Originally we were going to head to Montana to see Glacier again this year, with hopes that it wouldn’t be smoked in.
Together with Justin and Stacy we were working out plans when mention of the coast came up. They had never been to the Washington or Oregon coast. We ourselves had never really seen the Washington coastline.
As we were contemplating, we received word that the Going to the Sun road in Glacier would be closed for roadwork during the time we had planned to be there. So, essentially, our minds were made up for us. We left on Labor Day as travelers were making their way home, meaning the traffic was light for us on our way out and we’d have a good shot at finding a camping spot.
The Washington coast:
Leaving Seatac, we headed toward Neah Bay. The first thing we wanted to see was Cape Flattery, and stand on the northwest most corner of these contiguous United States.
We ended up camping at a place called Beaver Creek Campground. Its only cost was the purchase of the Washington Discovery Pass. Since Nate and I already had our passes, we were good to go. Stacy and Justin had to purchase theirs, but the Discovery Pass is an annual pass that’s about $35, and lets you get into any other campground and day use area that uses it. There are a TON of places in WA that it is useful for. Beaver Creek Campground’s cell service wasn’t the greatest, but we were able to work.
Cape Flattery was… well… awesome. Staring out into where the Strait of Juan de Fuca meets the Pacific, and seeing Canada on the other side really puts things into perspective. We also learned a bit about the history here, how the Makah tribe used it to keep vigil, and were able to see some of the first European expeditions looking for the Northwest Passage. I really felt insignificant here.
We also visited La Push, WA. La Push is apparently a location where they did a lot of filming of the second Twilight Movie. They had lots of signs, the “Treaty Line”, and a vampire threat meter. Apparently they have a fan gathering every year. Twilight aside, the beach at La Push was really beautiful, with all of the jutting rocks, giving you a lot to look at.
After leaving the area, we quickly visited the Olympic State Park to check out the visitor’s center on the way to Ocean Shores. Justin hugged a big tree.
In Ocean Shores, we stayed in the RV boondocking area for the Quinault Beach Resort and Casino. There is room for probably 70 to 100 RV’s here. It was quiet and secure as a patrol car drove through constantly throughout the day and night. During the off season camping here is free, otherwise it’s 15$ for Friday and Saturday nights, with all other nights being 5$. It was free for us as we arrived after Labor Day. You can go here to see more details. Cell service was good, and we were able to dump and get water down the road at the state park. Our Discovery Pass let us into the state park for free.
We showed Stacy and Justin our kites on the beach (which you are able to drive on!), and we had a great dinner at an Irish Pub called Galway Bay.
The Oregon Coast:
After a couple of days at Ocean Shores, we headed down to Newport one more time this year. We crossed the bridge to Astoria, and then headed inland at Seaside. This let us give a quick hug to Nate’s sister Janine and her kids on the way down while we stopped for fuel in Albany.
Justin and Stacy have never been to Newport, so we were able to show them around. On one day we headed up to Depoe Bay stopping in at the Devil’s Punchbowl as well as pulling off at several places and watching whales along the way. There were a lot of whales out this trip. We watched salt water taffy get pulled and had a great lunch, then hit up the Yaquina Head Lighthouse on the way back. On another day, we headed south, visiting Cape Perpetua and Thor’s Well, rockhounding to collect Agate with our friends who live in Waldport, and finally down to Florence for some views of the sand dunes.
We did a lot of beach walks, ate some good food, and saw some neat sites. Staying at the dry camping area of the Newport Marina and RV Park cost about 25$ a night, which is half what their normal RV park sites cost. Water and dump were nearby at the park if we needed them. Cell service here is great.
During our stay at Newport, something amazing was happening each night. A giant mass of garden snails would migrate out of the grass and bushes and onto the gravel. So. Many. Snails! It was crazy!
Check out this video I took of the migration!
More to come soon.