After we loaded up the car this afternoon Libby and I headed out for Cape Disappointment. The gloomy drive past those nuclear power plant cooling towers along Hwy 12 and through acre upon acre of felled Weyerhauser forest gave way to a clear, brilliant evening along the coast. We stopped to stretch our legs in Raymond, a town apparently known for its logging and oysters. From what we could see on an early Friday evening, the only places hopping were a local salon-in-a-house and the Dairy Queen. Still, amazing to see some of the beautiful old buildings that were erected there during previous boom times.
On we sped through South Bend on the edge of which we noticed a tiny parking lot to the side of the road nearly completely surrounded by the water of Willapa River. Turns out this area was recently restored as an estuary and fresh water wetlands with the removal of a nearby dike much like recent work at the Nisqually valley between Olympia and Tacoma. The efforts appeared to pay off because just before pulling over we saw a fox and a falcon looking for their dinner!
Onward we wound with Hwy 101 as it followed the grand Willapa Bay until we made it to Ilwaco and Cape Disappointment. Amazingly enough, just when we parked to get our yurt key from the ranger booth, three bald eagles soared up from behind a nearby hillside as if to greet us in a grand fanfare. I could tell we might very well like this place. Once we were settled in the yurt we headed up some leftover (award winning) chili as I slowly got a fire going. Camping note: If there is a log or two leftover from previous campers don't try to start your fire over it. The moisture from the existing logs sucked the life of a budding fire on new, dry wood and didn't let anything catch. Once I moved those damp logs aside and built a structure with our wood, all went well.