View from the car on our way into Washington. While driving across the bridge we saw 2 bald eagles! On the way back we saw only 1.
Our next stop was Fort Canby State Park in Ilwaco, Washington. The park is 1881 acres. In 1805, it was this location where Lewis and Clark finally reached the Pacific Ocean. They say that you are more likely to see a black bear, river otter or bald eagle here, than you would in Yellowstone.
There are 2 historic lighthouses. Cape Disappointment which is the oldest lighthouse still operating on the West Coast. It began operating in 1856. We didn't visit this lighthouse because it was quite a hike for kids to reach.
Instead we visited the North Head Lighthouse, which was built in 1898, and is known as "the windiest lighthouse on the West Coast".
The kids looking out to the ocean from the lighthouse area
View from North Head Lighthouse. You can see the North Jetty on the upper right of the photo and from the upper left is the Columbia River where it enters the Pacific Ocean. There was a ship headed out to sea when we took the photo.
A family of flip flop feet!
Ryley building sand castles!
Family photo to commemorate our first beach trip in 2008!
Ryley buried in the sand. He deemed himself the "talking head".
Ryan, Ryley and Tyler
Brandon buried in the sand as well.
Tyler buried in the sand!
Photo in front of a huge frying pan they have along the main downtown strip! A gal that lived in the house directly behind the frying pan came and offered to photograph our family so we could all be in the picture! People in Long Beach were very friendly -- great place to visit!!!
After leaving downtown with bags of sweets we headed to Fort Columbia State Park. It is one of the few coastal defense sites left in the United States that is still intact. Fort Columbia was completed in 1904 and was set up to defend the coast during World War I and II. We spent about an hour touring the grounds and the abandoned gun batteries and buildings.
Another abandoned gun battery called Battery William Murphy. It was completed in June of 1900 and is still in excellent shape.
The kids on the front steps of the barracks.
Having dinner! The best part about this casual brew pub is they start you off with a sample of their homemade ales. Matt and I had a sample of their Rogue Red Ale (it was good, but a bit too bitter for my taste). For the kids they give samples of their brewed root beer! The prices are reasonable, the food good and kids' meals are served on a Frisbee (instead of a plate) that the kids get to take home!
The scary wooden bridge that leads to the restaurant. I was sure our bus would fall through!
Sunday morning we were divided. In Matt's room were the early risers. They awoke by 6am, went to breakfast and were full of energy by 7:20. In my room, we slept in until 7:20am and then headed to our continental breakfast around 8am.
After checking out of the hotel, our first stop was the Astoria Column. It was built in 1926 on top of Coxcomb Hill - the location of the first permanent settlement west of the Rockies. It is a historical monument and the only one of its kind in the world.
The kids on top of Battery Russell
Touring the abandoned gun battery
Matt throwing the football to the boys!
Our football players prepping for the upcoming season!