A trip to the Pacific Northwest would not be complete without a visit to the Oregon coast as well. Steph was able to score us two nights at the very popular Nehalem Bay State Park so we saddled up and headed down the coast from the Olympic Peninsula. We had to stop and dump tanks along the way since the Hard Rain Cafe did not have a dump station. But we found the Kalaloch dump station without issue and only had to wait for one RV in front of us. We were cruising along just fine until we got to the town of Aberdeen. I am not sure what the deal was but traffic here was at a complete stand still. Google was giving us suggested reroutes but we’re nervous of those in towns because Google doesn’t know we’re dragging a 38 foot home behind us and can lead us down some narrow roads, under low bridges and/or tight turns. Also, NOBODY else was pulling out of traffic. Surely the locals would all start hitting those side streets to work their way around….but no, everyone just sat there idling. It took over an hour to get 1 mile through town. So ridiculous!! And we still have no clue what the hang up was.
After the crazy traffic jam we stopped for a quick bite to eat and bathroom break before continuing along our journey. We’d just gone a few miles and were headed up a twisty road when traffic came to a stop. We could see that up ahead there was a pretty fresh accident. Luckily it seemed it was a single vehicle (a logging truck mind you) and there seemed to be no injuries. But this was pretty freaky to see these giant logs scattered all over the road and the big semi jammed into the side of the hill!
We roll into the campground around 5:00 and it seemed like a lot of other folks did too. Plus there were kids all over the roads drawing with chalk, biking, running, skateboarding. We had a back in site that was nestled in the trees and to get in I needed to make a sort of S as I backed up. Luckily the guy in the next site over who had JUST backed in himself gave me directions from the driver side while Steph guided me on the passenger side and before too long we were parked!
This park was really great. The campground is huge and I got the feeling that this is the sort of place people return to regularly and time it such that several other family friends are there as well. It reminded me of the Four Mile Creek campground north of Niagara in New York. The place was buzzing with activity. But the beach was why we were here and it was just a short walk from our site. So we took Sheba and headed out. It was cloudy and a little chilly but still beautiful. And there was sand. LOTS of sand. Dacen had commented that while he really enjoyed the beaches in Washington he preferred sandy beaches. So this scored very high for him. In fact all three kids loved it. And it wasn’t so much the sand by the ocean, it was these sand dunes separating the beach from the campground. There was this tall grass that grew on the dunes and paths through the grassy patches wound around like a maze at the county fair fun house. It was fun to jump off the dunes or run down the steep ones. And it was hard work (but still entertaining) to climb back up one step forward and 0.9 back.
The next day we spent the whole time at the State Park and 90% of it was in the dunes at the beach. Steph did a laundry, grocery and diesel run but other than that we were just enjoying this great camping spot. The kids played all sorts of games but probably the favorite was where they would give me and/or Steph a designated spot to stand in the dunes. We’d close our eyes and count to 30 before reopening them. Then they had to try to sneak up on us without getting spotted. All three of them were very sneaky as they slithered through the sand and between the tall grass. As the sun dropped into the Pacific the dunes lit up like gold and the air temperature dropped quickly. I snapped a few pictures before heading back to the rig for the night.
You can see our Nehalem Bay pictures here.
Site 12 B
Site 12 B
Cloudy beach walk
Horses on beach
Cardboard sand shoes
Kiddos on beach
Running with Sheba
We buried Dacen
Sheba dug a hole to lay in
Wach beach walk
Trail to beach
Moon, kids and dunes
Since we were only able to get 2 nights at the state park we had to move up to Cannon Beach for our 3rd night on the coast. Its a very short drive and put us closer to both Cannon Beach (obviously) and Seaside, both places that we wanted to visit. The move was quick and uneventful and we were able to check into our site early….yay!! We ate a quick lunch then headed to Seaside.
This was a big wide open beach that was clearly very popular as it was pretty busy. But the kids had fun playing in the water and burying Dacen in the sand. We were hoping to find sand dollars but only found bits and pieces of them. From here we went back down to Cannon Beach to Haystack rock as it was nearly low tide. The rock is very picturesque but also very popular. Lots of people milling around. Caden had a lot of fun with the sand crabs that loved burrowing into the sand.
Back at the rig, Caden and I gave the dog a bath. She hasn’t had a bath since we left Longmont and we figured we were at the end of our beach days so it was finally time to scrub her down. It is not her favorite activity but we got it done thanks to the fancy outdoor shower we have on the rig! For dinner we went out to Mo’s which is famous for its clam chowder. The boys each got a big bowl of chowder topped with Oregon bay shrimp and they loved it. Brielle got the grilled shrimp (she loves shrimp so long as it is “bald” shrimp…that is, non breaded shrimp). Steph got the combo plate and I got the fish and chips with a side of chowder. The chowder was good. There was nothing wrong with the meal but it was not something to write home about (although I guess I am writing a blog about it). They have a great location right on the water and they have a reputation for their chowder. Other than that they are just meh. But, since we eat out so rarely it is always a treat to eat out and I think everyone left extremely satisfied and happy.
Back at the rig we got in 30 minutes of swimming pool time before the pool and spa become adult only and we all followed Sheba’s lead and took a shower. We had a late night snack of ice cream before hitting the hay. Tomorrow we head inland and start the week long trek back toward home. We have had a great time on the coast and will surely come again some day. Have a look through our pictures from Seaside and Cannon beach areas here.
Run from the waves
Digging a hole
Wish they'd pull weeds with this much gusto
Where is Dacen?
There he is!
Playing with sand crabs
Steph and the boys
Me and Brielle
So hungry he ate the bowl
Funky art car