Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

Into the Woods

Having been thrown out of the Pinball Palace due to lack of action, and having had only a small snack at our normal lunch time, Lisa and I were both hungry. It turned out we both came up with the idea of stopping for dinner at Camp 18 Restaurant. We've passed this place on US-26 many times, but have never stopped there -- the timing was never right. This time it was, so we set course from Long Beach back to the south and east and soon enough were approaching milepost 18, which is how the place got its name.

Besides having passed it on trips to Seaside, I had seen this place on an episode of Modern Marvels about logging. Before going inside, we walked around the grounds (as best we could -- Lisa's foot is still hurting badly, although at least she can keep a shoe on while outside).

Logging is an industry that historically has had considerable ties to railroading. Early loggers built railroads into the woods to bring out loads of logs. Besides the huge old logging equipment, there are numerous railroad cars on the property, including this caboose...

...and this one, which has been fitted out with surprisingly nice restrooms.

There is also an oil tanker car, at least one boxcar that I saw in the distance, and this water tank. According to the placard, they disassembled the tank from its original home and reassembled it here, re-using all of the pieces except the outer shell of the upper level -- the tank itself.

The centerpiece of this portion of the property is a huge spar pole. This photo only barely gives you the idea of how tall it is.

Even this one showing me "holding up the pole," only hints at how high this thing is. It's held in place by many cables.

As befits a logging museum, there are huge logs here, including these two which dwarf me.

Small "speeders" like this were often used on the rickety tracks leading into the woods.

This Loggers' Memorial Building includes tributes to the people who gave their lives in the pursuit of timber. If you've watched Ax Men or any of the other shows dealing with logging, you may have seen just how dangerous logging can be. One of my uncles was a logger, and my father was a US Forest Service officer. (Yes, the gamekeeper's brother was a poacher.) I've spent a chunk of my life in the forest. I would not want to do the jobs these loggers do, even with more modern equipment and safer working practices. Incidentally, I recognized some of the names of the logging companies from Ax Men on the sponsor sign for the Loggers' Memorial.

Lisa put a dollar in the donation box for the upkeep of the Memorial in honor of her summer she spent working at a small logging operation.

I was amused by this sign's selective restoration.

Having seen what we could of the museum's open-air grounds, we headed inside. There are no pictures here because we don't think our camera could do it justice, but you can have a look on the Camp 18 web site. What a beautiful building! It's all log-work, apparently mostly logged nearby and worked at a mill across the creek from the restaurant site. There is a huge long main beam dominating the ceiling. Big tables are planed from single logs and could seat dozens of people. We found it an utterly charming and wonderful lodge.

Mind you, a good-looking restaurant is not worthwhile except as a novelty if the food isn't any good. Lisa and I both ordered one of their specialties: the porterhouse steak with sauteed mushrooms. It was delicious. I had mine with wild rice pilaf while Lisa tried the baby red potatoes. Neither of us was disappointed with our choices. The way they'd cooked the steak and the mushrooms was perfect, and no steak sauce was required.

Before and while we ate, we could watch the many birds congregating outside the window at a bunch of bird feeders set outside. The restaurant helpfully included a laminated card with a field guide to Oregon birds.

The staff were extremely friendly, and encouraged us to look around the restaurant after we finished eating, even though it was after their 8 PM closing time by the time we'd finished. (We weren't the last customers in the building, though.) We went upstairs to the bar/lounge, where we complimented the chef who was relaxing there; he said he'd added that porterhouse to the menu himself. Then we went into the basement level where they have a large room suitable for parties and large dinners. I only regret that the location is impossible for any gathering of our friends that I can think of due to its inaccessibility. It's a great place.

Having thoroughly enjoyed our two-hour stay at Camp 18, we pledged to return someday and set out for home. We did not get home until 11 PM, but we were happy that we'd made the trip and spent the extra time at Camp 18. If your travels ever take you to the Oregon Coast along US-26, I recommend a stop here for the decor, the grounds, and the food. Next time, maybe Lisa's foot will be in shape for us to take the walking trail that follows the adjacent creek.

More photos starting here in the Seaside set. (Most of the earlier Seaside photos are actually from last year.)

PS: Kuma Bear has something to say about this stop too, although I'm not certain his own experience was as as much of an unalloyed good as it was for Lisa and me. I'm afraid poor little Bear may have some nightmares for a while.
Tags: lisa, travel

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