“…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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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