Sense of Place

Picture of Astoria-Megler Bridge. Photo by Julie Manthey

I love to travel. Some places are destination locations to check off the list, others are places one must drive through to get somewhere else, and then there are the places that pull you back for return trips. For me, Cape Disappointment became the latter. This picture is from Astoria, Oregon, looking across the Columbia River toward Cape Disappointment. My first trip to the cape was a weekend camping trip that turned out to be more adventurous than I had expected due to our camp neighbors deciding, rather irresponsibly, to feed marshmallows to a family of raccoons.

Of course, those raccoons then decided that our camp likely would be another stop on their buffet and they paced around the tent while I sat, rather freaked out, inside hoping they would move along soon. I’m happy to report that they eventually moved along without much other fuss. Since that first visit I’ve been back to Cape Disappointment many times and published my novel (The Magic of Cape Disappointment) that takes place there.

Recently I had returned to Cape Disappointment and the surrounding towns on a terrific vacation. Spending time checking out the coffee shops, watching the ships in the river, sitting on the beach by the ocean, and hiking to the lighthouse were simple pleasures that make me smile to remember them.

I hope that this summer you find places that speak to you and they become destinations you also quickly plan to return. If your travels send you anywhere near Seattle or Portland, I recommend a trip to Cape Disappointment. Who knows? You might just stumble upon some magic there yourself. Or at least maybe that same raccoon (remember, please don’t feed the wildlife).