July 8-11, 2014
An hour after leaving our driveway, we were at Schafer State Park. The park is west of Olympia and a dozen miles north of the small town of Elma. The one hundred nineteen acre park has forty-two camping spaces. Ten of the spaces can be reserved and have electrical and water hook-ups.
By the time we’d found our site, the volunteer camp-ground host was welcoming us. Each day either the host or his wife came by to see how we were doing, and making sure we were having a good time. They also made really sure that every driver entering the camp-ground area was following the one-way traffic arrows!
The restrooms, picnic shelter, and park “store” were built using river-rock. The buildings had a Civilian Conservation Corps “look” to them.
Across the road from the campground is a large day-use area. During our four days at Schafer we saw plenty of groups and families accessing the Satsop River.
A historical marker in the day-use area described how the Schafer Family settled in the area in the 1870’s. The three sons soon formed the Schafer Brothers Logging Company, which at its height, it was one of the largest lumber and logging companies in the Pacific Northwest. In 1924 the Logging Company donated the park to the State of Washington. It was the first such donation by a company from the lumber industry. Prior to 1924 the site was the scene of many Schafer family picnics.
We were at this campground three nights. Friends Chuck and Jean joined us for the second and third nights there. Our sites were adjacent each other. A few hours after Chuck and Jean got there, friends Paul and Sue arrived in their car. We had a wonderful time sharing appetizers during Happy Hour. Then it was time to light the camp-fire and fire up the BBQ.
Schafer State Park was a gem of a find.