Thursday, Aug 17, 2017
I had one day to explore the area. I wanted to see Fort Clatsop, where Lewis and Clark wintered in 1806, but I visited the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center on the Washington side first. It was much more than I expected, leading you through their incredible journey as you walk down a hallway. It was very cool, chocked with so much information, by the time I got to the bottom, I had adsorbed all I could. But I enjoyed looking at the boats, clothes and all the journals. I didn’t realize Jefferson employed trainers for Lewis at the White House for two years.
Jefferson knew their trip would open the west to trade. Just 50 years later, the great western migration would begin, and 100 years later, there would be a ban on hunting elk, as they were almost gone. It is incredible how much happened in such a short time. When Lewis and Clark crossed, the plains were covered with buffalo, deer, antelope and bear, and the Sioux ruled. Without the help of a number of Indian tribes, they would not have made it.
By the time I explored the park and museum, I was starving, so I stopped and got lunch. Thankful to be well-nourished as I crossed that 4-mile bridge. I realized I could never have been a fighter pilot. It just makes me light-headed trying to stay in my narrow lane, not look around and get across that bridge. Whew! I was headed for the Maritime Museum in Astoria, It’s a great one! I started with a 3-D movie about hurricanes. The northwest gets rains, storms and hurricanes off the mighty Pacific.
I found the most interesting part to be about the tremendous forces the collide at the mouth of the Columbia, especially in the 1800’s before dams and the jetty were built. It is called Cape Disappointment and Deception Bay. A huge amount of fresh water comes to the sea with great forces. They meet in a place where the weather can change in an instant. There are shifting sandbars caused by these swirling waters. As a result it is called the Graveyard of the Pacific where 2,000 ships have wrecked. Many great sailors couldn’t even find the bay. Then they had to wait for the tides to be just right, sometimes waiting for a week.
Today, the once mighty Columbia has a bunch of dams on it. In the United States it is more like a very long lake that is so important for shipping. Locks move ships between lakes. Lighthouses mark the opening, and a jetty was built that helped prevent sandbar changes. Still today, the coastguard is busy in a sometimes frightening environment. With so many fishing boats as well as tankers, a lot can happen when the seas get up. The big ships are ushered in by harbor pilots, and then there is a change of pilots at the mouth of the river on their way out. Loading and unloading the pilot is frightening enough to watch!
Back at camp, I needed to wash laundry, fix dinner and prepare for the drive to Vancouver tomorrow. People gathered at the table, mostly to discuss the day’s fishing adventures. I got the laundry started, took a shower and thought I would just stop by to say hello. I managed to go back and forth to get the laundry done, but the conversation was good and so were the ordouvress. I was getting ready to leave when they all headed to the dining hall for a potluck dinner celebrating Jean’s birthday. Buzz said, “Come on”. It was a great dinner and more great conversation.
Buzz and Dave got their four fish for the day. Tony got his, but some came up empty-handed. We talked about rods and reels, and as usual, everyone used something different. Different baits, lures and lines.
This is a great place with a great group of people, but it is all coming to an end. Don and Jean have sold the place, and the new owners take over in November. It will be their private residence right on the river’s edge. Everyone is looking for a new place, but they are unlikely to find a place like this one. As dinner wound down, we exchanged email addresses. I would love to know what happens.