Sunday, September 25, 2011

Cape Disappointment

Our initial trip plan did not include a visit to Lewis and Clark National Historic Park, as I had no idea that the park existed. As we were driving up north, I was getting more and more intrigued by the signs announcing its existence and inviting to its different parts. I was particularly intrigued by the Cape Disappointment State Park, mostly because of its cool name.

I managed to convince Anil that we absolutely needed to go to that park and I think he was not disappointed that we did ☺ Even though the weather was gloomy and at times it was raining, we enjoyed the park a lot as it had very peaceful and serene energy. We were also amazed that we saw more species of birds than people. We hanged out for quite a bit at the North Jetty enjoying the views of the Columbia River delta, where its waters mix with the waters of the Pacific Ocean, and two lighthouses.

To the right we had the North Head and to the left of the Cape Disappointment Lighthouses. The latter is the oldest operating lighthouse on the West Coast. It was constructed in 1856 to protect mariners from the treacherous river bar known by then as "the graveyard of the Pacific."

The story behind the park's name is an interesting one: "In 1788, while in search of the Columbia River, English Captain John Meares missed the passage over the river bar and named the nearby headland Cape Disappointment for his failure in finding the river. In 1792, American Captain Robert Gray successfully crossed the river bar and named the river "Columbia" after his ship, the Columbia Rediviva. Only a few years later, in 1805, the Lewis and Clark Expedition arrived at Cape Disappointment." In the park, there are several short hikes, many of which follow routes that Capt. Clark and the Corps took to explore the ocean beach below.

More information about the Lewis and Clark Expedition, the first United States expedition to the Pacific Coast that was commissioned by President Thomas Jefferson, can be found on National Geographic or Wikipedia page.

The Waikiki Beach:

The Cape Disappointment Lighthouse:

A seagull flying over our heads:

The North Jetty:

The North Head Lighthouse: