Saturday, June 18, 2016

Cape Foulweather? Cape Disappointment? Not A Bit

We went camping last weekend in spite of cloudy skies and a dismal forecast. I am a firm believer that you don’t give up an opportunity for fun on the chance, even prediction, of rain. Even in a tent.

The skies were full of showers as we drove west along the Columbia River.


Bypassing Astoria


Going across the wonderful Astoria bridge to Washington



A little pioneer church in Ilwaco


The road inside our campground—do you see that blue sky! Lewis and Clark’s Cape Disappointment was not disappointing us a bit!

(Nearby is another stopping place of Lewis and Clark which they named Dismal Nitch which I think is so droll.  I ‘m sure it wasn’t funny then but in today’s context it is very funny.  I don’t think I’ll camp at Dismal Nitch.)


Two new tents on their maiden voyage, ours in the background and our friends’ in the foreground. We were so happy that it was dry while we were setting up (and figuring out) these new tents. We also had a new shelter to cover the cooking/card playing area.  Our last shelter ended up on someone’s roof while they were borrowing it! Our last tent took on water.  We found that our new tent is too small, really, if you want to dress inside it or get up at night.


After the camp was established we hurried to see the ocean.  In the distance is North Head Light.


Two brown pelicans amidst the gulls.



Enjoying my freedom to read, write, catch up on magazines, or do nothing at all.


Chatting with friends without time constraint is a gift!

(Okay, we did have to dig a little trench to keep the rain from streaming into the firepit.  But it was only for a little while.)




This beach gets a lot of driftwood.  I talked with an older man who comes every year to photograph the changing driftwood on the beach. I encouraged him to put his pictures in an album to share at the community center, or to enlarge his favorites to frame.



And here is some—drift metal?  What a story it could tell!  I wish, wish, wish we could have brought it home with us but getting it off the beach and into the car was problematic.  It looks like part of an old motor; our friend postulates that it came from one of the ships buried off the coast. (The entrance to the Columbia River from the ocean is known as “The Graveyard of the Pacific”.)  It must have been a fantastic storm to get it up onto the beach like that.


Low tide, and calm as can be.  We were exultant at the unexpected blue sky and sunshine.




We hated to leave. It was just one day too short.  Camping requires enough set up and dismantling that you really need 3 nights to balance the pain and pleasure. 

Goodbye to the ocean.



Heading back across the Columbia to Oregon, Saddle Mountain behind the Astoria bridge.



The red building is the Cannery Pier Hotel (distant) where I’d like to stay on a non-camping, non-budget weekend!


The Columbia is a busy waterway for vessels big and small



and really small.


Before leaving Astoria we drove around parts of the old town looking at houses.  This window detail caught my eye and a nice elderly gentleman on the porch gave me permission to take the picture.


Then we drove around a newer development called the Mill Pond neighborhood which was extremely charming.  We were looking for sale signs to check prices, but there were none! Apparently everyone wants to stay put, here.  We talked about the pros and cons of retiring to a harbor/beach town but the truth is, everything looks more delightful on a sunny day.  Astoria has a LOT of wet, dark days and even though I started out by saying you don’t give up on a fun opportunity just because it MIGHT rain, I didn’t say you should MOVE IN to a certainty of it.



A front porch covered in geraniums!