After a couple of days of adventures in and around Astoria, OR, we were heading south toward Seaside. We had our itinerary planned and were excited to begin the day’s exploits.
Map route from Astoria, OR to Seaside
Living in the desert of Arizona we don’t often have a chance to visit shore towns and see nautical sights and the idea tha we could get a close up view of an actual shipwreck could not be resisted. The British vessel, the Peter Iredale, ran aground on October 25, 1906 on its way to the Columbia River and was abandoned near Fort Stevens in Warrenton. As you can see in the photo below, people can walk right up to the remainder of the wreck when the tide is low.
People can get very close to the remnants of the Peter Iredale
The hulk was quite impressive when considering it has been windswept and bathed in salt water for more than a century.
The ship’s carcass remains after more than 100 years
Although this day didn’t provide the best weather, when the sun poked through visitors could appreciate the form and structure of the ship along with a stark beauty created by the rust tones against the blue-grey seascape.
Beauty amid the wreckage
At times, the crowds would grow as photographers and dog walkers visited the water’s edge to take in the sight. We soon moved to other areas of Fort Stevens State Park to continue our explorations.
A viewing platfrom along a jetty or breakwall at Fort Stevens Park
I never appreciated how much the west coast had prepared for invasion during WW II. Certainly Fort Stevens provided plenty of proof. This (below) was one of turrets that can be easily seen among the many other fortified batteries.
Defensive gun turret along America’s western coast
After hiking one of the major trails through Fort Stevens and gaining an understanding of the military preparations there, we made our way to another planned stop, the Necanicum Estuary near Seaside. I was hopeful that we could spot a bird or two that I would be able to mark off my birding list and indeed we did pass some birdwatchers eyeing a Cedar Waxwing. Much to our surprise, it wasn’t birds that caught our attention…
Roosevelt Elk along coastal Oregon
… there was a herd of elk. They were quite numerous. One doe found us interesting, but not enough to stop eating.
An elk doe eats as she watches us walk along the path
We found ourselves in an unusual and unexpected situation as the hiking path we used to get to the bay was soon surrounded by the herd. A few males, which can weigh nearly a half a ton, were not happy that we were among their harem. We carefully made our way to the shoreline. There were some does there as well, but only a few.
Elk along the shore
Another doe nearby looked on as we approached the beach.
Another doe watched as we walked to the beach
We were able to circle around to find a clear way back to the parking area and were glad to arrive safely at the car to head to our evening’s accommodations.
More information about the Peter Iredale shipwereck
Learn more about the elk at Gerhart’s preserve
Read more about the Necanicum Estuary in Seaside
Read previous posts about our adventures hiking and exploring in Oregon:
Exploring Astoria, Oregon – Part 1
Exploring Astoria, Oregon – Part 2
Exploring Astoria, Oregon – Part 3
Read more Hiking and Exploration posts HERE
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