Saying hello to an elk in Warrenton, Oregon

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I took some time off to just rest and enjoy our surroundings. We left off with our trip in Seaside and traveled 12 whole miles north to Warrenton.

Warrenton was one of the stops I liked better. One of the reasons may have been that we have been skipping around for a week here and there, and we were able to grab 2 weeks in Warrenton. Since I work full-time, I do have a little bit of time after work on weekdays, but the weekends are really the main time that we’re able to get out and explore a place. Traveling only 12 miles meant that we got there quickly and were able to set out right away because we weren’t exhausted from driving. We arrived on a Saturday, so it also meant that we had nearly 2 entire weekends in the area.

As you saw in our post about ziplining, Warrenton has a few hidden activities. There’s great biking in the area. On our first day we walked over to South Jetty Dining Room and Bar and played some pool and darts. They had some slot machines in there, and it looks like they were set up for live music or karaoke at night. There are also a couple of state parks, one of which we visited and took pictures of here.

There is also a nice walking trail along the Columbia River, which I took some footage of (and met an elk along the way!):

We also found a new grocery store called Fred Meyer that we’d never been to before. I don’t know if you can even call it just a grocery store–the place is massive. It’s kind of like a non-membership Costco but with a nicer inside–it doesn’t look like a warehouse, it looks more like a Target or Walmart, but with more stuff. The one we visited even had a store map in front, and a gas station. Inside, there was a full produce section and all the typical departments: bakery, deli, meat and fish, etc. They also had a bulk section with dried goods and spices, a do-it-yourself nut butter dispenser and a natural foods section that took up several aisles (not just one corner of one aisle). Additionally I think there might have been a coffee/smoothie bar and a pharmacy. They also have the typical department-store type stuff: kitchen and bath ware, sporting goods, clothing, electronics and a jewelry store. We were definitely not without choices and everything was not priced badly–maybe a little bit cheaper than what we’d been paying at Safeway lately (because it was our only option for groceries).

Right across the a bridge lies Astoria, Oregon, which is a larger city. There are actually 2 ways to get to Astoria. One is along Highway 101. This route is more direct, but the bridge doesn’t have a lot of room for bicycles and was very windy. There is also a route on what is called “Alternate Highway 101” and this is the one I would recommend if you are biking. It’s much safer and less windy.

Astoria has a large outdoor market they hold on Sundays. They shut down several streets downtown as well as taking up some parking lot space. They have local farms selling produce, flowers, hand-made honeys, jams, baked goods…and there are also vendors for things like artwork, jewelry, soaps and other hand-crafted items. They also have a “food court” with vendors from local restaurants.

While we were over there, we stopped at the Astoria Co-Op, a natural foods store that was small but had all kinds of goodies for foodies like us. They also had a vegan food truck called DJ’s Vinyl Vegan. I’d already eaten but Ryan very happily got their Crunchy Hippie burger with potato salad and cole slaw. All vegan and he enjoyed it very much.

The park we stayed in was called Kampers West RV Park. I liked it at this park because unlike a lot of the parks on the coast, this wasn’t directly off of Highway 101. This made it quieter while still giving easy access to local activities. There are decent-sized grassy areas around each site and you are supplied with a picnic table. The park also has areas for tent camping and cabins you can rent. Other amenities include a store with very basic supplies, free movie rentals done on the honor system, a laundry room, bathrooms with showers. There is also a fish/crabbing cleaning and cooking station, and there was plenty of room to park some rather large boats.

The lots themselves are sort of┬álevel, but are gravel which made it trickier. They really work to maintain the grounds, though. I think there were gardeners there at least 3-4 times during the 2 weeks we stayed. Be prepared to close your windows from the noise and smell of lawn mowers and weed wackers if you’re around during the day. There is also a mill less than a mile away. You can hear the machinery running during the day and night, but it’s more background noise and didn’t really bother me.

We were put into an area that was clearly a mix of long-term residents and passers-by like ourselves. It was interesting to watch the neighbors with the chickens, and the guy who took 10 hours to power-wash the exterior of his RV. And let his daughter play in the dirty water that was streaming down from it. There was also a single dog who barked almost all day long practically every day. Overall though, the neighbors were quiet and those that did have dogs kept them under control.

While there is a Verizon signal, it was pretty weak. We had to use 5gHz on our hotspot and on the weekends when the park was flooded with extra visitors, our signal became almost unusable for more than one device at a time (in other words, forget watching streaming video on the Roku while surfing the ‘net on your laptop).

Overall, this wasn’t a horrible place to stop—we’ve been to much, much worse. We don’t fish but it seems like it would be a great place for those who do. Otherwise, the amenities are fairly basic.

Our stay in Warrenton was a good way to end our stay on the coast. I would definitely like to come back to the coast again in the future. Maybe next year!

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