4/29/13-5/6/13, Clatskanie (overnighting) with visits to Astoria and Seaside, etc.
I headed up to the Clatskanie City Park NW of Portland, about 30 miles east of Astoria. I stayed here for a couple nights on my way south last fall and it’s a good location for me. So back I came. This time I elected to pay their dry camping rate of $5 per night. (Electric and water is $10/night.) I still was able to access water to fill my holding tank, and before I left, the camphosts moved a truck so that I could get to a place to dump my tanks. This park does not have a dump station, but does have a couple full hookup sites. They are all right next to one another next to the camphost and really only one is accessible for use, in my estimation. That said, I would rather park on the field as I did in the fall and this time. And the camphost offered me use of the sewer … nice of him. They are a super couple. Came there the summer of 2005 to host and haven’t ever left!
The Clatskanie River is on 3 sides of the park – yes, it’s a winding river. Walking around the park and the town is nice because of that.
I did some drives (including to the park I would stay at next) but my highlight would be the day I’d go to Astoria, then on to Seaside and to my friend Kitty’s art exhibit. I actually can say now that I SHOULD have taken two days to do all I crammed into one … and I knew that in advance. Ah, the best intentions of mice and men, eh?
Peaches got to come with for this tour, and we stopped whenever I wanted to.
This wayside is near Westport, OR. Westport is named after “Captain” John West. He was a native of Scotland who settled near the Columbia River in early 1850′s after having tried his luck in the California goldfields. He was literally a man of all trades: he built and operated sawmills, ran a general store and post office, built and managed a salmon cannery, developed and improved the canning industry and exported lumber! If you stop at this viewpoint, you can find out lots more about him!
I’ve been to Astoria a few times to visit my friend Kitty. I love the town. In most of my past visits, however, it rained … and rained … and rained some more. Kind of like most of my trips to OR in the past. So it was delightful this time to see Astoria with the sun shining beautifully upon her. My first stop in town was to go look for the sea lions.
I remember in past years walking with Kitty down closer to the boat piers where the sea lions have taken over. Now, those piers are blocked except to those with boats there. I do understand. And the sea lions were around in abundance.
I moved down and parked near the Maritime Museum to walk along the waterfront and enjoy the beautiful day.
If you aren’t family with Astoria, it is located at the mouth of the Columbia River where it meets the ocean.
I drove a few blocks and stopped again for the …
I believe it’s there to view the bridge and waters, but there are also great views of the houses of Astoria.
Peaches tiptoed up that stairway, but if I went, she was going … and go she did. She hates those kinds of stairs, and cattle guards, and she walks around sewer covers … so yep, she believes I was torturing her!
But what is mostly being talked about here is the Columbia River Bar (also known as an Open Gateway). Currents, tides and weather can be extreme here. Fog is common. The Bar forms where the river rushes into the ocean, building up a series of shifting sandbars that often have rough waves breaking over them. In times past it was difficult to find the channel, as the wind, waves and current changed it constantly. Today the channel is well-maintained. Jetties stabilize the mouth of the river and specially licensed pilots assist vessels in crossing the bar and navigating the Columbia River.
And then it was off to Seaside … where I took Peaches for a walk on the beach and went into town and got myself an ice cream cone. Seaside is a tourist trap. Oops, lol … but it was crowded on this Saturday in May before the tourist season is in full stream. I was amazed. Yes, the weather was awesome. So I’m guessing the locals were out and about before the town gets hit by all the tourists for the summer. I didn’t take pics … not sure why … but was headed back just this side of Seaside in Gearhart to the Art Show of my friend from Astoria, Kitty Paino.
Kitty was also doing a demonstration for those interested. Some of us were aghast when she took a work that looked completed and started cutting it up. She wasn’t happy with it, so it was going to end up in a collage. Okies …
She really is good. My pictures do not do her work justice. You can see better images of the work at the gallery by going to the Trails End Art Association website – or to Kitty’s website: http://www.krpgraphics.com/
Many of you know that I love Great Blue Herons … among many other birds and animals. So it will be no surprise to you that I got a small copy (greeting card size) of this artwork of Kitty’s:
My little version is already on my wall … love it.
And while I would have loved to have stayed, and gone to dinner with Kitty and others of her friends and family, I headed on back with other stops to make. Peaches and I headed to Fort Stevens State Park, not too far west of Astoria and easily on our way back through to Astoria, then Clatskanie. I could have spent a day or two or three to see even part of what was there. We did a quick look at
Fort Stevens has the longest history as an active seacoast defense installation on the Pacific Ocean north of San Francisco. It began it’s 84 year tenure with the construction of a Civil War earthworks fort in 1863.
Battery Russell was named after Major David A. Russell. It is common for military buildings to be named after senior officers. Russell became a senior officer in a special way. He was a Brevet, meaning he served at a higher rank without receiving additional pay. That was common during the Civil War. Prior to the Civil War he served as the Commander of Fort Yamhill, OR. He was transferred to the 8th US Infantry during the Civil War and died in action in VA, in September of 1864.
I also drove through part of the rv campground section of the state park. It’s nice. This is a very, very large park … and there was much I didn’t get to stop and see.
No more stops … headed on home to the rv and collapsed for the night.My original intentions had been to leave Clatskanie Sunday morning … but while I did dump and was ready, that 30 miles seemed like forever lol … I stayed one more night. To be honest, the traffic on Saturday was horrendous and Sunday was another beautiful day. I figured everyone would be out and about again and while my original thoughts were Sunday would be the better travel day, after seeing things Saturday, I rethought it and changed. I love being able to do that!