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Category Archives: beach

We stayed two nights at Fort Stevens. After an evening at the beach, we were driving back to camp and were lucky enough to see a herd of eleven Roosevelt elk. They were all bulls with velvet-covered antlers. We had seen them near Warrenton outside of Astoria, before going to the park and Ken had seen one from the beach. Some of them were grazing on Scotch broom, a nasty yellow-flowered invasive weed in the Pacific NW.

Just before we left Oregon, we went to see the wreck of the Peter Iredale. It crashed into the sand in 1906. The ship was 287 feet long and 30 feet wide. Only a small portion of it remains visible in the sand. The area surrounding the mouth of the Columbia River is knows as the graveyard of the Pacific in regards to shipping disasters.

For the second half of our camping trip, we went to Fort Stevens State Park in Oregon. It is also at the mouth of the Columbia River but on the south side. It is an enormous park with lots and lots of paved bike trails and miles and miles of beach. Much of the beach is open to driving which decreases the wild nature of the place but there weren’t too many cars on the sand while we were there. The tracks were evident though.

The campground is a long ways from the beaches so we drove to them with the dogs. Some beaches are much less popular due to a high dune to cross to access the water. And the campgrounds cram a lot of people into a small space so they were noisy and crowded. We probably won’t go back to Fort Stevens. Oregon has lots of other nice state parks on the coast. This park is good for families and people that bring their bicycles.

The dogs had fun at the beach.

In June we went camping on the coast starting with Cape Disappointment State Park in far southwest Washington. It’s a really terrific park and we recommend it. The camping area is near the beach for an easy walk. Dogs could run around on the beach as long as they were well behaved. There are two lighthouses and lots of trails. Bicycles would be handy for getting around but probably not with dogs along. It is the site of the North Jetty at the mouth of the Columbia River. The jetty is currently being rebuilt and you can see a distant crane in one of these photos. It is used to lift just boulders into place. The jetty, along with the South Jetty in Oregon, is there to try to keep the shipping lanes open in the big river.

We went out to the Washington Coast to dig razor clams at the end of last month. Clamming was good the first three nights (yes, clam digging at night, in January) but then it slowed down for us. Still we managed to eat lots of them. I even made razor clam ceviche for the first time (yummers!) and we brought some home for the freezer. It was a good time.

During the day, we enjoyed long walks on the beach and Ken did some fishing for surf perch. The first two days we had some sunshine and a little bit of rain and then the last two days, it just rained. Oh well. It was January on the coast. We tried to see the Blue Moon Lunar Eclipse but a thin and then a thick overcast mostly obscured it.

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