The reason we went to Long Beach was to position ourselves for a visit to Cape Disappointment. This was the spot where The Corps of Discovery ended their long quest to find the Pacific Ocean. We have long been inspired by the epic journey of Lewis and Clark and their team. The trip up the Missouri River, the crossing of the Bitterroot Mountains and the harrowing ride down the Columbia River has captured our imagination for several years. We have talked of starting in St, Louis ourselves (or actually in St. Charles ) and following their route. But since we are here in Washington and Oregon we had to visit the site.
There is a well done Interpretive Center on the bluff looking out on the mouth of the Columbia River. The exhibits are interesting and informative,, and we enjoyed he film which retold the story of the trip.
Our plan was to then drive up the Columbia River to get a sense of the end of their. Journey. There are several spots marked along the road. Station Camp was where they hauled in the canoes and continued the last 13 miles on foot. We did not cross the river to the Oregon side to see Fort Clatsop where they spent the winter of 1805-1806 before heading back to St. Louis. But we did continue up the river and picnicked near the riverbank. A large sign proclaimed the danger of strong currents and waves, so even today the Columbia River is not a tame waterway. As we were eating we heard the familiar chatter of an osprey and looked up to see an eagle chasing an osprey away.