Welcome to Oregon: Now take this bridge 4 miles over the Columbia River in an epic Wind & Rain Storm
To be fair, the storm was historically rare and formidable for the pacific northwest. Altogether, 10 tornado warnings were issued by the Portland National Weather Service, the most ever for the area in a 24-hour span. The Manzanita Tornado was particularly devastating, and only the 5th twister to touch down in Tillamook County in the past 50 years.
You Gotta Go to Yurt
Chris and I were determined to spend as many nights as possible under the stars, saving as much money as we could in the process. But Mother Nature will ravage your best made plans, and though our tent could withstand its fair share of shit, Super Typhoon Tsunami Tornadoes did not fall under that umbrella.
So, now what? Do we get a hotel, like a couple of second-grade Sallys? Do we brace the storm in the car? Do we give up and go home?
Answer: You pray to the Bop Gods and the Bop Gods remind you of one beautiful, wonderful, life-saving word...
And what do you know? Fort Stevens State Park, just minutes from the bridge: Yurt central.
After some searching, a flash of lightning illuminated the Ranger Hut at which one rents Yurts. With that very flash of lightning, however, the park went dark. Power = Out.
Chris ran over to the hut and this sweet old bearded ranger man took his flashlight out in the pouring rain and granted us one unforgettable night in a Yurt.2
What in tarnation is a "Yurt"?
A modern Yurt is a round shaped cabin-like structure covered in fabric with a wood frame. Or in Chris’s words, "It's like a gazebo and a teepee had a baby.”3
I can’t pinpoint what gets our juices flowing when we hear the word Yurt, but there was something that night besides the margaritas at El Tapatio that made our cherry-popping Yurt experience so extraordinary. (Shouts to the El Tapatio staff for feeding us once their power came back on. If you're ever in Astoria, this is the spot. The live music was on point.)
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