Pandemic Adventures, Part Two: Long Beach Peninsula, 6-10 Aug 2020

Driftwood, Ledbetter Point State Park, 8 Aug 2020. Olympus XA2, Kodak Pro Image 100.

The last month has shaped up to be a fairly busy travel month, especially in comparison with the months preceding it! Emee and I decided to head out to the Long Beach Peninsula in Washington State for my birthday weekend. While Long Beach isn’t that far away from Portland, just about a 2 1/2 drive, the simple fact that it’s across the Columbia from Astoria means it’s not a prime destination for Stumptown folks. And since it’s three hours from Seattle, it’s ignored a bit by Emerald City denizens. So it’s a bit quiet, which we like. We’ve traveled here a bunch in the past few years, and will continue to do so.

We drove out on Thursday August 6 via the “long way”: north and west on US 30, crossing the Columbia on the Wahkiakum County Ferry (last ferry on this part of the Columbia*), then driving west on WA 4 through the very rural north bank of the river. Friday was spent lounging around our hotel (Adrift) and the beach itself. We brought our bikes, so we could ride the Discovery Trail that parallels the beach.

On Saturday we explored the northern tip of the peninsula, which is primarily protected land. Ledbetter Point State Park featured a beach on the inland (Willapa Bay) side that was peaceful and scenic. South of here is the small hamlet of Oysterville, which looks like a New England village dropped on the West Coast, a miniature version of Mendocino, CA, if you will. We then headed south to the town of Ilwaco, which sits on Baker Bay on the Columbia River. Ilwaco is close to Cape Disappointment, one of my favorite places on the Pacific Coast. We spent Sunday exploring it.

Monday was the return day. We stopped in Astoria to hang out for the afternoon and grab lunch. Astoria is one of my favorite places in this part of the world. I love the waterfront, the downtown architecture, and the burgeoning food and cultural scene. A lot of Portlanders think wistfully about moving out here “to retire” at some point. But I’m okay in Portland, for now!

It was a great little trip. We plan on going back out in fall, because we can’t get enough of the area.

Long Beach, WA. 8 Aug 2020

*There are a couple ferries further upstream, deep in eastern Washington, the Keller Ferry and Inchelium-Gifford Ferry.

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