Cindy and I spent a large portion of the following day with Lee, Michelle and Wyatt. Michelle asked us what we wanted to see. I mentioned that Cindy and I had seen signs for Fort Stevens State Park where there was a military museum. We had also seen a sign advertising a maritime museum in Astoria, Oregon. And finally there had been a sign for the Fort Clatsop Lewis and Clark National Historic Park. Any one of these places would be fine places to visit. All of them were located north of our location at Gearhart.
We started with Fort Stevens State Park. The picture above shows what is left of the Peter Iredale, which ran aground in 1906. It was a ship built during the transformation from wooden sailing ships to steel clad ships. No crew was lost during the storm that ran the ship aground. This is all that remains.
We went on to view other sections of the coast, and some of the abandoned gun batteries at the actual fort.
From there we went on to the modest fort museum. There we learned that Fort Stevens had been in existence since the end of the U.S. Civil War, and was closed in 1947. During World War II it had been attacked by a Japanese submarine, but their shells fell on the beach rather than on the fort. The men in charge determined that the U.S. guns didn’t have the range to hit the submarine. Rather than pinpoint their location, they decided to not fire back.
We left the fort and drove into Astoria to find a place to eat lunch. Lee and Michelle’s first choice had a long wait for an available table. It didn’t seem wise to stay there with a three (going on four) year old boy. So we moved on. We found a very good barbecue joint on a pier. After we ate, Lee, Wyatt, Kyle (Michelle’s brother who had joined us), and I stood on the pier and watched the birds and the ships while Cindy and Michelle sampled wines in the nearby wine shop.
We eventually left the pier and started looking for the maritime museum. I was ready for an afternoon nap, so I didn’t shout and point out the museum when I spotted it. It was a short distance up the street from the Doughboy Monument (don’t ask me, we didn’t see it. I figured the monument was either to World War I soldiers or the Pillsbury icon.) So we started back to the condos. I had to put off my nap for a while because Michelle wanted another opportunity to stand on the beach and watch the waves. But it was a pretty good day.