So. In. Love. The coast of Oregon was a perfect blend of sunshine and sweatshirt-weather, beaches and foresty-landscape, craft beer and history. Yep, we were infatuated.
- Boice-Cope County Park where they sell firewood by the “wheelbarrow load,” impromptu sing-alongs happen at campfires, and you can watch people kite-surf and wind-surf on Lake Floras or walk to the beach. It was one of our favorites.
- Tillicum Beach Campground. It is perched on a bluff overlooking a beach with unbelievably soft white sand. Some campsites are right on the edge of the cliff and have unparalleled views of the beach and ocean. We watched the sunset from one of these sites the night we were there and soaked up some sun on the beach earlier that afternoon.
As we continued driving North up the coast towards Astoria, we listened to the audiobook of Peter Stark’s Astoria. It was a fascinating history of the 1810 Astor Expedition hoping to establish a Pacific Coast trading empire. Neither of us had known of the history of this expedition but love Lewis and Clark history, so we were enthralled. I would highly recommend it. If nothing else, it will give you a little perspective and make you feel like a pansy when you are complaining about mosquitoes and sore feet after a hike!
We did get to stop at several Lewis and Clark historical sites, including Fort Clatsop, where Lewis and Clark and their crew spent the winter of 1805-1806. They have a replica of the original fort and very interactive programs. Some rangers and volunteers were dressed in period clothes and their enthusiasm for retelling the stories was contagious.
We camped at Fort Stevens State Park, which was a military installment active from the Civil War through the end of WWII, defending the mouth of the Columbia River. It was the only military site in the continental United States to come under enemy fire during WWII, hit by shells from a Japanese submarine. The batteries were open to explore and you could easily imagine life in a different time.
The next day we spent in Astoria, checking out breweries like Buoy Beer where part of the floor is glass tile so you can see the sea lions perched under their dockside building. We walked along the riverside, and the $1 ticket to ride the volunteer-run trolley was the best spent $1 of the whole trip.
Oregon has been good to us. It was one of our favorite states our first time through (see here and here), and remains one of our favorite states now that we have seen the western part of the state as well.