Tag Archives: Washington

Washington – Day Trip 2

The Volcanoes Area

On this day trip we went over the Astoria-Megler Bridge once again and this time made a right instead of a left! We were headed to the Mt. St. Helens Vistor Center at Silver Lake in Castle Rock, Washington.

Mt. St. Helens

Mt. St. Helens is an active stratovolcano located in Skamania County, Washington in the Pacific Northwest region of the U.S.

Interesting Facts:

  • Mt. St. Helens is in the Cascade Range and is part of the Cascade Volcanic Arc, a segment of the Pacific Ring of Fire that includes over 160 active volcanoes.
  • The Mt. St. Helens National Volcanic Monument was created to preserve the volcano and allow for its aftermath to be scientifically studied.
  • Mt. St. Helens is a large eruptive cone consisting of lava rock with ash, pumice and other deposits.
  • Mt. St. Helens eruption in 1980 was the deadliest and most econcomically destructive volcanic event in the history of the United States. 57 lives lost. 250 homes destroyed. 47, bridges, 15 miles of railways and 185 miles of highway destroyed.

Castle Rock

Castle Rock is the gateway to Mt. St. Helens and this city sits at the western base of Mt. St. Helens. Check out the Harry Truman Memorial Park to read about the legendary Spirit Lake Resort owner who refused to abandon his home to Mt. St. Helens. Welcome to Timber Country too! Castle Rock is in Washington timber country. The town was incorpated in 1890 and the local sawmill was the first to produce cedar shingles, using the Western red cedar, which grows in abundance in this region.


Made a pit stop in Cathlamet and decided to go back and take the ferry for a fun little side adventure! The Julie Butler Hansen Bridge (now SR409) takes you across the Columbia River’s Cathlamet Channel and into Puget Island. Take the Wahkiakim County Ferry from Puget Island, Washington into Westport, Oregon. Then from Westport you can head back into Astoria.

Puget Island

Welcome to the Island! Puget Island is a 7.5 square mile island in the Columbia River. The island was named for Peter Puget, a lieutenant in the Vancouver Expedition of exploration, which first mapped the island in 1792. Pop. 798 persons.

The Wahkiakum County Ferry

This ferry is the last regularly scheduled car ferry to cross the Columbia River between two states. The ferry can hold up to 9 cars and takes about 10 minutes to ride across the Columbia River. The cost per car is $5 and you can also walk or bike onto the ferry to cross too.

(Photos by RSheridan)

That Concludes the Washington State Day Trips!

Cape Disappointment State Park

Formerly Fort Canby State Park

I am a curious explorer and want to know more about Fort Canby and the Fort’s History!

  • Fort Canby was named after General Edward Canby.
  • Cape Disappointment State Park is a 1,882-acre camping park on the Long Beach Peninsula, fronted by the Pacific Ocean.
  • The park offers 27 miles of ocean beach, 2 lighthouses, an interpretive center, and hiking trails.

History of the Cape Disappointment Area

  • In 1788, while in search of the Columbia River, English Captain John Meares missed the passage over the river bar and named the nearby headland Cape Disappointment for his failure in finding the river.
  • In 1792, American Captain Robert Gray successfully crossed the river bar and named the river “Columbia” after his ship, the Columbia Rediviva.
  • In 1805, the Lewis and Clark Expedition arrived at Cape Disappointment.
  • In 1856, the Cape Disappointment Lighthouse was constructed to warn seamen of the treacherous river bar known by then as “the graveyard of the Pacific.”
  • In 1862, Cape Disappointment was armed with smoothbore cannons to protect the mouth of the Columbia River from enemies (on the Washington side). The installation was expanded to become Fort Canby in 1875. The fort continued to be improved until the end of World War II.
  • In 1856, Fort Stevens was completed with a moat and drawbridge and established across the Columbia River on the Oregon side. In 1897, Fort Stevens was improved.
  • In 1875, Fort Canby came into existence to improve the defense of the Columbia River. Fort Canby was established in 1863 during the U.S. Civil War and activated in 1864 at Cape Disappointment. Fort Canby was deactivated in 1947.
  • In 1896, Fort Columbia was built. The mouth of the Columbia River was now protected with three forts.

U.S. Civil War (1861-1865)

In 1852 the War Department created a military reservation at Cape Disappointment to protect the mouth of the Columbia River. There were several frame garrison buildings erected and a fortification consisting of three earthwork batteries armed with smoothbore cannons. The engineer behind the building of the three batteries was George H. Elliot.

  • It was garrisoned by Company A, U.S. 9th Infantry Regiment and Company A, 8th Regiment California Volunteer Infantry in the District of Oregon.
  • The three batteries are known as “Lighthouse Battery”, “Left Battery” and “Center Battery”.
  • The Lighthouse Battery had a total of seven guns, two 8″, four 10″ and one huge 15″ Rodman smoothbore  mounted on a center pintle in front of the lighthouse. All three batteries were to meant house a total of 22 guns.
  • An 1870 report indicated that the post had a single two story barracks, 80 by 30 feet and 28 foot high, three small frame officers’ quarters, a guard house and a small eight bed hospital.
  • Between 1896 and 1908, after a long period of neglect during which the fort and its armament had become obsolete, the Army completely renovated them. New barracks and other buildings were constructed, and two batteries, Battery Harvey Allen and Battery O’Flying, with a total of five rifled guns in concrete emplacements were installed. Battery Harvey Allen’s Service Years were 1904, 1905, 1906, and 1945.

World War II (1941-1945)

  • Fort Canby remained in caretaker status from the end of WWI (1917-1918) to 1941 manned only by a sergeant and two enlisted men.
  • The fort was reactivated in 1941 and in 1944 Battery 247 was added on McKenzie Head.
  • In 1947 the fort was deactivated.
  • Present surviving structures date from the World War II period.

I really enjoyed exploring what remains of Fort Canby! I am pretty sure the fireplace in the photo below is in what was called the officers’ quarters. I now know why it is called Battery Harvey Allen (photos below).

The 3 Forts Established as The Harbor Defenses of the Columbia

(Photos by RSheridan)

Here’s to an Area Rich in Nature as well as in the History of It’s Past and Present and Future!!!

Washington – Day Trip 1

Long Beach Peninsula and Coast

It was a foggy morning . . .

The Sign Says It All for Today’s Weather!

The day trip started in Astoria, Oregon by going over the Astoria-Megler Bridge and into Point Ellice, Washington.

Seaside to Astoria

The Astoria-Megler Bridge

50 States Checklist

I can check Washington State, aka “The Evergreen State”, off my 50 States Checklist! It was so green and evergreens as far as my eyes could see!

Lewis and Clark

Mr. Craves became Lewis and I, the CravesAdventurer, played Clark for our day of exploration to the Long Beach Peninsula!

The Long Beach Peninsula has the Pacific Ocean on the west, the Columbia River on the south and Willapa Bay on the east. Leadbetter Point State Park and Willapa National Wildlife Refuge are located at the northern tip of the peninsula. The Long Beach Peninsula is remarkable for its continuous sand beaches on the Pacific Ocean side. Claimed to be the longest beach in the U.S. with 28 miles of sand and the world’s largest drivable beach!.

Cape Disappointment State Park, formerly known as Fort Canby State Park is at the southern end. Cape Disappointment is part of the Lewis and Clark National and State Historical Parks west of Ilwaco and was the westernmost terminus for the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

Principal Industries:

  • #1 – Tourism
  • Fishing
  • Crabbing
  • Oyster Farming; #1 producer of farmed oysters in the U.S.
  • Cranberry Farming

Interesting Fact About Oysterville: The entire town is on the National Register of Historic Places.

1st Stop – Chinook

Located on the Columbia River and Washington’s oldest salmon hatchery.

2nd Stop – Cape Disappointment

The Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center features exhibits about the 1803-1806 Lewis and Clark Expedition from St. Louis, Missouri to the Pacific Coast. The Interpretive Center sits on a cliff that overlooks the Columbia River and the Pacific Ocean. There is an admission fee ($).

Cape Disappointment Lighthouse (1856)

The Cape Disappointment Lighthouse was constructed in 1856 to warn seamen of the treacherous river bar known by then as “The Graveyard of the Pacific”. This is the oldest functioning lighthouse on the West Coast.

The Trail to Get to Cape Disappointment Lighthouse

Coast Guard Station

You Are Here – Almost There!

Cape Disappointment Lighthouse – Made It!

3rd Stop – North Head Lighthouse (1898)

The Fog Continues . . . Heading to North Head Lighthouse

North Head Lighthouse

Close Up

Lighthouse Keeper Housing

4th Stop – Leadbetter Point State Park

Leadbetter Point State Park is located on the tip iof the Long Beach Peninsula and driving any further would put you in the bay or the ocean! Leadbetter Point separates Willapa Bay from the Pacific Ocean.

Explored the Green Trail or Bay Loop Trail. Even though the tide was out it was still a pretty interesting place to explore. I would love to see the salt marsh when the tide is in. Biologists have recorded over 100 species of birds here, like a bird super highway of migration (Spring and Fall); resting, feeding and nesting.

Mr. Craves wondered if this place was used in the filming of the movie The Big Year starring Steve Martin, Jack Black and Owen Wilson. The basis of the movie is a competition among birders to see who can identify the most different species of birds in North America in a calendar year. I checked and the principal photography took place in Vancouver, Canada.

Views of the Bay

Found Objects

Fauna and Flora

5th Stop – Long Beach

Decided to stop at Long Beach for lunch before heading back to Astoria. Checked out the Long Beach Boardwalk and strolled through the downtown area.

Back to Oregon

(Photos by RSheridan)

1 Day Trip to Washington Down and 1 to Go! Next Day Trip will be to The Volcanoes Area and Mt. St. Helens!

Favorite Foodie City

A Few of My Favorite Things . . .

I have decided to dedicate this week as “Favorites” Week! I am starting the 4th day off with Favorite Foodie City. You will have to stay tuned throughout the week to discover other favorites.

Check Out – Favorite Travel Destination

Check Out – Favorite Travel Interest

Check Out – Favorite Wine Destination

Check Out – Favorite Outdoor Destination

What is Your Ultimate Favorite Foodie City? Pick your Top 5!

My Top 5

  • Santa Barbara
  • San Francisco
  • The Twin Cities
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Dallas

My Ultimate Favorite Food to SPLURGE on while traveling is FRESH Fish and Seafood – YUM! Sometimes the food becomes secondary to the wine or beer. In the end it is about the OVERALL experience – place, people, food, and drink.

Crab Anyone? (Photo by RSheridan)

Great Food Anyone? (Photo by RSheridan)

Some Highlights! I enjoyed eating lunch in Chinatown in San Francisco as well as checking out Capital City Brewing Company in Washington, D.C. You have the classic California cuisine as well as the unique and eclectic in Santa Barbara and San Francisco. I remember in Dallas you needed a doggie bag due to the big portions – it is true everything is bigger in Texas! The Twin Cities offers the traveler a vast selection of cuisines to choose from while visiting.

Wine Anyone? (Photo by RSheridan)

Beer Anyone? (Photo by RSheridan)

Please Share YOUR Favorite Foodie Cities!

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