Posts Tagged ‘Washington Coast’

Adventures Within 15 minutes of Boreas Inn

February 25th, 2016 by Susie Goldsmith

This week, we had visitors from Bend, two of our best friends who migrated from Portland to Central Oregon about the same time we migrated to Long Beach, Washington. Innkeeping at Boreas Inn is tough work, consuming days, then weeks, then months, even in the winter time when we have fewer guests.  We fall into the habit of not taking any time off to enjoy adventures within 15 minutes of Boreas Inn. So we decided that we would all be tourists and go hiking around our area and at the same time, stay close to home.

We chose the Willapa National Wildlife Refuge for our Sunday adventure. The WNWF consists of a number of “units” both on the Long Beach Peninsula itself, including Leadbetter Point on the northern tip of land to Long Island in the Willapa Bay and across the Bay to the Refuge Headquarters on Highway 101 northbound, across from the boat ramp. We drive by the headquarters frequently on the way to South Bend or Seattle. But we seldom stop except to use the restrooms. Shame on us!  This was a day, indeed, to fall in love again with the Long Beach Peninsula, staying within 15 minutes of home.

We decided to do some hiking at the Willapa National Wildlife Refuge headquarters, home to the Willapa Art Trail and the Cutthroat Climb (a 1.5 mile round trip loop of moderate difficulty),  our chosen adventures on Sunday, the 21st of February.  The Art Walk has depictions of wildlife habitat and creatures you might find in the refuge teaching visitors about the stream and forest lands they will experience. Students from the University of Washington Public Arts Program designed, constructed, and installed the artwork for the Art Trail under the direction of their professors.

blogWNLRfriends

Kathy, Bill and Larry on the Cutthroat Trail. 2.21.16

Perhaps Kathy’s great grandpa cut down this tree! Kathy is not tall, but the stump is huge and would dwarf just about anybody.

The Cutthroat Climb is moderate in difficulty with steps that were a little muddy and slick, but not hazardous to climb. It tooks us an hour. The ecosystems on this walk are diverse with wetlands, streams, forest with amphibians (newts and frogs) and lots of birds. Kathy is a forester and is a good hiking companion because she knows habitat, trees and is also brilliant about identifying birds.  The forest was rich in tweeting; using the original definition of “tweet”. The music was beautiful. Kathy’s great grandfather as well as two of her great uncles were loggers and many years ago, this part of the Refuge was part of their logging territory. So it is entirely possible we were walking where her elders had logged timber.  There are lots of enormous stumps with “springboard notches” chopped into the trees to support boards for loggers to stand on to saw the trees. Perhaps her Great Grandpa used these very notches to carve down the enormous trees. Giant hemlock and Sitka spruce still prevail.  There is no admission charge to the Willapa National Wildlife Refuge.

Having explored the Refuge, we opted for a trip on Monday, the 22nd to our favorite place, Cape Disappointment State Park.  We always love Waikiki Beach in all types of weather and Monday was no exception.

Always a place to take pics. This is early spring at Waikiki Beach at Cape D. 2.22.16

Always a place to take pics. This is early spring at Waikiki Beach at Cape D. 2.22.16

It was warm and sunny and the waves were nice and big.  The logs that had been tossed around by the storms in late December and early January were deposited in places far from their usual landing spots all around the Waikiki Beach and park area. We had to see it to believe what we had seen in pictures. We hiked to the Cape Disappointment Lighthouse form the parking lot of the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center, which was closed. My favorite pic of the day is of Dead Man’s Cove on that hike.

My favorite picture of the two days of wandering 15 minutes from home. Dead Man's Cove on the trail to the Cape D Lighthouse.

My favorite picture of the two days of wandering 15 minutes from home. Dead Man’s Cove on the trail to the Cape D Lighthouse.

The seawater was sparkling brilliantly in the sunshine and we had a feeling that we were all alone in the woods with this view all to ourselves.  Which was the truth.  We relaxed awhile at the Lighthouse, talked a bit to the Coasties who were manning the Cape D Lighthouse, and headed back to the car.  To utilize Cape Disappointment State Park, you must have purchased a daily or annual Discover Pass.

The rest of our Monday adventure, we must admit, was 30 minutes from home. Hungry for a beer and munchies, we crossed the bridge to Astoria and hit the Fort George Brewery for a late lunch. Fort George just had their Dark Arts Celebration, Kathy had the Coffee Girl brew that was very dark, a bit sweet, very creamy and full of coffee and chocolate. It was delicious. I started to dream of cooking cakes with Coffee Girl and plan to incorporate “dark arts” into Boreas Inn’s menu. Larry had a Nut Red Ale, Bill his Vortex IPA and I had an IPA also, citrusy and floral; I forget which one.  The Jambalaya and fresh albacore tuna melt hit the spot for us. A bit tired from our expedition, we returned home.

On Tuesday, we took a quick hike to Bell’s View at the North Head Lighthouse

Bell's View is our favorite place to perform tiny weddings for guests at Boreas Inn.

Bell’s View is our favorite place to perform tiny weddings for guests at Boreas Inn.

and then up to the McKenzie Head from the camping area at Cape D State Park.  Once again in search of libation and food, longing for Serious Pizza, which is not open yet at the Park, we drove to Pickled Fish at the Adrift Hotel and ate wood-fired pizza and I had my favorite drink, the Burro, a Moscow Mule made with tequila. Ohhh delicious.  Having played tourist for a few hours each day, we felt as though we had fallen in love with the Long Beach Peninsula. All over again. And almost all of our adventures were indeed within 15 minutes of Boreas Inn. We are happy to help you plan your itinerary when you visit Boreas Inn!  We loved having Kathy and Larry Katz from Bend, Oregon, provide the reason to get away, even for a quickie adventure or three. We live in paradise; there is no question about that!

Cape Disappointment State Park on the Long Beach Peninsula–Our Favorite Place to Visit!

August 13th, 2011 by Susie Goldsmith

Bill and I just returned from our brief weekly disappearing act to eat Serious Pizza at Cape Disappointment State Park in Ilwaco on the Long Beach, Washington Peninsula.  First of  all, this park is NOT a disappointment–it is our favorite Washington State Park.  It was named “Cape Disappointment” because in 1788, Captain John Meares, a fur trader, was disappointed because this was not the opening to the river–and is, in fact, is located just north of the infamous Mouth of the Columbia River!  Cape Disappointment is also home to the National Park housing Maya Lin’s “Confluence Project” honoring the Indian tribes Lewis and Clark encountered at the confluences of the rivers on their journey west.  Captain Clark and 11 of the “Corps of Discovery” hiked all over the land that is now Cape Disappointment State Park and from McKenzie Head, saw their first panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean!  Then they proceeded to hike north up the Peninsula, right across the property that is now Boreas Inn, located on the 1805 high water mark. So you get to sleep right on the Lewis and Clark Trail!


Of course, one of the most scenic parts of the Park are the two lighthouses, The North Head Lighthouse and the Cape Disappointment Lighthouse.  The North Head is easily explored by parking in the lot and walking down to the lighthouse on a road alongside the rock face overlooking the Pacific Ocean and just north of Benson Beach.  This is a place to linger.  All day.  The waves, huge in the winter but omnipresent, are hypnotic. The color of the water seems to change from blue to green to gray in a storm, but always a stunning contrast with the white tips of the peaks of the waves.  Whale watching from the North Head is often rewarding.  We look for the clumps of kelp offshore and occasionally see the spouts. The pelicans, eagles, many varieties of gulls, terns and a huge array of seabirds make this spot make for some of the best birdwatching in the West. Cape D lighthouse is a hike from the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center (in winter and anytime, the best view of the Mouth of the Columbia and the jetties), around Dead Man’s Cove.  Our guests come from around the world to see these two lighthouses, within miles of Boreas!

I mentioned Serious Pizza!  Well–seriously now, take the combination of a wood-fired pizza oven, burning cherry and apple, the “00 fino” flour imported from Italy, imported cheeses, meats from a great Seattle butcher chop and a location at Waikiki Beach at Cape D (as we call it), and you have not only the recipe for the best wood-fired pizza in Southwest Washington, but a spectacular setting near the amphitheater at Cape D State Park.  With eagles flying overhead (perhaps looking hungrily at your pizza-or maybe at your dog) and osprey circling around with crows and gulls harrassing them, you have an experience you will never forget.  Our favorite pizza is, you guessed it, “The Boreas”–the vegetarian pizza with garlic olive oil base, sundried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, olives and pepperoni.  How special is it to have a pizza named after Boreas Inn?  State Parks built Jim and Chi, the purveyors of this fine pizza, a permanent structure so that visitors to the park, including campers staying in the 240 campsites, can have pizza!  We call ahead to avoid waiting perhaps an hour for the most memorable pizza. It’s truly Neopolitano–a thin delectable crust and just the right amount of cheese for a non-guilt producing light meal.  They also have wood-fired oysters and mouth-watering wood-fired wings.  Homemade ice cream and brownies….oh my!  Watch for Jim and Chi’s Serious Pizza to come soon to the town of Long Beach!

I have attached a very fine video about Cape Disappointment State Park to this blog!  It stars a few of our favorite State Park employees and some of the best scenery this area has to offer.  The Park is located 10 minutes from Boreas Inn.  We are soooo lucky to have Cape D State Park in our backyard.  So come to Boreas Inn and we will direct you to our favorite park, Cape Disappointment!  Enjoy the YouTube about Cape D.!

 

 

 

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