When Captain Cavedweller and I were on the coast, one place we went to eat not once, but twice, was Camp 18 in Elsie, Oregon.
The food is fantastic, the restaurant is pretty awe-inspiring and the museum and grounds are a lot of fun to explore.
Told you it was impressive!
Camp 18 is a dream that began in the early 1970s when Gordon Smith started out with a few rusty pieces of equipment which led to the construction of the massive log cabin. He was joined by Maurie Clark, who had logging industry knowledge. All of the timber used in the building came from the surrounding area and was logged by Smith. Each log was hauled in, hand-peeled and draw-knifed with the help of his friends and family.
Once you walk inside the restaurant, its hard to miss the massive 85-foot ridge pole in the main room, the largest such structural member reported in the US. According to information from the restaurant, it weighed approximately 25 tons when cut and has 5,600 board of feed of lumber in it.
Another not to be missed feature are the hand-carved main doors cut from an old growth fir log. Each door is 4 1/2 inches thick and weighs 500 pounds. So that phrase “don’t let the door hit you on the way out” you definitely don’t want hit with one of these.
The restaurant took its name from the logging operations in the area in the 1920s and 1930s. At that time, logging camps were numbered. Since the museum and restaurant at mile post 18, the name Camp 18 was chosen.
We sat by some big windows one morning and watched blue jays fight over the multitude of bird feeders outside. One evening, we cozied up to a table by the fireplace to chase away the evening chill.
You can roam the grounds, browse the gift shop and enjoy tasty, hearty-food here.
If you ever find yourself traveling Highway 26 from Portland to the coast, stop in at Camp 18. You’ll be so glad you did!
She Who Loves Log Cabins in the Autumn Woods