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.
This piece was carved by Marvin Howard.
There are all kinds of pieces to be seen.
And this fella, such a cutie!!!
There are lots of carvings seen outside and inside.
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.
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.
Afterwards, you may want to walk some of that meal off by strolling along the walking/hiking path.
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.
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.
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 Little Bit About How It Was Done
Because of Gordon’s knowledge of logging, he was made the Riggin Boss for the build.
Gordon logged all of the timber used in the building.
All of the timber was brought in from the general area.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
A person must be careful because there are lots of roots sticking up and they are often above the trail itself.
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.
Some trail manicuring is evident and looks to have been done to keep the trail clear.
Even though there is some manicuring that is done, the foliage looks primarily untouched.
In places, sunlight breaks through to the forest floor, but much of the trail is shaded.
In many places, the trail has trees covered with moss. It gives the trail a primeval look.
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.
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.
It’s late July and we have had many days in a row of heat.
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.
Inside the Restaurant
Get a window seat whenever possible and see what kinds of creatures you can spot. I’ve seen furry and feathered creatures just outside the window at Camp 18. You might see chipmunks and squirrels there. Perhaps you’ll see Steller’s Jays, humming birds, doves and if you are lucky, a Black Headed Grosbeak.
What’s a Black Headed Grosbeak? You can read all about it and other North American birds in a book called
Another of my favorite places to sit is near the fireplace.
There are beautiful lamps sitting on the tables that have been made available to the public for purchase. Those that I have seen there are made by Dale Tiffany.
My husband and I bought two of the Dale Tiffany lamps for our home but we didn’t buy them from the restaurant (they had a shortage of available stock when we were ready to buy). We were able to find some of the Dale Tiffany lamps online, so that is where we purchased ours.
There are several 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 seen above (at the restaurant).
Here is another Dale Tiffany lamp. It is another table lamp that can be purchased through Amazon.
The tables throughout the restaurant are rustic.
There are many pieces of logging and milling tools to be seen on the walls inside the restaurant.
The restaurant is full of interesting things to look at. Things may be looking back at you too.
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.
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.
And so, I did.
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