Sorry for my lack of posts lately, but we've been out of town for our annual family vacation!
This year we decided to do a mini road trip down the Oregon Coast. (Last year we went to Hawaii, remember?)
Our first stop was at Fort Stevens State Park in Hammond, Oregon.
I have camped at quite a few state parks throughout the years, but Fort Stevens is absolutely my new favorite!
First of all, it's huge, and offers camping, beach-combing, freshwater lake swimming, trails, wildlife viewing, a historic shipwreck, and a historic military fort. It also has a network of nine miles of paved bicycle trails and six miles of hiking trails that allow visitors to explore forests, wetlands, dunes, and shore pine areas.
We loved our campsite, which we shared with my parents, my brother and his girlfriend, and my sister. It was our first time tent camping with Ryder, and he did such a good job. He slept in a Pack N Play in the tent, and ironically he slept through the night for basically the first time ever (go figure). And since my parents had their trailer there as well, we had all the comforts of home (like a bathtub -- great for scrubbing down a dirty one-year-old at the end of each day).
After getting settled in at camp, we headed down to the beach, where Ryder plopped right down in the sand and played in absolute joy for hours.
This kid is a Beach Baby!
The adults didn't seem to mind having an excuse to dig in the sand themselves...
Ryder thought he was having the time of his life...
Until Daddy took him down to see the ocean!
Our child seems to have absolutely no fear. The waves and the cold didn't bother him, and he didn't even mind when he fell face down into the water and sand (the saltiness just seemed to surprise him a bit). He played in the waves until we had to take him out because he was turning purple and shivering. Still, he threw a fit and wanted to stay!
We spent the entire morning of our first day exploring Fort Stevens.
Fort Stevens was once a primary military defense installation at the mouth of the Columbia River. It was in service for 84 years, from the Civil War to World War II. Today it's become a 4,300 acre park offering history, nature, and tons of recreational opportunities.
In addition to exploring the military museum and abandoned fort, we got to take an underground tour through a rare gun battery that also served as a World War II command center, and checked out some cool military transport vehicles.
Ryder was pretty tuckered out from all the excitement by this time, so I stayed back at camp with him while the rest of the family drove into Astoria to check out some of their famous breweries.
He was perfectly content to stay at camp, anyway. Give this kid a few toys and a pile of dirt and he's happier than a pig in... well, you know.
|Oh, and since we were near Astoria, of course we had to check out the famous Goonies House on our way out of town. Sorry, Stewart refused to do a Truffle Shuffle re-enactment...|
Anyone who was alive in the '80s will also recognize Haystack Rock (shown on the right) from the end of the movie (although they're actually down in Cannon Beach, which I'll get to when I document the next leg of our trip).
We had such an amazing time!
It was so nice to spend quality time with my family at such a cool location. And our trip wasn't over yet!
Next we were headed south along the coast for more adventures... Stay tuned!