Saturday, April 19, 2008 -- Vancouver, WA
After lunch, we took a drive along the Washington shore of the Columbia River downstream from Vancouver. The L&C Corp of Discovery camped in this area the night of November 4, 1805, and we thought we'd hunt for their campsite to make sure they picked up all the litter and put out the fire.
Along the way we found a collegiate rowing event at Vancouver Lake and stopped to check it out. The wind was blowing out of the Southwest at about 20mph, the temp was in the lower 40's, it was occasionally drizzling; not ideal conditions for rowing -- probably not ideal conditions for rugby or football either. At least one boat capsized during a race. Safety crews had to yank the kids out of the water and bring them to shore. There are times like this I'm glad I was on the debate team in school.
A while later we found a park near where the L&C campsite was supposed to be and took a long walk along the shoreline. The weather cooperated during our walk; the sun even came out for an hour or two. We watched a pair of young Osprey flying around their home-nest -- a couple of "hams" if I may say so, and photogenic too.
Just during the time we spent along the river, the effect of the ocean tide was evident -- a full 90 miles from the Pacific. This evidence off tides was something noted in L&C's journals and gave them renewed energy as they realized they were close to the ocean and their destination. I'm sorry to report that we were unable to locate the campsite, however.
On the way back to the bus-house we drove through a typical Northwest spring storm... thunder, lightning, rain, and "snail". What the heck is "snail"? Snail is a combination of hail and snow. It came down so heavy for a while that it covered the road with ice and vision was reduced so much that traffic slowed to a crawl. Arriving back at the bus-house I realized there was one thing I needed but didn't bring along on our sojourn... a snow-shovel.
Here's I-5 just a few miles north of Vancouver, WA this afternoon. That's "Snail" on the road. For heavens sake, it's almost May!