This rendezvous with our dear longtime friends Diana and Jim Garot, has been a long time coming … or at least it seems that way.
When Jimmy and I last saw Jim and Diana it was for an all-too-brief stopover at their home this past January in Southern California. Diana was down with a nasty cold … and after Jim fixed us lunch, we were back in our truck camper and on the road again.
Before we left, they let us know that they were planning a summer drove up the Oregon Coast in their 1998 Holiday Rambler Endeavor class A motor home. We crossed our hearts and made a pledge to meet up with each other “sometime,” “somewhere” near Seaside. Our paths converged toward the end of August on Oregon’s Sunset Highway, west of Portland and east of Cannon Beach on the Oregon Coast.
From a previous RV trip to the Pacific Northwest, the Garots remembered a rustic log-cabin style restaurant with lots of logging-related historic artifacts, tons of old logging equipment, an attached museum, and pretty darn good food. It is called Camp 18.
The restaurant-museum complex sits at milepost 18 on Oregon Highway 26 near the small rural community of Elsie. It was a dream of Gordon and Roberta Smith. Construction began in the early ’70s with Gordon’s friends joining him in the project.
The expansive architecture is authentic in materials and construction techniques.
It features an 85-foot ridgepole (see ceiling) that’s the largest such piece in the United States. It weighs approximately 25 tons and if cut would have 5,600 board feet of lumber in it.
History buffs interested in the evolution of logging in the northwest will find plenty of outdoor displays including “multiple steam donkeys such as a Dolbeer single spool, a very early first-generation model, to a high-tech late-model Willamette compound geared yarder that was the height of technology for its day. Other displays on site include a large bandsaw from a sawmill, a self-propelled Ohio steam crane, Caterpillar-style tracked vehicles that worked in the woods, a railroad skeleton log car and other heavy equipment plus a wide variety of large and small hardware,” according to Camp 18’s webpage.
The most recent addition to the complex is the Loggers Memorial located “in a beautiful setting befitting those whose dedication to our forests … will forever be enshrined. This is an opportunity for families and friends to memorialize individuals … who’ve made logging their work, their passion or their life.”
For complete information about the Loggers’ Memorial project, click here.
If you go:
Camp 18 Restaurant
42362 Highway 26, Elsie, Oregon 97138
Hours of operation are:
Sunday – Thursday 7 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Friday & Saturday 7 a.m. – 9 p.m.
There is plenty of RV-size parking in the lot.
To read more on Diana and Jim Garot, click here.
Photos: Top down: Jim and Diana Garot. External and interior photos of Camp 18 Restaurant. Some of the authentic logging equipment on display. Jimmy Smith reading through brief bios of dozens of loggers, many of whom died working in the woods. (Julianne G. Crane)