Fall Beach Trip

September 13, 2010

Family at Ft. Clatsop
The busy season at Exodus is drawing to a close so Eli left the piles and bills and books on a Monday and took us all to the beach! We headed north towards Astoria but stopped at Fort Clatsop first.
Kids explore the fort
Fort Clatsop is a replica of the fort where Lewis and Clark sheltered during the winter of 1805-1806 before beginning their trip home. Eli has been reading the Little House books out loud to the kids so the little log barracks fascinated them.
Lucy trying out the sleeping accommodations
Yep, she's mine and I just have to say it:
it just doesn't get much cuter than that!
Paper with Quote
A list of the men who stayed there, along with some kind of mission statement.
Running down to the inlet
Running down to the canoe landing.
The Inlet
This inlet off of the Columbia river was just beautiful!
Beautiful Columbia River Area
Joshua at the River
He's still pretty cute too!
A Curious Tourist
She loved being able to walk about and explore. She babbled and pointed and thought of herself as quite the tourist.
At Ft. Stevens
The next stop was Fort Stevens (a day-use fee park that doesn't take credit cards). After finding an ATM machine we settled down to share a picnic lunch with some fearless squirrels and then explore.
On the Big Gun
Watch Out!
I'm pretty sure they put this sign up just for us.
Being a Monday, the place was pretty quiet and we didn't take any tours. Eli and I had both been before, but it had been years. It was interesting to see how the once-strong beams were sagging and how the concrete was crumbling.
Wreck of the Peter Iredale
By then it was late in the afternoon and the kids were tired of walking around. When they kept sitting down in every pile of dirt they found trying to begin digging, we decided it was time to take them to the beach proper. This is what's left of the Peter Iredale a ship that wrecked on this beach on September 28, 1906. The captain's final toast to his ship was this: "May God bless you, and may your bones bleach in the sands." They aren't exactly bleached, but that sounds so much better than "...may your bones rust..."
Family on the Beach
Much better.
Eli is not pondering the meaning of life, he is looking up at our Red Baron kite flying high in the stiff breeze.
Esther loved the beach! I put her down in the little anklet waves and began rolling her pants up. But pretty soon I could see the effort would be useless so I let her enjoy the ocean in just a onesie. Each wave would crash and then recede and she would pat, pat after it, little fat feet splashing, too happy to realize how cold she was. Then she pulled away when Eli was holding her hands and she went down with a big splash of cold, salty water! Off came the onesie, on when a new diaper, around went a warm blanket and in went her thumb. Soon she was fast asleep.
Lucy was loving the waves at first, but soon she was quite content to stay by our little camp out and dig and dig and dig.
Joshua enjoyed being big enough to play in the waves without holding a protective hand.
A Big Boy Enjoys the Waves
Out and in he ran.
As far as he knew it was just him and the sea.
Joshua with Shipwreck
But we where there--if not with a protective hand--we were watching with a protective eye.
The Sun Sets
I can't believe the whole world doesn't want to live here on the west coast!
We Gather Around the Campfire
As the sun went down we lit a fire (dashed difficult in that much wind!), exchanged wet sandy clothes for dry ones, and pulled out the picnic basket. Yes, hot dogs, marshmallows, and roasting sticks were involved. Also sand which grits between the teeth and smoke which stings the eyes. That my friends, is the stuff of memories.
Shipwreck in the sunset
These are the best I could do with no tripod or large steady object.
Betwixt Day and Night
By the Light of the Moon
The orange and pink fire sank slowly below the horizon leaving the moon to turn the waves into silver glass. Load by load we carried all of our stuff back up to the car as the stars were unveiled a few hundred at a time. After one last walk, all blue and white and black, we bundled three sleepy children into their seats and went home.

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