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Cape Disappointment State Park, WA

The forecast for the Hoh Rain Forest turned out to be just as ridiculous as I suspected. Partly cloudy?   61 degrees?   I couldn’t see any difference between the rain of yesterday and the rain of today. Just as moderate, constant, and exactly the same upper-40s temperature. Not that I was disappointed, because it is after all a rain forest, but I was wondering how often such optimistic forecasts really come true up there.

So we went for a hike in the forest. There are two short trails near the Visitor Center, running about 3/4 of a mile to 1.5 miles each. We took the longer one, but both Eleanor and I were wistfully eyeing the Hoh River Trail which goes 18.5 miles up to the Blue Glacier. In the summer that would be a heck of a great hike. We weren’t prepared for it on this visit, and conditions up above the rain would have prevented us from reaching the glacier anyway.

I can’t say enough about the beauty and dramatic forest scenery in the Hoh, but mostly because I haven’t time. This blog is coming to you from a parking lot in a small town near Cape Disappointment State Park, on the very lowest western corner of Washington State. This is the end of the Lewis and Clark expedition’s trail, and it’s also the site of a great state park where we are now camped. There’s no cell phone service in the campground at Cape Disappointment, so I have to commute a few miles into town to get online.


We had tried to make an intermediate stop at Kalaloch campground, on the coast in the Olympic National Park, but the weather was abominable. The campground was (predictably) completely vacant despite being located right on the water and having a beautiful setting. In the summer reservations are recommended, but now you can have your pick of sites.

We were just a bit unlucky. When we arrived it was still raining, with huge sandy-brown waves crashing far out off the shore, and a cold wind. There was no electricity in the campground and no cell phone service. We stopped for lunch, parking the Airstream by the shore, and moved on.

The only other stop for the day was the tiny village of Humptulips, where we picked up mail. We chose this spot for our mail only because it was right on our route and had an interesting name. Picking up the mail forced us to stop and take a quick look at a place that we otherwise would not have bothered to visit. I may start picking other oddly-named little towns for our mail pickups in the future, just for fun.

Despite having difficulty getting online, we’ve decided to spend two nights at least here. There’s a lot to check out and it’s balmy (50s and 60s) and sunny. We need to soak up a little warmth and dry for a few days.

One Response to “Cape Disappointment State Park, WA”

  1. Bill Hakanson Says:

    Speaking of visiting towns with unusual names, have you read Blue Highways? Interesting travel book.

    Sorry to hear about your mishap. Really appreciate your blog.