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!

5 Ways to Social Distance in Seaside

With miles of wide sandy beach and clean sea breezes sweeping along the oceanfront Promenade, Seaside is one of the best places to...

Learn More
Hot Spots

Just like the windswept Oregon coastline itself, Seaside is ever-changing. While embracing traditional attractions like the Promen...

Learn More
Clamming in Seaside: Then & Now

A brief look at clamming in Seaside and Tillamook Head and a comparison of how they

Learn More
The Sweet Side of Seaside

Above photo: A tray of sweets on display at A Sweet Affaire, held every February. In February, we invite you to bask in the sweet ...

Learn More
What is Fascination, Anyway?

Talk to anyone who’s ever visited Seaside, and they’re bound to bring up Fascination with an enthusiastic “I love that game!...

Learn More
The Roaring Twenties on Broadway

The roaring twenties was an exciting era in Seaside.

Learn More
Celebrating Spring

Celebrating spring and the lush wildlife in Seaside and the North Oregon Coast.

Learn More
Top Take-Out Spots in Seaside

Maybe you need a quick breakfast to fuel your day’s adventure? Or you’re hungry for dinner but too tired to venture out of you...

Learn More
Seaside Library

A look at the humble beginnings of the Seaside Public Library

Learn More
Beach Blanket Bingo

Going back to the early 1960s, we look at beach culture.

Learn More
How To Walk Seaside, Oregon

Discover things to see in Seaside, OR including the Seaside Promenade, Tillamook Head Trail & Tillamook Head Lighthouse, bird...

Learn More
All About Independence Day 2020 in Seaside

Let’s be clear: July 4th is going to look a little different in Seaside this year. While many of your favorite events had to...

Learn More
Mushroom foraging near Seaside.
Mushroom Foraging Near Seaside

Oregon’s North Coast is a popular spot for treasure hunters. While some people might look for pirate treasure though, the on...

Learn More
Mural Walking Tour

Seaside has a flourishing art scene with quaint galleries and a monthly art walk in the historic Gilbert District, but it also has...

Learn More
Chasing Waterfalls

Waterfalls around Seaside, Oregon.

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
Biking the N. Coast Mountain Range

Opportunities endless when hopping on two wheels to navigate Seaside area

Learn More
The Best Part of Waking Up

Delicious breakfast dining at favorite Seaside local hot spots.

Learn More