04 March 2019

Ilwaco: Cape Disappointment Lighthouse

Standing proudly at the southwestern tip of Washington are two lighthouses: Cape Disappointment and North Head. The former, lit in 1856, was the very first lighthouse in the state, and remains active to this day. The latter, built in 1897, was built due to complaints by mariners that Cape Disappointment was obstructed by the headland when coming from the north.

Cape Disappointment was named by Captain John Meares, who made an unsuccessful attempt to cross the river bar in 1788. Out of frustration, he christened the cape as such. It wasn't until 1792 when Captain Robert Gray was the first to successfully cross the bar. Although he initially gave it the name Cape Hancock, he later changed it to Cape Disappointment, as Meares had. 
 The trail from the parking lot is fairly short, being less than a mile long. Today was probably one of the sunniest days we've had in weeks, with not a cloud in sight. The crisp March air and the shade from the trees offered a cool breeze, with the faint smell of the ocean wafting in. Despite the shade I found my cheeks a bit red from the pockets of sun that came in along the trail. 
About halfway through, a steep set of stairs leads down to Dead Man's Cove. It was very tempting to climb down, but climbing back up was another story. Later I found out that this was a popular cove to visit, and the view down below quite breathtaking. Maybe another time when the sun wasn't so blinding!

A narrow trail leads all the way up to the top of the hill where the lighthouse stands watch. The only sounds you can hear are the waves crashing below, and the birds singing far off in the trees.

 Coast Guards making their routine check-up.
Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center
From the fence, you can see one of the jetties. As we were walking back to the lot, a couple called out to us excitedly. At the top of the trees was a bald eagle, and we all stood there marveling at it as it glided around. 

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