From One Cape to Another: Disappointment to Lookout
Updated: Feb 28, 2022
October 9, 2018
I slept much better last night. I was tired but I still played The Godfather for background noise before I finally dozed off. The house was not AS creepy. This morning we were going to shoot the journal scene. The sun was coming between the window frame and curtain. It was nice that the sun came out for our departure. Again, I wanted to get up and not be the last one rising, but by the time I opened the door, Sarah was making her way up the steps, back from the shower and Thomas was dressed, ready, and working on his laptop. Missed one more time.
I gathered my items for the day and replaced the loose items so I would be ready. Strangely enough, I had forgotten that I placed socks on the bed last night and was a little scared when I noticed one at the end of the bed, not quite where I remembered last seeing them. For a moment, I thought it could have been a ghost. No joke.
We filmed the journal scene. Sarah and Thomas had the dining room table set and ready. I read a few of the prior entries in the house journal. A woman that was retracing her family’s footsteps, her grandfather’s and her mother’s, wrote the last page entry from the day before we arrived. Her grandfather was a former lighthouse keeper at Cape Disappointment from the early 1920s to 1930s, one of the lighthouse keepers I read about in the book on the state park history. Her mother lived at the lighthouse keeper quarters as a child. Now they were visiting the park to retrace their family history and steps. One of her last lines stated that she and her sister are both now senior citizens. It seemed like a huge coincidence that end-to-end entries were written from two different people doing something so similar - retracing roots.
Thinking of ghosts, I picked up the book provided by the state park about the history of Cape Disappointment. I am glad that I did not find this and read it earlier. There is in fact a “ghost story.” In 1923, Mary Pesonen, the wife of a lighthouse keeper committed suicide by jumping from the high cliff of the lighthouse. Mary is thought to haunt the lighthouse and their quarters - which I believe is the second house that shares the property, the one that I almost chose instead. Another contributing haunting history is that this area of water where the Columbia river meets with the Pacific Ocean is called the “Graveyard of the Pacific.” Cape Disappointment lighthouse sits atop where thousands of vessels were shipwrecked and countless lives taken, hence the name. All of which I was not aware of before I made the reservations. No matter how you cut it or what you believe, I knew I was not crazy for sensing a presence or not wanting to look over at the lighthouse keeper’s quarters at night when I passed through the kitchen.
But now that the sun was up, the houses looked different and cheery. The lighthouse looked different too. We could see the ocean clearly and an entire beach to the left that we hadn’t seen. We hadn’t seen that at all! We took more pictures now that we had light and a new, less ghostly opinion of this place. Eventually, the time ran down as usual and we packed up and left Cape Disappointment. At 11:00 am on the nose, the state park staff showed up to clean up and prepare for the next guests. Our immediate next stop was for coffee in the town right outside the park entrance.
There are a lot of super cute drive thru/walk up espresso and coffee shop shacks in this region, much like what we found in Alaska. Folks are serious about their caffeine, they don’t need a full shop or to get out of their car. Sarah and I were serious about our caffeine too. We stopped at one called, “Roots.” It looked like a little Nantucket cottage. Small in stature but not short of personality. We chose to park and walk up. They were very considerate to have heat pumping out at the window, perhaps for any cold customers. Next to the opening where you order, was a framed map of the United States with map pins for guests to pin where they were from. I was ready for real coffee and felt dreadful without any. In bits and pieces we had all explained to the young woman making our drinks that we were filming as we placed our orders. Hands down, the best café mocha I had in awhile. I asked for a card, and I gave her one in exchange. Once I get the social media posts going, I will for sure shout them out. Also, Sarah was excited about the lighthouse location for a possible screenplay for a horror short. Now we know where everyone could coffee in the am if/when it happened. I even got a punch card for a free coffee. You never know, we could make it back to Cape Disappointment and supply everyone with coffee for the freebie.
While we were talking with the young woman that worked at Roots, two other walk - up customers arrived. One of the customers became involved in our conversation as well. She was from Florida. She moved to Washington to go to college in Seattle. She never left and her husband is from Billings, Montana. The other woman she was with almost seemed annoyed by us and abruptly walked away. We let her go so she wouldn’t miss her ride. But the other woman ended up walking back right towards our car. She just seemed blown by us. I could have been wrong. Just a hunch.
* If you are a fan of the paranormal, one of my favorite shows covered this same location after our travel. Ghost Adventures: Cape Disappointment. Check out if you want to take a deep dive! *