Tag Archives: camping

The Wreck of the Peter Iredale, Fort Stevens State Park

On October 25, 1906 the four-masted steel sailing vessel, the Peter Iredale, sank near the mouth of the Columbia River. No lives were lost. Dear husband and I had seen the ship before when we stayed at Fort Stevens State Park near Hammond, Oregon about 25 years ago. At that time we had our red chow, Yum, with us and we enjoyed the adventure of camping. And here I was years later with Lilly, our cairn terrier. I had dropped dear husband off at Astoria so that he could peruse the antique stores. There was less of the ship now, but still in all I was impressed that so much of it remained.

Graveyards of the Pacific lists some of the other ships that have gone down in this dangerous part of the Pacific.

While at Fort Stevens, Lilly and I also enjoyed two wildlife view areas, one with a boardwalk/concrete viewing area that overlooked an estuary and another with a viewing platform that overlooked the crashing waves of the Pacific. There is also the fort part of Fort Stevens State Park, which operated from the time of the Civil War through World War II. All of the photos are mine with the exception of the historical view of the ship.

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Standing in dinosaur footprints at Dinosaur Valley State Park

imageWhen I was a kid my parents took me to the World’s Fair in New York and there was a dinosaur exhibit. I was startled to realize that two of those dinosaurs, the Apatosaurus and the T-Rex, had been relocated to the Dinosaur Valley State Park in Glen Rose, Texas. The Atlantic Richfield Company donated the fiberglass replicas to the park in 1970. The park did not get its name from the two replicas however, it is the site of real dinosaur footprints!

The 1,587-acre Dinosaur Valley State Park opened in 1972. Its mission:  to preserve these valuable dinosaur track sites and to allow people to learn from and enjoy them. It is situated on the Paluxy River and many of the tracks on near or in the river. About 113 million years ago, this area had been ocean front and the ground was the perfect place for creating fossils. Both Herbivores and Carnivores would come to this area to eat plants and in the case of the Carnivores each other. There was an enormous river flood in 1908 and in 1909 a young boy, George Adams, found three-toed tracks of theropods. Sometime later, in 1937, R.T. Bird, who collected fossils for the American Museum of Natural History came to the area and found tracks of the much larger sauropod (70′ long, 13′ high, 40+ tons).

Some of the park’s visitors were very interested in the tracks. One can go right up to many of them and touch them and even stand in them to get a sense of scale. Other park visitors were more interested in cooling off in the Paluxy River. I visited the two main track sites and also drove around the camping area. There were plenty of spaces available, no doubt the heat was keeping folks away.

I would have stopped at the Creation Evidence Museum, but sadly it was closed. I heard that DInosaur World was something to see, but it was too hot to do any more outside exploring. So they will have to wait until next year.

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An eyeball bowling ball at Bass Pro Shop

15264688214_fa213f4f44_kThe new Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World Store at 7905 South Hosmer Street in Tacoma opened for business in October and its pretty great! It is huge (142,000 square feet) and full of camping, hunting and fishing merchandise. And there are some surprises including a restaurant with a full bar, a bowling alley with shark ball returns and bowling balls that look like eyes, a 12,000 gallon aquarium stocked with local fish (plenty of salmon), a boat showroom, stuffed wildlife exhibits, a lovely entry with a large fireplace and a holiday area that will soon house Santa. And outside in the parking lot there is a fire-tower. Apparently there are many Pro Bass Stores in other parts of the country, but this is the first one in Washington or Oregon.


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Sisters On The Fly at Cabela’s


A group of women with vintage campers that go fly fishing and camping together? How cool is that?! Of course I had to go check it out when they convened at Cabela’s at 1600 Gateway Blvd NE Lacey, WA 98516. The mission statement of Sisters on the Fly is “Offering empowerment and sisterhood through exceptional outdoor adventures. As a group of women we challenge ourselves in all that we set our mind to. There is no age, color, religion or political group. All women who want to share in the adventure of “sisterhood” are welcome. This “sisterhood” has grown to more than 2,400 women since inception in 1999.”

As you can see from the photos the vintage trailers are darling and lovingly decorated. Bare in mind that these are little spaces which usually have a bed, table, stove, fridge and some storage. Because of the size, they are difficult to capture in a photo, but the website has more photos and there are a couple of books available. The women are really nice also!


Cabela’s is the world’s foremost outfitter (that’s their tag line!) and it is indeed a huge store with a large display of animals arrange in a nature setting. There is also a piper cub plane hanging from the ceiling. Besides an abundance of merchandise, there is a gun library and a restaurant. It reminds me of REI, but with more of an emphasis on hunting/fishing. There are 39 Cabela’s with more being planned.