The Oregon Coast

I started my journey from Portland to the Oregon coast by first driving north on Highway 5 into the state of Washington. I doubted my GPS so much that I pulled off the highway to make sure I was going to arrive in Astoria instead of Seattle! I eventually exited 5 and headed west, toward the coast and then south and into Astoria, Oregon at the mouth of the Columbia River.

My first destination near Astoria was Ft. Stevens State Park  and the wreck of the Peter Iredale. The four masted barque ran aground on October 25, 1906 and its rusted, skeletal hull remains. I did a sketch from my camp chair.

On my way back to the parking lot, in fact as I was loading my camp chair into my trunk, I sensed a large raptor behind me. I turned around to see a bulky bird perched on top of a tall wooden post. I quickly rummaged through my recently pack daypack for my pencil bag and journal. I got off a sketch before the bird flew off to the west over the Pacific.


I wish I could have identified this raptor before it flew off!

After watching a humpback feeding in the mouth of the Columbia, I headed south toward a piece of Lewis and Clark history: Ft. Clatsop. This fort is a replica of the fort that the Corps of Discovery built and over wintered in during 1805-06. Historians think the replica is close to where the first fort was located but we will really never know. The design is based on a sketch of the fort done by members of the expedition.

The Corps of Discovery spent a very wet and cold winter at Ft. Clatsop before heading back up the Columbia on their return voyage to the United States. What is most remarkable is that in the entire journey, they did not lose a single soul.

After sketching the Ft. Clatsop replica I headed to my night quarters in Seaside. After checking in I headed south to the most famous beach in the Oregon coast: Cannon Beach. The beach was full of people but I found a relatively quiet patch to set up my camp chair and start a sketch of the iconic Haystack Rock. I only attracted the attention of a few dogs and children (that has to be some sort of metaphor) as I was able to finish two sketches: one in color with ink and the other a monochromatic painting in pencil.


The monochromatic monolith, Haystack Rock.


A little behind the sketch footage!


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