Posted on August 8, 2012
The Great Outdoors: Oregon Coast, Day 1
Not long after we started dating, J and I took an overnight trip to Portland, Oregon. While we wanted very much to see the coast, time wasn’t on our side so we vowed to come back someday. This past March we finally booked our trip and just two weeks ago we made a run for the border.
On the advice of J’s well-traveled parents, we opted out of taking the I-5 and instead headed west at Burlington for Whidbey Island. I’ve always wanted to see Deception Pass State Park, and so we started south on U.S. Route 101.
After breezing through much of western Washington, we finally found ourselves nearing the iconic Astoria-Megler Bridge. It’s a 4.1-mile span of steel girders that connects Washington to Oregon.
Construction on the bridge was completed in 1966 and today it carries road-trippers like J and I who are headed south to the Pacific Coast Highway.
After a long – yet scenic – drive, we finally found ourselves at the KOA Astoria. When we booked out trip, we were disappointed to find that every coastal State park in Oregon was fully booked, so the KOA was our only option.
As it turned out, it wasn’t entirely disappointing. While the campground is definitely geared towards families with kids in their RVs, our generously-sized tent was more than welcome. Plus, having a “base camp” that included hot showers, flush toilets and a free pancake breakfast was rather nice for once.
Once the tent was pitched and firewood chopped, we headed directly across the street to Fort Stevens State Park. With over 4,200 acres of forest, beach and lake, needless to say it’s pretty incredible.
While we were all keen to explore, being that Jordy had an unfortunate sand-eating incident the weekend before at Birkenhead Lake, neither J or I were willing to let him out of our sight for a second.
Both naturally beautiful and historically amazing (with the 1906 shipwreck of the Peter Iredale still wedged on the beach’s shores), Fort Stevens took my breath away. Never in all my years of living in BC had I ever seen a beach that literally stretched for miles in either direction.
With sand dunes, breezy grasses and rolling waves, Sunset Beach at Fort Stevens was an oasis of relaxation and calm for all of us. For me, few things provide a total release as much as digging my toes into sand while gazing across an expansive ocean.
After a bit of beach-combing, we discovered something at Fort Stevens State Park that was almost unthinkable: vehicles are allowed to drive on the beach! We wasted no time in putting J’s truck into four-wheel drive and making our way onto the sandy shores…
As we made our way down Sunset Beach, putting miles of shoreline in our wake with the ocean breeze in our faces, I was confident that such an epic ending to our first day only served to foreshadow how awesome the rest of our trip to the Oregon Coast would be…
Stay tuned for Day 2 next week!