More good weather as we headed back west to the coastline. I really like the Oregon coast – pretty towns with pretty beaches. We entered Oregon via the Lewis and Clark bridge over the Columbia River at Astoria. Astoria is the oldest permanent community and US Post Office west of the Rockies, founded by John Jacob Astor’s fur company in 1811. This area is also where Lewis and Clark ended their journey. They spent the winter of 1805-1806 at Fort Clatsop where they reported that it rained 94 of the 106 days they were there and that their clothes rotted from the dampness. We, on the other hand, were blessed with sunshine.
We spent two nights on the coast in two different state parks – Oregon has well-maintained and managed state parks. Good website too – easy to reserve exact spaces. Our first stay was in a yurt in Fort Stevens State Park, in Hammond near Astoria. Fort Stevens is the only military fort in the US mainland to have been fired on since the War of 1812. It was attacked by a Japanese sub in 1942. There’s also the shell of a ship, the Peter Ireland, that ran ashore at this site. Our second night, our first actually tent camping (finally warm enough!), was in Cape Lookout State Park near Tillamook (home of the famous cheese). We stopped at the store and got everything we needed to cook hotdogs and make s’mores. Except matches. Oops! We had to borrow fire from the nice family next door so that we could have dinner. Our site was facing a sand dune and we fell asleep to the surf. We woke up to the pitter patter of a light rain and it was sooooo pleasant until I realized we had to break camp and put the tent back into the car-top carrier.
We spent a couple of days just exploring the coast. Cannon Beach was our favorite. They call this Haystack Rock but I think it looks like a whale out of kid’s book.
We were there during low tide and were able to walk out to the rock and look in the tide pools at these interesting things.
We spent a little time in a coffee shop making reservations for the next week of our trip and met an interesting guy. He was finishing up his east coast-to-west coast bike ride – Astoria would be his last stop before heading back. He said that in the past he has hiked the full length of each of the three continental trails – Appalachian, Pacific Crest and ????. His trip from east to west was on the bike trail that took him through Houston and Hartville (Transcontinental?). He said he climbed his highest fire tower in Missouri and was surprised to find that Missouri is not flat. He’s heading back via Highway 2. I thought he and Ralph Rognstad would have a lot in common!