OH Jackson! No wonder your tail is sore! And pacient Mason.

OH Jackson! No wonder your tail is sore! And patient Mason.

The Place I did not stop at for lunch.  See the guys off on the right on their motorcycles....  really fellows!

The Place I did not stop at for lunch. See the guys off on the right on their motorcycles…. really fellows!

I had all kinds of ideas as I crossed into Washington. The Bridge (as compared to the first time years ago) was fun to drive, it was windy as per usual but I’m confident in my RV, I know all its workings, shortcomings and quirks. A woman alone is just fine. I make all the decisions, handle whatever comes up, take care of my dogs, the RV, where to go, where to stay. If I change my mind 4 times it’s just fine. If I don’t want to do something, go somewhere, stay somewhere that I thought I might want to, it’s great, I just turn around and head off. I can be picky.  I am picky. It’s my time, my money, my adventures and my memories. Washington started off like that, me changing my mind.I’d thought I didn’t want to stay at the State Park and I was getting tired so I turned into the first promising RV Park that I saw.

The Columbia River has to impress you:  Here’s an intro from http://www.ccrh.org/river/history.htm
The Columbia River drains a 259,000-square-mile basin that includes territory in seven states (Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Wyoming, and Utah) and one Canadian province. The river is arguably the most significant environmental force in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It flows for more than 1,200 miles, from the base of the Canadian Rockies in southeastern British Columbia to the Pacific Ocean at Astoria, Oregon, and Ilwaco, Washington.

It would have been impressive to see this river without its 400 dams and reservoirs including 19 hydroelectric plants and source of drinking water. Once this river boasted the largest population of salmon and steelhead along with white sturgeon, lamprey, trout, and varieties of host species of fish such as smelt, and birds of all kinds . . eagles, ospreys, hawks, waterfowl and other riparian and estuary wildlife from beavers to bears cutback by the dams and the alteration of river flow. How will the changing climate effect this massive river and all that need and love her?

The proprietress of the RV Park, told me she did have room for me but that I might not want to stay. The river access was deep mud. Thick and sticky mud….  she’d seen my somewhat clean-looking dogs; she advised I head to the more commercial area for easier water access giving me a map and directions. I headed off from Ilwaco to check out Oceanview stopping at the Info Center. Always sign the book when you go into these places, that’s how they keep their funding; the folks working in these centers are wonderful sources of local information (and gossip) much better than GPS or guidebook. The Park I was sent to was actually the best of all the RV parks I saw. Drove around a lot, that first one would have been nice, was practically empty at the time but it seemed nothing was going on there so being fickle I went around in circles, poking my RVs nose in here and there. The info guy  told me I should go to Cape Disappointment. He circled a bunch of places for me to see around the peninsula. Finally when I was good and worn out and it was getting late, you have to check your phone (I don’t have a watch) to see what time it is as it stays light almost until bedtime to know it’s getting late I turned back and headed for Cape Disappointment…  I think I passed the place I stayed in before, but no matter. The brakes on my RV were not happy on the steep downgrade but the fellow at the Park booth pointed out to me the section nearest the beach and off I went to check it out. They are accommodating at the State Parks, you can go look and then come back and tell them which spot you want, it’s too far to walk, so a little more back and forth and there we were and it was beautiful and I loved my space!

The beach at Cape Disappointment

The beach at Cape Disappointment

Dogs all tumbled out, Finally MOM!!  Let’s go let’s go! We hiked the beach, we hiked the park, we got lost in the park, we found our way back. Mason took a nap and the 2 Lagotti and I went back to the beach after dinner staring at the lighthouse, the massive driftwood, dogs doing zoomies in the sand and again in the early morning. It was so dark that night. the wind howled. I was resting in the back on my bed as it was darkening feeling the most peace I’d felt in unknown years. We were cradled there in half circle of trees listening to the sounds, watching the light play in the boughs, in the bark, in the clouds and then vanish.  The night was so dark I had to turn on my tiny light once or twice in the night to check on one thing or another.

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My neighbor across the way was another solo women camper, older than me. She’d left her dog at home, because he was not a good camper. She’d worked Cape Disappointment as camp host and had history as one of the first women expedition rangers. She might have wanted to talk more but the quiet was too alluring for me.

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Holding Nature So Tight
A Kind Of Hush, The Carpenters 

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