To the Sea, To the Sea
“Ocian in view! O! the joy.” Wrote Capt. William Clark in his journal on November 7, 1805. I know that joy today as we arrive in Cannon Beach after several years absence.
- We drive along the Washington side of the Columbia River from Longview to Cathlamet.
- A spur of the moment decision finds us waiting on the Puget Island Ferry, the last ferry operating on the Lower Columbia. The ferry departs Puget Island on the Washington side of the river on the hour. Stopping to absorb the surroundings is a nice alternative to rushing down the highway.
- We listen to local conversation as the ferry operators chat with the regulars and tease the children. We overhear the lady in the pickup next to us on her cell phone; she’s asking if someone was in Denver when they had the 4” of rain and hail. Our eyebrows shoot up, knowing we need to check this out.
- Nine cars and trucks make the 11am crossing. Ten minutes and $3 brings us to Westport, Oregon.
- The sun shines on Astoria, Oregon today. On previous visits, under grey, wet skies I’ve always thought of Astoria as rather forlorn. The town seems much cheerier under bright blue skies.
- Lunch at the Gunderson’s Cannery Cafe on the dock of the Sixth Street viewing tower. I order crab cakes, Bob salmon cakes and we share. To my amazement I preferred the salmon.
- Lewis and Clark National Park encompasses seven national historic sites plus state parks in Oregon and Washington, all significantly tied to the Lewis and Clark Corps of Discovery. The corps spent the winter of 1805-06 at the quickly erected Fort Clatsop. It was a forlorn 106-day stay with rain all but 12 days, illness and scant supplies.
- We browse museum displays, watch an orientation movie, visit the replica fort and walk trails through the thick forests. Unfortunately the ranger programs don’t start until next week.
- Arriving in Cannon Beach we check into our oceanfront accommodations at Tolovana Inn.
- Happily nested, we decide to eat on the property at Mo’s. Famous for their clam chowder, Mo’s Seafood Restaurants dot the Oregon coast.
- What better way to end the day than a sunset beach walk?
History, Gardens and Noodle Bowls
We each had a couple of things we really wanted to do with our one day in Portland, to complete a full list we would need a week. Bob wanted a mushroom cheesesteak sandwich at Philadelphia’s and a noodle bowl at Pho Van’s. Nancy wanted to re-visit Fort Vancouver National Historic Reserve and one of Portland’s beautiful gardens. Both agreed on a shopping trip to Trader Joe’s being a necessity; and, to forego the Pride Day Parade and the Naked Bike Ride.
in the Vancouver National Historic Reserve transports us back to a more genteel time. Stately old trees shade the former homes of officers overlooking the parade grounds. The restored structures now house businesses,
community groups, a restaurant and private residences.
Fort Vancouver National Historic Site
was the 19th-century Hudson Bay Company outpost for trade with fur trappers, Native Americans and settlers. Knowledgeable guides unfold the history in the Chief Factor’s Residence, Fur Warehouse and Indian Trade House.
Philadelphia’s Steaks & Hoagies
in the Sellwood Neighborhood (S.E. Milwaukie Ave.) was our lunch
destination. The mushroom cheesesteak was exactly as Bob remembered and longed for.
The Columbia Outlet Store
in Lake Oswego has always offered good buys on Columbia sportswear. We have a closet full of rainwear, parkas and fleece but wanted to check for current bargains.
Driving around the city to our varied destinations
gave time for reminiscing about our numerous trips when we had family living in Portland. We love the big trees, lush greenery and urban parks.
has yet to come to Colorado so we need to stock up on nuts and gingersnaps whenever we can. Just seeing the sign causes a rush of excitement. Steven tells us we will love the new Thai spice and lime cashews.
Pho Van Vietnamese Restaurant
on 82nd Avenue creates Bob’s favorite noodle bowl. We
both finish every bite of Bún Thit Cha Giò (honey, lemongrass, pork and crispy rolls
). I can’t seem to enjoy a noodle bowl without slurp spots on my shirt – tonight was no exception.
Happy birthday to good friend Vicki, and may more!
Road Trip to the Pacific Northwest
After a week long visit with family in Spokane and an expensive new clutch in the car we set off for a few days in Portland and Cannon Beach on the Oregon coast.
- A long but interesting drive from Spokane to Portland via I-90 to Ellensburg, south to Yakima then, US97 down to Goldendale and the Columbia River. We cross the river to I-84 on the Oregon side at Rufus.
- Just when I was wondering what was growing in the field ahead a sign said that for the next 14 miles crops would be identified in the fence lines. In those few miles east of Moses Lake we saw alfalfa, timothy, wheat, sweet corn, peas, potatoes and peppermint.
- Driving down the Columbia we realize what a major transportation route we’re following. Large barges of grain head downriver. Trains haul freight across the country along railroad tracks on both sides of the river. Car and truck traffic hums along I-84; on the Washington side a scenic two-lane highway threads down the gorge.
- A late lunch at the Windseeker Restaurant in The Dallas, Oregon. Off the beaten path, the Windseeker sits amidst beautiful gardens above the Columbia River. Seafood chowder and halibut sandwiches fuel our afternoon adventures.
- The Columbia River Gorge is a must-do American road trip. The geography changes from high dessert and lava fields to thundering waterfalls and towering forests, all with views of Mt. Hood, Mt. Adams and Mt. St. Helens.
- A quick check-in and bag drop at the Staybridge Suites-Portland Airport.
- Afternoon treat of a triple-berry smoothie and late night halibut sandwich at Burgerville in Woodland, Washington.
- Visit to the museum and gallery at the Lelooska Cultural Center in Ariel, Washington plus the privilege of attending an evening living history program. The Lelooska family shares the traditional masks, stories, songs and dances of the Sewide lineage of the Kwakwaka’wakw. The evening in the cedar ceremonial house lit with flickering firelight never ceases to educate, entertain and inspire.