Saturday, July 6, 2013

Fort Stevens State Park Oregon, Last Beach Day, Fourth of July, and Astoria Redux

 Hi all, Dianne here.  We've moved on from Nehalem Bay State Park up the Oregon Coast to Fort Stevens State Park, land of firewood and colorful fishing floats!

First, though, our last day at Nehalem Bay was sunny       and warm, in the 70s.   We took one last scenic walk to the beach with Bandido and Tequila, took our beach chairs and mats and spent the day.

Bandido found a big stick of driftwood, which he tried to bury by digging a big hole.

He and Tequila ran, chased a ball, played tug, and laid in the sun while we read books and watched the waves.  Here they are discussing the big stick:

  The very last thing we did before leaving the   
   Manzanita area is make a return trip to the Big Wave Restaurant on a day when the breakfast special was crab eggs benedict.  Check it out! 

Our friend Jay had raved about it after he and Nancy ate breakfast there one morning before meeting up with us.  Roger just had to try it for himself.  Yum!

After breakfast we packed up and made the short drive to our next destination, Fort Stevens State Park in the far northwest corner of Oregon.  Fort Stevens even has its very own shipwreck, which you can walk around at low tide.  After checking our tide table, we went over to check it out.

  The wreck of the Peter Ireland extends down the beach about half the length of a football field, much of it still buried beneath the sand.

 It's hard to photograph the entire wreck and show the scale.

We could still see one of the masts embedded in    the sand.   Below is a photo that I found on the internet.  It's on the Oregon History Project web site:
OHS Web Image
1906 -  19 Days after Running Aground - Wreck of the Peter Iredale
 Our new campground is actually closer to Astoria, Oregon than when we visited it with our friends Jay and Nancy during their visit.  One of the things we wanted to do was to revisit Astoria and see a few sites we missed.  

First, though, we made a stop at Bowpicker's for more delicious one-of-a-kind fish and chips.  If you look at the long line that shows up daily for the single-menu item at Bowpicker's, it gives you an idea of just how special they are.  Luckily we were just early enough to avoid being at the back of this line!

From there, we walked over to the small Oregon Film Museum.
You Goonies fans will recognize this as the jail from the opening scene of the movie.  In honor of being in Astoria, Roger bought a $5 copy of the movie and we watched it the night before going back to Astoria.
 Inside the museum, we saw the jail cell where the bad guy faked his own hanging to make his escape.
How many of you remember this prop from the movie??
Roger wanted his photo taken with one of the "stars."
Is this what's called "Young at Heart?"
There were displays about other movies that were filmed in Oregon other than the Goonies.  

We were suprised to learn that many other movies, like One Flew Over the Cuckoo's nest, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The ShiningStand by Me, and Free Willy were also filmed in Oregon, many along the coastal areas we had just visited.   

The poster below caught our eye, as it shows a car careening off the cliff from the scenic lookout off of Hwy 101 near Manzanita Beach.  If you recall, our opening photos from our June 29 "Cannon Beach" blog entry (the one with my bad hair...) were taken from this vantage point.  The poster was from the 1991 movie Shattered. 

Not sure the museum (did I mention it was small?) was worth the $4 adult admission, but we enjoyed checking it out. 

No "Goonie immersion" would be complete without a visit to the house where Goonies was filmed, so before we left Astoria we did just that.  
It is now a private home owned by good sports who permit looky-loos to walk up the hill on their private gravel driveway to take a look and pictures of their house.  If you think Roger and I are the only people weird enough to do such a thing, think again!  Here's a look at the crowd climbing the hill just after we came down:
  If I lived in that house, I'm not sure I'd be such a good sport!

Here is the beautiful view those folks have of the Columbia River and the bridge to Washington from their front porch, if they'd ever be able to actually use it:

Another thing we wanted to do in Astoria was walk along the riverfront area, so we did.

We stopped in a few shops and had a beer at the Wet Dog Cafe & Brewery.  

Interesting sights were all around us!

Placards along the waterfront explained that part of Astoria was built out over the water on pilings before the great fire of 1922.  

We only had one week at Fort Stevens, and during that time we were also preparing for our daughters' upcoming visit when we move on to Portland.  The small town of Warrenton nearby the state park was a good base for hair cuts, laundry, a Costco run, groceries, and best of all a fenced-in dog park with an adjacent trail along the Columbia River.  

Fort Stevens State Park has over 500 camp sites (an amazing fact in itself) and it was completely full over the Fourth of July weekend.  No vacancy!

Did I mention they love firewood here?

Now, most of my friends wouldn't be caught dead in a state park campground on a holiday weekend, and I'm talking about my RVing friends.  Who needs a parade and fireworks, though, when you can spend the day watching the parade of kids and adults on bikes...
and skateboards...

Add in the smell of wood smoke, steaks, burgers and hot dogs cooking on charcoal, the sounds of families gathered around campfires, cookouts, and games of catch and corn hole.  Mix-in a little bit of dogs barking and birds chirping.  Now that's real Americana to me, not contrived or just for show.  I hope I never get too old and grumpy to enjoy watching kids playing and families having fun together.

The rangers make the rounds selling firewood (they burn campfires day and night in the Pacific Northwest because it's never too hot.)

 They even came around with a special guest in the golf cart once.  We think it was a beaver costume.  Whatever it was, it was a big hit with the little ones.  No fireworks were allowed in the state park, so we and our dogs were able to have a restful evening.  That's good, because Bandido is really afraid of gunfire-type noises.

We'll be having some family fun of our own in a few days, when our two daughters and granddaughter fly in from Los Angeles and Fort Myers, Florida to spend time with us in Oregon and Washington.  Before that, though, the dogs have a "spa date" (nails clipped, baths, doggie day care) while Roger and I make a long day trip in our Toyota over to see Mount St. Helens.  Check back soon for that entry!

The pet picture of the day shows Tequila on high alert looking at a squirrel at the local dog park here in Warrenton, Oregon.
Come down and play with me!

1 comment:

Steve Conrad said...

Excellent post/photos. When we go out West we can use you blog as a guide. Thank you. Again, great post. Shipwreck photos is tops!!