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Posts Tagged ‘Cape Disappointment Lighthouse’

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Cranberry Museum

  • After our visit to Oysterville, the trolley took us south to the Cranberry Museum at the Cranberry Research Center.  Confusingly, it is on Pioneer Road instead of Cranberry Road.  Allan still feels bad about the time he accidentally sent a tourist to Cranberry Road to find it.  The museum was closed for the day.  Somehow my friend who had done the trolley tour three weeks before had managed to score some cranberry ice cream at this stop, but we were not so lucky.  If you visit during summer hours, perhaps you can taste some.  We just pulled up by the museum for a moment to get a feel of the place.  We might have taken a self guided tour of the bogs had it not been an unusually freezing cold day.
photo courtesy Cranberry Museum

photo courtesy Cranberry Museum

In the bog (below), photographed from the trolley (which, although unheated, did protect us from the wind chill factor that made the day feel like 8 degrees), the research scientists are testing out an assortment of different cranberry cultivars.

a winter bog

a test bog

The self guided tour goes along the green paths.  Heather is planted next to the bogs to attract the very earliest bees, so necessary for pollenating the cranberry plants.

bog paths

bog paths

I’ve been in the Cranberry Museum before and blogged some years ago about the cranberry harvest, here.

World Kite Museum

Our next stop was The World Kite Museum on Sid Snyder Drive beach approach in Long Beach.  Even though Allan and I take care of a pocket garden by the front door, we rarely take time to go in to the museum.  This stop allowed enough time to explore two floors of displays of kites from around the world and even to make a little kite for ourselves!

photo courtesy World Kite Musem

photo courtesy World Kite Museum

I was relieved that our pocket garden, which we had not checked on since the beginning of staycation, looked okay.

kite garden with some bulbs coming up

kite garden with some bulbs coming up

inside the museum

inside the museum
World War II kite collection

World War II kite collection

The big windows set kite colours aglow.

The big windows set kite colours aglow.

From the west windows, we could see Back Country Horse Rides.  Three representatives of that company were on the tourism tour with us, along with the manager of Driftwood RV Park, the mayor and first lady of Long Beach, one of the workers from The Cottage Bakery (which the mayor and his wife own), a worker from Jessie’s Ilwaco Fish Company, Jayne Bailey of Bailey’s Café, a few people from Astoria, and more…  This led to exuberant cheering each time the trolley passed one of the businesses whose people were on the tour that day.

Back Country Horse Rides and, further west,  the Adrift Hotel

Back Country Horse Rides and, further west, the Adrift Hotel

more kites

more kites

horse

kites

I'm fond of the face kites.

I’m fond of the face kites.

Patty Rolfe, manager of the Kite Museum gift shop, led a brief workshop in making a small kite.

patty

making kites

making kites

Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum

The trolley took us south to our town, Ilwaco, and to the museum on our street, Lake Street.  I made sure that Olde Towne Café, my favourite business, got a cheer from the riders as we passed by it.  We arrived at the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum and trooped in for a guided tour from the museum docents.

Rosemary, Ellen, and museum director Betsy Millard ready to take us on tour

Rosemary, Ellen, and museum director Betsy Millard ready to take us on tour

our tour group

part of our tour group

We split into two groups; the one Allan and I joined first toured the Clamshell Railroad annex of the museum, passing the historic train car on the way.  You can read up on the railroad here.  If I could go back in time and do one thing, it would be to ride on that train.

historic train car

historic train car

In the annex building, the Peninsula Model Railroad Club has built a model of the Peninsula towns; for a quarter, you can make a little train run from Ilwaco to Oysterville (not to scale).  Some tour goers could not resist making train noises to go along with the experiences…sort of like Sheldon on Big Bang Theory.  Chugchugchugchug WOOOO WOOOO!

model of Ilwaco

model of Ilwaco

Black Lake, just north of Ilwaco

Black Lake, just north of Ilwaco

model train car inside the annex

train

oceanpark

The train made it all the way to Nahcotta without derailing.  Once Allan and I gave it a run and it derailed halfway up the track.  We quietly snuck into the other part of the museum (but did confess to someone there that the derailment had happened).

railway artifacts

railway artifacts

rrphotos

one of the beautiful seats from a railway car

one of the beautiful seats from a railway car

op

ilwacorr

Ilwaco train dock

Ilwaco train dock

We followed our tour guide into a back door of the museum; I did not even know that door existed.

into the easternmost room of the museum building

into the easternmost room of the museum building

lifeboat

lifejackets hang over an old lifeboat

lifejackets hang over an old lifeboat

crab pot

crab pot

a life ring for Allan

a life ring for Allan

Betsy Millard, museum director

Betsy Millard, museum director

a cool old boat

a cool old boat

The next room has a model of horses seine fishing on the Columbia River.  Here’s a fascinating video on the history of horse seining, a practice which ended in 1948.

horses

This part of the museum also has my favourite exhibit, a street of shops, each housing a different display of artifacts.

model street

model street

The next room has a Lewis and Clark display.  As the docents themselves said, it is nothing on the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center, our next destination.

trolley tour folks in the Lewis and Clark room

trolley tour folks in the Lewis and Clark room

Lewis and Clark

Lewis and Clark

The final room, which is usually the first one I enter but we were going back to front, has nature displays and a basket collection and some history of the Chinook Indians.

baskets

nature

We exited by the charming little gift shop.

gift shop

gift shop

back aboard the trolley!

back aboard the trolley!

For those who might wonder, the trim on the outside of the trolley and the interior woodwork is all oak.

Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center

The trolley took us up the loop road to the hills of Cape Disappointment, where the Columbia River meets the Pacific Ocean.  This glorious park is just a mile or so from where we live.

view from the trolley, looking south over the river marshes

view from the trolley, looking south over the river marshes at low tide

on a bluff overlooking the ocean, the museum

on a bluff overlooking the ocean, the museum

Despite the chill east wind (straight out of the Columbia Gorge) whipping fiercely up here, some of us went to the railing to enjoy the view.

the north jetty

the north jetty

interpretive sign about cormorants

interpretive sign about cormorants

cormorants

cormorants

west side of the interpretive center

west side of the interpretive center

Cape Disappointment Lighthouse

Cape Disappointment Lighthouse

Just for fun, here’s a view from the Cape D lighthouse looking back, taken last spring.

view from the base of the lighthouse

view from the base of the lighthouse

Inside the interpretive center, one goes down a long ramp lined with Lewis and Clark information, with switchbacks and small plateaus with larger displays.

inside

down we go...

down we go…

A history buff could spend hours here.  I have a small confession:  I am not one for reading all the history a museum has to offer (unless its about the Clamshell Railroad, of which I never tire).  Allan, however, is someone who would read every word.

ramps

museum

Jane of Bailey's Café

Jane of Bailey’s Café

This is a captivating display.

This is a captivating display.

as is this

as is this

and this

and this

There is one spot on the downward ramp where a turn takes you to a flight of stairs that leads up into the light of the view room that is the breathtaking heart of the museum.

entering a room of light

entering a room of light

windows

from the center to the lighthouse

from the center to the lighthouse (south)

why we have two lighthouses

why we have two lighthouses

view to the jetty (north)

view to the jetty (north)

A park ranger was there to answer any questions.  I learned something new:  The entire North Jetty was originally free standing and over decades has filled in on the north side with sand, grass and trees so that only the westernmost end of it juts out into the ocean.

park ranger

park ranger

part of a lighthouse beacon in display

part of a lighthouse beacon in display

boat signs

a display about shipwrecks

I almost did not look up to see the collection of glass floats

I almost did not look up to see the collection of glass floats

Amazingly it was not quite three o clock when the trolley took us back north to the Long Beach train depot building where our vehicles were parked.  I never would have thought one could make it from Long Beach to Oysterville and back to Long Beach and Ilwaco and see so much in less than six hours.  Come be a tourist here, where the locals care enough to train in the art of hospitality.  There are two more of these trolley tours being offered, on March 6th and March 25th.  If any of you locals are interested, call Sue at Our Place at the Beach Hotel to save your spot.

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We took part of the day off to go to the open house at the U.S. Coast Guard Station at Cape Disappointment.  I  had not planned to take as long a time touring as we did, but the event offered much that was of interest.

USCG at Cape D

USCG at Cape D

Cape D

One reason I particularly wanted to go was to see a view that I’d marveled at in other people’s local photos.  I had once had a hard time figuring out exactly what angle a photo could be taken that shows Ilwaco in the background of a small island.  It is from the Coast Guard main parking lot and  from the building above; I had not realized that the land curves enough so that the station has a view of the town.

looking toward Ilwaco

looking toward Ilwaco

rainy

heron

a bird for Mr. Tootlepedal

a bird for Mr. Tootlepedal

Allan noticed this very cool hose reel:

nautical hose reel

nautical hose reel

We went inside the building to watch this video, ably explained by a Coast Guard member:

explaining

If you watch the video, you’ll see where the boat flipped over, resulting in injuries to the crew and damage to the boat.

After that, we walked up a steep hill to the viewpoint over Dead Man’s Cove.  Years ago, before Sept. 11, 2001, when the station was more accessible to the public, Robert and I had walked to the cove but I was too scared to go down the steep cliff (holding a rope, as I recall!) to get to the beach.  Now access appeared to  be blocked due to the hazardous nature of the descent, but it is still just lovely to view from above.

path to Dead Man's Cove overlook

path to Dead Man’s Cove overlook

beside the path: waterleaf

beside the path: waterleaf

cow parsnip? maybe

cow parsnip? maybe

cow parsnip?

above the cove

above the cove

Dead Man's Cove

Dead Man’s Cove

Dead Man's Cove

the old stairs going down

the old stairs going down

cove

pretty wonky pretty wonky stairs ascending above the cove

above the cove

above the cove

low tide

low tide

This beach is so hidden a lot of people around here don’t seem to know it exists.

We then walked up the steep paved road to the Cape Disappointment lighthouse and caught more views of the cove from the side.

lighthouse road

lighthouse road

Dead Man's Cove from the side

Dead Man’s Cove from the side

deceptively gentle

deceptively gentle

In 1995, when Robert took our strong black lab (Bertie Woofter) swimming here, the dog almost got swept out to sea.  Robert almost went in after him, which would have spelled further disaster, but Bertie managed to get to shore between swells.

Further up the road, we found an old bunker…or something…with a green roof.

green roof

A swag of wild cucumber vine draped the front.  It could not have been arranged more artfully.

by nature's design

by nature’s design

A steep slippery short path led to the side of the pavement and revealed this overlook.

looking south toward Oregon

looking south toward Oregon

precipice

precipice

our goal: Cape Disappointment lighthouse

our goal: Cape Disappointment lighthouse

lighthouse

Cape D Lighthouse

Looking toward the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center

Looking toward the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center

On the cliffs these birds nest.

on a rock

on a rock

And the white all down the cliff is their droppings.

bird cliffs

bird cliffs (below is the rock they were sitting on)

view to the south toward Oregon

view to the south toward Oregon (mouth of Columbia River)

The mouth of the Columbia and the Columbia Bar are known as the Graveyard of the Pacific, thus the locals love the rescuing bravery of our Coast Guard.

Back down the long rather steep road we walked, passed by a man with a brown dog who was pulling quite hard.

dog walk

Down on the flatland, the cute Long Beach trolley was in service as a shuttle from a larger parking lot.

base of the lighthouse road

base of the lighthouse road

We explored the back of the main building at the base and found that in their garden is also plagued by horsetail.

If only it were well behaved!

Horsetail in the garden…If only it were well behaved!

calla lilies against a higher building

calla lilies against a higher building

Callas

Callas

I walked behind the main building by this mossy rock wall…

mossy wall

mossy wall

and came upon the Coast Guard Auxiliary lunch tent!

Coast Guard Auxiliary

Coast Guard Auxiliary

The Coast Guard Auxiliary are made of tough stuff; by now it had begun raining quite hard, but this auxiliary member and his dog just sat calmly in the rain, leaving the small picnic tent for the event guests.

in the rain

After tasty sandwiches, Allan and I walked out to the motor life boat school docks where an interesting array of equipment was on display:

The Ilwaco Volunteer Fire Department

members of The Ilwaco Volunteer Fire Department

a Damage Control Trainer for boaters!

a Damage Control Trainer for boaters!

in which boaters practice fixing assorted catastrophes

in which boaters practice fixing assorted catastrophes

Assorted rescue equipment was on display.

rescue boat

rescue boat

rescue boat

helicopter rescue basket

helicopter rescue basket

South Pacific County Technical Rescue

South Pacific County Technical Rescue

One of the technical rescue folk told us that last year the event had been much better, with “more vcndors”.  I was enjoying myself immensely and now I really wish we had gone last year, as well!

We walked out to the end of the display area where I noticed, at the most extreme southwest point of Washington State, in full salt wind, pruned but probably not irrigated, a strongly growing escallonia hedge!

Escallonia prevails!

Escallonia prevails! (and a little salmonberry)

EscalloniaBeyond it, nothing but the A Jetty and the mouth of the Columbia.

to the sea

to the sea

shapely

shapely

Back at the Motor Lifeboat School dock, hardy folk could get a ride on a boat.

boat ride

boat ride

I’m vertiginously daunted by plank walkways and steep ramps:

dock

Some of the children had a hard time with the steep ramp.  (Steep due to low tide.)

Some of the children had a hard time with the steep ramp. (Steep due to low tide.)  He was braver than me.

Anyway, I wanted to make sure to get back to Ilwaco Saturday Market to get my weekly photos taken there, and I feared it would shut down early due to bad weather.  Right?  So Allan went out to take these boat photos….

boats

boat

surf rescue dummy

surf rescue dummy

…I walked back along the road to the main building, reading signs along the way that explained boating danger.

danger areas

Middle Ground

!!!

And admiring the beautiful setting.  Coast Guard housing can be seen behind the little island.   What an amazing place to live.  One of the Auxiliary members told me that after training here and then moving elsewhere, it is common for retired Coasties to return here to retire.

housing

little island

geese

geese

moss

Imagine living here and watching the tides and storms.  And being responsible for maritime rescues.  It must be a heightened state of being.

marsh beach

marsh and island

It was true that, as I thought might happen, some of the Saturday Market vendors were closing early. When we got there a bit after two, a number of the tents were already down.  The weather at the port was strangely much worse and windier than it had been down at the Coast Guard station!

Pink Poppy Bakery‘s Madeline said she was staying till the end of market (4 PM) and so we got our lemon glazed butter cookies.    On the green cake stand would have been my favourite lime bundt cakes, but one must get to the market early to snag those.

Pink Poppy Bakery

Pink Poppy Bakery

We can segue back into gardening with some more photos from Madeline’s booth.

Pink Poppy

Pink Poppy

Every week, Pink Poppy has flowers for sale.

Every week, Pink Poppy has flowers for sale.

And then we went to work for six hours, but that’s another story.

view to North Jetty

view to Cape D State Park

a bird for Mr. Tootlepedal

a bird for Mr. Tootlepedal

on the lighthouse fence

on the lighthouse fence

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