“…Ocian in view! O! the joy…”
William Clark wrote those words in his journal on the great journey west that Lewis and Clark embarked on. We do not do many trips to the Pacific Ocean and we had the same excitement as we neared that vast body of water. Our trip would take us from Spokane Washington to south of Tri Cities Washington and stay a night at Plymouth Campground along the Columbia River on our first night. We would then take highway 14 along the Washington side of that grand river to Vancouver Washington. At that point we traversed inland a little ways and crossed the river into Oregon at Longview Washington. From there we would take highway 30 on into Astoria Oregon. Our final stop westward would be Fort Stevens State Park just west of town on the Pacific Ocean.
The first nights stop as mentioned was at Plymouth Campground. It is a Core of Engineers Campground and a pretty nice spot. We would only spend the night there. After our nights rest we would leave making our way slowly down the highway to our next stop at Maryhill State Park. We would geocache along the way and stop where ever we wished. This trip was about taking our time.
camp spot at plymouth campground
joanne at camp, the sun starting to set
After a nights rest and some breakfast we started our trip westward. We searched for and found several geocaches along the way. We did several stops to enjoy the views around us. Once we arrived at Maryhill Washington we decided to pass by it just a couple miles to go to the museum and then the winery near there. Maryhill State Park was a very nice park and the campsites were huge. It would also be our last high heat day of this trip west. In fact it reached a 102 degrees on the day we were there. Too hot, I was ready to get to the ocean cool breezes.
a view along the columbia river
john day dam
a stop at stonehenge above the campground at maryhill
i was showing cody where our camp spot would be down below stonehenge
at the art museum. stopping to smell the flowers on our trip
these oil paintings were so lifelike. amazing art.
maryhill winery. even if you do not drink wine i suggest a stop there
our camp spot at maryhill
We did a little swimming at the campground after we got parked. Then we pretty much relaxed the rest of the day. Our next section of our trip was to go to Battle Ground State Park northeast of Vancouver Washington. It was another shorter drive, again taking our time. The terrain would start to change on our drive and the weather started to cool a bit. Highway 14 along the Columbia River is a wonderful drive.
one of the many view points along the river
a neat spot to stop at on our drive at wishram
a stop to do one of the many geocaches on our trip.
we stopped and did a tour at bonneville dam. an excellent tour
joanne, cody and i on the tour of the dam
whoa…thats a big fish
we stopped for lunch at beacon rock state park
our camp spot at battle ground state park for a night
We did a bit of hiking around battle ground lake and reading on the history of the place. It was a great park and would love to go back and spend a bit more time. The next morning it was on to Astoria Oregon and our final stop west at Fort Stevens State Park. We drove to Longview Washington and crossed the bridge and the Columbia River into Oregon. We then drove on highway 30 west. We made a few stops checking things out. One unexpected stop was at a fish hatchery. It was a great one to stop at that had several trails to hike too.
We had arrived at Fort Stevens a bit early so we had to wait to check in. No problem, we drove to the northwest section of the park where the Columbia enters the Pacific Ocean. We then walked the beach for a ways and yes, we did some geocaching too.
just crossed into oregon from longview washington
a stop at a fish hatchery
stopped to check maps in astoria at the maritime museum parking lot
on the south jetty. where the columbia enters the pacific
our camp spot for the next 9 days in fort stevens
Once we got into our site at Fort Stevens and set up we relaxed the rest of the day. We would be camped here for the next 9 days. For the trip report something might be out of date order but you will get the idea of some of our fun times here. We did so many things each day, there was so much to see. The area is rich in history and we really loved that.
we took our kayak out on a fresh water lake in the park
joanne and cody at the ship wreck on a pacific ocean beach in the park
cody and i at the wreck. cody loved playing in the ocean waves
outside the maritime museum in astoria
cody checking out some coast guard gear in the maritime museum
the big astoria bridge. it is 4.5 miles long and gets you back into washington
the trolley in astoria. it is a neat trolley and the conductors give a history lesson while you ride it.
on the trolley and hey, that camper looks familiar.
of course we found a brewery in town.
at the astoria column
the outside of the column has amazing pictures on it
geocaching along one of the trails at the column
going to check out the goonies house.
the goonies house
one of the days spent there we stopped at a park to have lunch. looked like a perfect place to do that.
we crossed the bridge over to washington and went to fort columbia and cape disappointment. this was at fort columbia
the old barracks at fort columbia
at cape disappointment
a view on the trail to one of the lighthouses at cape disappointment
the south lighthouse at cape disappointment
at the visitors center in cape disappointment
we went to fort clatsop. this is where lewis and clark spent a winter. cody earned a junior ranger badge here too.
a fantastic sculpture in the museum at fort clatsop
cody and i watching a demonstration at fort clatsop
cody and i finishing some of the paperwork studies for his junior ranger badge
cody showing off his junior ranger achievement
one of the structures at fort stevens
joanne and i at fort stevens historical section
there was some war reenactment stuff going on during our visit.
more reenactment going on.
another structure at fort stevens
the guardhouse at fort stevens
they didnt mention this part when the tour of the guardhouse started.
a new little sculpture park in astoria
one of the biggest farmers markets we have ever been to in astoria
stopped for lunch here for fish and chips in astoria
checking out more war structures in fort stevens
we made the short trip down to seaside oregon
another great sculpture of lewis and clark in seaside
cody and joanne at the beach in seaside
cody taking in the ocean view at seaside
we visited the aquarium at seaside
a view from our kayak on a fresh water lake in fort stevens
cody earned his junior ranger badge for oregon state parks at fort stevens
Our time at Fort Stevens and Astoria was outstanding. So many great things there. We left after nine days there and made our way back east. We would drive back on highway 30 to Longview Washington. From there we would get to highway 12 and make our way to Yakima Washington. We had a rough plan on camping somewhere along highway 12 but there was a huge storm going on so we opted to stay in Yakima for the night.
After a nights rest in Yakima we drove north to Ellensburg taking the canyon highway instead of the interstate. It is a much prettier drive. We then took the old vantage highway from Ellensburg to the Columbia River. After that we had to get on I-90 for a few miles until we went north towards Ephrata. From Ephrata we made our last camp stop at Sun Lakes State Park.
At Sun Lakes we would be there for 4 days. We were there for a geocache event, The Washington State Camp Out. The next few days were filled with time spent with fellow geocache friends. We had a wonderful time there.
canyon highway north of yakima
our camp spot at sun lakes
a view of part of the campground at sun lakes
i got the kayak out on a nearby lake in the morning when it was very peaceful.
a friend took us out on his boat on one of the bigger lakes at sun lake state park.
I know I did not get into great detail of our travel on this report. It was a longer vacation so it would be more like a novel if I did. I can say we had a awesome time. We wished it did not have to end but it was time to return to home and work. This trip was our first time to Astoria and we were not disappointed. We would go back for sure if the time allows us to.
Here is a video of a couple of our sights on our trip:
“…ocian in view! o! the joy…”
7/11 – 7/27 2014