Published: July 5th 2012July 3rd 2012
A statue from the Lewis & Clark NHP.
We camped outside Netarts, by the beach. Seals lay around on the sandbars, watching us as we took Rascal for a walk. Heading north again, we drove up the US-101. Stopping at a roadside pullout, we could look out over the cliffs, to an endless expanse of sea and sky. It felt like you could see to the end of the world.
Driving through more beautifully green countryside, we saw a train with three cabooses painted white and its engine done up in cow spots. Speaking of cows, we saw (and heard!) cows wearing actual cowbells, which was kind of a treat. We passed through Tillamook, but didn't visit the facility where they make their famous cheese. At the Lewis & Clark National History Park, Fort Clatsop branch, we stopped in at the visitor center. While one of us walked the dog, the other toured the museum. They had some beautiful exhibits, packed with information. When it was Julia's turn with Rascal, we went down the Clay Pit trail, where we saw loads of tiny frogs. Coming back, we accidentally turned on to the Fort-to-Sea trail, which dogs weren't allowed on. Fortunately, nobody kicked us off.
At the Oregon-Washington
A beautiful old house in Astoria, Oregon.
border, we passed through Astoria, the oldest continuously inhabited town on the west coast. We snapped some photos of the gorgeous old buildings. Since it was late in the day, nothing was open, so we drove on afterward. Going over the long bridge spanning the Columbia River's mouth, we spied a bald eagle resting on a snag in the water. Just on the other side of the bridge, we stopped to camp in Chinook.
We took a walk with the dog out through tall marshgrass to the ocean, where tiny wavelets washed in and out. The night was drizzly, which made happy campers of the robins the next morning. They fussed and fluttered around, fighting over worms. Leaving town, we heard a loon out on a lake, but didn't see it. The Kite Museum was our next stop. In midsummer, they host the International Kite Festival, and the museum is open year round to explain the uses of kites, and to showcase some of the most unique and beautiful examples of the art. We passed through South Bend, which claims the title of "Oyster Capitol of the World", but we saw more flooded fields full of cranberries than anything
The county jail became a film museum
The drive through the town of Roosevelt was fascinating - they'd put up bronze silhouettes of local wildlife, historical events, and ordinary folk alongside the roadway. The "Wildlife & Heritage Corridor" extended from just before you entered the town, all the way through it, and a little past. We camped in a place called Nisqualla, which was full of swallows. Rascal enjoyed it, because he got to chase rabbits.
Day 27 of the trip dawned as another rainy one. Honestly, the thing I'm most homesick for is San Diego county's plentiful sunshine! We took a jaunt to Seattle, where we had to wait for a drawbridge, drove down by the busy docks, and paid a visit to Pike's Marketplace. It's no easy task finding parking for a 25-foot motor home in downtown Seattle. At the market, we encountered a merchant we bought from before: a hat maker called Lid Wear. (Jessie's rust-orange hat with the feathers is from there.) Nothing they offered that day matched any of the outfits Jessica had brought along, so we didn't buy anything. As we walked down the hall, various vendors offered us samples, and Rascal didn't miss out either. At a
specialty truffle store, we bought some wild boar sausage. Hungry, we looked for a place to eat, and while doing so, found the infamous "Gum Wall", where thousands of people have left their mark, and their used gum, on an alleyway. Deciding on crepes, we stopped at Creperie de France, where we each had a crepe de tropique. Fillings: nutella, banana, and coconut, served with whipped cream.
We looked it up online, and found that Cedar Assembly #8, International Order of the Rainbow for Girls, was having a meeting. They were close to our camping site for the evening, so we decided to attend, after having emailed their Grand Deputy about our plans the prior day. They were doing initiation that evening, so we got to help out. The girls were vibrant, and the adults welcoming. Their Masons, as seems to be standard issue, had great senses of humor. We even got to meet the lodge cat, also named Cedar.
It rained again, but it was made up for by the view of pristine snow on the distant mountains, appearing and disappearing through the clouds. During breaks in the drizzle, the road steamed. We stopped for the day
Those little circles on the ceiling and the 3 dragon heads are all part of the same 70-ft long kite.
early, checking out the Northern Cascades Visitor Center and taking a hike out on Rock Shelter trail, to an archeological site where ancient peoples once sheltered. We took another hike the next morning, this time on two looping trails: the To Know a Tree trail, and the River Loop Trail. Driving higher into the mountain range, we came to snow. It was Rascal's first time playing in it, and he loved it. We took a walk out to an overlook that was closed for repair, past a monster snow plow, alongside massive drifts. We finger-wrote messages in the snow, made a mini snowman, and let Rascal off-leash for a massive romp.
Heading down the other side of the Cascades, the scenery changed drastically. The east side of the range gets less rain than the other, and the vegetation reflects that. We camped alongside the Columbia in a grassy public utilities campground. The sunset behind the mountains cast golden light over the water, gilding every moment. We discovered that we'd picked up a mouse in the Cascades, a troubling development. He stayed with us for weeks, while we tried various tricks to lure him out, or trap him. He doesn't
I believe this one was from Java.
seem to have caused any serious damage at least.
Another drizzly, windy morning did not deter us. We stopped our drive at an overlook that looked across the river to a petrified forest, but there wasn't much to see at our distance. In the evening, we crossed back over into Oregon.
There are more photos below