In the eastern United States, the ultimate historical accolade is, “George Washington slept here.” Out West, however, a place Washington never visited, the ultimate accolade is, “Lewis and Clark camped here.”
This picture is Cape Disappointment, Washington, on the north side of the mouth of the Columbia River dividing Oregon and Washington. Although Merriweather Lewis, William Clark and the Corps of Discovery ultimately spent the winter on the Oregon side of the river, they first saw the Pacific Ocean from what is now the Washington side. Clark led a small party over the hills seen here to the extensive beach that begins just north of the lighthouse in the distance.
Cape Disappointment State Park in Washington; Fort Clatsop in Oregon, where the Corps spent the winter; and several other sites in both states are now part of the nation’s newest national park, Lewis and Clark National Historic Park. Best to visit in the summer when there is the potential for a break in the incessant rain that otherwise pervades this part of the country.