After spending the weekend in Shelton as our home base, it was off to the coast. We would be staying in the Scarborough house at Fort Columbia State Park with the whole Butler Clan. The fort is located right on the Columbia river, near the mouth where is pours out into the Pacific. We loaded up 1 car, 1 SUV, 1 truck, and 1 motorcycle. The first priority was to check out the ocean and get in some waves!
The water was pretty much bone chilling cold and waves were strong, along with lots of different currents. We spent some time checking out the beach near Long Beach with Aunt Rima. William seemed to like the fresh ocean air, but definitely not the cold ocean water.
The next day it was back to Long beach for more body boarding and surfing. Search and Rescue had cleared the whole town of bogie boards from past accidents so we settled on renting from the local surf shop. I had one instance where I got out past the break and was quickly reminded not to mess around with the power of the ocean.
Yes, we were the only ones full on in the water!
We spent the time out of the water, relaxing in the back of the truck. Weather was a cloudy overcast with a light drizzle the first day. On certain parts of the beach, vehicles are allowed, you just need to be careful not to get stuck, especially when the tide is coming up. William had fun hanging out with Aunt Tirsa for the first time.
The port of Ilwaco was also nearby and it was tempting to go out on a salmon charter. Fishing was hot and one of the largest salmon runs since 1938, Kings and Silvers, was starting up. Fisherman had pretty much taken over the area and campgrounds were packed.
When we weren’t out on the beach, we were back at the fort relaxing, playing games, and enjoying family dinners. William did great and even showed Grandpa how he can roll over.
The house we stayed in was great, with lots of space. It sat up on a hillside overlooking the Columbia. We brought a couple bikes to explore with although I quickly learned to stay on the paved path as I ran into a bee nest in some brush and got a whole bunch of stings on both ankles!
One clear night we could watch the various tankers roll on by while eating dinner. Temperature was mainly in the 60s.
The fort reminded me of Fort Warden up near Port Townsend where we got married.
There were lots of different bunkers to explore.
I think it wasn’t until the 3rd or 4th night until Linnea and I finally got down into some.
For the most part, everything is sealed up but I do think it would be fun to really explore and see if there are any old secret tunnels hidden by overgrowth. Apparently one was designated as a nuclear fall out shelter for the state governor in the 1990s, but that one had the doors welded shut.