We were at Nehalem Bay State Park two years ago. It is a pretty large park, about 300 camp sites in six loops, a horse camp, and air field with air camp sites, about 30 yurts for camping and several miles of trails for hiking or biking. And just over the typical beach dune there is a five mile long flat beach perfect for walking, sitting in the sun, flying kites, horseback riding or maybe swimming (more likely wading).
I usually had shorts and a t-shirt on. Susan had more sense.
You can rent horses here. Many people bring their own. The horse camp was full most of the time.
Even though it was after Labor Day the campground was full almost every day. A Park person told us that the campground is open all year round and even in the middle of the winter when it is colder and very wet it is about 1/4 full. All of the campsites have electric hookups and water. When your waste tanks are full you have to make a trip to the dump station. We are good for two weeks if we are careful, 10 days if we are in a normal use mode.
Just two miles away (a walk or bike ride is easy) is the small town of Manzanita. Lots of touristy shops. A great toy store. A couple of good places to eat and every Friday a nice Farmer’s Market. Manzanita is one of the best parts of staying here. Big enough but not a tourist trap.
Well here is a boring coach picture but this is how we start out at each campsite. We chose this site because we were going to get some solar here and a good DirecTV satellite link. Cell service was also pretty good here unlike most of the beach parks we have been in so far.
Every trip to the beach starts with a short hike over the dunes. Some access points are more of a climb than others.
There was always a breeze on the beach. Good for kites. This is a 60” Delta kite on 900 feet of 50 lb test line. I had about 400 ft of line out and it was quite a pull. Good shoulder exercise. Winding it up was a real chore.
I had two kites up at once. The one on the left is a smaller Delta kite with a Pirate theme and long streamers. I bought this one in Texas last winter for my great nephew Hunter. I had to make sure it worked well. It did.
Waves everyday. Not a great surfing beach but there were kite boarders out there almost every afternoon.
I think this takes some serious practice.
Back in the campground there were always visitors. Lots of deer and even elk.
Unfortunately one afternoon a small plane was landing at the airfield and a bull elk ran out in front of it. The plane hit the elk and spun around right into the cow elk who was following the bull. Both elk died and were taken to the local food shelf, the plane was totaled, the pilot and passenger were OK.
Pretty sad to see this much damage. We went back to look again the next day and the plane was gone.
My sister Judy and her husband Bruce have a beach house about 2 miles from the campground. One afternoon we drove to the other end of Nehalem Bay to Kelly’s Marina where they have fresh live crab. You pick out the one you want and they boil them on the spot. After dunking them in cold water to stop the cooking process they were cleaned. The cleaner picked out the crab’s heart. It was white and shaped like a star. Not surprising it tasted like crab, a bit salty. So crab was on the menu for dinner that night with a baguette and salad. Yum!
We sat around a large fire pit while waiting. The chairs were made single slabs cut from logs.
And we couldn’t resist posing for a pirate picture.
We also visited Garibaldi for lunch at Fisherman’s Corner. And breakfast at Wanda’s in Nehalem. Nehalem also has the Dollar-ish store. It is sort of an upscale dollar store if that is possible. I found a new screw driver for the coach and a great ice cream scoop. The small grocery store across the street has some interesting deli items.
So far Nehalem Bar State Park is the best of the best beach state parks for us.
Next we head north to Ft Stevens State Park where the Columbia River empties into the Pacific Ocean.
Roger and Susan