Sunday, September 12, 2021—Southwest Coast of Washington

Situated just outside the town of Ilwaco where the Columbia River meets the Pacific Ocean, Cape Disappointment State Park offers a variety of recreational activities, breathtaking scenery, and year-round camping facilities. The beach offered up a few dragonflies, a number of gulls, lots of Jelly Fish, and an intact sand dollar.

Of key interest to us at this location were the North Head Lighthouse and keepers’ dwellings houses. The lighthouse consists of brick masonry built atop a sandstone foundation and finished with a cement plaster overlay. Sixty-nine steps lead to the lantern room, which is sixty-five feet from the ground and 194 feet above sea level. North Head is the most intact light station in the Pacific Northwest. All of its original buildings remain standing, including the tower, two oil houses, two residences, barn, chicken coop, and garages. North Head is one of the windiest places in the United States, with wind velocities in excess of 100 mph frequently measured.

From southwest Washington, we crossed the Columbia River, entering Oregon. Our first stop was atop Coxcomb Hill at the Astoria Column. Located in Astoria, Oregon, the 125-foot-tall Astoria Column serves as a monument to the history Pacific Northwest. The Column is decorated with a sgraffito-style painted histogram recounting the region’s history spanning from the discovery of the Columbia River to the arrival of the railroad. Construction began in March of 1926, and the Astoria Column was officially dedicated on July 22, 1926.

We overnighted at Seaside, Oregon.