Wednesday, September 21, 2005

A view from the Columbia River

Today was a better day. Actually, things improved as I drove further north. I stopped in Salem, which is a pretty pretty city. I drove into town in hopes of finding both a decent breakfast place and some WiFi. I found both. The good breakfast place told me about KINKO’S! This is a good thing to know for the future. They have WiFi, but it was the T-Mobile kind (which is beginning to irk me no end)... interestingly enough, as I sat in my van in front of the Kinko’s, I tried to sign on and was allowed in to the inner sanctum of WiFi. I cut and pasted my blog, and was trying to put in a picture when it quit on me. That’s when I went inside and asked... so T-Mobile isn’t as sacrosanct as it thinks! neener neener! The Kinky guy couldn’t help me with the wireless, but they DID have an ethernet cable and *POOF* I was blogging to my little heart’s content. So excited that I forgot to check my mail.

I then drove up I-5 into Washington, and cut over on route 4 to the Long Beach peninsula. I’ve been here many times before, and the drive, which is about 70 miles, follows the Columbia almost all the way. It’s truly one of the most rewarding drives I’ve ever done... kind of like the Big Sur road, only friendlier and greener... OH so green.

I couldn’t decide what to do or where to stay on Long Beach. All of the restaurants seemed to be closed, and the campgrounds, of which there are many, just didn’t seem right. PLUS, the wind was blowing (as is it’s wont on that little strip of peninsula). I passed a ‘river’s end’ campground on the way in, that was still on the river, so I went back there, where the wind was less and there were TREES. No one else here, though, which is a bit lonely, but I made friends with the owners... OH.. i tried the State Park (Cape Disappointment) but again, too much wind, not enough ... well... NOT wind. I did manage to find a WiFi spot in town, just sitting at the curb....

The Columbia is an incredible river. I will cross the bridge into Oregon tomorrow, at Astoria. The bridge, a REMARKABLE feat, is 4.5 miles long, and I have NO idea how they managed it on the Columbia, which is a nasty river at it’s end (hence the Cape Disappointment). So many ships have been lost at the mouth of this river, and up and down the coast on either side. You can drive on the beach on the Long Beach peninsula, but best be careful. I remember when Joe and I camped at the end one time. The campground also has a little motel, and there is a sign posted that says, “If you lose your car to the Ocean, you have one free night’s stay at the motel”. It happened while we were there. A couple came in to the motel area, wet and sandy, begging for help. They had driven on the beach, become mired in the sand, and rather than rush for help, they stayed and tried to start the car until the surf came in over the floor. They asked the clerk what they could do... she said, “Nothing... it’s gone by now” and it was. The waves are tricky and are shallow and VERY long, and if you get stuck, you’d better get help quickly, or it’s all over. Same with boats.
Well... this is a long blog, at last. I’m off to the Oregon coast tomorrow, to stop at my favorite little laundromat and then wander around the coast.

Take care of each other, and remember... no fighting!



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