Our Coast Magazine 2018:OC18
Upper: One of the views from the park at Dismal Nitch where the Corps of Discovery made camp. Lower: A monument at Dismal Nitch commemorates the time spent at the location by the Corps of Discovery. The relief illustrates the hardships they faced there.
Sideways rain: Dismal Nitch Location: Pacific County, Washington. Just east of the Astoria Bridge on Washington State Route 401.
Some people (or just me) would argue that Dismal Nitch is actually best experienced in the middle of a rain burst. After all, this small wayside park commemorates a historic stop by the Corps of Discovery where the explorer William Clark noted “tremendious (sic) wind … lightening and hard claps of Thunder.” The Corps spent several wet, miserable days in this area in 1805 (the exact location is debated), their clothes literally rotting off their backs. Dismal indeed. On rainy days, it can be an especially still spot. You can hear the liquid “sloop” of glossy black cormorants ducking underwater to chase fish or watch a sea lion quest. A small path that begins at the park’s western entrance leads to a peaceful loop. Informative signs flesh out the story of the Corps’ time here.
The Corps of Discovery spent several wet, miserable days in this area in 1805.
Our Coast 2018 • discoverourcoast.com • 27