(6/30) We decided would be a good day for a road trip into Washington so we jumped in the truck and drove over the Astoria-Megler Bridge and headed towards Long Beach just 21 miles away from our campsite.
Because of our somewhat early start we decided to drive right through Long Beach and head farther out the peninsula towards the Leadbetter Point State Park to have a look before returning to Long Beach when the temps might have gone up a bit for a stroll around town and on the beach.
There were a couple trails we had hoped to hike in the park but like we were warned by a worker in the park, the mosquitoes were just waiting for us and I’m a magnet to mosquito’s that are a mile away so walking into the lair of the awaiting ones did not go very well and we soon found ourselves back at the tuck LOL!! To be honest from what we did get to hike and see I don’t think we missed a bunch.
After our attempt at the State Park we drove a different route back on the east side of the peninsula on HWY 103 that took us through Oysterville and eventually back to Long Beach.
Once we found a spot to park we had our sack lunch and then headed out for a walk. Of course we had to take a walk along the beach before hitting the main street to act like tourist’s popping in and out of shops as we made our way. Wait, we are tourists. Well good, we did it right then LOL!!
After Long Beach we headed to North Head Lighthouse.
Although the Cape Disappointment Lighthouse helped mariners locate and cross the Columbia River bar, its location made it ineffective for vessels approaching from the north. To alleviate that issue, the Lighthouse Board recommended that the North Head Lighthouse be built only 2 miles away from the Cape Disappointment Lighthouse in 1889.
It was quit an ordeal getting the lighthouse built and the story is way to long for us to explain so here is a link to a write up that explains it in case you are interested.
After North Head we headed to Cape Disappointment and what’s left of the partially overgrown ruins of military bunkers and defense batteries known as Fort Canby. Instead of us writing about Fort Canby here is a link to some info if you are interested. http://fortwiki.com/Fort
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.
The Cape Disappointment Lighthouse was constructed in 1856 to warn seamen of the treacherous river bar known by then as “the graveyard of the Pacific.” This is the oldest functioning lighthouse on the West Coast.
In 1862, Cape Disappointment was armed with smoothbore cannons to protect the mouth of the Columbia River from enemies. The installation was expanded to become Fort Canby in 1875. The fort was named after General Edward Canby, who was killed in the Modoc Indian War. The fort continued to be improved until the end of World War II.
The hike to the Cape Disappointment Lighthouse was surprisingly long and had us questioning our route but we eventually made it. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t REAL long but we for some reason expected it to be closer, it was a nice stroll none the less.
By the time we finished at the lighthouse and made it back to the truck the day was growing long so we headed home to call it a day.