Saturday, March 28, 2015

OR 2/10- Fort Clatsop and Fort Stevens

Fort Clatsop was the winter camp for Lewis and Clark and the rest of the Corps of Discovery Army unit.  This replica was built according to the original floor plan, and is almost on the exact same location.  The winter fort included a room for their interpreter, Charbonneau, and his wife Sacagawea (the Native American couple had the only room which did not include a fireplace).  

We spent some time in the interpretive center before leaving for our hike, learning about the Lewis and Clark expedition and the Oregon tribal groups that helped them.  
It wasn't mentioned in the guidebook (although I was hoping for the best) that the 6.5 mile Fort to Sea hike could be a one way mission, but after speaking with a park ranger we learned it is a common plan.  Taxis know just where to go after getting the call.  

The Fort to Sea Trail traverses woods, bogs, meadows, and pastures before leading to the beach. (Well, a mile from the beach, the name is misleading and a bit anticlimactic.)
The hike is along the route that the Discovery Corps took to the beach to make salt.

We had great weather on our hike (especially considering that when the Discovery Corps wintered at Fort Clatsop it rained for 94 of the 106 days they were there), taking us less than two and a half hours to complete.  
Within an hour we had called the taxi, reached our car, and were walking on the jetty at Fort Stevens.

The observation deck at Fort Stevens State Park has a great view of the South Jetty, and the Columbia Bar it was built to tame.  It took 27 years to complete the 6.5 mile jetty (construction concluded in 1909) which has helped to stabilize the shipping channel by trapping the shifting sand deposits at the mouth of the river.  

In 1906, the Iredale did not reach its destination of the Columbia River.
Peter Iredale encountered a sudden storm and thick mist, before running aground.  Luckily his 27 member crew all made it to safety, but the boat (everything that wasn't sold for scrap) remains in the location it was originally abandoned.  

I screamed as I grabbed one of these organisms before realizing what was actually covering the shoreline, millions of Velella velella (or by-the-wind-sailors).  Just as they appear, they are related to the Portuguese man-of-war, although they are not dangerous.  These little sailboats go where the wind is going, and often find themselves stranded on beaches to await their fate as bird food.   

We ended our day back in Astoria, at Fort George Brewery.  The brewery was named after the British settlement site of 1811. Astoria was under British rule for about five years, during this time the city was known as Fort George, named after King George III.     

The only option for a flight was a 13 beer sampler (every beer on tap), and how can you say no to that? 

We were quickly learning that Oregon breweries know how to bring in the crowds, it isn't just about the beer, but the food as well.  These veggie chili cheese fries were as good as they look.  

1 comment:

  1. First off, what an awesome way to spend my birthday! Wow.

    Secondly, I wish there was a way to post a comment between photos. I want to say so much but I have to keep scrolling up and then down to remember just what it is I wanted to discuss.

    In 2002, we were at Fort Clatsop. It was a tough trip for me because on day #2 I lost my hearing (Sudden Sensorineurological hearing loss) and I didn't know, at the time, what was wrong with me. It was a 3 1/2 trip with terrible vertigo. I'm glad I have the opportunity to see it again and learn more about it. Very interesting. I want to study Lewis & Clark. What incredible obstacles they faced.

    The fungus on the tree and the frog on the fern... amazing. Did the iPhone take the frog photo? Wow.

    All the foliage was so unique looking and with the dramatic sky, each photo evoked comments. I especially love the green cluster of plant, not knowing what it is.

    Sorry for the disappointment with the trail being misnamed. Bummer, but not the first time, I'm certain.

    I had to read more about the Wreck of the Peter Iredale. I thought this was so interesting... "Wreckage is still visible, making it a popular tourist attraction as one of the most accessible shipwrecks of the Graveyard of the Pacific".

    I was totally amazing by the Velella velella and I learned so much from you that I had to look them up, too. Did you know they are carnivorous. I now HAVE to see them. Maybe I will because most years in the spring, there is a mass stranding that occurs along the West Coast of North America, from British Columbia to California, beginning in the north and moving south over several weeks' time.

    Fort George history and Brewery seem amazing. Was 13 the lucky number for your flight? I see there is a full mason jar of beer near by.

    What a great, great day in OR. Thanks for enlightening.


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