FUN ON THE COAST july July 1 July 2 July 4
July 4 July 4 July 5 July 7 July 8 July 12-16 July 14-15 July 14-15 July 15 July 15-16 July 22 July 24 July 29-30 July 29-30
“Feel the Thunder” Fireworks, Port Ilwaco Tokeland Trek Old Fashioned 4th of July Parade, Ocean Park, Sidewalk Chalk Art Art in the Park, Ocean Park Fireworks on the beach, Long Beach Beach clean up day, Peninsula-wide Ilwaco Art Walk & More 5pm-7pm Waikiki Concert Series, Cape Disappt. SandSations & City SandSations, Long Beach and Ilwaco PAA ArtSation, Long Beach Bald Eagle Festival, Cathlamet Music in the Gardens, Peninsula-wide Clamshell Railroad Days Waikiki Concert Series, Cape Disappontment NPRA Rodeo Parade, Long Beach Deep Canyon Challenge Fishing Tournament, Ilwaco 72nd NPRA Rodeo, Long Beach
august Aug. 4-5 Aug. 4 Aug. 4-6 Aug. 5-6 Aug. 12 Aug. 17-19 Aug. 19 Aug. 21-27 Aug. 23-26 Aug. 25 Aug. 26
Jake’s Birthday, Long Beach Ilwaco Art Walk & More, 5pm-7pm Willapa Harbor Festival, Raymond Surf n’ Saddle Junior Rodeo, Long Beach Waikiki Concert Series, Cape Disappointment Wahkiakum County Fair, Skamokawa Jazz and Oysters in Oysterville Washington State International Kite Festival Pacific Co. Fair, Menlo “Honoring Our Heritage” State Parks Free Day, Natl Parks Birthday Waikiki Concert Series, Cape Disapponitment
september Sept. 1 Sept. 1-4 Sept. 2-4 Sept. 5 Sept. 8 Sept. 9 Sept. 9-10
Ilwaco Art Walk & More, 5pm-7pm “Come Play,” South Bend Chinook Art Festival, Chinook Buzzard Breath Chili Cook-off, Cathlamet Slow Drag at the Port at 5 p.m. Wine Tasting & Auction, Skamokawa Rod Run to the End of the World
Cape Disappointment ..............................................7 Carriage Museum ......................................................27 Clamming ......................................................................15 Cranberries........................................................................9 Discovery Trail ..............................................................25 Fishing ..............................................................................24 Ilwaco ..................................................................................4 Kite Museum ................................................................11 Leadbetter Point ........................................................21 Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center ................7
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2017-18 LONG BEACH PENINSULA CALENDAR OF EVENTS
Sept. 15-17 Cache-Dash-Splash III, LB Sept. 16 Oktoberfest, Cathlamet Sept. 16 3rd Lasagna Dinner for West End Food Bank, Grays River Center. Sept. 30 Free admission - all State/Natl Parks
october Oct. 1 Oct. 6-7 Oct. 7 Oct. 7-9 Oct. 7-8 Oct. 13-15 Oct. 14-15 Oct. 15 Oct. 15 Oct. 28 Oct. 21 Oct. 31
Wild Mushroom Celebration begins Columbia River Days, Wahkiakum County Covered Bridge Days, Grays River Peninsula Arts Assoc. Fall Art Show One Sky, One World Kite Festival Water Music Festival Cranberrian Fair, Peninsula Great Columbia Crossing Oktoberfest at NW Carriage Museum, Raymond Rosburg Club Bazaar, Rosburg Hall Oktoberfest Chinook Style, Chinook All Hallows Eve, Grays River Center
november Nov. 2-4 Nov. 5 Nov. 11 Nov. 11 Nov. 18 Nov. 19 Nov. 24-26 Nov. 24-26 Nov 24 Nov. 24 Nov. 25 Nov. 25
Sons of Norway Lefse Baking, Puget Island Daylight Saving Time Ends (Fall back) American Legion breakfast, Deep River Hall State Parks Free Day, Natl Parks Birthday Champagne Harvest Auction, Appelo Archive, Naselle Holiday Bazaar, St. James, Cathlamet Peninsula Arts Studio Tour Holidays @ the Beach, Long Beach Holiday Open House, Skamokawa Tree Lighting; Santa Arrives, Long Beach Saturday Christmas Market, Port of Ilwaco Tree Lighting Parade with Santa, Cathlamet
december Dec. 1-31 Dec. 2 Dec. 2 Dec. 2
Whale Watching On The Coast Holidays Bazaar, Skamokawa Fairground Light Christmas Parade, Raymond Saturday Christmas Market, Port of Ilwaco
Long Beach ....................................................................10 Long Beach Rodeo....................................................12 Long Island ....................................................................21 Map of the Peninsula ......................................30, 31 Nahcotta..........................................................................19 Ocean Park ....................................................................16 Orcas ....................................................................................6 Outdoors..........................................................................13 Oysterville ......................................................................20 Razor Clam Festival ..................................................15
Dec. 2 Dec. 2 Dec. 2 Dec. 9 Dec. 9 Dec. 9-10 Dec. 9 Dec. 16 Dec. 31
Lighted Boat Parade, Port of Ilwaco Crab Pot Christmas Tree Lighting, Port Ilwaco Holiday Tour of Homes/Old Time Christmas Celebration, Deep River Church & Naselle Saturday Christmas Market, Port of Ilwaco Santa Lucia Celebration, Appelo Archives Peninsula Bed & Breakfast Assn. Holidays at the Beach Tuba Christmas, Seaview Saturday Christmas Market, Port of Ilwaco New Year’s Fireworks, Long Beach
seasonal events May 6-Sept. 23 May 29-Sept. 4 May27-Sept. 4 June 9-Oct. 29
Saturday Market @ Port of Ilwaco Weekends, Summerfest, downtown Long Beach. Sunday Market, South Bend Fridays, Columbia Pacific Farmers Market, LB
january 2018 Jan. 20-21 Jan. 20 Jan. 28
Windless Kite Festival, Long Beach Beach clean up day, Peninsula-wide Old Time Logging Reunion, Appelo Archives, Naselle
february 2018 Feb. 10
Valentine Smorgabord, NHS, Naselle
march 2018 March 11 Daylight Saving time begins March 20-22 Peninsula Quilt Guild Show
april 2018 Apr. 22-24 Apr. 28-29
Peninsula Arts Association, Spring Art Show, Long Beach Razor Clam Festival, Long Beach
may 2018 May 5 May 5 May 6 May 25-28
Children’s Loyalty Day Parade, Ilwaco Blessing of the Fleet, Port of Ilwaco Loyalty Day Grand Parade, Long Beach World’s Longest Garage Sale
june 2018 June 16-17
NW Garlic Festival, Ocean Park
Rod Run to the End of the World ....................26 Safety on the Peninsula ........................................29 Saturday Market at the Port ..................................4 Seaview ..............................................................................8 U.S. Coast Guard..........................................................28 Washington State International Kite Festival ..11 Whale Watching ............................................................6 Wildlife ..............................................................................23
ON THE COVER: Brilliant sunsets sometime enhance the always-interesting Port of Ilwaco, home to many commercial and recreational ﬁshing vessels that utilize the port's easy access to the Paciﬁc Ocean. JANE WEBB PHOTO
WELCOME TO THE
here are nearly as many kinds of vacations in Pacific County and the Long Beach Peninsula as there are different people and families. Just to name a few: Beach fun, Pacific Northwest cuisine, Western history, fishing, wildlife watching, gallery and antique shopping, hiking and bicycling, kayaking, sailing and other outdoor adventures. This publication is a user’s guide for those who have made the choice to come to this special corner of Washington state, and now are looking for the most fun and fulfilling ways to spend precious days in this remarkable place. Frequent visitors and seasonal residents already have their routines worked out, but here are some “insider” suggestions for South Pacific County novices: • If you’re introducing your children to the traditional fun of the seashore, Waikiki in Cape Disappointment State Park probably is the safest and most scenic of the ocean beaches. If parking a car you’ll need a Discover Pass, now conveniently available from vending machines scattered around the park. Bring picnic supplies from town. As always when near the ocean, know where your kids are at all times and keep them within easy reach. (tinyurl.com/CapeDfacts) • For most visitors, there’s no substitute for the wide sands of the Peninsula. Popular activities include kite flying, surf perch fishing, beachcombing, birdwatching, long walks along the water’s edge or on the world-class Discovery Trail in the dunes, clam digging (when in season), horseback riding and picnicking. Some enjoy driving on the beach, but there also are well-marked pedestrian-only areas. When you’re ready for a change of scene, the well-stocked towns of Seaview, Long Beach, Ilwaco and Ocean Park all are within a few minutes’ walk or drive. (DiscoverOurCoast.com and FunBeach.com) • A great alternative to the ocean beaches are the small, sandy coves at Fort Columbia State Park on the Columbia
River near Chinook. What they lack in terms of oceanic drama, they more than make up for in comfort and safety. (tinyurl.com/FortColumbia-Facts) • Other popular outdoor options include visiting the Willapa Bay shore, which is best accessed via the 15,000plus acre Willapa National Wildlife Refuge, the Port of Peninsula and neighboring Morehead County Park in Nahcotta, or Leadbetter Point State Park on the Peninsula’s far northern tip. The bay is a place of astounding natural beauty, with elk herds, uncountable numbers of birds, playful otters and endless open space.
BESIDES THE NATURAL BEAUTY, ONE OF THIS AREA’S MOST APPEALING ASPECTS IS ITS DEPTH OF HISTORY. THIS WAS THE LEWIS AND CLARK EXPEDITION’S DESTINATION IN 1805, AND YOU WILL LITERALLY WALK IN THEIR PATHS. A careful visit to Long Island by personal watercraft may be a highlight of your life, a chance to touch gargantuan Western red cedars more than 900 years old. (Take bug spray, your cell phone and be aware of tide cycles and fastchanging water conditions.) (www.fws.gov/refuge/willapa) • Besides sublime natural beauty, one of this area’s most appealing aspects is its depth of history. This was the Lewis and Clark Expedition’s destination in 1805, and you will literally walk in their paths. The Middle Village/Station Camp Unit of Lewis and Clark National Historical Park just east of the Chinook tunnel is a fine place to let the kids run around, play on models of Chinook Indian canoes and soak up the ambiance of a site that once was the epicenter of Pacific Rim trade.
The forest trails of the park’s Cape Disappointment Unit are like a time warp back to the era of explorers, fur traders and mighty Chinookan traders. (www.nps.gov/lewi/index.htm) Other historical themes include the route of the legendary Clamshell Railroad, Army coastal artillery forts, lighthouses, and the Oysterville National Historical District.) • Food is one of our favorite things. It’s hard to imagine a set of picturesque coastal villages anywhere with more opportunities to enjoy amazing seafood, organic produce, creative baked goods, craft breweries and traditional seashore treats including burgers and ice cream. Everyone here has their own favorite places — don’t be shy; describe what you like to anyone who lives here and we’ll be happy to recommend a restaurant to suit your taste. Saturday Market at the Port of Ilwaco is a perfect way to sample many delicious treats. The Northwest Garlic Festival and Jazz and Oysters, both in Ocean Park, are yummy festivals. Try the cranberry/peach pies at the Cranberrian Fair in Ilwaco in October, where Blues and Seafood also takes the stage in September. Going on a charter trip and catching your own salmon for dinner is an amazing time — a morning out on the river and ocean will alter your perspective of the world forever. There are lots of other ways to enjoy your time here: Vibrant visual and performing arts communities, nearly magically packed “general stores,” antique/junk shops, souvenirs and clothing. There are impressive museums and interpretive centers devoted to Columbia-Pacific history, kites, the cranberry and oyster businesses, lifesaving. Festivals devoted to everything from classic cars to smalltown patriotism enliven most of the year. We’re delighted you’ve come to see us. Everyone here looks forward to being your host and showing you our own favorite things to do. Make yourself at home and start making amazing memories!
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WASHINGTON’S FAMOUS FISHING CAPITAL
The legendary salmon fishing village of Ilwaco nestles inside Cape Disappointment at the mouth of the Columbia River. The port buzzes with excitement during most of the year, hosting a fleet of charter, commercial and private recreational fishing boats — all protected by the U.S. Coast Guard station that makes its home on the shore of the cape. Named by an early explorer who didn't know the entryway to a massive river when he encountered it, there is nothing disappointing about this incredible place! — BOB DUKE PHOTO
lwaco is an incredible place. It possesses a proud maritime tradition stretching back thousands of years, first in the cedar canoes of the Chinook Indian people and continuing on through the sailing era, up to the commercial and sport fishing fleets of today. Framed by one of the world’s most scenic harbors, Ilwaco offers a first-hand experience of humanity’s long partnership with the Columbia River and the Pacific Ocean. Summer and fall offer unparalleled opportunities to get out on the water, either in the pursuit of fish, or just to partake in the sights and sensations of one of the world’s great rivers and nearby ocean waters. If fishing is your heart’s desire, public boat launches provide easy access to the water. There are plenty of charter offices to fulfill any
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angler’s request. Salmon, catch-and-release sturgeon, tuna and bottom fishing trips are available in season and fresh seafood is available year around. Seals, sea lions and whales all are spotted offshore. A pod of orcas, or killer whales, is sometimes observed in the ocean here, and humpback whales recently spent weeks inside the Columbia River. See page 6. A full-service marina and boatyard and a waterfront promenade for strolling makes Ilwaco Harbour Village a stop you don’t want to miss. Unique gift shops with that special something you can’t find anywhere else and art galleries for that one-of-a-kind treasure dot the waterfront. Downtown Ilwaco, a short stroll from the port, is in the midst of
renewal, with old buildings being refurbished. If you are hungry, there are several dining experiences to choose from in Ilwaco, from artisanal pizza to perfectly fresh seafood.
FRAMED BY ONE OF THE WORLD’S MOST SCENIC HARBORS, ILWACO OFFERS A FIRST-HAND EXPERIENCE OF THE COLUMBIA RIVER AND PACIFIC OCEAN. Downtown Ilwaco and Ilwaco Harbour Village: Where the Columbia River meets the mighty Pacific Ocean. Come experience it all for yourself.
SATURDAY MARKET AT THE PORT OF ILWACO May through September, the Port of Ilwaco hosts a Saturday Market that attracts vendors, craftspeople and musicians from around the region. Pick from the freshest produce, baked goods and plants. Wonderful crafts and handiwork abound with something new every weekend. It is open every Saturday, rain or shine, all summer long from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
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WHALE WATCHING: In recent years, an unprecedented number of
AMONG THE STARS OF COAST WATERS WHALE WATCHING
blue whales were sighted grazing above the deep Guide Canyon west of Long Beach Peninsula’s northern tip. Gray whale sightings are routine in during spring and fall migrations. The Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center in Cape Disappointment State Park is a nice place to look for whale spouts. For more info, visit www.whalespoken.org
f Pacific County’s five major waterfronts — the Pacific Ocean, Willapa Bay, the Columbia, Willapa and Naselle rivers — the Pacific is the most spectacularly popular. People pour down to the seashore burbling with a sort of primeval wonder. The presence of orcas, sea lions, great white sharks, blue whales and other superstars of the animal kingdom is a large part of our fascination with the outer coast of Washington state. We have a sudden astonishing ability to peer down from space and track an orca as he and his tribe rocket through the cold saltwater just off our shore. Aided by our satellites, we can see how swiftly an orca pod can traverse hundreds of miles of coastline, swimming up to 30 mph, relentlessly slicing through the ocean like a human family on an interstate highway vacation determined to make Reno by nightfall. Throughout the winter and spring, Pacific County residents and visitors keep close track of amazing months-long hunts by the L pod of Southern Resident Killer Whales, sometimes joined by members of the J and K pods. All have been celebrities around Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands for decades. But only recently has tagging by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration allowed us to systematically keep up with their adventures in the open ocean, sometimes swimming well within sight of the Long Beach Peninsula and Cape Disappointment. What drives them? Can those enormous brains discern the distant whispers of delicious fish or precisely compute the date and place of a salmon run’s return after three years at sea? Does something like an air-traffic control screen play
An orca splashes in the waters of the Columbia River with Cape Disappointment Lighthouse in the distance. Orcas from Puget Sound's famous J, K and L pods are frequent visitors to the mouth of the Columbia, where they hunt for Chinook salmon. Other orcas from the North Pacific Ocean also spend time here. — PHOTO COURTESY NOAA
across an orca’s cerebral cortex, plotting the vectors of currents and tides and the flavor of the sea? Do they experience ecstasy as the cold ocean massages their smooth, warm skin? Are the deep, black ocean depths as lovely to them as a clear blue sky is to us? We can peek through and catch the slimmest glimpse of a swirling, mysterious maelstrom in which warriors undertake epic journeys. Maybe they quest after adventures as much as they pursue fish. We know they love Chinook salmon as much as we do — perhaps more.
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What must it be like to be an orca, aside from us the apex predator of the North Pacific? His brain five times larger than ours, tagged orca L84 became his species’ unwitting ambassador. In a better-balanced world, orca scientists would be simultaneously monitoring the movements of an ordinary human up in the appalling expanses of the air-bathed realm. As it is, keep your eyes open when on the beach or especially when out on a charter fishing trip for orcas, humpbacks and other denizens of the deep. These memories will last a lifetime.
Volunteers Georgeann Silvermann and Richard Cook look out over the ocean for gray whales at the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center at Cape Disappointment State Park, Washington. Over a fi e-day period, Saturday to Wednesday, volunteers at the center count whales that pass by. — PHOTO BY JOSHUA BESSEX
SOCIAL MEDIA TIP: Columbia River whale fans post up-to-date information on the Facebook page Clatsop & Pacific County Whale Sightings. Join the group for quick personal guidance about where and when whales are being seen.
CAPE DISAPPOINTMENT IS A POPULAR WASHINGTON VACATION DESTINATION
LEWIS AND CLARK INTERPRETIVE CENTER: Overlooking the mouth of the Columbia River and the Pacific Ocean, the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center features new exhibits and ranger-led interpretive programs. Original exhibits, which include hands-on activities, trace the entire expedition with particular detail on the Corps of Discovery’s explorations of the Columbia River. The Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center is open daily, year around from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission for adults is $5, $2.50 for children ages 7 to 17, kids 6 and under are free. Tours, programs, and guided hikes are available with an appointment made in advance. Call 360-642-3029 for more information. Waikiki Beach in Cape Disappoinment State Park is a favorite place to photograph gigantic breaking waves. — JANE WEBB PHOTO
ape Disappointment is one of Washington state’s most famous and popular parks. Some of its favorite features include: a premier campground, beautiful beaches, public artworks, two lighthouses, an interpretive center and miles of hiking trails. CAMPING: Cape Disappointment State Park has 152 standard campsites, 83 utility sites, five primitive campsites, one dump station, eight restrooms (two ADA) and 14 showers (four ADA). Maximum site length is 45 feet (may have limited availability). Camping is available year-round. To reserve a campsite, call 888CAMPOUT or 888-226-7688. BEACHCOMBING: Take your pick from three beaches for your beachcombing or strolling. Waikiki Beach is located where the
North Jetty meets the rocky cape. This beach is one of the locals’ favorite spots for storm watching because the waves crash on the cape here with the Cape Disappointment Lighthouse in the background. Benson Beach is the sandy stretch from the North Jetty to North Head. Hikers can enjoy the lack of vehicles, the huge driftwood trees and a great view of the North Head Lighthouse. Beards Hollow, the southern stretch of the Peninsula, offers visitors a chance to view tide pools at low tide near the historic “Fishing Rocks” or take the Discovery Trail north to Long Beach or east to Ilwaco. THE CONFLUENCE PROJECT: The Confluence Project site is one of seven locations on the Columbia River where artist Maya Lin has created places to think. Using
the language of the Chinook people and members of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, these artworks put the Bicentennial into a larger perspective, encouraging the visitor to re-consider the cultural and natural layers of history found on the Lower Columbia River. The site at Cape Disappointment includes a basalt fish-cleaning table, a Baker Bay viewing platform, several short trails and an amphitheater with a view of the ocean. TWO LIGHTHOUSES: The park offers access to two historic lighthouses. Cape Disappointment Lighthouse was lit in 1856, making it the first in the Pacific Northwest. The view from the Cape Disappointment light is astounding. It is reached by a trail starting at the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center. North Head Lighthouse is perched on a
headland surrounded by the ocean in all its glory. In 2017, North Head is undergoing major renovations and was closed to tours at the time of this publication. Call the park for updated information at 360-6423078.younger than 7 may not climb up into the light. HIKING TRAILS: The cape has over eight miles of hiking trails to choose from. These trails lead hikers through multiple ecosystems, from coastal fog forest to the saltwater marsh to grass-covered dunes. The rustic trails cut through some impressive huge old spruce and hemlock trees and often end up either at a lighthouse or at the abandoned military structure Fort Canby. Pick up a hiking trail map from the park — office or the interpretive center.
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BEACH, DUNES AND COMFORTABLE RECREATION
eaview was founded in 1881 by Jonathon L. Stout and his wife, Anne Elizabeth Gearhart, daughter of Phillip Gearhart, for whom the town in northwest Oregon is named. The two villages share parallel traditions of history and charm. Seaview is located between Ilwaco and Long Beach but has a character very distinct from its two neighbors. It is, most would agree, one of the Peninsula’s most “classy” villages. Seaview is home to some wonderful B&Bs and restaurants, including the comfortable Shelburne Inn — a National Historical Landmark — and the fantastic Depot Restaurant. Also check out the eclectic Sou’wester Lodge & Cabins. Seaview’s water-front is a popular launching spot for walks south and north on the Northwest’s longest beach. It is somewhat less busy in the summer than the Long Beach seashore access routes to the north, and thus makes for a more peaceful setting. It is in Seaview where growth (also called accretion) of the beach is most noticeable, with 2,000 feet or more of dunes separating the village’s original shoreline from the ocean today. This means several shipwreck sites lie under what is now dry land, including those of the Vandalia which wrecked in 1853 with a loss of nine lives, and the Marie, which wrecked in 1852, also with a loss of nine. This is a classic Northwest beach, the original seashore resort for the Portland elite, and deservedly so. There are miles of clean sand, many shorebirds, friendly people and pretty views of the distant cliffs and bobbing crab boats. The Discovery Trail threads its way through the Seaview dunes, providing a walking/biking path all the way from northern Long Beach to Ilwaco.
Clam diggers, surf fishermen and hardy surfers enjoy the Peninsula's southern beach from Seaview to Fishing Rocks in Cape Disappointment State Park. — OBSERVER FILE PHOTO
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ACRES OF CRANBERRY BOGS ON THE PENINSULA A tiny red berry is big time from Seaview and Ilwaco, east to Chinook and north to the Ocean Park area. It’s a cranberry. The little berry is so big that the annual Cranberrian Fair is held in its honor. Cranberries make up a big part of the Peninsula’s personality, so much so that it’s impossible to imagine our home without its distinctive and colorful cranberry fields. A celebration of local harvest including all things cranberry will take place on the Long Beach Peninsula, centered around the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum in Ilwaco, on Oct. 14 and 15, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Foods, crafters, bog tours, and more will showcase the area’s rich heritage during the annual Cranberrian Fair. Collectible Cranberrian Fair buttons are $5 each and cover admission to all events at the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum. The Cranberry Museum is free. The museum’s gift shop is stocked with cranberry goodies. Watch the red berry harvest as part of the fair. For more information call 360-642-3446 or visit columbiapacificheritagemuseum.org
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WHERE FAMILIES MAKE MEMORIES
ong Beach is a fun place, famous in the Northwest for its eccentric charm, its bustling summer sidewalks, its many festivals and soaring kites. It also is a place of incredible natural assets: miles of beach, dunes and forests. Founded in 1880 by Henry Harrison Tinker from Maine, Long Beach has been a resort town since the beginning. Unlike many “beach” towns, Long Beach is a place with a solid core of reality — the people who make their homes here love it. It is, first and foremost, a community. When you visit Long Beach, what you’ll experience is a bright little town that happens to be on the beach. Visitors to the Peninsula inevitably gravitate toward Long Beach for its shops and the many activities geared toward families, teens and children. This is where you’ll find amusement rides, horse rentals, go-carts, video arcades, bumper cars and other traditional beach fare. Long Beach also has much to appeal to mature visitors, such as its famous boardwalk, the great paved Discovery Trail along the crest of the dunes, and a nice variety of art galleries, gift stores and restaurants. If you’ve been here before, come again and see how much Long Beach has transformed in the past few years. If you haven’t been here, come take a look. You won’t regret it. Long Beach has many motels, B&Bs and RV parks, so finding a place to stay is rarely a problem. But on festival weekends, be sure to have a reservation and to check in early in the day.
WHEN IN LONG BEACH BE SURE TO VISIT THE FAMOUS BOARDWALK, THE GREAT PAVED DISCOVERY TRAIL AND THE NICE VARIETY OF ART GALLERIES, GIFT STORES AND RESTAURANTS.
Spectators enjoy the City of Long Beach's July 4 fi eworks show. The beach also is the scene of massive amateur fi eworks displays over the holiday. Please respect the beach, neighbors and coastal wildlife by picking up debris and keeping celebrations within polite bounds. — NATALIE ST. JOHN PHOTO
A GOOD TIME DOESN’T HAVE TO BE EXPENSIVE • Settle in for some people watching. Leading sites include benches along the boardwalk and anywhere in fun downtown Long Beach. • Take a romantic walk on the boardwalk and Discovery Trail, enjoying the sounds of the surf. • Hit the many yard and garage sales. • Stop by real estate offices and daydream about owning your very own piece of heaven. • Columbia Pacific Farmers Market Fridays June to Sept 29. 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Veterens Field in downtown Long Beach.
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VISIT LONG BEACH IN AUGUST FOR HIGH-FLYING KITE ADVENTURES
There are major upgrades and an active new role this year for the Long Beach Peninsulabased World Kite Museum. The museum’s facility upgrades include addition of the WKM Theater, an audio-visual media room that will better accommodate field trips and tour groups. In addition, there are updated and refreshed exhibits, including a new and complete collection of WSIKF annual posters, as well as technology and crucial facility maintenance and upgrades. Again this year, the museum will also be overseeing the internationally acclaimed Washington State International Kite Festival (WSIKF), as well as hosting a number of workshops and new annual fundraiser event. WSIKF is a week-long kite celebration and competition held annually during the third week of August.
2017 WASHINGTON STATE INTERNATIONAL KITE FESTIVAL AUGUST 21-27 •LONG BEACH
Starting on Monday and ending on Sunday, this Long Beach vacation extravaganza boasts skies ablaze with color, high-flying action and choreographed movement. Washington’s Kite Festival draws famous kite fliers from all around the world, and tens of thousands awed spectators, many of whom participate in the fun with their own kite-flying adventures. Find complete information at kitefestival.com/kite-festival. Those wishing to contribute to the legacy of the World Kite Museum may do so at www.gofundme.com/worldkitemuseum. To learn more about the World Kite Museum, call 360-642-4020.
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A bull, tired of waiting for its turn and its rider, tried to climb its gate at the 2016 Long Beach Rodeo, a twoday event that attracts top competitors. — AARON MEAD PHOTO
LONG BEACH RODEO
EXCITING PROFESSIONAL COWBOY COMPETITION
ome join all the cowboys and cowgirls at the Peninsula Saddle Club on July 29 and 30 at 1 p.m. for the 72nd annual Long Beach Rodeo. Events take place at 6407 Sandridge Road on the beautiful Long Beach Peninsula (1 1/4 mile north of the Hwy 101 junction on Sandridge Road). This Northwest Professional Rodeo Association rodeo is one of the longest running rodeos on the Northwest coast. This year’s show is sure to be one of the finest, thanks to the collaborative talents of great rodeo professionals and a team of wonderful volunteers. The Peninsula Saddle Club hosted its first rodeo in 1951. 2017 LONG BEACH RODEO At that time, the rodeo was held just north of downtown Long JULY 29-30 •LONG BEACH Beach (where the fire hall is currently located). The Saddle Club moved to its present location in 1957. The rodeo gets started with a fun parade through downtown Long Beach in the evening of Friday, July 28. Start each day of the rodeo with a genuine cowboy breakfast in the clubhouse, from 7 a.m. until 11 a.m. Let the crew in the “chuck wagon” dish you up some hotcakes, eggs, ham, or biscuits and gravy. Don’t forget your coffee! Bring the whole family for the fun of a community tradition. Enjoy the beer garden during the show, or wander the grounds and visit more than a dozen vendors serving up treats or selling their wares. And, don’t forget the lunch concessions in the clubhouse where the crew will dish up burgers, hot dogs and more. On Saturday, don’t run away after the show. That’s when they start family night. And remember that this is a two-day event. They do it all over again on Sunday. See you at the rodeo!
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RECREATION OPTIONS ON THE PENINSULA BICYCLING The Peninsula has many trails for bicycling enthusiasts, including Long Beach’s wonderful paved trail through the ocean dunes, stretching north and south of the boardwalk. Some other options include Cape Disappointment and North Head roads, Sandridge Road to Ocean Park, the quiet back streets of Oysterville and Nahcotta, and Parpala Road in the Naselle area. TENNIS Free outdoor tennis courts of various descriptions can be found all along the Peninsula. Both the Ilwaco City Park and Long Beach’s Culbertson Park have courts (and outdoor basketball courts). See signs on the courts for rules. Lighthouse Resort Tennis Club, 12417 Pacific Highway, north of Long Beach, offers both memberships and use by fee. It is a state-of-the-art facility that houses two regulation blue-green U.S. Open courts. For more information call 360-642-3622, email firstname.lastname@example.org SWIMMING Peninsula beaches are considered unsafe for swimming. No matter how calm or inviting the water looks, or how strong a swimmer one may be, drownings sometimes occur. Severe undercurrents and rip tides can pull — and have pulled — even the most experienced swimmers out past their limits. Swimming opportunities on the Peninsula are limited to private or public pools. The Dunes, a professional indoor pool, is located just south of Ocean Park on the west side of Highway 103 at the Dunes Bible Camp. For more information and hours, call the camp at 360-665-5542. Eagle’s Nest in Ilwaco, 360-642-8351, is another option. RUNNING The hard-packed sand of its beach and its bountiful back roads make the Peninsula a great place for the jogger and runner. Ilwaco High School also has an eight-lane, all-weather track which is usually available for use during daylight hours. Discovery Trail from Long Beach to Ilwaco offers incredible views to go with your cardio workout. SOFTBALL Softball fields are at Ilwaco City Park, Culbertson Park in Long Beach, Long Beach School, Chinook School and across the street from the Ocean Park School. GOLF in LONG BEACH Peninsula Golf Course is located one mile north of the stoplight in Long Beach. A putting green, clubhouse and a fantastic restaurant are added amenities for golfers. The dining room is open to everyone. Peninsula Golf Course is a nine-hole par-33 course that is 2,057 yards in length with three par3 holes and six par-4 holes. The cozy course can be played in less than two hours and provides excellent conditions year around. The course is rated 60 for men and 64 for women and the slope rating is 90 for men and 100 for women. Peninsula Golf Course is located at 9604 Pacific Highway in Long Beach. Call 360-642-2828. GOLF in SURFSIDE Three miles north of the stoplight in Ocean Park is Surfside Golf Course. The course is 3,206 yards in length and is a nine-hole course that plays as a par 36. There are two par-3 holes, five par4s, and two par-5 holes on the course. Surfside features three tees for men and two tees for women in an effort to accommodate golfers of any skill level. The course is rated 69 for men and 73 for women and has a slope of 122 for men and 125 for the ladies. A putting green, driving range, and clubhouse all add to the golfer’s enjoyment. Tee times can be scheduled by calling 360-665-4148. Surfside Golf Course is located at 31508 J Place, Ocean Park. The course is open year around.
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RAZOR CLAM FESTIVAL
CELEBRATE THE DIGGING OF CLAMS
THE PENINSULA IS THE BEST PLACE IN WASHINGTON TO DIG RAZOR CLAMS
The Long Beach Razor Clam Festival pays tribute to the event’s origins in the 1940s, with lively music indoors, along with chowder, clam fritters, digging lessons and plenty of other enjoyable activities.
he “world’s largest frying pan” — and at eight-feet in diameter and 500 pounds, whose to argue? — is just one attraction at the Razor Clam Festival in downtown Long Beach, held April 29 & 30, 2017. “The Giant Clam Pan is an icon in Long Beach,” said Randy Dennis, festival organizer and owner of the Dennis Company. “We’re happy to see it restored and used once again to entertain our clam-loving community.” The Long Beach Razor Clam Festival shares the ins and outs of digging for razor clams while celebrating 2018 RAZOR CLAM FESTIVAL this subsistence tradition. The festival originated in the APRIL 28-29 •LONG BEACH 1940s, when the Clam Pan toured the region to promote the event and Long Beach. Festival highlights usually include a clam fritter cook-off, free razor clam sighting and digging lessons, contests with prizes for the biggest clam dug, the best looking limit, the number of clams in the tank, and the best student-decorated clam guns. A first-come, first-served Chowder Taste-Off with live music is very popular. Commemorative T-shirts, as well as vintage clam festival postcards, will be available for purchase. Clamming licenses and equipment are available at various local stores. Over the weekend, Peninsula restaurants also feature razor clam menu items. A Washington State Fish and Wildlife Shellfish/Seaweed License is required to harvest clams, and a personal limit of the first 15 clams dug is strictly enforced.
Diggers of all ages take to Peninsula beaches to seek out delicious razor clams, one of the Northwest's most delicious culinary treats. The Long Beach Razor Clam Festival in April celebrates the clamming tradition with chowder contests, clam fritters, digging lessons and other salty activities.
Peninsula people are passionate about razor clams. And with good reason, as Pacific County is by far the best place in the state to stalk the "wily bivalves." Good clamming is usually available along the entire Peninsula. However, the largest and most plentiful razor clams are found from Ocean Park approach north to Leadbetter Point. As a general rule, clamming conditions are so good on our dozens of miles of clean beach that people drive for hundreds of miles to partake in this delicious family fun. You must keep the first 15 clams you dig, regardless of size or condition. Over-digging, throwing clams back, digging in closed areas, or digging out of season can result in hefty fines. Clam season starts in October and runs through May, ending to provide peace and quiet for rare shorebirds that nest on isolated stretches of our beach. The season also is sometimes delayed or shortened to avoid unhealthy algal blooms in the ocean. Visitors are encouraged to contact the Department of Fish and Wildlife at 360-586-6129 for information about upcoming seasons and regulations or visit the WDFW online at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/shellfish
RAZOR CLAM INFORMATION: Jack’s Country Store in Ocean Park maintains the excellent clam information website: www.razorclams.com
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THE HEART OF THE PENINSULA
or a trip that bypasses crowded highways and returns your soul to a safer, more leisurely time, follow U.S. Highway 101 toward Washington state’s southern-most peninsula. Once there, head north on State Route 103 toward Ocean Park — a visitor-friendly area located at the “heart” of Washington’s most famous beach. If you are looking for a weekend or longer close to nature, activities that the entire family will never forget, festivals or events nearly every weekend of the year, beautiful scenery, historic landmarks, walking trails and seafood that can’t get any fresher, then treat yourself to the Ocean Park area. Please visit the Ocean Park Area Chamber of Commerce website “Directory” page and look under “All Members” for web page listings for each of many friendly local businesses. The address is http://opwa.com. On the way north on State Route 103, you’ll pass by many areas worth exploring: Loomis Lake State Park; Loomis Lake fishing area; and the Klipsan Beach approach with its historic Coast Guard Life Saving Station, are some examples. A red flashing light marks the center of Ocean Park. Everything here is located “from the light.” In fact, they have only recently started using house numbers. Don’t worry about getting lost. There are plenty of places to get information. The Ocean Park Area Chamber of Commerce Office is two blocks east from “the light” on Bay Avenue and every business will gladly provide directions to points of interest. Scout out the many businesses that dot the road from Long Beach to Ocean Park and on to Oysterville. The variety is surprising. Ocean Park is home to two of the largest grocery stores on the Peninsula, a hardware store and a pharmacy. There are galleries, gift shops, a bookstore, restaurants and lodging choices that include motels, cabins, historic bed and breakfasts, vacation rental homes, RV spaces and camping. You will find an opportunity to relax in Ocean Park. Have an espresso or lunch at the beach approach. Relax with a glass of wine and a sunset. Enjoy walking around town visiting artists, jewelers and crafters in their studios and shops. There are gift stores and a used bookstore carrying current and nostalgic items to browse. Tame your hunger at ice cream parlors, restaurants and watering holes. Jack’s Country Store is one of the prime places to get lost in. Tom or any employee of Jack’s store will help you find your way. One of the many reasons to linger in these businesses is that some of the better storytellers can be found in them. The main attraction, and the reason most people come here, is the shore. The ocean is just a short walk west of “the light.” Here you are in the center of a grand beach that stretches more than 10 miles in each direction. Walk along the broad expanse of sand and stop to create a driftwood sculpture or build a sandcastle. Fly a kite or fish for surfperch. Watch a flock of sea birds in synchronous flight or spy a hawk in search of prey. The beach is designated a state highway and automobiles can be driven on it. If you have a disabled friend or an aging relative, this is one of the few opportunities where they can be transported to the ocean’s edge for a real seashore experience. Couples and families enjoy the various events that Peninsula communities host. The Garlic Festival, held the third weekend in
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Ocean Park's Old-Fashioned Fourth of July Parade is a fun exercise in patriotism and small-town neighborliness, to which all are invited. — OBSERVER FILE PHOTO
June, rejoices in the cloves that form the foundation for oodles of good food and good fun. The Old Fashioned Fourth of July Parade provides a rollicking family event that harkens back to family picnics and memorable experiences. The weekend after Labor Day hums and roars with activity. The whole Peninsula is filled with custom cars participating in the Rod Run to the End of the World. The event begins with early registration on Friday afternoon, a slow drag on Friday night and climaxes with the car show on Saturday. Nearly 1,000 classic cars are on display. Throngs of visitors pore over the fit and finish of every one. There is, of course, ample time to exchange stories about your favorite car from an earlier time. The Peninsula is rich in history. The Chinook people, who were skillful traders and excellent seamen, 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 the Willapa Bay. Settlers soon followed. By 1850 there were permanent settlements around the bay. Oysterville soon dominated the area. The raucous nature of the town and its vicinity convinced some that more uplifting environs would be desirable. Ocean Park was conceived as a summer camp for religious
meetings. Currently open to the public, Ocean Park Resort started as a Methodist Church campground in 1906 and celebrated a century of operation three years ago. By the 1890s the land of Ocean Park was platted and sold. The Camping Association eventually moved to an 80-acre plat, 25 blocks north of “the light.” It is now known as the Ocean Park Retreat Center and United Methodist Camp.
OCEAN PARK’S OLD-FASHIONED FOURTH OF JULY PARADE IS KNOWN FOR ITS ABUNDANT HOMETOWN PATRIOTISM There are many older residences that date back to the late 1800s in Ocean Park. Much of the lumber, in fact entire buildings, was barged over from South Bend and the smaller villages on the east side of the bay and Long Island. Others were built from shipwrecks and their cargoes that washed up on the beach. A brochure for a walking tour of these homes is available on the Internet (www.opwa.com) and at the Ocean Park Area Chamber of Commerce office.
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NAHCOTTA OYSTER PARADISE
A little rind of ice lines the Nahcotta shore on Willapa Bay when drone photographer Bob Duke captured this photo in early 2017. Nahcotta, Bay Center and South Bend offer close-up looks at Willapa Bay's important oyster industry. — BOB DUKE PHOTO
ahcotta is a great place to experience the traditions of Willapa Bay, centered on oysters, clamming and other pure and healthy “fishy” business. A stroll around Nahcotta, looking at the boats and oyster processing equipment, is a great appetizer before sampling some fresh local seafood. Wandering around Nahcotta these days, one finds a tiny village rich in tradition and history, but little evidence of the battles that nearly tore the community in half more than a century ago. If the birth of Nahcotta came about with its platting and the struggle surrounding it in 1889, its conception may have taken place decades before when bands of Chinook Indians — among them Chief Nahcati, for whom the village was named — lived along the western shore of what was then Shoalwater Bay. Nahcati’s camp was said to have been nestled near Paul’s Slough just south of the present Nahcotta mooring basin. Here the Indians found an abundance of fresh water, dry land, ample clams, oysters and salmon from the Shoalwater, and wild game in the forests. The settlements were well out of reach of the cold winter winds off the Pacific and far from the noise of pounding surf. By 1888, the first five miles of narrow-gauge railroad was laid northward from the docks at
Ilwaco, and by 1889 it reached Nahcotta. Here the tracks turned directly east and shot out over the bayshore on pilings to the deep Shoalwater channel, separating the community north from south. Ilwaco cannery owner B.A. Seaborg platted the town of Sealand on the north side of the tracks, while raiload owner Lewis Loomis took ownership of the Nahcotta townsite to the south. Both worked hard to reach their goals. The Sealand Hotel and the first post office rose on the north side, a general store and another hotel on the south. In fact, the town had almost two of everything — two hotels, two saloons, two meat markets — and only Loomis and Seaborg seemed to care. Despite the dispute between the two men, the community as a whole prospered. Oysters and other seafood was loaded on trains for shipment to Ilwaco, from where it was forwarded to San Francisco and other points to the south. Loomis won an eventual lawsuit, but the town’s luck was about to run out — for a few decades at least. In 1915, a chimney fire got out of hand and a strong southeast wind quickly spread the blaze throughout the business district. From that point on, the center of business on the Peninsula’s north end shifted largely to Ocean Park, Nahcotta’s other sister village to the west.
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he fictional Shangri-La is an idyllic mountain valley where life is frozen in time and protected from the rough changes occurring elsewhere in the world. Real-life Oysterville may not be so lucky as to completely escape the ravages of time and politics, but strolling around it will restore your faith that a kind of immortal grace is possible. The 80-acre Oysterville National Historic District and the areas immediately adjacent to it are the heart of Oysterville. With Willapa Bay as its backdrop, the historic district feels like a movie back lot version of a 19th century coastal community. In fact, some structures actually are from the 19th century. Eight houses, a church, the Oysterville cannery and a one-room schoolhouse are on the National Register of Historic Places. Though Oysterville is a ghost town, it has life. Oysterville’s post office is the oldest continuously operating post office in Washington state. The Oysterville Store sells groceries, souvenirs and gifts and is open year round. Oysterville Sea Farms sells seafood from its farms. The Oysterville Church is open every day of the year. The Oysterville cannery and all eight of the houses listed on the National Register of Historic Places create almost constant activity as they are maintained and repaired by their private owners. Similar efforts are made by nonprofit organizations to maintain and repair the church and one-room schoolhouse. The Oysterville Church Summer Vespers are presented at 3 p.m. every Sunday from Father’s Day through Labor Day. The services are open to everyone. The Water Music Festival’s most popular concerts are the Oysterville church concerts, held in late October.
THE PENINSULA’S LOVELY HISTORIC DISTRICT
Old for a West Coast town, Oysterville is brand new in geographic terms. Oysterville could be the only place in the United States that has always had human occupants. Native American people probably settled Oysterville as soon as it was created. Chinook peoples came to the area that is Oysterville at seasonal intervals for untold centuries to harvest its bountiful oyster beds. Oysterville was first settled in 1841 by John Douglas, who married a local Chinook woman. It was the California Gold Rush of 1849 that drew significant numbers of settlers of European descent to Oysterville. Gold miners loved to spend their gold on Willapa Bay oysters. Settlers and Chinook Peoples gladly filled schooners with oysters to be shipped to San Francisco. By 1854, a community of several hundred, called Oyster Beach, existed here. On April 12, 1854, I.A. Clark filed a 161-acre land claim that encompassed all of what is now the Oysterville National Historic District. It was on Aug. 5, 1854, that community leaders decided that Oysterville was a better name than Oyster Beach or Shell Beach to represent their town, which grew to a population was about 800. Like all extraction businesses, the native oyster business came to an end. Hotels, saloons and a college all disappeared as people left. Eventually, even the county seat was removed to South Bend on the east side of the bay. Oysterville exists primarily as a state of mind. A walk through Oysterville can reveal the supremacy of nature; evoking connections to generations goneby, while subtly forecasting the folly of generations present and future. Visitors often find themselves seeking sanctuary in the peace and insight they discovered here, long after they have left Oysterville.
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Oysterville's historic church host Christmas carolers and a popular series of summer concerts and vespers services. It also is one of the Long Beach Peninsula's many famous wedding venues. — SYDNEY STEVENS PHOTO
WITH WILLAPA BAY AS ITS BACKDROP, THE OYSTERVILLE HISTORIC DISTRICT FEELS LIKE A MOVIE BACK LOT VERSION OF A 19TH CENTURY COASTAL COMMUNITY
LONG ISLAND A NATURE WONDERLAND
LEADBETTER POINT AMAZINGLY ACCESSIBLE WILDLIFE Located at the northern tip of the Long Beach Peninsula, Leadbetter Point State Park is an amazing place. Adjacent to the Willapa National Wildlife Refuge this park features several hiking trails that either lead to the Pacific Ocean or along the Willapa Bay. The tip of the peninsula is an excellent birding location as many shorebirds rest and eat here. The forest is pristine and yet quite new in geologic terms. Wander through the forest carpeted by kinnikinnick and coastal strawberry plants. Stop and admire the diversity of mushroom species found here in the fall. Bring boots or waders in the winter as trails frequently flood. Stroll the bay-side trails for a respite from the ocean’s winds or away from the summer’s mosquitoes. This park is one of those few special places where nature rules.
INFORMATION: Phone the Willapa National Wildlife Refuge headquarters at 360-484-3482. Also check
out the Friends of Willapa National Wildlife Refuge at www.willapabay.org/~fwnwr/ or write to the Friends at P.O. Box 1130, Ocean Park, WA 98640.
It is difficul to convey a sense of size in a photo, but western red cedars on Long Island and elsewhere around Willapa Bay are capable of growing to 16 feet in diameter . — OBSERVER FILE PHOTO
ong Island is a 4,700-acre nature wonderland. Home to an abundance of wild birds and animals, it contains one of the last remaining reproducing climax forests, a unique, 274-acre stand of cedars that first sprouted during a dramatic West Coast climate change some 4,000 years ago. The cedars average five to seven feet in diameter, although some are 11 feet wide. They average 150 to 160 feet in height. In 2005, a trail to the grove was dedicated to former Washington Congressman Don Bonker, who led efforts to preserve the cedar grove and Long Island for future generations. The grove is just one small part of the island, managed by the Wildlife Service. Visitors to the island must provide their own boat to traverse an approximate 100-yard-wide channel from the boat launch at the refuge headquarters on U.S. 101, or launch at the Nahcotta Boat Basin for a crossing of approximately one mile. Other refuge units around the Peninsula offer their own unique attractions.
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THE DISCOVERY COAST HAS ABUNDANT VIEWING OPPORTUNITIES
hen it comes to watching wildlife, the Discovery Coast is the place to be, with more bald eagles than anywhere south of Alaska, and more pelagic and coastal seabirds than anywhere else on the West Coast.
Seals and otters, huge herds of deer and elk, migrating and resident songbirds and waterfowl all can be observed in numbers that will amaze the whole family. It’s time to discover just where these beauties can be seen! EAGLES, HAWKS AND FALCONS: Peregrine falcons are frequently observed swooping down from tree top perches as they intercept prey in Leadbetter Point State Park. Bald eagles and other birds of prey are often spotted anywhere in the vicinity of Willapa Bay and the Columbia River. They are particularly obvious along U.S. Highway 101 between the Astoria Bridge and Ilwaco. HERONS: Living here on the Discovery Coast we are fortunate indeed to have a very large and healthy population of great blue herons. They are quite common around the margins of Willapa Bay. PELICANS: Pelicans, cormorants, Caspian terns, kingfishers and other bird species all gather in great numbers along the Columbia River estuary east of Ilwaco, through Chinook and on past the Dismal Nitch unit of Lewis and Clark National Park. SWANS: Trumpeter and tundra swans can often be observed in Peninsula lakes, especially Black Lake near Ilwaco and Brisco Lake north of Long Beach. ELK: For something a bit larger, how about some elk watching? A short drive out to the Bear River area at the south end of Willapa National Wildlife Refuge situated on the east side of the bay is a good place to start. Elk also can often be spotted near the Naselle River. BLACK-TAILED DEER: Deer are almost too common to notice on the Peninsula and the mainland, chomping rosebushes wherever they go. GEESE AND DUCKS: Waterfowl in a myriad of colors can also be seen near the refuge headquarters. Casual sightings of dozens of species of ducks are quite common. Wood ducks are a particular favorite among area residents, many of whom build nesting boxes for them. RIVER OTTERS: If it’s something altogether different you’re looking for, how about putting the binocs to some river otters? They can often be seen swimming and frolicking in the canals and lakes in the center of the community of Surfside just west of Oysterville, or even in Black Lake or small creeks around Ilwaco. Left: Great blue herons are picturesque residents of the Willapa National Wildlife Refuge in south Pacific ounty. — MADELINE KALBACH PHOTO
A mother river otter decides how best to neutralize a Dungeness crab at Cape Disappointment boat launch. — JANE WEBB PHOTO
Black bears are active on the Long Beach Peninsula and nearby areas, which have Washington state's densest populations of bears. It's important to keep human-related food sources out of their reach. Bears that become to habituated to human-supplied food represent a danger to people. They often must be removed and euthanized. It's up to each of us to keep our bear neighbors safe. — BUD CUFFEL PHOTO
Roosevelt elk can often be seen in a viewing area off U.S. Highway 101 on Bear River on the south end of Willapa between Long Beach and South Bend. A resident herd of elk also occupied wild lands on the Long Beach Peninsula, but exact locations for them are difficul to predict. — JANE WEBB PHOTO Trumpeter swans hang out in Black Lake in Ilwaco and other lakes and wetlands in the area. There is a major trumpeter swan conservation area near the north end of the Peninsula.— JANE WEBB PHOTO
Short-eared owls are year-round residents of Willapa National Wildlife Refuge, one of several owl species here. — MADELINE KALBACH PHOTO
The Peninsula deer are semi-tame. Be sure to keep a close eye for them along local streets and highways. —
White pelicans used to be uncommon near the mouth of the Columbia, but are being observed closer and closer to the ocean in recent years. These visited the Ilwaco waterfront in the spring of 2017. By the way, a flock of pelicans can be called a squadron, pod or scoop. — JANE WEBB PHOTO
A bald eagle snatched a fish from a Long Beach Peninsula lake in late April 2017. Eagles are an everyday sight throughout the Columbia-Willapa area. — JANE WEBB PHOTO
JONATHAN HEALE PHOTO
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SALT-WATER FISHING THE COLUMBIA RIVER AND PACIFIC OCEAN
Buoy 10 salmon season inside the Columbia River in August is one of the Pacific Northwest's most famous outdoor events. In this photo, the Ilwaco charter boat Coho King caught its limit by 10 a.m. — EO MEDIA GROUP PHOTO
othing compares to the exhilaration of boating over waters where the Columbia River, having reached journey’s end, rushes into the Pacific Ocean. Add the thrill of catching large game fish and the experience will be imprinted in memory forever. Fortunately, these excursions are available to anyone, thanks to charter boats berthed at the Port of Ilwaco. Charters provide outings ranging from sightseeing to bottom- and deep-sea fishing. Everything is provided except personal clothing and favorite refreshments. Many anglers also fish from private boats, a great option if you’re prepared for the conditions. The view of the land from the seaward side — lighthouses, Astoria, Saddle Mountain and Tillamook Head — is often breathtaking. Crossing the bar, where river and ocean meet, is an exciting time as the skipper skillfully maneuvers the boat through often- turbulent waters to reach open sea.
FRESH WATER FISHING: Steelhead and trout are abundant in Pacific County including numerous rivers, streams and lakes that are perfect for family outings. Between Ilwaco and Seaview lies Black Lake, for which offers trout fishing to all ages.
Sea lions bask on jetty rocks. Seals’ heads pop out of the water here and there, and seagulls fly overhead hoping for a handout. How can you catch a trophy-sized salmon if you don’t have a boat? Simple, head for the south jetty at Cape Disappointment or east of the Chinook tunnel and get ready for a fun day of sports fishing on a budget. You will need a stout 9- or 10-foot rod and a spinning reel large and strong enough to crank up at least 200 yards of 40-pound test line. A sliding swivel that can accommodate six to 16 ounces of pyramid sinker goes above the Dacron leader and a 2/0 or 3/0 hook. Bait of choice seems to be sand shrimp, but anchovy or smelt or anything else a scavenging sturgeon will engulf will do the trick. Cast toward Astoria, sit back to enjoy the comfort of your own rock, and wait for a bite. But be careful when you rear back to set the hook, jetty rocks can be slippery. If you fish east of the Chinook tunnel, the highway is only inches from your back and trucks, cars, and RVs zip past at 50 miles per hour. Island Lake is perfect for canoeing and fishing. Another popular fishing hole is Loomis Lake. Traveling from the Peninsula, in addition to trout fishing, salmon fishing is allowed in several areas of the Naselle River in season. The same is true on the Willapa River near Raymond and South Bend and the Nemah on the east side of Willapa Bay.
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ollowing the general path taken by Capt. William Clark and his men during their initial 1805 visit to the beach, our amazing Discovery Trail links the towns of Long Beach, Seaview and Ilwaco. The trail connects all the way from the northern city limits of Long Beach to Beards Hollow in Cape Disappointment State Park. From Beards Hollow, a short unpaved portion of the trail goes uphill to a spectacular overlook above the ocean. Again paved, it winds its way through the forest to Ilwaco. You’ll experience your inner Dan’l Boone. This is the best ocean-bordering biking and hiking path on the West Coast. A recent round trip of almost eight miles took about an hour and 15 minutes with a generous stop at Lewis and Clark’s tree in north Long Beach. A sculpture of a whale skeleton similar to the one Lewis and Clark found more than 200 years ago, a monolith with an explorer standing nearby, and dozens of informative signs add interest to the trail. A small wooden bridge, numerous twists and turns and the rolling dunes make for an interesting and comfortable ride.
WALK THE PATH OF ADVENTURE
One suggestion is to head into the wind to start your trip and let the breeze push you along on the return trip. If eight miles and riding for over an hour is not in your plans, you may begin at either the Seaview or Long Beach approaches and cut your ride in half or in a third. The unpaved portion of the trail, from Beards Hollow to Ilwaco, includes some steep hills but is otherwise fine for fit walkers or mountain bikers. A wooden causeway leads over a pristine marsh just as the trail leaves the hollow. No motor vehicles are allowed on Discovery Trail. A mid-week ride on an amazing pathway, with sun and surf to the west and having the experience almost exclusively to yourself, just can’t be topped.
THIS IS THE BEST OCEAN-BORDERING BIKING AND HIKING PATH ON THE WEST COAST
Efforts are beginning to extend Discovery Trail from its current northern terminus at Clark's Tree east through Long Beach. Eventually, the trail may go even farther, linking to Willapa National Wildlife Refuge. The trail marks the approximate path of Capt. William Clark at others in November 1805. — NATALIE ST. JOHN PHOTO
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TO THE END OF THE WORLD
Cars and people for as far as the eye can see at the Rod Run to the End of the World at Wilson Field in Ocean Park.— OBSERVER FILE PHOTO
eptember is synonymous with the Rod Run and the 33rd edition promises to be better than ever as about 1,000 vintage automobiles will again congregate at Wilson Field east of Ocean Park for the car show the Beach Barons started more than three decades ago. Registration begins Friday, Sept. 8 at 9 a.m., and continues throughout the weekend for cars 1986 and earlier. Gates open at 8 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 9 for the general public to view the show and shine. On Friday, Sept. 8, plan to attend the fun Slow Drags at the Port of Ilwaco, which start at 4 p.m. The Beach Barons will again be selling Rod Run T-shirts, sweatshirts and hats to the sounds of DJ music from the ‘50s and
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‘60s. Saturday will feature a musical performance by the Fabulous Farelanes and more. Open to spectators and participants will be T-shirt and hat sales, Brick-It engine timing, the Nostalgia Booth, engine-raffle ticket sales, a mini-swap meet and a variety of vendors with food and drinks, car products and crafts. Trophy judging will conclude at 2 p.m. Saturday. At 4:30 p.m., show participants will cruise north to Oysterville, over to Surfside and then south toward Long Beach. People would be well-advised to plan their personal driving needs around sharing the road with the vintage vehicles Saturday afternoon and evening. On the other hand, putting a comfortable chair along side the road is a great to enjoy the constant parade of amazing cars. On Sunday, Sept. 10, gates will open at 8 a.m. with a treasure
hunt starting at 9 a.m. DJs will be spinning great tunes, and trophies will be presented at 2 p.m. Spectator gate fees are $5 per person, with children 12 and under admitted free. Active duty service 2017 ROD RUN TO THE END OF THE WORLD members with SEPTEMBER 8-10 •OCEAN PARK proper ID are admitted for no charge. Parking will be available at a few properties nearby. More information on the Beach Barons and the Rod Run is available on the club’s website: www.beachbarons.com or call 360-665-3565.
CLASSIC VEHICLE SHOWCASE IN RAYMOND
he Northwest Carriage Museum in Raymond is North Pacific County’s most-visited tourist attraction. Voted one of Washington’s best museums, the Carriage Museum houses one of the finest collections of 19th century horse drawn vehicles in the entire country. Every year, thousands upon thousands of people make the Northwest Carriage Museum a “must see” destination stop while visiting the Pacific Northwest. Visitors have been pleasantly surprised to find such a world-class collection of horse-drawn vehicles in the small town of Raymond. The Northwest Carriage Museum opened in 2002 as a result of a very generous donation of 21 carriages from a local family. Over the years, the collection has grown to 50 vehicles, including a variety of carriages, buggies, wagons, sleighs and commercial vehicles. The museum’s collection includes an 1888 Stagecoach, a 1900 hand-carved hearse from Vienna, Austria, a chuck wagon, a beautiful cut under Wicker Phaeton, a 1880 Mail Wagon and the magnificent Brewster Summer Coupe Brougham. Several vehicles in the collection have an old movie connection. Come see our Cspring Victoria used in Shirley Temple’s “Little Princess” or our beautiful Landaulette used in the original “Ghost and Mrs. Muir” starring Rex Harrison and Gene Tierney. Everyone loves viewing the museum’s famous Shelburne landau, which was Belle Watling’s carriage in the classic “Gone with the Wind.” In addition to many vehicles, the museum houses many other period artifacts from the 19th century. Clothing, travel trunks, harness gear, hand tools, carts and an amethyst glass collection are beautifully displayed throughout the museum. Looking for something fun for the kids? The museum includes a user-friendly one-room schoolhouse where children can write on the chalkboards and ring the school bell. They can also dress in period clothing and have their pictures taken on a Three Spring Democrat Wagon. Parents will also enjoy visiting the wheelwright/ blacksmith display where they can view how wooden spoked wheels were made. The Northwest Carriage Museum is located at the junction of U.S. Highway 101 and State Route 6 in Raymond. Right outside our doors is the beautiful Willapa River and a well-maintained park, which is the perfect place for visitors to enjoy a picnic. Within walking distance are restaurants, and shopping opportunities. Bring
WillyPaw, named after the nearby Willapa River, is one of many reasons to visit the Northwest Carriage Museum in Raymond. — OBSERVER FILE PHOTO
walking shoes or bikes and hike/ride the Willapa Trails pathway to South Bend. Bring a kayak and put in at the city dock right next to the museum. The Northwest Carriage Museum is open year round from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. It has a unique gift shop feathering a variety of jewelry, books, toys and local products. Group tours are a specialty
and can be arranged in advance. Admission discounts are offered for families, seniors and military personnel. AAA members can show their card and save as well. More information is available at www.nwcarriagemuseum.org or by calling 360-942-4150. The museum posts updates on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.
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US COAST GUARD
CAPE D STATION
t the southern-most point of the Peninsula lies one of the oldest and busiest Coast Guard stations on the West Coast: Cape Disappointment and the U.S. Coast Guard Motor Lifeboat School. Because it guards what has been called the world’s most dangerous waters, the station is often called to aid foundering vessels and their crews. The river itself is dangerous, but when coupled with a strong outflowing (or ebb) tide, the clash between the outgoing current and the incoming ocean waves can be downright deadly. Numerous fishing and commercial vessels have fallen victim to the Columbia’s power combined with the dangerous offshore waters of the Pacific Ocean, with the area nicknamed “Graveyard of the Pacific” because of the number of vessels lost there at sea. Vessels stationed at the Cape include the 47-foot motor lifeboat, which was put through its initial sea trials at the Cape. Cape Disappointment is also home to the only motor lifeboat school in the United States. Originally established to serve the Coast Guard’s District 13, the school now accepts students from marine services worldwide. There are 36 students in each class. To get to the station from Ilwaco, follow the signs to Cape Disappointment and the station. Phone 360-642-2382 for more information.
The U.S. Coast Guard utilizes vessels and helicopters in search and rescue missions around the mouth of the Columbia River, including this one in 2016.— US COAST GUARD PHOTO
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ON THE PENINSULA INFORMATION: All emergency services can be reached by calling 911. As a visitor it is very important that you are aware of your surroundings and know your address if you are staying in a vacation rental. If emergency service personnel can’t find you, they can’t help you.
FOR AN EMERGENCY DIAL 911
Surf rescue volunteers save lives every year on the Peninsula, but it's best to stay out of trouble by keeping children and weak swimmers out of the ocean. — OBSERVER FILE PHOTO
he Peninsula is a wonderful place to visit, and we want your stay to be an enjoyable one. Staying safe makes your visit so much nicer. It is sincerely hoped that you will never be faced with any emergencies, but in case you are, here is some information that will be useful. The Peninsula shoreline is designated as a state highway. All drivers and vehicles must be licensed and insured just as on any other state highway. The speed limit is 25 mph, with extra caution to be taken for other vehicles, pedestrians and beach debris. The beach is patrolled frequently and all laws are strictly enforced. Recreational beach fires are permitted 100 feet west (that’s towards the ocean) of the dune grass. Be aware of wind direction and be sure to completely extinguish the fire before leaving the
area. Recreational and outdoor cooking fires are to be no more than 2 feet x 2 feet with seasoned wood or charcoal. If your fire gets out of control, you may be held personally responsible! If you have a vacation home on the Peninsula and are here to do some cleanup projects, be advised that there are designated “No Burn” areas on the Peninsula. Residential yard debris burning is permitted at various times and under certain conditions in other areas with a burning permit. Burn permits may be obtained free of charge at Jack’s Country Store in Ocean Park, Pioneer Market in Long Beach, Seaview One Stop in Seaview, Fire District No. 1, Station 1 in Ocean Park and Station 2 in Seaview. For a recorded message on burn conditions, call 360-665-3508. Tsunami evacuation signs have been posted up and down the Peninsula in an effort to make
people aware of evacuation routes. There may or may not be much warning time in such an emergency, so the best policy is to make your way to high ground as soon as possible. If you are on the beach and unable to get to high ground go inland as far as you can and pay close attention to emergency personnel. In the event of a sudden earthquake, be prepared to move to higher ground immediately, keeping clear of buildings, trees and power lines. Also be careful of damaged roads with gaps in the pavement. Do not call 911 and do not attempt to evacuate the Peninsula, there will not be enough time or access roads to accommodate an evacuation. Our surf can be dangerous, be sure to carefully safeguard your children in the water and never turn your back on the ocean.
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Go to discoverourcoast.com to explore hundreds more attractions, restaurants, merchants and places too stay on Our Coast. Click on a map earby dining, lodging and tthings to do. button to find contact info and links for that location, plus our recommendations for a day trip with nearby 1. Leadbetter Point State Park — Ocean Park, Wash., 19 miles north of Seaview PACIFIC PACIF
2. World Kite Museum — 303 S.W. Sid Snyder Drive, Long Beach, Wash. 3. Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum — 115 Lake St. S.E., Ilwaco, Wash.
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Region in detail
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Long Beach Peninsula 4. Port of Ilwaco — 165 Howerton Ave., Ilwaco, Wash. 5. Knappton Cove Heritage Center — two miles past the rest stop north of the Astoria Bridge on Washington state Route 401 6. Fort Columbia State Park — U.S. Highway 101, two miles west of the Astoria Bridge in Chinook, Wash. CLATSOP
7. North Head Lighthouse and Cape Disappointment Lighthouse — within Cape Disappointment State Park 8. Cape Disappointment State Park — two miles southwest of Ilwaco, Wash. 9. Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center — Cape Disappointment State Park, two miles southwest of Ilwaco, Wash. 10. Discovery Trail — Ilwaco to north end of Long Beach, Wash.
11. Cranberry Museum — 2907 Pioneer Road, Long Beach, Wash. 12. Willapa Interpretive Art Trail — near Refuge Headquarters in Willapa National Wildlife Refuge 13. Appelo Archive Center — 1056 state Route 4, Naselle, Wash.
Kites soar over Long Beach Peninsula
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The Chinook Observer's annual visitors guide for Pacific County, Washington