After four days of heavy clouds and cool temperatures, we left Pacific City and headed further north up the coast to Seaside, Oregon (pop 6,500). Seaside first welcomed vacationers in 1850 and is Oregon’s oldest ocean resort community.
We arrived at our campground for a fourteen day stay and finally saw sun in the afternoon! We have found that it is usually cloudy in the mornings and clears up by noon.
Seaside is a charming beach community. Can you find Bill in this picture?
Seaside has a promenade nicknamed “The Prom”, a 1.8 mile concrete walking path that parallels the Pacific Ocean. There is a statue there of Lewis and Clark and Lewis’ dog Seaman. This area of Oregon was the final destination of Lewis and Clark and their Corps of Discovery after their 1804-1806 westward journey. They wintered at nearby Fort Clatsop and during that time several of the men came to Seaside to build a salt cairn to boil water from the ocean and remove salt which they used to flavor and preserve meat.
One day we drove north to nearby Warrenton to get together with an amateur radio group for brunch. It is always nice to meet other amateur radio enthusiasts around the country and learn firsthand about their community. If you want to know the best places to eat, shop or visit, just ask a local. On the way home we stopped by Fort Stevens State Park in Hammond. Fort Stevens was named for Territorial Governor Stevens, constructed during the Civil War and remained active until shortly after World War II. The Fort guarded the mouth of the Columbia River from Confederate gunboats during the Civil War and included eight concrete gun batteries. The post later was Oregon’s only coastal defense fort during the Spanish-American War and both World Wars.
The fort is the only military fort in the United States since the War of 1812 to be fired upon by an enemy during time of war when it was attacked by a Japanese submarine on June 21, 1942.
We enjoyed taking the self guided walking tour of the Fort and found several geocaches as well as nice views of the Columbia River. On the other side of the park was the Pacific Ocean with the Wreck of the Peter Iredale. This shipwreck was a ship which ran ashore in 1906 and is one of the most accessible shipwrecks of the “Graveyard of the Pacific”.
A geocache led us to this historical marker, the site of a Japanese shell explosion that was one of seventeen fired in June, 1942.
On Memorial Day we spent the day exploring Cannon Beach south of Seaside. The picturesque town is named after a cannon that washed up on the beach in 1846. As expected on a holiday the beach was crowded.
We especially enjoyed seeing the famous Haystack Rock and “Terrible Tilly”, the Tillamook Rock Lighthouse.
Built in 1881 because ships needed guidance to get around Tillamook Head, the lighthouse is located a mile offshore. The conditions there were so physically and mentally grueling that light keepers were assigned shorter rotations than other light keepers. After 77 years the lighthouse lights were turned off for good and today it is not open to the public. It looks rather lonely out there by itself.
While in Seaside we had our teeth cleaned. We were very pleased with the dentist and his friendly staff. Our dentist was very thorough in his exam and drove a pickup truck with a surfboard in the back! Fun!
One of our main reasons for visiting Seaside was so Bill could attend the largest amateur radio convention in the northwest. It was conveniently located right in Seaside at the Seaside Convention Center.
Seaside may be small but they have learned how to take full advantage of their beautiful location. In the days before the convention Bill volunteered to help with pre-convention set up. He really enjoyed attending seminars and talking with other radio enthusiasts.
He had already met members of the local Seaside amateur radio club and twice met them for breakfast at a local restaurant. Friday evening we attended their spaghetti dinner fundraiser. Bill won a big box of salt water taffy which was great since we had talked about buying some at one of the beachside shops. Since we had just had our teeth cleaned we each ate a couple pieces and gave the rest away!
We had a great two weeks in Seaside and the days flew by. The weather was for the most part sunny but still very cool with lows in the upper forties and daytime highs in the upper fifties to low sixties. Such is the late spring weather along the Oregon coast.
Next stop will be in Washington state.