Arriving in Astoria, OR.

By the time we arrived in Astoria, Oregon, it was evening. We had wanted to squeeze in a visit to the Maritime Museum and the Lewis and Clark National Monuments, but we didn’t have time that evening. So instead we settled down in our yurt at Fort Stevens campground.

We loved our yurt! It had bunk beds for the girls and a fold-out futon for Abe and me (although we secretly moved Mary from the bottom bunk to the futon before going to bed–the bunkbeds were more comfy than the futon.) There was a heater inside so we felt cozy when the night became chilly, and best of all, there was a skylight at the top of the yurt so we could fall asleep watching the night sky.

After checking out our yurt, we met up with the Martineaus at the campground beach. There have been over two thousand shipwrecks in the past one hundred years at the mouth of the Columbia River, and one of the shipwrecks landed on the camp beach. It was the wreck of the Peter Iredale.

Here is a picture I got from Wikipedia showing the Peter Iredale in its glory days (as in, when it was still afloat).
Here is a picture of the Peter Iredale upon its immediate grounding on Clatsop Spit (the camp beach).
Here is Abe atop the current Peter Iredale.

With the jagged, rocky beach at Bainbridge fresh in his mind, Ammon was very, very tentative about walking on this beach. It took him at least a good five minutes of crying and hanging on to one of us before he realized that a sandy beach is fun (and doesn’t hurt your feet).


Abe ran into the freezing cold ocean and took a quick swim. He is amazing.
This is Lydia upon first arriving at the beach. She loved being in the sand.

After we played on the beach, we headed to a restaurant in Astoria. We were the last people they served, and we felt so lucky! Restaurants close early in Oregon in May. Also, it is very tricky finding restaurants that feel child-friendly enough for six small children. I can’t remember the name of the restaurant where we ate, but it was great.

And then we headed back to our yurt. The Martineaus were staying in a hotel in Astoria, but they joined us for after-dinner s’mores. Candace and I had the luxury of talking by the fire while our husbands kept the kids in tow. (After s’mores, the kids wanted to all play on the bunk beds.)

Then it was time for bed…and Ammon shocked and delighted us by not only going straight to bed, but by sleeping through the night!! What a star.

Forks and the Hoh Rain Forest

On Monday morning we got up early so we could fit in everything on our itinerary. The first thing we did was head to the Hoh Rain Forest in Olympic National Park. Forks, the setting for Twilight, was literally en route. We had to drive through it in order to reach our destination. Since the town of Forks takes five minutes to see in its entirety, we did a thorough tour.

The high school came complete with snarky teenagers! We couldn’t believe our luck in discovering that this aspect of the Twilight setting was spot on.
On Bella’s truck outside of the Forks visitor center.

After driving one block off of the highway to the high school, we were convinced we had toured Forks in its entirety. The town is itty bitty.

Then we headed to the Hoh Rain Forest to stamp our National Parks passports and take a little hike around.

With these girls in tow as I headed to the visitor’s center, I garnered lots of compliments on my prolific proclivity for childbearing. I had to tell my admirers that the talents of others were also at play in creating the adorable set pictured here. 
Ammon admiring the rain forest.
There was beautiful poetry posted on the trail.
Such verdant abundance on the trail!

After our lovely little hike, we drove down the Washington Coast to Astoria, Oregon. The scenery was spectacular. We felt like we were driving through brilliant green tunnels punctuated with breathtaking views of the intensely blue Pacific Ocean. Gorgeous!