September 12-18, 2013 - Long Beach Peninsula, WA
Thursday morning we woke to rain, of course, this is moving day! We drove south to the Long Beach Peninsula and are staying at the Thousand Trails Long Beach Resort. This resort is not one of the better resorts we have stayed in. The sites are very close together and the hookups are strange. The water and sewer hookups for our site were on the wrong side so we had to run our hoses under the 5th wheel. The electrical hookup was on the right side but was shared by two sites and only had one 30 amp and one 50 amp outlet. So, whoever, got there first got the choice of which outlet to use. We didn’t have a problem with this as we can use either 30 or 50 amps but we can see where this could cause some problems. Anyway, the resort is close to the beach and that is what we wanted. A short walk through the dunes gets us right on this great beach. The dogs again love walks on the beach.
The Long Beach Peninsula is a narrow strip that starts at Cape Disappointment State Park and runs north to Leadbetter Point. The peninsula has 28 miles of flat beaches which are designated as a state highway. There were always a few vehicles on the beach when we went for our walks or Rex was flying kites.
Friday was foggy, cloudy and misty so we decided to explore the peninsula. We stopped at the Cranberry Museum, a working cranberry farm run by the Pacific Coast Cranberry Research Foundation. Inside the museum were interesting displays about the history of cranberry farming in the area. We also learned a lot about how cranberries are grown. Outside we were able to walk along the cranberry bogs.
It is getting close to harvest time and there were a lot of berries in the bogs. The berries were in various stages of maturity creating a beautiful display of colors. We enjoyed learning more about how cranberries are grown.
We left the museum and drove to the north end of the peninsula and stopped at Leadbetter Point State Park and Willapa National Wildlife Refuge where we hiked a short trail to the beach.
We then drove through Oysterville on the west side of Willapa Bay. First settled in 1841, Oysterville prospered during the California Gold Rush because miners loved the Willapa Bay oysters from here. When the native oysters were depleted most of the residents moved on and left Oysterville practically deserted. Oysterville was declared a National Historic District in 1976 which included 8 houses, a church, a cannery and a one-room schoolhouse. The post office is the oldest continuously operating post office in Washington. We were surprised at how well these old houses have been maintained.
We next drove back to the town of Long Beach and stopped at the World Kite Museum. This is a great museum displaying over 1600 kites from around the world. They also have a display of five types of World War II kites which were used for target practice by the US Navy. There were also videos of various kite festivals around the world. We enjoyed this wonderful museum. After we got back to the resort we took the dogs for a long walk on the beach.
We took the dogs for another walk along the beach before dinner.
Sunday was again foggy and rainy so we decided it was a good day to stay inside. We did the laundry and got in some reading
Monday was again cloudy and misty – where, oh where, is the sun? We drove south to Seaside, OR and did some shopping at the Factory Outlet Stores. After we were done at the Factory Outlets we walked around downtown Seaside for a while and looked at a couple of kite stores. We then drove back north to Astoria where we wanted to have lunch at Bow Pickers Fish and Chips – a great fish and chips place we discovered when we were here a couple of years ago. Unfortunately, Bow Pickers was closed today so we drove to the pier and had lunch at Rogues Brewery, another place we liked last time we were here. We enjoyed our day and especially liked going through Astoria again.
Tuesday was another rainy day and we decided to stay in and relax.
Wednesday we actually saw the sun – yes the sun is finally shining - Hurray! The Discovery Trail, an 8.2 mile paved trail from the town of Long Beach to the Port of Ilwaco runs behind the RV Resort so we took advantage of the sunshine and hiked to North Head Lighthouse in Cape Disappointment Sate Park. We took the dogs and headed south on the trail for about 2 miles to Beards Hollow. We then took a side trail to the North Head Lighthouse parking lot. This mile long trail was difficult with switchbacks up a steep hill with a lot of tree roots to step over. When we got to the parking lot we then had a nice paved trail to the lighthouse. North Head Lighthouse went into operation on May 16, 1898 and is 65 ft tall and sits more than 190 ft above the sea. In 1998 the current marine rotating beacon light was installed which can be seen 17 miles out to sea.
We hiked a short trail to a viewpoint and got this great picture of the Long Beach Peninsula. A sign on this trail said that Cape Disappointment is one of the foggiest locations in the US with over 100 days of fog every year. They only get a few inches of rain in the summer but over seven feet of rain during the remaining nine months. North Head is also one of the windiest locations on the West Coast - winds of 120 mph have been recorded here.
When we left the lighthouse we decided not to take the difficult side trail back to the Discovery Trail so we walked the road for a while until it intersected the Westwind Trail which took us back to the Discovery Trail. We really enjoyed our hike and were glad we were able to take the dogs with us for some much needed exercise.
We enjoyed our stay on Long Beach Peninsula but only wish we had more sunny days so we could have enjoyed the beaches and trails more.