If you go to this park, keep this in mind: there is plenty of walking to be had. Actually this is true even if you don’t go to this park. But then why would you care. Anyway.
On Monday, our second full day at the park, we drove to the parking lot for the visitor’s center. There we expected to learn all sorts of things about flora, fauna, Lewis and Clark. Our hopes were dashed, however; the center is only open Wednesday through Sunday in winter.
Undaunted, we made a pretty darned steep climb on a path up to the visitors center because there were promised views. The views were delivered — but, honestly, just a bunch of ocean and mountains and stuff. But THEN we got brave and decided to try the .6-mile trail to Cape Disappointment Lighthouse, the older and probably more venerated of the two lights in the park.
On the way:
This one was built a good 40+ years before the North Head light. I suppose they had the whole hauling-oil-vats-up-to the-lantern thing going here, too. The problem with this area, if you are a mariner, or even just a passenger of a mariner, is a thing called the Columbia River Bar. It has been called other things too, and it has a bunch of parts that have different names, but it’s enough to know that it’s a place just outside the mouth of the river, in the Pacific, where the water gets shallow and the seas get rough and your three-hour cruise goes all to heck.
They installed this light so that mariners would know ‘you are about to die.’ Helpful, that. I am not sure how many places get called the Graveyard of the Pacific, but this is one of them. Maybe Sooz is right to be nervous about boats.
It only took about 40 years and I’m not sure how many shipwrecks until the authorities realized that this light can’t be seen from the north. So if you’re toodling down the coast from, say, Seattle or perhaps Ketchikan, and you’re looking for the light so you’ll know you’re about to die, you won’t know. You’ll just die. Wait, isn’t this better?
I guess the point is that some people were trying to save some of these mariners, so they had to add a second light that could be seen from the north. That’s the North Head light which we have discussed in another post.Sharing is caring!
Following is daring.