We plan to spend the night in Seaside, roughly 200 miles north of Winchester Bay. The last time we stayed in Seaside, 3 years ago, we stayed at Circle Creek RV Resort. Jeff called them several times and left messages, but no one ever called back so the only place with room for us was at Trucke’s 1 Stop, a gas station and RV Park. We reserved a spot, only to find out when we arrive, that for $35 a night in an open backyard we only have electricity. We need water too.
Back on the road, heading north, we ponder what to do. We stop by a few RV places and call others nearby, but everyone is full. One park had room, but our motorhome at 35 feet was too big.
So, we keep driving and calling and looking and stopping from Gearhart to Warrenton, to Astoria in Oregon to Megler to Chinook to Ilwaco in Washington. Nothing!
Finally I find a place in Ocean Park, Washington, the Ocean Park Resort Motel & RV Park. It’s a bit out of the way off of Highway 101 on the Long Beach peninsula between Cape Disappointment State Park and Willapa National Wildlife Refuge.
The woman on the phone couldn’t have been any sweeter if she was rolled in sugar!
Here we are crossing the Columbia River…
And here we are in Ocean Park, Washington, arriving at our overnight place.
Long Beach Peninsula
This arm of land in southwestern Washington is surrounded by the Pacific Ocean to the west, the Columbia River to the south, and Willapa Bay to the east and north. The peninsula is known for its 28 miles of continuous sand beaches, making it a popular vacation destination for people from Seattle, WA (165 miles away) and Portland, OR (115 miles away). (en.m.wikipedia.org)
The Chinook people first occupied the whole peninsula area. After European seafarers discovered the area, a fur trade arose. Later, pioneers arrived at the mouth of the Columbia River and by the 1830s an oyster trade began in Willapa Bay. Settlers soon followed. By 1850 there were permanent settlements around Willapa Bay. Oysterville soon dominated the northern area of the peninsula. (chinookobserver.com)
Although tourism is now the principal industry… fishing, crabbing, oyster farming, and cranberry farming are major components of the local economy.
Ilwaco is a small fishing village located on the southern edge of the Long Beach Peninsula. It was the home to the Ilwaco Railway and Navigation Company, a 3-foot narrow gauge railroad that ran for over 40 years (1889-1930) from the Columbia River up the peninsula to Nahcotta on Willapa Bay. Unofficially known as the Clamshell Railroad, the only railroad that ran with the tides, it served tourists, residents, Willapa Bay shellfish growers, farmers, and loggers. (en.m.wikipedia.org and historylink.org)
Seaview was developed in the 1880s by Jonathan Stout, a cooper from Ohio, as a summer community for the gentry of Portland. (en.m.wikipedia.org)
Long Beach began as Tinkerville when Henry Harrison Tinker bought a land claim from Charles E. Reed in 1880 and platted the town. Incorporated in 1922 as Long Beach, the town boasts miles of beaches, a 1/2-mile-long dunes boardwalk, and an 8.5-mile paved coastal trail. It is the quintessential beach town with colorful shops, lodging, amusements, and recreation galore. (en.m.wikipedia.org and oregoncoastmagazine.com)
Ocean Park was started as a Methodist church camp in 1883 in response to the raucous nature of Oysterville, about 10 miles north on the Long Beach Peninsula, by settlers convinced that a more religious environment was needed. (chinookobserver.com)
Nahcotta is named for Chief Nahcati of the Chinook people. This small eastern fishing port was the end of the line for the Clamshell Railroad. (visitlongbeachpeninsula.com)
Oysterville was first settled in 1841 by John Douglas who married a local Chinook woman. The California Gold Rush of 1849 brought settlers here to spend their gold on Willapa Bay oysters. Settlers and Chinooks filled schooners with oysters and shipped them to San Francisco. By 1854 Oyster Beach became Oysterville with a population of around 800. When the native oyster business came to an end, so did the town. Today it remains as a historical district preserving days gone by. (chinookobserver.com)