ILWACO, Pacific County — If you're a glutton for winter storms, and peering down from cliff tops into chasms of lashing saltwater makes you really feel alive; or if you simply love gazing out on a seascape of dimpled waves and watery blue sky swept clean by a howling nor'wester — Cape Disappointment is plainly misnamed.
"Cape D," as locals call it, is no disappointment to the winter thrill-seeker.
"This is one of those places where, when you get a good, solid winter storm, it can remind you of how small you are!" says Stephen Wood, a park ranger and interpreter at Cape Disappointment State Park.
But it's not a small place. The 1,900-acre park edging the fishing village of Ilwaco, at the mouth of the Columbia River, includes two of the state's most scenic lighthouses, two miles of ocean beach, a hidden niche called Deadman's Cove, and a surfer's hangout called — no kidding — Waikiki Beach (more about that in a moment).