Cape Lookout State Park, Oregon, Summer 2017

Number three on our “Best of” State Park tour was Cape Lookout State Park near Oregon’s cheese heaven, Tillamook.

The campground is along the beach behind the dunes that run all along the beach. From the Cape looking north you can see the long beach and the lower end of Netart’s bay. As it seems in many Oregon parks the camp sites are snug getting into.

We fit in any case, sometimes it takes some wiggling but we get in. Many of these parks have very little room for your car or extra parking for your car if it doesn’t fit. When they say the site is 45’ long that is it. Usually no room at the other end to hang over the pavement, there are bushes or trees there. So many times the car gets squeezed in sideways.

Check out the tree next to the coach. It wasn’t a cut off stump, the tree broke off at some point. We enjoyed a great welcome relief from smoke. I84 from Portland east was closed going both ways for a couple weeks due to smoke and fires burning right up to the interstate. The fires near Sisters and Harris Beach were still burning as well. Lots of folks were hoping for some rain.

It didn’t rain rain here but pine needles. Lots of them. I got up and swept the roof of the coach before we left and we had to sweep the awnings too. Back home we might buy bales of pine needles. Here they are everywhere.

This park was land originally donated by the US Lighthouse Service. Additional land was donated by Louis W Hill of St Paul MN. He was the president of the Great Northern Railway at the time. This area was logged for big cedar timbers. Additional land was purchased over time. In the 1930’s the CCC developed the picnic and day use area. The campground opened in 1954 and quickly grew to its current size.

During WWII a B-17 Bomber on coastal patrol crashed into the Cape. It took a full day for rescue crews to reach the sole survivor. Today there is a road out to trailheads at the Cape and a trail to the crash site.

This gives you an idea of how big the trees were. Stumps like this are all over the park almost 100 years after the trees were cut down. Even in this wet, salty environment they last a long time.

Not quite the Hawai’i beach experience – cool, windy, often cloudy – but it’s a beach and the ocean and not very many people. Great for walks, looking at everything and kite flying. And every night we could hear the ocean surf, very nice.

Next up two weeks at Nehalem Bay State Park.

More later,

Roger and Susan

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