November 1, 2015

Nehalem Bay State Park

"At sea, I learned how little a person needs, 
not how much."
Robin Lee Graham

We left the state of Washington with reluctance, for there was still so much left on the plate to explore. I am sure we will return sooner than later, but when you have no agenda, no schedule and time is not of the essence, I can't help but feel bummed we missed a few explorations on the "list". But I have come to know that by being part of the "we", that list never ends. And Washington made it difficult for us to leave. We were stopped due to a massive gridlock on the Astoria-Megler Bridge as we crossed over the Columbia River into Oregon. It so happened that we were traveling on the closing day of the renowned "Rod Run to the End of the World" on the Long Beach Peninsula. This is a huge annual event that features a hot rod cruise, vintage car show, a slow drag, vendors and entertainment. Once we snail paced over the bridge, through Astoria and then finally south down Hwy 101, we were sailing.

Forty miles south of Astoria, we decided to stop at Nehalem Bay State Park. We had read great reviews, it was an Oregon state park and this was we probably would not have any problems finding a site. To our pleasant surprise, we found out the park is a few miles away from Hwy 101. Nehalem Bay State Park lies on a 4 mile long sand spit with a picturesque bay on one side and an ocean beach with scenic views of Neahkahnie Mountain on the other. 

We were fortunate to get there early enough to secure a long nice site as there was a line to get in and the campground was almost sold out from reservations. Never would have guessed that in this 3-loop, 265 site park after Labor Day.

Our site backed right up to the sheltering dunes that separated the ocean beach from the campground and provided some protection from the wind. As you stand upon the dunes, you could barely see the campground among the canopy of shore pines.

We walked the forested 2.0 mile bike trail that skirts the campground and Nehalem Bay and if there was one square foot of beach that Imkelina and Sydney did not touch, I would be quite surprised. You also have access to fishing and crabbing on the bay, bike trails that connect to downtown Manzanita and as Imkelina proved...endless hours walking in the dunes and beachcombing for those special treasures.

Our next stay here we will make sure to find time to explore the hiking trails of nearby Oswald West State Park and the towns of Nehalem, Wheeler and Manzanita. We were told by our neighbors, Monte and Kathy, who regularly camp here in their gorgeous Airstream that Manzanita is a beautiful oceanside town. We also heard that it possess the third most photographed scenery in Oregon. But for now...we continue to mosey on down the coast of Oregon.

At Waypoint 45.701200-123.937840
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