Freedom and Liberty

Freedom and Liberty
I travel in Freedom but sleep in the security of Liberty (not only on the road, but in this amazing country of ours)

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Cape Disappointment, a Museum and a Sunset

Location: Fort Stevens State Park (el. 25 ft); Hammond, Oregon

(click pictures to enlarge)
(all pictures taken with Nokia Lumia 929 Cell Phone)

It's been raining on and off since I've been here. Most of the time it is only a light rain and lasts maybe 30 minutes with a few hours of drying time between showers. The daytime highs have been in the lower to mid 50's with nighttime lows in lower 40's. There is an occasional breeze, but so far nothing that I would call "windy". I'm told this is normal for this area and time of year. The Oregonians are used to it and most of them wear a rain jacket all day long for warmth and rain protection. These are some hearty people around here. Last night at sundown, there were people walking in the surf barefooted and wearing short pants while the temperature was 49 degrees and a gusty breeze. I know what the temperature was because I was sitting in the warmth of Freedom and seeing the thermometer. As for me, I've been wearing a long sleeve shirt with t-shirt and a wind breaker, when needed. I have a heavier coat in Freedom but haven't needed it so far. 

I really like the Oregon Pacific Coast. I haven't experienced any of its bad storms yet and it looks like I'll be moving on before one hits this area. I will not be following the coast into Washington state. In fact, I'm not sure if I'll even camp in that state. Thursday is moving day and I'll be headed inland from here and plan to follow the Columbia River upstream for a while. I want to see the River Gorge area, Bonneville Dam and some waterfalls. After that, I'm not sure which direction I'll head and the weather will probably be the deciding factor again.

I crossed the Columbia River yesterday to visit the Cape Disappointment area. Cape Disappointment is the headland area located in the extreme south west corner of Washington state where the Columbia River empties into the Pacific Ocean. 
The Columbia River Bridge. It is so high because ocean going ships pass beneath it. The bridge is being painted so one lane is closed for parts of the bridge.

Once you leave the truss part of the bridge you still have a long way to go before reaching the other side. The river is almost 4 miles wide at this point.

There are at least two stories about how the cape got its name. The first story is that the British Captain John Meares was coming south along the Washington coast in 1788. He turned around when he saw the headland in the distance and returned to the north. Had he continued on just a little farther, he would have been the one who discovered the Columbia River, thus he was "disappointed". Instead, the honor of discovering the river goes to the American Captain Robert Gray who found the river 4 years later in 1792. Captain Gray successfully entered the river and named it after his ship. (I'm betting he was a single man and if not, his wife was probably PO'ed it wasn't named after her).

The second story is that when Lewis and Clark's Corps of Discovery reached the cape in 1805, they were "disappointed" about no ships being in the area. They had hoped to find a ship that they could get passage on to sail back to the east coast so as to avoid having to cross the Rocky Mountains again. 

The view from near the top of the Cape was great. The pictures don't capture the true beauty of the view. 
Nice view looking north. That would have been in the area where Captain Meares turned around and headed back north.

Looking south. Just around that point is the opening to the Columbia River.

Wouldn't you know it. There was a "thinking bench" with a nice view of the Pacific. It was a comfortable one too.
After crossing the river back to the Oregon side I went to the Columbia River Maritime Museum. Overall it was a decent museum but since I've seen a couple of these type of museums before, it was just so-so for me. Unlike women, once you've seen one maritime museum, you've seen them all. Along with the admission to the museum is a free self-guided tour of the Lightship Columbia. Let me be clear, if someone has not been to a maritime museum before, this would be a good stop. I'm only posting two pictures, both taken outside.

The entrance to the museum. To the left is the riverboat American Empress, which cruises up the Columbia River. 

This picture includes 3 ships. The Columbia is the lightship that you can walk through as part of the museum visit. Notice the large "mushroom" anchor on it's bow. That is used for anchoring in a sandy bottom. To the left is a Coast Guard cutter that was having work done on her. In the back is the riverboat, American Empress.
I stopped at a Fred Meyer's on the way back to the campground. It is like a Super Walmart (grocery/department store). I was surprised at the quality of the food. I picked up a couple steaks and the makings for a Rueben Sandwich. Yeah, that's right, I need to erase the memory of that sandwich I got in Newport a week ago. 

Once back at Liberty, it started to rain again. I had hoped to get a decent sunset picture of the Pacific before heading inland in a couple days. It seems weather has prevented me from getting many good sunset pictures lately. Even with the sprinkling rain, I headed to the beach area about 30 minutes before sundown. I was lucky and saw a pretty good one. 

That is the remnants of the wreck, Peter Iredale, on the beach area.

It was the end of a pretty good day.

Ya'll take care of each other. I'll Cya down the road.  


  1. Goza, I think your missing some great sites when you miss Washington state. If you get to Port Angeles WA take the ferry to Victoria BC. A beautiful city unlike any in the U.S. Buchart Gardens is in that city and is world class #1.

    Not trying to tell you what to do - just giving free advice and you know what free advice is worth. "0" Zip. Anyway, life is short so think about it. Really enjoying your blog and travels as always. Happy Days, Martin

  2. Hello Martin. I am always open for advice and suggestions. No passport means no Canada, so no BC. I'm still not sure about Washington, but right now there seems to be more to see and do in Oregon and maybe Idaho.

  3. Absolutely gorgeous sunset photos! What camera are you using? I'm enjoying 'travelling along with you' !
    Jool in N. Texas

  4. Hello Jool. About 99% of the pictures in the blog are taken with my cell phone camera. It is a Nokia Lumia Icon 929 with a 20 megapixel camera. I have a fancy Nikon camera with a couple lenses, but I rarely use them. I'm glad you like the blog. Thanks.