How bad could it be? Camping season isn't over in the Pac NW!:
Hooked up Friday morning for the drive to Long Beach Peninsula, WA. As long as Molly is in the back of the Pilot, she knows she’s included in the adventure and will wait patiently. I’m traveling with a couple of friends who have 24’ Motorhomes – so even if it’s really wet, I’ll have company and bigger spaces.
|She wouldn't think of jumping over the net - would she?|
Feeling quite impressed with myself . . .As I drive across the 4.2 mile Astoria bridge, I can’t quite believe that I walked the bridge just a few weeks ago (great-columbia-crossing-10k) – it is one freaking long bridge!
I arrived at Cape Disappointment State Park in
early afternoon, which paradoxically, didn’t disappoint.
The park is extensive with lots of beach access, lighthouses, wetlands, and over 200 campsites – even this late in the year, the open loops were full(Some loops are closed because the stormy winter high tides can flood them). This campground is arranged very differently than Oregon State campgrounds – yurts are mixed in with the regular sites in a series of cul-de-sacs rather than separate yurt villages and the big loops that one finds in Oregon. However, cell phone coverage is non-existent (I get 1 bar by the campground entrance but that’s it) – so this blog will probably have to wait until Monday to get posted!
The beach is bounded by headlands to the North with a pretty 1880’s lighthouse and to the South by the jetty. Approaches to the beach all require navigation of lots of driftwood logs and riprap (near the jetty). This makes the beach a perfect place for Molly to run a bit off-leash – she can go up and down the beach and I don’t have to worry about her trying to cross the driftwood barrier (greyhounds never do anything difficult). She had a good little run and everyone was duly impressed by the length of her stride in the sand (Bear, the Keeshound, took about 8 steps to her one running stride).
|Doesn't she look happy? Greyhounds love to sprint!|
Saturday:A beautiful day with no rain – my friends and I took full advantage of this break in the weather.
A trip to the North Headlands Lighthouse was followed by a drive to the jetty and a long walk on the beach.
|1880's North Head Lighthouse - used 130gallons of oil every month for the light!!|
Forget about drugs, TRASH kills!
On our beach walk, Paula pulled out a bag and started to beachcomb – which pretty much translated to picking up trash – soon, Sue and I followed. Just about the time we had filled our dog poo bags, Paula found an intact 30 gallon garbage bag – so we used that to empty our little bags and continued down the beach. Plastic bottles and caps, plastic shotgun shells, plastic bags, Styrofoam, bits of rope, etc. We were hoping for some Japanese Tsunami debris but didn’t find anything but good old American trash. Plastic bags and rope are especially dangerous for wildlife. Not on our watch my fine feathered and finned friends, not on our watch!
Longest beach in the worldAfter lunch, we drove into Long Beach(advertised as the world’s longest beach – 25 miles!) to walk the .5 mile long boardwalk along the beach. Long Beach is home to an annual week long kite festival – a huge event with thousands of kites in the air at any given time.
For me, no visit to Long Beach can be complete without visiting the Kite Museum – I’m kind of a kite geek (my friends were very patient). In addition to quite an extensive collection of bird kites and world kites (Asian, Indian, Pakistani, Indonesian), there are exhibits showing the use of kites in the military, for naval rescues, powering ships (like big ocean-going vessels! Use of big, high-flying kites can reduce power usage up to 35%!!), other novel alternative-energy-generating applications, flying (kite-driven light aircraft pre-date the earliest airplanes with engines), and sports (kite boarding is big in the Columbia Gorge).On the way back along the beach, we watched a large flock of sanderlings feeding at water’s edge. As the surf came in, they would dash away from the water – all peeping wildly, only to turn and follow the waves as they receded back. It was hilarious to watch!
|peep. . . peep . . . peep . . .peep. . . peep . . . peep . . .peep. . . peep . . . peep . . .peep. . . peep . . . peep . . .|
Dinner was a crock-pot roast with vegetables (yum! Especially tasty after being out in the 45 degree weather all day), followed by more dominoes.
Sunday: Severe Weather Advisory upgraded to a ‘Warning’
We woke up this morning to a steady rain. The severe weather advisory we heard about yesterday has been upgraded to a ‘warning’ for this afternoon through early Monday morning – expecting 40mph winds with gusts to 60mph or more. Strong enough that high-profile vehicles (like trailers and RV’s) are warned not to cross the Astoria bridge. This may affect plans for the journey homeward – I had wanted to drive back across the bridge and then take the picturesque Hwy 30 back to Portland. But, if the wind hasn’t dissipated by the time we leave, we may follow Hwy 4 along the Washington coast back to I-5 – the winds won’t be so bad that far inland – although there could be trees down along that road.
In any case, I’ll probably lose my dry ‘porch’ and have to roll up my awning this afternoon. The awning is so nice in the rain for providing dry space to put on/take off wet coats and boots without dragging a whole lot of wet stuff into the trailer.
Meanwhile, I’m enjoying the tap of rain on my roof, the drip of rain off the awning, the gurgle of a little rivulet running along the back of my campsite, and the distant foghorn from the lighthouse – all while I’m toasty and dry inside listening to Pink Martini on my iPod. The rain makes everything very green (and, in the case of all the moss, fuzzy).
|Right before I rolled up the awning; no more vestibule for wet dog jackets. She still has her x-pen though.|
Still getting the hang of this blogging business
I drove into Long Beach to top off the gas tank on the Pilot and check on the weather forecast. But, I neglected to bring my laptop or my cell phone extender - so I haven’t been able to test either the new cell phone antenna and range amplifier or try out the phone as a mobile hotspot from which to post blog entries – oh well.