Posts Tagged ‘Washington State Parks’

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.

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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!

Razor Clamming Now!

January 6th, 2016 by Susie Goldsmith

Here’s the good news: The Long Beach Peninsula’s annual razor clam season has arrived!    Clam diggers
The year’s first dig is Jan. 7-14, with many more set to continue into the spring. This news has us grinning, and we want to share the good feeling: Razor clam diggers staying at Boreas Bed and Breakfast Inn now can have a discount of $20 per night, $179 to $199 per night including our super deluxe breakfast for two, luxurious beds and electric fireplaces in all guest rooms.

Washington’s Long Beach Peninsula is the Pacific Northwest’s premier razor clamming beach, and this year’s harvest could be exceptional. Enjoy this seasonal bounty at Boreas Inn, which sits just yards from the Pacific Ocean and the 20-plus miles of beach that stretches north to Leadbetter Point State Park.
Envision this: Wake up and recharge with our fabulous multi-course gourmet breakfast. Take a short stroll to the beach, clam gun in hand, and choose a spot to dig along the almost-endless stretch of sand. Unearth your daily limit, head on back to the bed and breakfast and luxuriate in the gentle glow of your bedside electric fireplace.

Sound about right? We think so too.

Clam diggers2
Just remember to purchase a shellfish license before sinking your shovel or clam gun into the sand. Licenses are available at the Mobil gas station in Seaview or online through the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Boreas Bed and Breakfast Inn has everything you need to make your razor clam retreat a blast. Complementary clam gun rental? Check. Clam cleaning area? Check. Clamming tips from local pros? Check. Guests staying in our Yett Beach House even have their own kitchen to cook the tasty seasonal treats. The Yett Beach House, a 125-year-old Victorian-era sea cottage, sits adjacent to Boreas Inn and sleeps up to six. It can be yours for $150 per night and you can bring your kids and dog and cook your own breakfast in a fully-equipped kitchen.
Visitors and locals alike have been pulling razor clams from the Peninsula’s sand for more than a century. Sepia photographs of overdressed men and women clamming in the late-1800s grace the walls of many Peninsula homes and museums. The “World’s Largest Frying Pan” in downtown Long Beach isn’t just a gimmick – it was heated up and put to use during decades-old clam cook-offs. And the annual Long Beach Razor Clam Festival, set for April 9-10, is one of the Peninsula’s biggest draws celebrating Boreas Inn winter rates!

So clamming isn’t just a pastime around here, it’s part of the culture. And you’re invited to join the fun! Give us a call today to take advantage of our Razor Clam Digger Special rates– it’s a delicious deal you don’t want to miss! Clam diggers3   Jan. 7, Thursday, 4:57 p.m.; 0.1 feet, Long Beach
• Jan. 8, Friday, 5:37 p.m.; -0.4 feet, Long Beach
• Jan. 9, Saturday, 6:16 p.m.; -0.8 feet, Long Beach
• Jan. 10, Sunday, 6:55 p.m.; -1.0 feet, Long Beach
• Jan. 11, Monday, 7:34 p.m.; -1.0 feet, Long Beach
• Jan. 12, Tuesday, 8:14 p.m.; -0.8 feet, Long Beach
• Jan. 13, Wednesday, 8:56 p.m.; -0.4 feet, Long Beach
• Jan. 14, Thursday, 9:40 p.m.; 0.2 feet, Long Beach

Drew C. Foster is a writer and blogger based on the Long Beach Peninsula. He can be reached at drewcfoster@gmail.com.

January Spring Days in Long Beach, WA

January 20th, 2015 by Susie Goldsmith

My favorite spot, Waikiki Beach, at Cape D State Park, Ilwaco, WA on January 13, 2015

My favorite spot, Waikiki Beach, at Cape D State Park, Ilwaco, WA on January 13, 2015

The Beach in Front of Boreas

This Lookout, called Bell's View is one of the prettiest in the State of Washington
This Lookout, called Bell’s View is one of the prettiest in the State of Washington with the Olympic Mountains in view way up north!
Blue Skies on January 13, 2015 at the North Head Lighthouse

Blue Skies on January 13, 2015 at the North Head Lighthouse

 

Bright winter sunshine at Boreas Inn!

Bright winter sunshine at Boreas Inn!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Long Beach Peninsula had a fine summer and winter is looking much the same.  These images of “January Spring Days in Long Beach, WA” prove my point!  This winter has hosted monsoon days interspersed with perfect blue skies, warm temps, flat surf, modified by some big gust days creating huge surf and more warm temperatures.  Sure we had a little freeze a month or so ago… but really, I think I like the changes in our weather patterns.

These January Spring Days in Long Beach have raised my mood considerably and made life more bearable. Of course Vitamin D is still in my daily repertoire, a necessity for many reasons, but it is possible to get some safe sunshine on our bodies.  The other day at Waikiki Beach, we could have sunbathed!  Guests of ours have pictures over New Years of their young daughter in a tank top at Cape D State Park. Christina prefaced showing me the picture with “Don’t think we are into child neglect but it was very warm at Waikiki Beach today!”  These pics were taken by me playing tourist with Linda Hanlon, former peninsula resident now living in Seattle. We captured the beauty of January 13, 2015.  Almost too warm for a jacket and offering perfect images of Cape Disappointment State Park in Ilwaco, WA.  Come take photographs of our beautiful area, stay at Boreas Bed & Breakfast Inn in the lap of luxurious surroundings and fine breakfast dining! If you’re looking for things to do, drive for 10 minutes and see Cape D for yourself!

The North Head Lighthouse Celebrates 115 Years This Weekend

June 7th, 2013 by Susie Goldsmith

At Cape Disappointment State Park, a few miles down the road from Boreas Inn, in Ilwaco, Washington, there are two lighthouses, both enchanting, rugged and enduring, The North Head and Cape Disappointment Lighthouses.  Lighthouses are among our favorite buildings–hardy, yet vulnerable to the hurricane force winds we infrequently have along with those driving rains we frequently experience.  The lights project about 20 miles to the Pacific Ocean to guide vessels into the proper channel and hopefully away from the deadly rocks and spits  of the mighty and fearsome Mouth of the Columbia River. 2,000 vessels have sunk and many have died at the “Mouth” and along the Long Beach Peninsula; more disasters than the infamous Cape Horn!

As a child, my father would take our Lake Oswego, OR 16 foot waterski boat over the Mouth of the Columbia during larger than logical seas in an attempt, I believe to drown the family.  (Just kiddin’–sort of…) The waves instilled a life-long fear into this sea-loving woman.  I still have dreams about my father sitting atop the seat of our ski boat crying “Wahoo! Wahoo!” as waves crashed over us.  We bailed and bailed to keep from sinking.  The Coast Guard would shudder, I’m sure, whenever they saw my father, who occasionally needed towing over the Bar.  (I was not there for that–I would have been mortified!) I remember seeing the lighthouse beams during foggy times at sea and they were oddly, a comfort, while I tried to be brave…with my father.

That aside, this weekend, on Saturday, June 8th, there will be a long-awaited title transfer ceremony of the North Head Lighthouse from the US Coast Guard to Washington State Parks.  There will be lighthouse tours, open houses at the innkeeper’s residences and refreshments. The views are stunning, whales may be sighted, and a good time should be had by all.  So come visit the North Head Lighthouse on the SW Washington Coast, near Long Beach, Washington and celebrate 115 years of maritime history at the North Head Lighthouse at Cape Disappointment State Park.  If you’re lucky, you might snag the last room open at Boreas Bed & Breakfast Inn!

The North Head celebrates 115 of guarding the Mouth of the Columbia.

The North Head celebrates 115 of guarding the Mouth of the Columbia.

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.!

 

 

 

An Ode to Fort Columbia State Park Near Long Beach, WA

April 3rd, 2009 by Susie Goldsmith

When driving on Hwy 101 N. after crossing the Astoria Megler Bridge or from Highway 4, you find yourself driving up the most spectacular piece of highway bordering the Columbia River heading northwest towards Long Beach, Washington. You will encounter Fort Columbia State Park, 2 miles west of the bridge, right after you drive through the tunnel. Lots of people miss the grand entrance to this park. This beautiful photo that I found on Flickr is of the restored Officer’s Quarters at Fort Columbia.

Fort Columbia State Park is almost 600 acres of historical parkland with 6,400 feet of freshwater shoreline right on the Columbia River. As State Parks puts it, “The park celebrates a military site that constituted the harbor defense of the Columbia River from 1896 to 1947. The fort was fully manned and operational through three wars. The area was also home for the Chinook Indians and their famed Chief Comcomly.” It was chosen as a key military defense site because of the unobstructed views of the Columbia River. The town of Astoria, Oregon glimmers across the expanse of water. There is an interpretive center, five mile of hiking trails and picnic tables… This is a great spot for a wedding or family reunion or a quiet time for exploring and imagining the time when the mighty Chinook Indians lived on the land.

The State of Washington currently plans to close around 25% of their state parks. They plan to “mothball” Fort Columbia because it is one of the lowest income producing parks in the system. Mothballing means that the gates will be chained and the park closed. This is a tragedy for the State of Washington, for our visitors and for the residents who love this park. The historic significance of Fort Columbia is important–and the vista’s from the park are simply beautiful. Perhaps there will be a reprieve. When you come stay at Boreas Inn, you should visit Fort Columbia and revel in it’s beauty and hike on it’s trails. You will never forget it!

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