Monday (June 14): After 36 hours of soaking rain, Monday morning was dry(er); this made packing and closing up the trailer much easier. While breaking camp, I chatted with the gentleman in the next space. He was curious about the a-frame trailer and shared plenty of stories of his truck-driving days. We said our good-byes and I pulled away for another mini-trek to my next destination: Cape Disappointment State Park in Washington.
Traffic along the coastline was heavier than I expected, and the traffic progress was complicated by heavy fog in several places. I had hoped to stop at Cannon Beach for a lunch break, but decided in advance to continue onward if the fog had claimed Cannon Beach for the day. As it turned out, Cannon Beach was fogged in and I kept driving north. I did pull over for one foggy opportunity – I noticed some dense wooded areas off the highway with some excellent-looking fog in the treetops. I found a reasonable turnout and spent about 20 minutes walking up a dirt road through the foggy trees. It was a nice break.
Some of the other cities looked pretty interesting and I considered making a day trip to this area from the campground in Washington. I was mostly curious about Astoria, the last Oregon city I would drive through before crossing the Columbia River to Washington.
Before I had a chance to take a look at Astoria, an ominous sight appeared ahead of me. It was what I would call, “The Mother of All Bridges.” I had heard the bridge over the Columbia River was pretty high and long, but I did not expect it to taunt drivers from several miles away.
The route onto the bridge was very direct with no last-minute escape routes. I was committed to driving over it so I took a deep breath (maybe more than one) and pushed forward. Let’s just say it was breath-taking. I thought I was doing pretty well until I noticed my hands getting very tired from squeezing the steering wheel. I remembered the good golf advice about relaxing my grip, but this was no simple case of putting a golf ball. I was driving my car and trailer over a skinny, metal, two-lane, 4-mile long bridge that was tall enough for the largest ships to pass under. And it was windy. And I had to pee.
Once I crested the highest point of the bridge, the downhill slope was very stimulating. I could see contiguous highway ahead all the way to the Washington shoreline, but it was questionable how cars managed to stay on that thread-like strip of asphalt.
Naturally, it was no big deal. Thousands of cars traverse that span every day and none of them spontaneously jump over the edge. I just wanted to be sure mine wouldn’t be the first one.
Cape Disappointment State Park is about 12 miles from the bridge and the Washington shoreline is beautiful. I entered the campground and set up camp, all the while noticing the clear and close sound of the ocean. I learned I was camping about 50 yards from the path that leads to the beach. So I checked it out.
It’s another long beach, in fact, a nearby community is called Long Beach. I opted to take a short walk, and was pleasantly surprised to notice a lighthouse clearly visible and the north end of the beach. I did not know how this place became known as Cape Disappointment, but I was not disappointed.
I returned to my trailer and set it up for my three night stay. This part of the campground is dry-camping with no electrical connection. I will be watching my battery power level and looking for chances to replenish it with the solar system. I’ll just need some sunlight, that’s all. Shouldn’t be a problem.
One note – the cellular signal in this park is very weak, so my updates during this time may be limited and delayed until I reach a better location.
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