Yippy we get to Fort Clapsop and the Pacific Coast

Trip Start Apr 18, 2007
Trip End Oct 16, 2007

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Flag of United States  , Oregon
Friday, June 15, 2007

MJ with a still dodgy back so Munchie had to do all the car loading. Weather still kinda nothing special as we headed up I5 North over the Columbia into Washington and then back over the Columbia 40 miles further up back into Oregon and onward to Astoria at the uppermost northwest of Oregon. The scenery is almost English - very green and all deciduous trees.

It is a lovely little fishing town with a long wooden boardwalk with piers leading off with warehouses mixed in with coffee shops/restaurants. It also had a tramcar that went up and down the boardwalk - very picturesque.

We had a toasted sandwich and a coffee sitting on the sidewalk then went and sat on one of the piers and enjoyed a little sun. After lunch we headed for Fort Clapsop which is where Lewis&Clark over wintered on the Pacific coast in 1804/05. Absolutely fantastic...they've re-built the fort based on drawings L&C provided and it is within feet of the original. They knew this from the daughter of a homesteader who was given a plot that included the fort site - she remembered him destroying the last remains of the fort to create more farming land!!

They had decided where to stay over winter based on a vote of everyone including both Clark's slave York and Sacagawea the Shoshone wife of their French interpreter. It is near to a river (now known as Lewis&Clark) that flows into the mouth of the Columbia - they were 3 miles from the coast but had a salt factory near the coast which they worked throughout the winter evaporating seawater to create salt for the return journey.

It is an amazing site to think that these 33 people over-wintered there helped by the Chinook Indians nearby. The west coast was known to people then through sea-ships that had come round Cape Horn/Good Hope (?) but no ships went by that winter.

We left there and headed for our overnight stop at.....Seaside....really...look it up...and it is just like a better class of English south coast resort. We are at last on the Pacific coast where the next stop west is Japan. Unfortunately it was only 60F and overcast plus on, the shore, somewhat windy. We walked along the prom for a short while and then came back for a beer in our very reasonable Motel6.

For our evening meal we went next door for a very reasonable steak and that would normally be that....except they lost MJ's credit card. We handed it over and then waited - after about 10 mins the girl came back and asked if she'd given us the card back.....never a good sign.

We waited a little longer and then Chris went to find out what was going on to spot them going through the bins!!! After a number of progressively more acrimonious conversations between Chris and varying members of staff (with MJ remaining in the booth in a state of denial/shook) the woman owner came over - she had obviously been called from off-site. She told us they'd found a credit card (which one of the staff had already asked Chris if it was ours) but they knew all about that and were holding it for the owner (which later proved to be a crock of....).

They seemed to think we should just leave and forget the whole thing!!! Anyway after we said we'd need to call the police to report a theft the owner seemed to step up a gear. She looked at the previous booking through the till and found out the card was also gold like ours. Luckily she knew the owner of the other card and gave her a call - but she wasn't home. We discussed canceling my card and all the problems that would cause us - she decided to call the woman again and she was home and guess what.....she'd got MJ's card...huge cheer from the waitress when she found out the card was found - she'd been so worried she was shaking when Chris initially spoke to her.

The owner had already cancelled our meal charge and we got a drink at the bar while the waitress went 15 mins down the road to swap cards - so all's well that ends well. It never made sense that the card had disappeared. But Chris was right in saying that if we hadn't persevered then they'd have not pursued it to a successful conclusion.
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