Fort Stevens and Ecola State Parks, Oregon

After a restful nights sleep I make a small breakfast, pack up and head out for the short 1-hour drive across the Columbia River into Oregon for a visit to Fort Stevens State Park. Located in the far northwest tip of the state this park is bordered on 1 side by the mouth of the Columbia River and on  second side by the Graveyard of the Pacific This 4,300 acre (17.4 sq km) park has much to offer to its visitors; walk or drive along the beach, hike coastal and forested paths, bicycle along bike trails, camp, beachcomb, birdwatch, visit a shipwreck, explore an abandoned military installation used during the Civil War and World War II. Or just relax and enjoy the area.

Fort Stevens Park Map

My first stop was to see one of the shipwrecks along this stretch of the Graveyard of the Pacific. Along with approximately 2,000 other ships since 1792, the remains of the Peter Iredale now rests on the sandy beach. Only a portion of this 275 foot (83.8 m) long steel ship remains, grounded where she came to rest in 1906 from a navigation error in dense fog by its Captain due to the areas treacherous weather and storms. It has become an attraction since the day it grounded on the sandbar.

 

Next stop was Fort Stevens. First built in 1863-64 during the Civil War it was in use up until the end of World War II, it was part of a 3-fort system at the mouth of the Columbia River to defend this waterway and ports from attack by sea. The other 2 forts were located in the state of Washington; Fort Canby at Cape Disappointment and Fort Columbia a few miles up river from Fort Canby. (For my visit to Fort Canby and Cape Disappointment see LINK)

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Fort Stevens installation map

 

 

 

During World War II a Japanese submarine fired upon Fort Stevens in June of 1942, making this fort notable as being the only military base on the Continental United States to be fired upon by an enemy since the War of 1812. 17 rounds were fired at the fort with no real damage being done.

After a full morning of exploring the buildings and small Fort Stevens Visitors Center – Museum I enjoyed a late picnic lunch and continued my journey south on Highway 101 to visit Ecola State Park. This 9 mile (14.5 k) long stretch of beach lets you enjoy hiking, picnicking, tidepooling, surfing and scenic coastal vistas. Located just north of Cannon Beach, OR I leave Highway 101 and travel the13 miles (21 k) of twisty narrow roadway into the north area of the park to see Indian Beach Day Use Area. This secluded beach is a spot frequented by surfers, beachcombers, and tidepool explorers and is reached along a short path down the hillside to the beach. Extending north is a network of trails that will provide a 2 ½ mile (4 k) loop trail to the top of Bald Mountain or continue north to Tillamook Head trailhead which is part of the Oregon Coast Trail. The loop trail is part of the Lewis and Clark National Historic Tail, walked by Lewis Clark and a band of men from the Corps of Discovery to search for a beached whale in 1806. They were hoping to return to Fort Clatsop with whale blubber as they fought hunger from their time there. They sadly return empty handed.

Day 2 Ecola State Park Map

 

 

 

After this beautiful day of exploring I returned to my car and drove the 2 hours back to my home to plan the next trip in a few weeks, south to visit my family and friends at the home I just moved from.

Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks trip August 2017 Day 4 part 2

A little history lesson

In the first 10 years of Yellowstone’s life as a National Park it was under serious threat from exploitation. Speculators built camps and hotels right next to the hot springs along with bath’s and laundries in the hot springs for the tourists. People took large pieces of geysers and artifacts from the grounds, while hunters poached animals.

With no one to protect the resources Congress, in 1886, sent in the Army to protect these natural resources. For the first 5 years life was harsh in temporary Camp Sheridan. Soldiers lived in temporary wood framed buildings and tents through harsh winters. In 1890 Congress allocated money for a permanent post, Fort Yellowstone, to be built in the Mammoth Hot Springs area seeing no end in site for the Army’s deployment here. In 1910 there were 324 soldiers stationed here patrolling the park on horse back in summer and skis in the winter.

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Fort Yellowstone 1910

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Vancouver, WA trip, April 2016

This is a report of my short trip to Vancouver, WA to visit my son, daughter–in-law and grandson for my grandson’s 1-year birthday. This would be a car trip and to make it up there and back in the time I got off work would require a marathon drive, about 17 hours each way. Well off I went leaving about 5AM from SoCal to miss the traffic. Glad I did because I got all the way through LA doing at least the speed limit. The only stops along the way would be for food, gas and nature breaks.

One important stop would be at Redding, CA for the last In-N-Out burger stand in California where I picked up 2 double doubles and a chocolate shake. Please note one of the burgers went into the cooler to give to my son when I arrived as he misses In-N-Out so much since he moved to Washington.

I finally arrived at 9:45PM exhausted.  I unpacked only what I had to, talked a little while and fell into bed hoping to get some well deserved sleep.

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