Travels with Charlize-5 Lewis and Clark

True to my obsessive, head down and push until the task is complete, nature I sat at my computer and printed out Google maps for nine days of travel. So far I have managed to ignore everything I worked out by stopping to take in anything that catches my interest. Charlize is just happy to be participating. I find I special joy chatting with the helpful folks handing out pamphlets, maps and advice at small town Chamber of Commerce information offices.

Sunday morning Charlize and I walked portions of the Discovery Trail then tacked on a rather difficult mile or so with me struggling up and down the steep trail to the North Head Lighthouse. Just a few years ago those trails would have been a piece of cake, not now with my arthritic ankle. We were just killing time until the Interpretive Center opened at ten, but we had been up since five-thirty so we had a lot of time to kill.

The Interpretive Center was interesting but only provided a cursory review of what I learned from more than a dozen books I have devoured about the great adventure of the Corps of Discovery. They have some nice artifacts though. Charlize had to stay outside, tied up, but the volunteer lady at the front desk told me she greeted each new visitor by barking while wagging her tail and was happy to be petted by those brave enough. She has a classical German shepherd’s look, but is small, only sixty pounds, most females will weigh in over seventy-five.DSCN0351Here’s Charlize practicing her “sit-stay” from one of the scenic overviews along the way. She’s happy to be such a good girl!

Inside Frog, the back end of the camper consists of a U-shaped bench around a small table. The table can be lowered and the back cushions are used to make another double bed. The first night out I woke up about three AM but couldn’t find Charlize. Then I saw her peeking out from the starboard side bench, apprehensive about being on the furniture. I told her she was a good girl and could use the bench for a bed. It keeps me from tripping over her when I get up during the night. During the day she is not allowed on it, and has adjusted to my weird rules.

We visited the reconstructed Fort Clatsop, south of the Columbia, where the Corps of Discovery spent a miserable winter. Even in nice weather it was easy to imagine how uncomfortable they must have been. We were on the101, the Pacific Coast Scenic Byway, about one in the afternoon.

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