Friday, May 11, 2012

Fort Stevens Yurt Adventure

It was spring break, and I needed some time away.  The guys in my house needed to work on papers, but Amy was off school and we needed an extended adventure.

 I have always wanted to stay in a state park Yurt and was able to make a reservation at Ft. Stevens State Park in the Northwest corner of Oregon where the Columbia River meets the Pacific Ocean.  I invited my mom to join us and to my delight she agreed!  This was near the anniversary of my sister's death so it was a special time to be able to be together.

We started our adventure in Astoria and climbed the 164 steps to the top of the Astoria Column.  It wasn't quite the hiking adventure we usually have.  Amy and I were equipped to handle mud, but my mom is more of a fare weather hiker and the column was just the compromise!

There was not much of a view, but the fog overlooking the Columbia River was mystical and we imagined what seeing this for the first time must have been like for Lewis and Clark.  Unfortunately, our history comes from the perspective of explorers and there is just a slight nod to the Clatsop First People who were here before the explorers.  It is becoming more difficult for me to enjoy forts and monuments from the exploration era because I know that settlement of the land also led to genocide of the First People.

Trying to put some of that behind me for this trip, I focused on how fun it was for Amy to climb the stairs and the rainy view from the top.

The view from the parking lot was also lovely and we enjoyed some lunch in the car today.

At the site was also a Native Burial Canoe with tribute to one of the chiefs.

We headed down into Astoria and enjoyed tea at my favorite bakery, the Blue Scorcher.

We still managed to make it to Ft. Stevens state park before check in time at the Yurt, so there was more exploring to be had.  I headed down to the beach to check out the Shipwreck.  It was windy and rainy, a great backdrop for this!

Amy was up for a short stroll near a lake to check out the boardwalk.

Finally, we checked in to the long awaited yurt, and Amy was so excited to sleep on the top bunk for the first time.  There was a frog living under the yurt which we discovered both in the afternoon and again at 2am!  We enjoyed reading books, playing games, and making very pathetic attempts to build a fire in the wet fire ring.  I ended up doing most all the cooking on my small backpacking stove, but did give it a very good effort.

The next day we did some more exploring to the Pacific Ocean and a man made Jetty that helps keep the water from enveloping the entire point here.

It was fun to see the waves crashing against the rocks, but the wind and cold detoured us a bit and we did not spend too much time enjoying this scene.

Amy actually stayed in the car because she was not a fan of the cold wind and rain today.

We took a short walk on the calmer, east side of the point.

We explored a few bunkers briefly, but as I said earlier, these are sad places for me.  There was supposed to be a replica of a Native American Longhouse here but it was just a pile of wood needing repair.  This added to my sense of this story being very one sided.

All in all it was a wonderful adventure- just a lovely time to be together, enjoy each other and a new experience of sleeping in a yurt, as well as a little nature.  In one of the small towns we drove through I spotted a TV repair shop which so reminded me of my dad, who loved history and nature so much that this trip would have been right down his alley!

1 comment:

  1. thanks for the re-visit to Astoria. We vacationed there a few years ago and took in the Astoria Column as well as whats left of the wreckage on the beach, the Lewis and Clark museum and many other wonderful things.