Wreck of the Peter Iredale

In October of 1906 the merchant vessel Peter Iredale ran aground on the Oregon coast just south of the mouth of the Columbia River during a storm.   110 years later I visited the few rusted remains which are still washed by the waves at Stevens Fort State Park.   That anything remains after over a century of salt, wind, and time is a miracle.

I arrived at the beach 20 minutes before dawn in late October to find windswept dunes, heavy clouds, intermittent bursts of freezing rain, and no other humans.   I had the frigid scene to myself for a good half-hour after sunrise before the next car pulled up to the small parking lot.

There’s not much to the scene other than the carcass  of the ship and a few bits of mast sticking out of the sand.  The Pacific Northwest almost always provides a dramatic sky, especially in winter which provides interest to an otherwise desolate space.

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