Washington, Oregon Coast Motorhome Camping part 3
With the always changing Ocean and it's fascinating weather patterns, only a couple of minutes walk away, I hiked past the buried remains of a whale, to the massive lava rock wall at the north end of the beach. North Head Lighthouse
Evening sunset was a group affair on the beach.
Many camping visitors set up chairs as the sun started to go down onto a peaceful Pacific Ocean.
The beach hike to the North Jetty along the Benson beach is always rewarding. The Jetties were built using a uniquely engineered rail and barge system, over a 30 year period starting in the late 1800's. They reduced the mouth of the Columbia River, from five miles to two miles. This effectively helped to flush out the channel for deep water, international shipping entry.
The access railway trestles are still visible leading to the South Jetty
The tidal and wave currents flushing in and out of the Columbia river, create a highly dangerous 'Bar' with winter storm waves easily in the 20 to 30 feet magnitude regularity. This area is referred to as in the Graveyard of the Pacific
Highly qualified, experienced River Bar Pilots have been lost during the dangerous transfers from ship to Pilot Boat.
The thousands of acres of sand accumulated North of the North jetty, have built a forested eco-system of it's own, Pelicans love it. The big yellow fiberglass Asian lifeboat I have noticed over past years, has again moved during a winter storm. It is now near the entrance to the first campsite beach access path. One more violent winter storm and it could well be in the heavily forested cove among the massive logs below North Head Lighthouse (open to tour)
Also Oregon Lighthouses
Hiking the area and climbing to Cape Disappointment Lighthouse
Stopped in at always fascinating, Jack's Country Store
Busy little Dunes Cafe across the street from Jack's, had great fish and chips. Cranberries are also grown and harvested nearby. Check the harvest dates, interesting to watch the bog flooding for harvest. Campground Racoons are an everynight visitor that open coolers with ease, removing only what they enjoy. Nightly walks around the camp sites, will be accompanied by Racoons.
Another great hike climb to Battery 247, with it's concrete gun mounts and underground bunker still intact, used up a few more flashlight minutes and miles. Historic Fort Canby
Breaking camp early the next morning, 09-22 Tuesday, we began our Oregon tour along Scenic Highway 101
Fort Stevens State Park
I drove back to Astoria and visited The excellent Columbia River Maritime Museum
Driving the beach south of the South Jetty
Fort Stevens truck tour, and it's underground tour of Battery Mishler
Ft Stevens had state of the art firing co-ordinating communications Tele-autograph
The Fort Stevens tour is an experience not easily forgotten. The original reason for this formidable defense system, was to protect the Columbia River Port of Astoria from...The British (check out 'The Pig War'). They depended on the South for their cotton and were very upset with the Union North about interrupting their cotton industry. Years later Ft Stevens was used for WWII Coastal defense. It was fired upon 17 times by one surfaced Japanese Submarine but never returned fire.
Locked up with all furnishings intact, it was eventually left as a deep underground, preserved time capsule into the past. Eventually the area's Pot smoking Hippies moved in and burned it out, destroying it's fascinating history. That same group is now filling our legislatures and every level of U.S. government with it's mentality of destruction. As history changes the world, soon they will be all gone and replaced with the far different mentality of our young returning troops. Our nation and the world, will welcome the refreshing change in intelligence.
The next move for the coach and it's tow, is along Oregon Coastal highway 101 South toward the little crabbing ambiance of Brighton Harbor, one of our next base of operations during our beautiful scenic Oregon Coastal tour.