Day 2 – Exploring

Knowing that the weather was going to turn cold and cloudy today, we were out on the boardwalk at 9:30 a.m. for our walk by the seaside. It was lovely until we met a man who, uninvited, wanted to share his theory of the universe. Suddenly, we had an urgent need to turn off the boardwalk and travel through town!

Once back to the hotel, we hopped in the car and arrived at Fort Clapsop by 10:30. Thankfully, we sandwiched our visit between a bus load of seniors, and a bus load of elementary school children. The site has a recreation of the small fort built by Lewis and Clark which they used as they sheltered over the winter of 1805.

Walking the grounds, we marveled at how peaceful and renewing it was to walk among the tall tress with nothing but ferns, wild flowers and bark at our feet. After so many visits to the Southwest on our last adventure, the Northwest just felt like home: comfortable, restful and familiar. A few rays of sunshine even broke free among the gathering clouds. We just explored a little, imagining we were strangers to this lush landscape and wondered what Lewis and Clark must have thought when they first arrived here.

From the old fort, we made our way back to the Washington state side of the Lewis and Clark adventures and decided to make a day of it at Cape Disappointment, the final terminus of the Lewis and Clark expedition.  Along the way, we stopped at the site of the Middle Village, where Chinook peoples had a camp along the Columbia River when Lewis and Clark arrived in 1805. There’s not much surviving today of that original camp, but a town did blossom on the same spot around 1900. There was a successful fishing industry and canning factory at one time, as well as a Catholic church, built in 1901, which still stands to this day and is still used for mass on summer weekends.

Once at Cape Disappointment, we braved the gauntlet of mosquitoes in the lush growth to climb to the top of the ridge. Set at the top is a lovely interpretive center dedicated to information about the Lewis and Clark expedition, as well as a gorgeous overlook of the cape. While the clouds were gathering thicker and the temps were dropping, there was no wind to speak of, so it was relatively pleasant.

No day of exploration would be complete without checking out the local shopping. So, back in Oregon again we had to stop at the Seaside outlet mall. I did a leisurely reconnoiter and, amazingly, by the time I was finished it was time for dinner.

Tiny sprinkles threatened as we walked back to the hotel after finding a hamburger at the local brewery.  We were so grateful we had rolled out early this morning to get our walk in by the surf.

Time for rest this evening while we think about the discoveries we made and the sights we encountered. If exploring is nothing more than finding grace in every encounter, I think today qualified.