Astoria and Coos Bay, Oregon

Our mini-vacation in Victoria, B.C. came to an end, so we boarded the ferry and returned to the rainy cold weather in Port Angeles, Washington. On May 1, 2014, we headed south in search of sunny skies. We weren’t sure how much sun we’d see, though. The Oregon coast is known more for its foggy and wet weather. We selected the Astoria Seaside KOA for a two-night stay.

Astoria, Oregon

The Goonies is one of my favorite movies and I’m not ashamed to say so. There’s a sentimental reason for my selection, but today is not the day to spin the tale. I can say that when visiting Astoria, all dedicated fans of the movie must visit the Oregon Film Museum. The movie was filmed there, after all.

The museum is housed in the old county jail, which was used as a movie set not only for The Goonies but Come See the Paradise and Short Circuit. Inside, visitors will find exhibits and galleries where they can learn the movie-making craft by producing their own movie. One gallery is dedicated to all things Goonies and, of course, there is a museum store.

Is that the Fratelli’s Jeep Cherokee from The Goonies?

Across the street from the museum stands the Captain George Flavel House Museum. The house, constructed in 1885 in the Queen Anne style, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980. We weren’t able to tour the home during our visit, but I sure want to in the future. While conducting research, I came across interesting stories about Captain Flavel, his descendants, and the home’s restoration while conducting research. Now I want to walk through the rooms where these people lived to feel what it’s like to live a Victorian home.

Captain George Flavel House Museum

Lewis and Clark National Historical Park

We made it into the visitor’s center at the Lewis and Clark National Historical Park by dodging raindrops. While we waited for a cloud burst to pass by, one of the volunteers pointed out places on a map for us to explore. Armed with our rainproof hoodies and umbrellas, we ventured out onto the soggy trail.

The replica of Fort Clatsop gave us an idea of how the Corps of Discovery spent their winter from December 1805 to March 1806. It must have been a cold and wet place to settle in the early 1800s.

Fort Clatsop replica

The replica dugout in the photo below depicts one of three the Corps used when they left Fort Clatsop on March 23, 1806, along with four Indian canoes they bought, and another one they found.

Replica of a dugout the Corps of Discovery may have used

Visiting the Lewis and Clark National Historical Park inspired us to incorporate additional Lewis and Clark historical sites in our future trips. We have ticked off two spots. This one in Astoria, and the Sacajawea State Park and Interpretive Center in Pasco, Washington, which is included in our “Tri-Cities Wrap Up and On to Oregon” post. Only 14 states left for us to explore out of the 16 located along the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail. Under the 2019 John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act, the trail was extended 1,200 miles to Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. Hope we’re back on the road again soon so we can get started.

We continued south from Astoria to Seaside, Oregon. Seaside is where the Corps produced salt needed to preserve meat. Due to the inclement weather, we didn’t venture out to the Salt Cairn, but we did make it to Cannon Beach to see Haystack Rock. I was only able to capture an obscured view in the photo below. The fog hung so close to shore it reduced visibility to only a few yards.

Then it was back up the peninsula to Fort Stevens State Park where we walked to the beach. I thought it strange to find the remnants of the Peter Iredale shipwreck. The four-masted steel sailing vessel ran ashore on October 25, 1906, and there she rested on the beach 108 years later at a point along the Graveyard of the Pacific.

Peter Iredale shipwreck

The Peter Iredale is but one of more than 2,000 shipwrecks that have occurred along the northwest coast from Tillamook Bay to Cape Scott Provincial Park on Victoria Island.

Peter Iredale shipwreck

I missed capturing Haystack Rock but took home the next shot as a consolation photo. Unfortunately, I have no idea exactly where the photo was taken, somewhere along the Oregon coast between Astoria and the Waldport/Newport KOA, where we stayed for one night in gale-force winds.

Rocks on the shoreline

Coos Bay and Cape Arago

Coos Bay was our next stop for two nights where the highlight of our visit was exploring Cape Arago.

Overlook along Cape Arago Highway
Tide Pools along Cape Arago Highway

The lighthouse that remains on Chief’s Island, was the third lighthouse built. An original lighthouse met its demise in 1936, a keeper’s duplex and the second lighthouse were razed in 1956 and in the 1960s, respectively. Also, a bridge from the mainland to the station was removed to prevent unauthorized access and restore the shoreline to a natural state.

Cape Arago Lighthouse from Sunset Bay Trail

The Coast Guard signed over twenty-four acres of land including Chief’s Island to the Confederated Tribes on August 3, 2013. Under the terms of the agreement, the tribes are required to make the light station available to the general public for cultural, educational, recreational, and historic preservation purposes. Apparently, the Confederated Tribes plan on developing an interpretive center, but a quick search did not reveal anything available for visitors as of July 2019.

Along the highway are places to get out of the car and view the rocky cliffs and beaches.

Rock formations along Cape Arago Highway
Uplifted Rock Formations along Cape Arago Highway

Then there is the Shore Acres State Park. The park began with the 1942 purchase of the Louis J. and Lela G. Simpson’s oceanfront estate and formal garden. Additional acquisitions expanded the park boundaries to its current size. In 1970, garden restoration efforts began, returning the garden to its earlier grandeur.

Kniphofia Papaya Popsicle or Red Hot Pokers in front of the Shore Acres Observation Building
Shore Acres Garden
Yellow Rose
Water Fountain
Rock Rose
Garden delights
Heron sculptures in the Lilly pond
Does anyone know what kind of trees these are?
Shoreline view

Back in Coos Bay, we checked out the Boardwalk. The Lady Washington was docked next to a couple of smaller and more modern looking sailing craft.

The Lady Washington Tall Ship
The Lady Washington

The Lady Washington and the Hawaiian Chieftan tall ships offer 3-hour tours when in the harbor. These replicas of historic ships travel the coasts of Washington, Oregon, California, and B.C. The crew let us on board to walk around the deck before they shut down for the day. But it was too late for a tour.

Also on the boardwalk, we found this sculpture as a tribute to veterans.

Ecclesiastes 3:8 calls for a time to love and a time to hate, a time of war, and a time of peace

It would be my preference that there was never a time for hate or war. Unfortunately, since hatred and war have been in the world since the beginning of time, I doubt my dream will ever occur.

Next up: We stop at the Central Point KOA again to take in a hike and taste a bit of Oregon wine.

7 thoughts on “Astoria and Coos Bay, Oregon

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