Seaside Stories

The Tale of the Driftwood Forts

September 1, 2011 | by Julie

When I was a kid, I lived in Washington State, and every summer my family visited the Oregon Coast. Although we most frequently haunted Seaside and Cannon Beach, we also went to Lincoln City. On our vacations, we would spend hours combing the beach and collecting soda cans to turn in for candy money.

At times, there was so much driftwood on the sand that the sand was barely visible, and the nooks and crannies of stacked-up driftwood were certainly more than any kid could resist. So we climbed, slid (until we once got slivers-ouch) and found forts in the driftwood where we huddled and let our imaginations go wild. We were careful to not make campfires in the middle of the stacks, but the stacks did become our “houses”. We were somewhat disappointed to learn on our next trip that our houses were gone. But of course, it didn’t take us long to find new ones.

Driftwood forts are unique and if you’ve been in one, you’ll understand exactly what I mean. The wood does a good job of filtering out sound and it offers a sense of peace to duck below and experience the quiet. No matter how warm the day, the sand is cool to the touch, and often undisturbed. Once in awhile, unique treasures can be found including shells, rocks, smooth glass and items left behind from other visitors. We commonly found one shoe, or one flip-flop and (more unusual) coins, buttons and left-behind sand shovels.

Here in Seaside and in many towns along the coast, there has been a general decline of driftwood. We see pieces here and there but rarely the massive stacks that used to litter the coast. I am reminded that, throughout the years, the ocean changes…yet remains the same. Is the reduction in wood due to society making better use of our natural resources? I don’t know. I do know that having less driftwood swing ashore is likely safer for both people and wildlife alike and although it is a good thing, I always wished that I could show my kids how we used to find forts within the stacks.

Last weekend when we were traipsing on the beach, I did get that opportunity. We found a fort made entirely of driftwood. Inside was a driftwood bench, and plenty of room to sit and enjoy the dull roar of the ocean on the other side of the wood walls. Someone had likely stayed there and we didn’t stay long, just in case someone was coming back.

I realized that it is a fort of a different kind. Not one that nature made, as we used to play in, but one that man made, by dragging driftwood to where it was needed. It was different, yet offered me at least a small opportunity to show my kids what driftwood forts are all about.  And it was worth it when they sat on the bench, paused to listen to the muffled sounds outside and said “Hey mom, this is cool.”

Leave a Reply

and so much more!

Saddle Mountain State Park Excursion

A day trip to Saddle Mountain adds diversity to Seaside as a destination vacation.

Learn More
Wave Energy

Wave energy refers to energy generated from the power of waves near their surface. There are different types of devices designed to convert wave energy, but the ones that seems to be most in use at the moment as researchers continue to investigate this source of renewable energy are buoys. Columbia Power Technologies, an Oregon-based alternative energy company, recently launched a prototype wave energy buoy in the gentle waters of the Puget Sound as it races to be one of the first suppliers of wave-generated energy.

Learn More
How to Catch Your Dinner: Learning the joy of razor clamming in Seaside, Oregon

The way to dig for razor clams and what to do with them once you catch them in Seaside, Oregon...

Learn More
Digging for the Bounty!

Razor clamming on Oregon

Learn More
Feel Like A Kid Again

Go ahead — take a vacation from adulthood with a trip to Seaside. We give you permission to feel like a kid again. Forgot how? H...

Learn More
Seaside Civic and Convention Center

The benefits and joys of life in our small coastal community are many. And just when you think you’ve seen it all, done it all and start thinking about heading to the big city you’re reminded that the Seaside Civic and Convention Center brings you the best of all possible worlds and you can stay right here

Learn More
Artillery on the Beach

Artillery on Seaside

Learn More
Breaking High

A look at a waves breaking over the turnaround at high tide in Seaside

Learn More
How to Sip Coffee Like a Local

Seaside has something for everyone — its coffee spots included. It has artisanal sit-down bakeries with locally-roasted pour-ove...

Learn More
Churches in Seaside

The buzz of summer is in the air as Seaside welcomes ever-increasing waves of visitors, happily sharing the beauty and bounty of our coastal getaway. As numbers increase on sidewalks, in shops, on roads and in restaurants, our local houses of worship also expand. Some folks desire a peaceful respite during a busy vacation; brides anxiously check out venues for future nuptials; history buffs enjoy the areas older churches; and some just enjoy connecting and worshiping with others of like-minded faith.

Learn More
Eat Your Way along the North Coast

Seaside is now the starting point for the self-guided North Coast Food Trail that travels south to Neskowin and includes more than...

Learn More
A Stop on the Art Walk

Capturing what goes on behind the scenes of a First Saturday Art Walk

Learn More
Beach Books is an independent book store in Seaside, Oregon.
Where to Shop for Souvenirs in Seaside

Hunting for bargains? Searching for Seaside souvenirs? Seeking one-of-a-kind gifts? You’ve come to the right place. To your deli...

Learn More
What The Oregon Coast Can Teach You From Home

The Oregon Coast is a dynamic, ever-changing place that sparks both imagination and curiosity. While you may not be able to visit ...

Learn More
Elevated View

The highest point in Seaside, Oregon in the 1920s.

Learn More
Everyone Needs a Spring Break

Any reason is a good reason to head to the Oregon Coast. Whether you have an official “spring break” or not, we think that yo...

Learn More
Three Broadway Spots that Span Generations

You may have visited these Seaside businesses when you were a kid, and now you’re returning with your own family. Ter Har’s bo...

Learn More
How to Start Cycling In Seaside

Few places in the Pacific Northwest are as primed for pedal-powered exploration as Seaside. I should know since I’ve ridden abou...

Learn More