On the Road to Disappointment

Another road day. We rolled up our magic carpets and pointed our prow down the foggy asphalt of Highway 101 with a Social Distortion song playing on the iPhone. There were some areas where the visibility was getting a little hampered but by the time we bounced our way through Humptulips things had cleared to a monotone gray.

We did a small shopping stop in Aberdeen then continued on down through the muddy sloughs out to the southern coast of Washington state. When we reached the overlook in Cape Disappointment, the sun had worked its way out of the gloom to light up the Pacific.

We coasted down the hill and into a small campsite just across from the beach. We were tired from driving and a little snappy with one another so we made the choice to work off the negative energy with a brisk power walk down the beach. We stepped out on the sand beneath the watchful eye of the North Head Lighthouse then turned left to hustle down to the far jetty that separates the beach from the Columbia River. Little scrums of sandpipers were running as fast as their tiny legs would carry them snatching up salty delicacies delivered with each wave washing up onto the shore.

The wind sent plumes of the soft dark sand in whimsical patterns along the floor of the beach. The sun was already half way in the water by the time we arrived at the wall of rocks to the south. An idle crane sat at the end having done its duty for the day laying down more boulders to extend the jetty further out to sea.

The Columbia River wound off around the bend behind the Disappointment Lighthouse where it enters Baker’s Bay. We could see Oregon in the distance as the inland sky started turning different shades of purple. The sun melted into the sea and we still had a half an hour hike for the return trip to camp. We were hoping the twilight would hold long enough to get us home.

Fate was not on our side as the light quickly faded and we were left hunting for our pathway out in the dark. We passed our trail by and ended up entering the forest in a different area of the campground. After running into a few dead end loops, we found the road home and warmed our bones around the dining table with new attitudes from just a little bit of exercise and a healthy dose of salt air.

One thought on “On the Road to Disappointment

  1. The last part of your walk sounds scary. Carry a flashlight, please!! I thought you were messing around with the words Disappointment and Humptulips until I actually saw the sign and atlas. Glad your day had a happy ending. Love, Meema

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