
This is the remains of a train trestle from the early 1900's.
While Fred was making the trestle photographs, four elk ran in front of us.
People were enjoying playing or walking on the beach. Some drove on the beach.
Mary Lou is holding up the bow of the Peter Iredale. A shipwreck from 1906. Sand covers much of the wreckage, what we see today - pieces of it projecting out of the sand but still attached to the ship.
A wind surfer . . . the big one below the seagulls
At Coffenbury Lake, we saw the same "Kids don't float" program in action that we first saw in Alaska.
This is a Yurt. The state parks rent these 'cabins' for about $30 a day. Using them is like tent camping without the tent.
Mary Lou was invited in one when she approached a woman and asked questions about Yurt camping. You have to bring all your camping gear. They provide a futon, bunk bed, table with four chairs, electric heater, clothing hooks and electricity. There is a covered porch, picnic table, fire ring and outside bench. The plexiglass dome skylight makes the interior bright even on gloomy days.
There was a full moon one of the nights we were there.
So Mary Lou wanted to go to the ocean. It was a fun visit - not a good time for photography.
The next morning we had to look at the ocean before going to Astoria.
Soon after we arrived a guy sitting on the motorcycle said, "do you see it? I have lived here all my life and have never seen a whale at this beach." He was so excited, he told everyone that walked up.
Mary Lou watched it using the binoculars and saw it rolling as it was eating indicating it was a gray whale. It was so far out from shore the photograph barely shows it. You can see the 'blow' and the water disturbance better than the whale.
After several minutes, the guy said "oh, no" and
took off running.
When we turned to look where he went, a motorcycle
had bogged down in the sand and was on it's side.
He had gone to help them.
(The couple on the motorcycle was fine.)
Driving through, Hammond is definitely a drive through a seaside village.
Top of Page
The Astoria Column is a salute to Astoria's explorers and early settlers.
The Astoria Column is at the top of a hill in town. The hill and the 125 feet column make the viewing platform 725 feet above sea level. From the main street you can follow the images painted in the streets to the Astoria Column.
Like other tall hills and mountains,
antennas are at the top of the hill near the column.
An Italian Renaissance art form that combines paint and plaster carvings decorate the column exterior with a frieze of 14 significant events in the discovery, exploration and settlement of the area. The column was constructed in 1926. If unwound, the length of the artwork is over 500 feet.
The view from this elevation was great.
Unfortunately, the stairway was closed for reconstruction. We were told an inspection found them to be unsafe to remain open to the public.
Top of Page
We could not pass up a ride on the Riverfront Trolley. It was only $1 per person for a ride along the waterfront. We boarded at the Columbia River Maritime Museum.
The trolley was purchased from a country in South America and restored for use in Astoria. It is driven by electric motors on the trolley's wheels. Because they do not have overhead wires providing power, they tow a 6,000KW generator for power.
This rule disappointed a lot of people.
The conductor pointed out the ships waiting for a pilot. The pilot boats take the river pilots out to each ship because only a pilot who knows the river can navigate the Columbia River.
The history of the town and some of the building was narrated by the conductor.
Because all other cities along the Columbia River have beaches, the city fathers decide to build a beach. They hauled in sand and this is the town beach.
All of these pilings at one time supported buildings and piers.
He also pointed out the viewing platform at the end of this street, the pleasure boat marina and the pallets on the dock that were recently used to bring canned salmon down from Alaska.
As we returned to the museum, the NOAA ship had left the dock.
But, there was still track beyond the museum - our ride continued.
Two little girls were asked if they wanted to ring the bell. The conductor had to help the younger one.
At a the working boat marina, the seals are uninvited guests. They are not appreciated by the fisherman.
This was the end of the line, because the trolley is too heavy to be turned around by the passengers today, the conductor had people on each side stand and flip the seatbacks. It was fairly easy - grab the brass handle and pull hard.
Then, the two men switched roles also - one drives, one narrates. They are volunteers who work one day a week.
We asked the ticket gal at the museum about places to eat. First, we mentioned the place across the street - she immediately said "excellent". She gave us two other suggestions. We decided to have lunch across the street - good choice. The tuna fish and chips were fantastic.
The history of the boat was posted.
The dining area.
Just like all trips we take pass through Indiana, everytime we left or returned to camp we drove to the ocean.
Well, so much for the forecast of clear skies.
We knew the day was not going to be to our liking as soon as we hit the road in the morning.
It was going to be difficult to see the beautiful Oregon coast today.
Top of Page
Our first stop was Cannon Beach. One attraction here is the world's third largest monolith, Haystack Rock. We didn't see it - too much fog.
We arrived to a fogged-in beach at low tide. We watch the water rushing in a low spot behind a sandbar. By the time we had lunch and 'shopped' a little, it was almost high tide. The difference can be seen in the photographs.
The town had a lot of flowers decorating the downtown and beach area. These were especially pretty growing outside alongside a building.
When it is foggy you find other interesting things to photograph.
A pizza delivery truck with a heated 'keep warm' compartment on the bed rails.
A warning sign that water use is to be avoided.
A skate park, basketball court and soccer field . . .
We told you in Yellowstone that RV parking was not honored by many visitors. Cannon Beach takes their RV parking seriously, posting very specific information including towing of non-RV vehicles.
The fog continued. We decided to drive another 15 miles to Nehalem Bay State Park and wait it out for a day or so.
This tunnel provided a warning signal that bicycles were in the tunnel and slowed you to 30MPH. The sign was activated by the bicyclist before they entered the tunnel.
Can you say 'fogged-in'?
Top of Page
Nehalem Bay State Park
The next day we worked on our Web site and visited the beach at Nehalem Bay State Park. It was cloudy. It was foggy. But, we still walked down to the shore, sat on a log for a while and made some photographs. In spite of weather conditions, it was still enjoyable.
Every wave develops a little differently . . . we tracked this one.
Logs and wood of all shapes and sizes were scattering the beach. We did not see many seashells.
Coming back we could see Nehalem Bay. When we explored, we found it was a popular place for the fisherman. There were several empty boat trailers in the parking lot.
We also toured the campground today. You can see some interesting things in the various camps - equipment and people. We have seen horse camps before ... but ... the map showed an airplane camp. We have never seen an airplane camp.
Corrals are provided for the horses.
On the way to the airplane campground we saw black tail deer along the road.
The airport campground had a runway, parking spots, six campsites and, of course, a registration/fee area. We are assuming it had pit toilets because on the campground map the campsites were listed as 'primitive'.
While Fred was making the photographs, a herd of elk came out of the woods to feed - bucks, does and calves. A buck led them across the runway. The does and calves bunched up and a couple bucks followed. Every once in a while, a buck would look in our direction.
We were disappointed that the fog did not clear completely but we still had a good time.
Go to Next page: On the road along the Oregon coast (Page 2 of 4) - 2008
Other Oregon coast pages:
On the road along the Oregon coast (Page 3 of 4) - 2008
On the road along the Oregon coast (Page 4 of 4) - 2008
GO BACK TO > > > Pacific Northwest - 2008
Top of Page