Part 31: Sheridan, OR to Hobuck Beach, WA


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The Trip

We left NWMF in Sheridan, OR and headed northwest toward the Pacific Coast.  We hit US-101 and headed north toward Tillamook.  We were looking for places to stay and elected to head a bit inland to Kilchis River and a county campground.  The following morning, we continued north toward Washington.

The Photos

The photos below are what we saw.

The area around the Kilchis river was premium farmland.  We found the county campground and were lucky to get a spot.  Thor is a "hillbilly magnet" and since that is the demographic that was in the campground, we were besieged by "the usual dumb questions".  Eventually they gave up and we went inside the camper for dinner.  The queries started again in earnest the following morning.

We continued up US-101 along the beautiful Oregon coast.  We were presented with one awesome view after another.

The clouds were crowding the beach and only provided intermittent sunlight.

This shot is from a road-side pull-out that also serves as a hang glider launch point.  The pink streamers are used by the pilots to judge wind speed and direction.   The wind was plenty strong, but I am guessing that the visibility was low enough to prevent any launches.

Near Seaside we spotted these haystacks in the surf.

Kathleen is so cute!  She saw the camera lens pointed her way and naturally assumed that I was taking a photo of her.  But, that was not the case.  The real object of the photo was the classic white car in the driveway and the pricey homes on the cliff.  She was, however, a nice side benefit.

From the cliff overlook we could see a wind surfer capitalizing on the strong breezes.

The coastal areas are very scenic -- when you can see.  A break in the clouds gave us a nice view.

We did not check the price of real estate but anything with an ocean view is likely pricey.

We stopped at Bay City for lunch at the harbor.  Plenty of boats were in port.

Near the harbor we spotted this PA-7 locomotive.  While old, this motor likely runs fine as it is sitting on a live siding.

These tiny haystacks near Barview Jetty were attracting attention from the sightseers.

We continued north toward Fort Stevens right at the mouth of the Columbia River.  As we were turning left into the park we heard a crash and looked up to see this Honda crashing into the rear of an F-250 stopped at the light.  The pickup was not damaged, but the same could not be said for the Honda as it is likely totaled.  We were turned away at the park because they were full and got the photo above on our attempt to get space at the KOA.  They were full as well, so we continued north.

To get north on US-101 from Astoria, you have to cross the massive Megler Bridge which spans the entire Columbia River.  This portion of the span is tall enough to pass large cargo ships.

From the Megler Bridge we could see a number of large freighters moored in Astoria's harbor.

From the Washington side of the Columbia River, the size of the Megler Bridge becomes apparent.  The tall portion of the bridge is at the very left side of the photo above, nearly invisible in the distance.

After calling a number of RV parks and campgrounds, we found them all full so we decide to head east on WA-4.  We found a spot at Skamokawa Vista, a county park.  Turns out that this was the best spot around; the site was right on the beach and had a great view of the ship traffic on the Columbia River.  This cargo ship is likely heading toward Portland, OR.

Both Kathleen and I were blown away that the ships were coming so close to shore.  Apparently the river channel is deep on our side of the river.

This large car carrier was heading out to sea.

It is windy in the Columbia River valley and sundown at Skamokawa was no exception.  The winds abated overnight and the morning was mostly calm.  We broke camp and headed west back to US-101 and then north to Willapa Bay.  We found a place to eat and since Wallapa Bay is famous for oysters, that is what we ordered.  Both of us thought that we ordered raw oysters on the half shell, but we were brought a dozen large BBQ oysters.  Since they smelled great and we were both hungry, we readily accepted the mistake and chowed-down.  They were awesome and we would definitely order them again.  Across the street from the cafe were these pilings, likely part of the oyster operations.

Further north in Aberdeen, WA we came upon this interesting grafitti.

We spotted this odd sculpture on a sidewalk in Aberdeen.

We ended up spending the night at Lake Quinault, in the rain forest.  There happened to be a restaurant within walking distance so rather than cooking we hiked.  Next morning we found that right next to our camp was "the world's largest blue spruce tree".  This is interesting, but implies that one has measured every tree on the planet, which is not likely.  Still, it was a big tree.

Our camp had a great view of Lake Quinault.  The local area gets twelve feet of rain yearly.  There was moss on everything but we were treated to a sunny day.

We had a nice beach at our camp but did not go swimming as the water was chilly and the 'skeets hungry.

North of Quinault on the coast road we spotted this tree growing over a "nurse log".  The young tree is stealing the nutrients from the dead tree.

A highway pull-out gave us a nice view of the beach below.  There is a lighthouse on the distant island.

We pulled into Forks, WA for a supply stop and we spotted this rig in the parking lot of the local supermarket.  This is an ex-German military Iveco DOKA 4x4 cargo hauler with an Ormocar foam-fiber panel camper.  The couple are Swiss and doing an extended tour of North America and had recently returned from South America.

This truck is quite a bit taller than Thor and while the owner said that going through trees was no problem he had to agree that Thor had plenty of brush scratches on the upper part of the cab that would have been an issue for him.  His whole truck was remarkably free of scratches.  All of his windows had theft covers which also prevent damage from low branches.

We left US-101 and headed north to the Strait of Juan de Fuca where we spotted these cormorants resting on the beach rocks.  Our route took us to Cape Flattery, the most northwest point in the CONUS.

Our view at Cape Flattery was obscured by the trees and it was too late to take the multi-mile hike, so we ended up at Hobuck Beach on the Pacific coast.  While checking out the beach, I spotted these two young boys on the top of posts.  They were likely coming to understand the military term "standing a post".

To our south across Miekkaw Bay we could see Anderson Point and Portage Head.

The windswept coastal dunes had isolated patches of grass holding the sand in place from the strong winds.

Our camp at Hobuck Beach is on the Mahka Indian Reservation.  The RV sites were full, so we elected to take a remote came near the beach.

We traveled the entire north-south length of Washington state in only 2 days.  This was much faster than our normal speed, but we had a meeting with friends that is constrained by their (ugh) work schedule.  The Oregon coast is probably the most scenic on the entire west coast of the U.S. but because of its beauty it is heavily traveled (and populated).  If you elect to head to the area, be sure of your hotel/motel/camp arrangements lest you be left in a pinch with many miles to travel before your next (likely also full) possible stop.  We usually travel fully ad-hoc, but got the message loud and clear in the Astoria area.

Next, we head across the Olympic peninsula to the mainland and then north to Bellingham, WA to visit our long-time friends George and Randi.

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Photos and Text Copyright Bill Caid 2014, all rights reserved.
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