Monday, November 25, 2019

Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad

On Friday, 30 August during our five-night stay at Barview Jetty County Campground, we decamped and drove north to the town of Rockaway Beach, Oregon. Margaret had purchased two tickets online for us to take a train ride south the handful of miles to the town of Garibaldi and back to Rockaway Beach aboard the Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad (OCSR). The OCSR is a steam-powered heritage railroad and nonprofit organization run by volunteers. This route is its regular summer excursion. They have other seasonal excursions, with more being added.

We boarded the train at 12:30 for a 1:00 departure. The entire trip took about 1-1/2 hours, including the half-hour layover in Garibaldi. It was hauled by the McCloud River Railroad #25 (steam-engine) on this route down the old Southern Pacific Railroad tracks (which run parallel to U.S. Highway 101 on its west side, the Oregon Coast Highway) now belonging to the OCSR. I feel I should mention that on the trip south, it didn't actually "haul" the train cars since it backed the four cars south to Garibaldi before "hauling" us back north. The entire train consisted of the engine, one uncovered open-air car, the covered open-air car we were in, an enclosed car, and the caboose, where passengers enter and are given their printed tickets.

The weather was a cloudy 74°F; and although a bit rough and loud ("clanky sounds"), we passengers all seemed to enjoy ourselves. Welcome aboard—virtually—on the OCSR Coastal Excursion!

The McCloud River Railroad #25 steam engine at the Rockaway Beach depot.
Photo by Margaret. 

Friday, November 15, 2019

Barview Jetty County Campground

It was the Wednesday before Labor Day weekend, and we were very fortunate to have a campsite for five nights. Barview Jetty County Campground is a huge and busy campground in Rockaway Beach, Oregon. The Labor Day weekend is the unofficial end of summer, as far as camping goes. Every site was reserved through the weekend, and there was a lot of traffic, activity, and noise. Margaret and I are both lovers of peace and quiet, and our campsite was right at the entrance of the campground. Even though we were both relieved to have a place to stay and appreciated the amenities, it wasn't our ideal camping experience.

The Roadtrek in our roadside campsite at Barview Jetty County Campground. 
Photo by Virginia.

Monday, November 4, 2019

Fort Stevens & Fort Clatsop

We left the Forks, WA, area via U.S. Highway 101 on a bright and cool August (26th) morning. The highway was dappled with soft sunlight; and after a short while, we had brief glimpses of the northern Pacific Ocean through the dense trees. Near the Quinault Reservation (kwin-ALT), the forest opened up; and we had a clear view of the ocean. We stopped in the town of Aberdeen, WA, for gas and propane. About 40 minutes later we drove through the "Oyster Capitol of the World," the town of South Bend, WA. Less than one hour later we were approaching the four-mile long Astoria-Megler Bridge connecting Washington and Oregon States over the Columbia River. The bridge and views were impressive, but one thing that was not was the number of dead seagulls on the bridge. It was a sad and gruesome graveyard, for sure.

The huge Fort Stevens State Park Campground was full. Margaret checked with the KOA Resort nearby, but the cost for what we needed was exorbitant. The employee handed us a printout with other places to camp, and Margaret decided to try the nearby Hammond Marina RV Park. Fortunately, they had a site for us; and she paid for two nights. They offered full hook-ups, Wi-Fi, bathrooms with showers (no extra charge), and washers and dryers. Margaret made us vegan sloppy joes and potatoes for dinner, and I uploaded hundreds of photos to Flickr using the pokey Wi-Fi.

The following morning Margaret's iPhone was still not working (hence, all of the photos in this post and the corresponding locations on pages 4 & 5 in this Flickr Album were taken by Virginia). We went to the ranger station at Fort Stevens State Park, where Margaret bought a day-parking 12-month pass that allows the holder to day-park for free in any state park in Oregon. We then drove around the humongous campground, which, in addition to tent and RV camping, also had yurts available to rent. We then drove the short distance to Ocean Beach (or Peter Iredale Beach, as some refer to it) where we walked the shore and observed all that was left of the Peter Iredale shipwreck.

Peter Iredale Beach, Fort Stevens State Park, Warrenton, OR