So we’ve come to the end of a FABULOUS 2-week stay at Fort Stevens State Park. Despite a few days of hard rain and another few of fog I have to say I’ve simply LOVED it here. The NW Coast has a wild personality and, much like an indulgent friend, you’ve got to give it time to speak to you before you can appreciate it’s true and inner beauty. On foggy days the coast longs for a long, lonely walk with bare feet in the sand, on rainy days it asks you to reach your face to the sky, and when you’ve talked patiently through each it’ll reward you will the burst of a glorious smile of sun and surf that flows in perfect lines of endless blue. Each moment is different and beautiful, a new melody in the language of the sea and I…love…it…all!
But I’ve also had some darn good company and that’s made the whole experience even better. A chance meeting almost 4 weeks ago in Eugene, OR led to a blossoming friendship and a month of good times with our now very good buddies Alex and Ellen. We followed them and they followed us and the whole thing led to a blast of a time together. Our impromptu friendship is a perfect example of the sense of community that springs up on the road. I never thought it possible before fulltiming, but there’s really a firm connection amongst RVers that creates fabulous meetings and re-meetings. All it takes is a “hello” and an open mind, and before you know it you’ve got company that feels like old family. We’ve already made plans to meet again.
But before I get all carried away and soppy, let’s say a few words to Fort Stevens and wonderful Astoria. This little area has been a true gem of a find. Astoria is the oldest American settlement west of the Rockies and the furthest NW in Oregon, a mere bridge spitting distance across the dangerous Columbia River Bar to Washington. A cute town with a spattering of cafe’s and small shops, a lovely Sunday Farmers’ Market and a near-perfect setting of mountains, beach, surf and sky it offers something for everyone. Amongst its many charms it has:
- Miles of unlimited beach on the coast -> ALL pet-friendly of course
- A gorgeous backdrop of rolling mountains -> I highly recommend the panoramic hike up to the 3,283-foot summit of Saddle Mountain.
- Cute Coastal towns -> Seaside and Canon Beach are both just a few miles away and great draws. Cannon Beach is especially famous for it’s off-shore rock formations.
- A selection of old Forts -> Fort Stevens State Park is the perfect spot for the military history buff.
- Some wonderful museums -> The Maritime Museum is a “must do”, but there’s a bunch of other great draws too.
- A good showing of lighthouses -> Take the short trip to Cape Disappointment for a few of the best
- An A-to-Z of Lewis and Clark -> There’s several spots dedicated to the two explorers
- And so, so much more….
- In 2 weeks we’ve barely scratched the surface of all this place has to offer, but we’ve managed to stay long enough to realize it’d be easy to spend a month and never be bored.
But sadly it’s our time to move on. From here we work our way further south on the Coast. This morning the sky has greeted us with a wonderful burst of blue, we’ve communed happily with the beach and are looking forward to a cozy drive to our next destination. We leave good friends behind and most uncertain weather ahead, but we know adventure will bring us all back together in the sun again before long.