Thursday, April 11, 2019

Day Two - A Day of Discovery

Day two of our Columbia Gorge Tour began at Cotton Wood Beach in the Captain William Clark Regional Park in Washougal.  This is the location that the Corps of Discovery led by Lewis & Clark camped in March of 1806 for 6 days gathering supplies for their return journey up the Columbia River. The dugout canoe in the foreground was their form of transportation, in the background is a huge double barge and tugboat, one of our modern forms of transportation used to transport goods up the very same route. Who could have possibly guessed the astounding changes that have occurred in the past 213 years.

We journeyed on East up the Columbia River on Hwy 14 on our own little trip of discovery, driving over Cape Horn in a rain storm.  Buster's driving anxiety windshield wiper reflex forced us to make a stop at Beacon Rock State Park for a break.  To park here we were supposed to have a Washington State Discover Pass, which we did not have, nor could we see any place to purchase. Moving on we next made a stop at a boat launch at the mouth of the Wind River.  The rain had let up momentarily and we got out of the van and made up a bird list. Our next stop, which I was hoping would be our overnight parking destination was Spring Creek Hatchery Road.  I had noticed while looking at Google Maps that a large number of vans park there, probably to wind surf.  When we arrived again we saw the notice of the need for a Discover Pass.  However, the sign also said the pass could be purchased on line or by phone. Jeanette called and we got a pass and a code to post in our windshield.  We were set, the rain had ceased, and we were parked out of the wind, so we set out on foot to explore.  Although we were looking for birds ( you can see our list here), one of the first things I saw were some Grass Widows, one of our long time favorites, and the flower that best signals the start of spring flowers in the Columbia River Gorge.

Grass Widow

Jeanette points out an Osprey

Overnight parking spot

We loved our little discovery. Although this recreation area is probably most used by wind surfers, we enjoyed the river side trails, flowers, and birds, and will be back. Note for the future: cell service was good.  TV service only worked when the antenna was able to see West. 


  1. Thanks for sharing your Spring adventures!!!

  2. For me, one of the joys of travel is learning about our country's history! Thx for sharing!