Travelrific® Travel Journal

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Cape Doesn’t Disappoint

By Linda Tancs

Washington State’s Cape Disappointment is a fabled headland staring into the mouth of the Columbia River. Its odd name is said to derive from British trader John Meares, who named it “Cape Disappointment” because he mistakenly believed that the mouth of the Columbia River was only a bay. Once deemed strategically significant, military fortifications were based there during the Civil War and World War II. The decommissioned bases, and North Head Lighthouse, now encompass Cape Disappointment State Park. Named to the National Register of Historic Places, Cape Disappointment is a High Potential Historic Site on the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail. Perched on a 200-foot-high cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center tells the story of Lewis and Clark and their journey from St. Louis to the Pacific Ocean.

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