The alarm woke me at 5:00. Neither of us wanted to get up and the rain beating on Arabella’s roof made it worse. I made a quick dash to the bathroom, the large and cold drops making the trip more uncomfortable than it should be. I roll back into the camper past a sad looking Mabel and onto the mattress. I don’t know if it is the early morning hour or the rain, but she has no interest in a walk. I can’t say that I blame her, it’s miserable out.
I arrive at the Starbucks and find a table that provides some but not a lot of privacy. The shop is busy, and the music keeps the staff hopping. I am hoping for a successful internet connection that will provide for clear video and crisp sound. Unfortunately, it doesn’t happen. Starbuck’s background music is too loud for the interviewer to hear me and the video never connects. So, I make a call, and we finish the interview over the phone. This wasn’t perfect either as I had a hard time hearing the interviewer’s questions even after the staff turned down the music’s volume. I stick around to finish my hot chocolate, I don’t like coffee, and work on the blog and edit photos. The jury is out on how the interview went, too many things to critique, and the setting didn’t help. But I gave it the old college try and hope the second interview will go better.
The camper is not providing enough heat for Mabel. This is to be expected since we don’t have a heater and the weather not good for air conditioning. After Starbucks, I make a trip to Home Depot and pick up a small electric heater that we can use to heat Arabella. I hadn’t been in a Home Depot in a few months and it felt good to walk through the doors. That Home Depot smell of wood and rubber and metal welcomed me, and I knew I was in ‘civilization’. Halloween decorations dominated the seasonal section and I felt the anticipation that comes with seeing them. Fall is my favorite season and I love Halloween. It’s right about now that we start planning for what we will do Halloween night. Our haunted house has been absent for the last few years and I hope to bring it back this year.
Back to the camper where I ops check the heater. In a period of 17 minutes, the camper rises from 54 to 73 degrees. More than comfortable for the both of us and I won’t have to use my sleeping bag anymore. I hadn’t used my Marmot mummy bag until this trip and I am very happy with it. Sleeping bags usually annoy me and I never sleep well in them. They are too narrow, and my flailing around during the night gets me all tangled up. This bag is different, the large size provides plenty of room to move around and I look forward to sleeping in it.
My second interview went better, no communication issues, and I think I adequately presented my qualifications. The job would provide a lot of professional growth, but I think I am up for the challenge. Mabel and I run some errands in Hammond and then head over to Fort Clatsop at the Lewis and Clark National Historic Park.
Fort Clatsop is where the expedition camped during the winter of 1805/1806. Mabel wasn’t happy about staying in the car, but it gave me the chance to see the movie about their winter experience and buy a book on the expedition. One of the ladies behind the counter asks where I am from and tells me she has flown through Minneapolis on her way to Wisconsin for a family reunion in Chippewa Falls. I of course say I love Leinenkugel’s because that’s where it is brewed, and she tells me she is a Leinenkugel. It’s true, according to her nametag, and she pulls back her long hair to show me. It’s a small world indeed.
Mabel is allowed on the dirt paths near the fort, so I retrieve her from the car. The fort is recreated from descriptions in the expedition’s log and I am amazed at the size. It didn’t seem large enough to hold all the expedition’s members even with its efficient design. I met nice people as we walked around the fort area; a Korean War Vet and his daughter here on vacation and a young park ranger. The park ranger was enthusiastic about his job and got involved with the park service after college. His Dad works at the VA and helped him with his resume and the application. He likes the job’s variety, one day in period costume, the next leading a group of students.
We leave the fort and walk a few different paths around the park. One leads us down to an inlet of the Lewis and Clark River which is almost lake like.
There is still time in the day after we finish touring, so we head to Astoria, a small town on the Columbia River. I find out later that it is the filming location for the home in Goonies. It is hard to see, and I read that the current owner is not happy with all the tourists that come to visit. We look for main street and instead find the Astoria Column in a park overlooking the Columbia River. It wasn’t what I expected, its exterior adorned with historic images of the town and river. The view of the river is amazing, and I watch the river traffic for a while. The Coast Guard is performing drills and I can see their distinctive orange strip on the front of the boat. We do a 360-degree loop around the park taking in the river view and the mountains in the background. I think it is beautiful here but so different than what Lewis and Clark had seen. What were their thoughts as they paddle through such a wide expanse of river?
Mabel and I find main street and walk along the docks. Our travels take us through neighborhoods that look like something I would have seen in San Francisco if I had ventured into the city. It’s a neat town with an edgy vibe to the stores and people. I hear seals or sea lions, not sure the difference, barking from underneath the pier. Mabel’s ears pick up and I don’t think she likes it. I see people that look homeless and am approached by a man, younger than me, and was asked for money. He didn’t get anything and was put off by my decline. I feel like eating something unique tonight and look for a brew pub or restaurant that is dog friendly. No luck, so we head back to the camp ground but not before getting take out from Panda Garden. Not very unique but it does the trick.
Back at the campground I start the heater for Mabel and I visit the indoor pool and hot tub. Not a bad night and the camper feels warm and toasty.
Thankful tonight for the chance to see history.