"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood... And sorry I could not travel both. I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference." --Robert Frost

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Fort Steven's, Oregon Part 1

Warrenton, Oregon
Ft. Steven's State Park

What a difference a couple of hours makes along the coast.  We moved up to the far northwest corner at St. Steven's State Park.  Even though it's fairly close to the ocean, the campground is surrounded by very large pines.  There is no wind unless you are on the water itself.  This is a very large park.  There are over 470 campsites, yurts and cabins.  Fort Stevens was once the primary military defense installation in the three-fort, Harbor Defense System at the mouth of the Columbia River (along with Forts Canby and Columbia in Washington). The fort saw service for 84 years, from the Civil War to World War II. Today, Fort Stevens has grown into a 4,300 acre park with lots of history, nature, and many recreational opportunities.  There is kayaking on small ponds and miles of bike trails.
$32, Site H21, FHUs.  I tried for months to get a spot here but like most other Oregon campgrounds, they fill up months in advance.  Steve checked one day for the heck of it and found this site available for 5 days.  Perfect! 
We loved our site.  Very private.  Even though it was deep, the angle was difficult for us to back in as it was on a fairly sharp curve.  The nice people across from us moved their truck which gave us plenty of space to back in.  We talked with them for a while and we'd have loved to hang out with them more but our time here kept us very busy since we were here mid-week and Steve was working.  They really liked Steve's yard art (see the pigs middle/left).  Remember this for later.
 Very nice campground.  Most of the loops have quite a bit of privacy.
We took a lot of drives during the week to different parts of the park. Some were at the beach where there is a sunken ship on the beach, others were in the thickly forested parts and others were along the Columbia River where it meets the Pacific Ocean.

 When you climb this observation tower you can see the ocean and the river.
 Ocean to the left and right.

 And further right you can see the Columbia River with the state of Washington on the other side.

 The river is huge here and many ships come in and out frequently.

 We walked the shoreline an enjoyed all the birds flying around.
 Most of these were seagulls but there were tons of these little birds that had my attention.
The smaller birds in the lower left are Sanderlings.  They fly synchronized.  I tried to get video of it but kept messing it up.  So here is a short youtube clip of them.  It's really neat to see and hear.

 There were almost no seashells, but plenty of dead crab shells and interesting jellyfish.

 One of the walkway hikes to the estuaries.
 There was a little nest of birds hiding under in one of the bird lookout stations.  Funny, right?
 Then we hiked along the ocean side up high on the grassy bluff trails.
 Hardly anyone around.

 They have a small population of Roosevelt Elk.  Babies were all over.

 Geocaching took us to a very interesting historical spot.  We learned something new about WWII.  It's hard to read unless you enlarge it, but it says:

On June 21, 1942, a 5.5 Shell exploded here.  One of 17 fired at Columbia River Harbor Defense Installations by the Japanese submarine I-25.  The only hostile shelling of a military base on the US Mainland during World War II and the first since the war of 1812.
Very cool.  I know there are a lot of WWII history buffs out there.  Anyone else know this?
Ok, I said earlier to remember Steve's yard art pigs?  Well one afternoon we were out and when we came back the pigs were missing.  Then we noticed they were in our neighbors site across from us.  We laughed about it and they came out and let us know that the pigs "came over on their own and joined them at their party".  We said we were glad they were having fun and they were keeping an eye on them.  The next morning when we got up we found the pigs back at our place, still partying with a bottle of wine.
They left us a cute painted rock and this pretty bouquet of flowers they had on their outside table and put it on ours.  What sweet people!  We sure wish we had more time to spend with them. 



  1. Ft. Stevens is one of our favourites...so much to do in the area. Your neighbours sound like fun people. Safe travels!

    1. Yes there was a lot to do. I wish we had a chance to get on the bikes. Our neighbors were a crack up. She had mentioned to Steve how much she liked the pigs an Steve said said he did too, but his wife wouldn't care if they disappeared. Thus the "kidnapping". It was really funny!

  2. Don't ya just love great camping neighbors?!! Good attracts GOOD and y'all are the tops. How funny with the pigs. Speaking of good neighbors, we are here in the Colorado hills with Greg & Cori and Bill and Kelly. Only thing missin is... HURLEY!

    1. Great neighbors! Sure, rub it in (again). As much as Hurley wishes he were there, so do we!! Have fun!


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