The next two checkpoints on my Summer Challenge site visits were Vancouver Lake Park and Frenchman’s Bar Park.
I went to Vancouver Lake first. I have to admit I wasn’t super impressed with the park. It’s got picnic tables and volleyball nets set up on the sandy beaches, and I saw folks headed to the water with kayaks and picnic baskets. But unless I missed something, there’s really not much in the way of “communing with nature” potential.
Chules and I walked down the beach a ways and found a gaggle of geese and a murder of crows. (The murder scene is in the photo at top.) Beyond that, we didn’t see much to crow about. But we were able to check off another location for the challenge!
Frenchman’s Bar Park is a mile to the west of Vancouver Lake (as the proverbial crow flies), on the shore of the Columbia River. We went early in the morning to avoid the +100F degree heat expected later that day, but the place was already busy with paragliders trying to launch from the beach, a wedding (we assumed based on the white-gowned woman and the nervous looking man at her side), and a multi-generational family wandering around at the behest of a photographer conducting a frenzied photoshoot.
Chules and I tried to bypass all of that, and ended up following a gravel/dirt trail north to the river bank. We passed through a sizeable section of woods that had been burned recently, likely the result of an uncontrolled (and illegal) campfire.
Then we circled back where the photographer was encouraging a couple of reluctant kids to snuggle in next to grandma, the wedding party was making its way to tables laden with food, and the deflated paragliders were packing up their deflated gliders. We never saw any of them successfully launch. (Paragliders, that is… hopefully the wedding couple’s launch into married life will fare better.)
We will likely go back to Frenchman’s Bar, but unless Chules develops a penchant for beach volleyball, we won’t be rushing back to Vancouver Lake.
Six site check-ins down, nine to go!