Thursday, July 24, 2014

Trio of Forts


View from Fort Stevens.


Although Hammond Marina RV Park isn’t exactly our cup of tea, it’s in a very good location so we decided to stay a few more nights. One day we walked next door to Fort Stevens, where we had previously ridden our bikes. We wanted to get a closer look at the remains of the fort, once the primary military defense installation in the three-fort, Harbor Defense System (along with Forts Canby and Columbia) at the mouth of the Columbia River.

Typical fort stuff.

Hammond Marina RV Park Astoria, OR1

Another day we visited Fort Clatsop, part of the Lewis and Clark National Historic Park. There is a replica of the encampment for the Corps of Discovery where they spent December 1805-March 1806.

Hammond Marina RV Park Astoria, OR

We also watched one of the two films in the visitor center, the one recommended by the volunteers at the desk about Lewis and Clark’s winter at the fort. Normally we find the films in the national parks to be very good, but this was a disappointment and it was really geared towards children.

Replica dugout canoe.


Lewis and Clark River (formerly the Netul), near the landing where they reached Fort Clatsop.


The real reason we went was to hike the Fort to Sea Trail, 6.5 miles from Fort Clatsop to Sunset Beach on the Pacific Ocean. Since Debbie was with us, we left her car at the beach and drove ours to the fort. We really weren’t up for a 13 mile hike, and going from the fort to the sea had the advantage of being more downhill, so it was a nice hike.

It started in the cool, shady forest.


And crossed lots of wet areas over boardwalks, surrounded by giant skunk cabbage. Bet Lewis and Clark and the Clatsop Indians didn’t have the luxury of keeping their feet dry like we did.


We got a long distance glimpse of the Pacific at the Clatsop Ridge Overlook.


After the woods we had to walk through a tunnel under Hwy 101, where we then traversed farms and cow pastures.




Crossed the Skipanon River bridge.


Then came to the largest bridge on the trail over Neacoxie Lake, a good place for lunch.




We finally came to the Sunset Beach parking lot, but it was still another 0.3 miles to the beach, where the trail crossed the dunes on more boardwalks and bridges.


We saw plenty of Red-Shouldered Ctenuch moths, only found on the Pacific Northwest coast.



Another drive-on beach. We prefer the rocky coast that takes a little more effort to get to.


Our third and final fort of the week was the Fort George Brewery, good beer but lousy food.

I’ve had some tooth pain off and on since the root canal I had done in Mexico in January. It was worse over the weekend so I asked the very nice RV park manager if she could recommend a dentist. Just so happens her daughter is a dental assistant in Astoria, so I called and got an appointment for yesterday. The x-ray was inconclusive but she suspects there is a hidden canal that was not treated and is infected, or I could have a cracked root that also doesn’t show on the x-ray. She prescribed a strong antibiotic which may buy me some time if there is an infection. She said it won’t hurt to wait until we go back to Arizona this winter, so I am hoping I can tolerate the discomfort until then. If it doesn’t get any worse than it’s been I should be fine. I just don’t want to pay $1,000 or more to an endodontist for a retreatment of the root canal when it may fail and I end up losing the tooth anyway. We sure would like to get through an entire month without a medical issue!

Our run of good weather finally ran out and it rained almost all day yesterday, so after the dentist it was a good time for grocery shopping and laundry. The forecast looks great for the next week, so today we’re crossing the Columbia River into Washington, making our way to the Olympic Peninsula and a meet-up with friends. It’s hard to complain.


  1. Love the photos, especially the beautiful moths. Agree with you on the film. We'll have to compare teeth - I've got the EXACT same thing going on. Oy!

  2. That Fort to the Sea trail was calling me every time I saw a sign for it. Just couldn't work out the "shuttle service" on that one. Glad I got to see it through your photos. Cool moth shot! (So sorry about the tooth! Not just for your pain, but also that Mexico dentistry might not be as good as we all hope!)

    1. Hi Suzanne, don't think it's the Mexican dentistry. Jim and I both have had root canal therapy in the US that failed or was not done properly the first time. Roll of the dice, I think. We will definitely continue our dental care south of the border.

  3. Totally with you on the food at Fort George. One place we did enjoy the food was Buoy Brewery. Nice to see that trail...we've never hiked it coz we've never wanted to do the round-tip.

    Paul and Nina (wheelingit)

  4. Very clever including the last stop as one of your Forts.

    That hike looks so lovely. I think I could Eve cross those bridges without getting too bent out of shape.

  5. Too bad about the movie. Watching them is usually my first introduction to an area.

  6. Great that you were able to work out the shuttle so that you only had to go one way. I'd love that!

  7. It sure is nice being able to shuttle cars. I've even thought about using the RV. Haven't done it yet. Hope your tooth gets better.

  8. Thanks for the beautiful hike. We're about to head north of Highway 101 and have our sights on spending time around that area. Sorry to hear about your root canal problems. We had a bunch of dental work done when we were in Algodones in March and keeping our fingers crossed. Lynda

  9. I'm sorry about your tooth and hope all goes well going forward. That's the end of my sympathy, though, when I see where you are. :) Your pictures have me so wishing I was in Astoria. What a great hikes you are enjoying. I don't know if I'll ever get back, but you sure help me with your pictures. Enjoy every moment.

  10. Looks like a great hike with lots of variety. I wish we had the ability to do a car shuttle!

    Fingers crossed your tooth holds up till you can get back to Mexico!

  11. We visited Fort Clatsop about twelve years ago on a motorcycle trip. My students studied Lewis and Clark and I wanted pictures. A few days after we visited the fort, it burned and had to be closed til it rebuilt. Good timing on our part.

    I do like your hike. Good plan to leave a car at one end and hike down hill:) Smart people!!

    The Olympic Peninsula seems to be the place to visit this summer. I can't get over how many bloggers are there or heading there.

    1. The funny thing is we had no plans to visit the OP this summer, we just sort of ended up here! While we were in Bend some old friends from Pensacola posted on FB about their vacation to British Columbia and the Olympic Peninsula, which was the favorite part of their trip. I told Jim we just had to go since we were relatively close, and here we are.

  12. So sorry about the tooth. I've had a back molar ground down for a crown, and that activity has set off two other teeth to start aching. Hopefully after the crown arrives and is installed the other teeth will decide all is well and stop barking at me. I hate dental work, just hate hate hate it. Your weather looks astounding, nice pictures of the moths.

  13. Hi, I am so happy that I found your blog. It will be fun tagging along on your adventures, as well as traveling back into your past posts and seeing where you have been. I think that it takes a lot of courage to sell your home and hit the road . . . I'm truly in awe of your bravery.
    I am your newest follower.
    Connie :)