Restaurants – Camp 18, Elsie Oregon – Breakfast, Things to See and a Hike

When my husband and I first met, for one of our first dates he asked me out for breakfast and a hike. He wanted to take me to Camp 18 in Elsie Oregon. I hadn’t ever been there. I hadn’t ever heard of it. It sounded like fun (and to go there with a handsome guy, how lucky can a girl get)?

He told me what he knew about Camp 18.

In a Nut Shell

When you go to Camp 18 you will see woodwork.

Artwork carved out of wood, a carving of a lumberjack outside of the Camp 18 restaurant in Elsie, Oregon.
There are many wonderful pieces of chainsaw/carved wooden artwork on the Camp 18 grounds both outside and inside.

This piece was carved by Marvin Howard.

Artwork carved out of wood, a carving of a bear outside of the Camp 18 restaurant in Elsie, Oregon.
The artist was an Oregon resident at the time it was created.

There are all kinds of pieces to be seen.

Artwork carved out of wood, a carving of Smokey the Bear outside of the Camp 18 restaurant in Elsie, Oregon.
Smokey Bear

And this fella, such a cutie!!!

Artwork carved out of wood, a carving of a lumberjack holding an axe outside of the Camp 18 restaurant in Elsie, Oregon.
That guy on the left worked in the timber industry.
Hmmmm, do I see some kind of resemblance here????

There are lots of carvings seen outside and inside.

Artwork carved out of wood, a carving of four dancing bears inside the Camp 18 restaurant in Elsie, Oregon.
4 dancing bears can be seen inside the restaurant.

You will note that there is a huge parking lot (room enough to park a couple of RVs or transit buses).

You will see old logging and milling equipment. All of the pieces seen in this post, can be seen in person on the Camp 18 grounds.

An antique generator used in the timber and milling industry outside of the Camp 18 restaurant in Elsie, Oregon.
That huge machine was a generator.

You will see a gift shop. Eventually you will go into the restaurant and have a great meal. Quite often you will see birds at the windows and flying about the grounds.

Get a window seat whenever possible. I’ve seen Steller’s Jays, humming birds, doves, Black Headed Grosbeaks, to name just a few.

A Steller's Jay Bird seen through the window on a bird feeder at the Camp 18 restaurant in Elsie, Oregon.
This picture was taken through one of the windows at the back of the restaurant.

Afterwards, you may want to walk some of that meal off by strolling along the walking/hiking path.

The Dream

Camp 18 was the dream of Gordon Smith. The original owners were Gordon and Roberta Smith.

In the early days of it’s construction Maurie Clark joined Gordon. Gordon and friends built Camp 18.

Gordon decided to create this place in the early 70s. He owned most of the equipment needed to build Camp 18. Some of the equipment he used was on loan to him.

He received some pieces as donations too.

An antique machine with 4 wheels used in the timber and milling industry outside of the Camp 18 restaurant in Elsie, Oregon, which was possibly a donated.
I wonder if this was a donation.

How Camp 18 Got It’s Name

I learned that Camp 18 got it’s name because in the 20s and 30s large logging companies like Big Creek Timber Company, Clark & Wilson and others numbered their camps. 

The Camp 18 Restaurant sign, with several wood carved animals, as seen from the parking lot of the restaurant.
Their sign (as seen here from the parking lot).

Using this idea (the tradition of numbering a logging camp) and since the restaurant was being built at milepost 18 on Highway 26, it was given the name Camp 18.

C.G. and J.A. Wilson and O.M. and W.W. Clark were lumbermen. They were from Wisconsin. Clark & Wilson Lumber donated part of Forest Park in Portland, as a sample of Oregon timber.

A train car sitting in the parking lot of the Camp 18 Restaurant which was possibly donated to the restaurant by the Clark & Wilson Lumber Company.
I wonder if they donated this train car to Gordon.

A Little Bit About How It Was Done

Because of Gordon’s knowledge of logging, he was made the Riggin Boss for the build.

Several antique machines, of which one was likely used on the water for the timber and milling industry, seen outside of the Camp 18 restaurant in Elsie, Oregon.
Several of the pieces of equipment have postings to tell you what the machine was used for.

Gordon logged all of the timber used in the building.

Antique machines and tools used in the timber and milling industry outside of the Camp 18 restaurant in Elsie, Oregon.
All around you will see pieces of equipment from the past.

All of the timber was brought in from the general area.

An antique vehicle used to pick up and move logs in the timber and milling industry outside of the Camp 18 restaurant in Elsie, Oregon.
This beast was a log mover.

Lumber for construction of the building was cut at Gordon’s mill. His mill was set up on the property just the other side of Humbug Creek.

A huge antique band saw used in the timber and milling industry outside of the Camp 18 restaurant in Elsie, Oregon.
Can you see the continuous, double sided saw on this piece of equipment?

One of the most noted pieces of timber in the construction, is the 85 foot ridgepole in the main dining area. It is the largest structural member of it’s type, know in the United States.

An 85 foot ridgepole, the largest structural member of it's type know in the United States, as seen inside the Camp 18 restaurant.
Seen running from the front of the restaurant to the back is part one huge piece of timber.

The fireplace seen in the main dining area has a mantle that was made out of one piece of solid black walnut.

50 tons of local rock was brought in to make the two fireplaces that are inside the restaurant.

An antique lift or crane used in the timber and milling industry outside of the Camp 18 restaurant in Elsie, Oregon.
I bet this moved a lot of materials in it’s time.

In 1986, an 80 foot addition was made for the kitchen and the giftshop.

Every time we go to Camp 18, we always stop by the giftshop. There are several treasures I have gotten there including this beautiful flower that I have in my garden.

A piece of garden artwork, a pinwheel in the shape of a flower, made of metal and sold at the giftshop, at the Camp 18 Restaurant in Elsie, Oregon.
This is a metal sculpture of a flower. The flower is holding up well, even through the snowy conditions we have in winter.

Here is a link to a 43″ tall metal garden flower that is similar to the one I have (but it is not the same).

The Hiking Trail

A person might like to take a short walk before or after a meal. Starting from just before the bridge seen here, the hike took me 1061 steps (according to my fitness watch).

A wooden bridge, that leads to a walking path, on the grounds of and just below the Camp 18 restaurant in Elsie, Oregon.
The little bridge after this bigger bridge kind of looks like a deck.

Right after the little bridge (the end of which you can see below), the trail begins. A person can walk to the right or to the left to start.

The right hand entrance to the walking path, on the grounds of the Camp 18 restaurant in Elsie, Oregon.
Here is exactly where the trail begins.

We usually go to the right first, but the whole trail circles around in a loop. You end up back where you began. Just don’t go off the main trail.

A person has to be careful while walking because it is a primarily natural trail.

Part of the walking path, on the grounds of the Camp 18 restaurant in Elsie, Oregon.
It isn’t a long trail, but it is beautiful.

A person must be careful because there are lots of roots sticking up and they are often above the trail itself.

Roots, a tripping hazard to watch out for, along the walking path, on the grounds of the Camp 18 restaurant in Elsie, Oregon.
Don’t catch your foot and trip.

Sometimes logs have fallen across the trail. Today when we went, there were three fairly big parts of trees that had fallen across it in different locations.

In the past, we have seen that things like this have been removed for the sake of those who use the path. I hope that continues to happen, to keep the trail clear for those folks who like to take a walk there before or after a meal.

A downed tree, a hazard to watch out for, along the walking path, on the grounds of the Camp 18 restaurant in Elsie, Oregon.
This likely fell during the last big wind storm that recently hit the area.

Some trail manicuring is evident and looks to have been done to keep the trail clear.

A downed tree that has been cut back to allow hikers to walk along the walking path, on the grounds of the Camp 18 restaurant in Elsie, Oregon.
If this fallen tree hadn’t been cut back, the trail might have been impassible.

Even though there is some manicuring that is done, the foliage looks primarily untouched.

Beautiful ferns and natural undergrowth as seen along the walking path, on the grounds of the Camp 18 restaurant in Elsie, Oregon.
I love ferns and they are abundant along the path.

In places, sunlight breaks through to the forest floor, but much of the trail is shaded.

Beautiful trees and natural undergrowth as seen along the walking path, on the grounds of the Camp 18 restaurant in Elsie, Oregon.
The trail is lined with trees, ferns, moss and more.

In many places, the trail has trees covered with moss. It gives the trail a primeval look.

Moss on trees with ferns and natural undergrowth, looking primeval, as seen along the walking path, on the grounds of the Camp 18 restaurant in Elsie, Oregon.
Ok, where’s the dinosaur?

I wouldn’t be surprised if I were to see a dinosaur peek at me through the moss. I wonder how many creatures are hiding out there.

Moss on a frame, giving the appearance of an elephant amongst trees, ferns and natural undergrowth, as seen along the walking path, on the grounds of the Camp 18 restaurant in Elsie, Oregon.
What’s that lurking in the forest?

If a person entered the trail, starting from the right, they know they are almost finished with the trail when they start to hear the creek running just to their right. Soon, a person should catch a glimpse of it.

The creek surrounded by trees, ferns, and various natural undergrowth, as seen along the walking path, on the grounds of the Camp 18 restaurant in Elsie, Oregon.
Almost to the end of the trail, or the beginning depending on where you started.

It’s late July and we have had many days in a row of heat.

The creek is low in this picture, as seen along the walking path, on the grounds of the Camp 18 restaurant in Elsie, Oregon.
Today the creek is pretty low.

Here is a picture from a time when the river was high. When it’s high and it is the right time of year, you can see big fish moving through it.

The creek is high in this picture, as seen along the walking path, on the grounds of the Camp 18 restaurant in Elsie, Oregon.
The creek was running full when this picture was taken, many years ago.

Inside the Restaurant

There are many pieces of logging and milling tools to be seen on the walls inside the restaurant.

Lots of antique tools used in the timber and milling industry inside the Camp 18 restaurant in Elsie, Oregon.
Tools hang everywhere it seems.

The tables are rustic.

Lots of antique tools and pictures all about the timber and milling industry, along with tables for customers to sit at, inside the Camp 18 restaurant in Elsie, Oregon.
The walls are adorned with pictures of logging and loggers.

The restaurant is full of interesting things to look at.

A hanging lamp or chandelier, hanging from the ceiling inside the Camp 18 restaurant in Elsie, Oregon.
An antler hanging light.

If you are thinking about going somewhere with a big group of people, this might me a great choice because there is one table that is huge, it can easily seat 18 people.

A huge table that can seat 18 people inside the Camp 18 restaurant in Elsie, Oregon.
Plenty of room for family and friends at this table.

There was a time when they sold quite a few lamps right off of the tables. Here is one of the lamps that still remain. These lamps are beautiful.

My husband and I bought two of these lamps for our home but we didn’t buy them from the restaurant. We found a different pattern we liked better, online.

A table lamp, likely created by Dale Tiffany, sitting on one of the tables inside the Camp 18 restaurant in Elsie, Oregon.
The majority of the lamps they used to sell were manufactured by Dale Tiffany. This lamp isn’t tagged, but I believe this is one of their Dale Tiffany lamps.

If you like this style of lamp, the restaurant may still have a few to sell. You can still find some Dale Tiffany lamps offered through Amazon.

If you click on the link below, you may find one that is perfect for your home.

This Dale Tiffany lamp is similar, but it is not the same as the one at the restaurant.

Here is another Dale Tiffany lamp. It is another table lamp that can be purchased through Amazon.

The Food

At the time of this writing Camp 18 serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. The day we went there I ordered the three piece French toast. It was delicious. My husband really enjoys their eggs, bacon, biscuit and potatoes.

Well, the food was great. I am so very sad to say that we were half way through our meal when I realized I hadn’t take any pictures of it.

It seems, I saw that food and forgot everything else.

We are going back in about three weeks, so I will take a picture of our food then and post it later.

Now – Back to the Beginning of My Story

As you remember, I went on a date with a handsome guy. Almost one year to the day later, he asked me to marry him.

A picture of Jan and her husband standing under an archway that says Camp 18, with a view of the creek running behind them.
This picture was taken the day my husband asked me to marry him.

And so, I did.

Jan and her husband, a very happy wedding couple, dancing their first dance as husband and wife at their wedding reception.
And yes, “We Do”.

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