Surrounded by the Columbia and Young Rivers, Astoria is a beautiful little port town with an artsy yet sophisticated feel. This is our second visit, and once again I didn't give us enough time to see everything.
When I couldn't get reservations at Ft Stevens State Park for our four night stay, I was happy to return to the Lewis and Clark RV Park and Golf. The 9-hole course provides beautiful open views from the front-in sites. Although we don't golf, we really like this park. Gravel roads and sites, level with 50 amp FHUs, fast park WiFi, propane for sale, friendly staff and perfectly maintained grounds. The bullfrogs serenade every night.
|Another sweet view.|
|Abandoned on the Clatsop Spit in 1906 where she ran aground attempting to reach the Columbia River in a severe storm.|
|A very popular location.|
|Clouds roll in over the Columbia River.|
|A quiet beach along the river.|
|The Columbia meets the Pacific around this corner.|
|A single singer joins us along the shore.|
|Wildlife Viewing Bunker - looking very bunkerish - but the grass is so high there is no visibility from inside.|
|Past the bunker the path meanders through tall grasses.|
|The path narrows as the grass gets taller.|
|Tumbled splinters from nearby decaying docks become a spongey walkway along the beach.|
Near the RV park I enjoy another eagle sighting. I don't think I could ever tire of seeing these beauties.
I always think of their exploration just being the two of them with Sacajawea. Instead, there was a large group of 33-50, including Clark's slave, York.
The center does a wonderful job of "walking you through" the nearly 4000 miles of their journey. From manufactured boats, to Indian ponies, to canoes they dug out themselves, to walking, we travel with them to a cold and inhospitable Dismal Nitch on November 15, 1805. There is a lot of information on the areas they crossed and what and who they saw. Try This options at each exhibit are well done and enhance the education in a fun way. We try most of them!
When it came time to return east they had an historic discussion on which route to begin. Historic in that both York and Sacajawea were included in the decision. I like that :-)
|A personal panel for us - last summer we were at these head waters in Three Forks, Montana :-))))|
|I am unsuccessful in loading more than one layer of cargo in the dug-out canoe :-(|
|The first collection of books to cross the continent, the captain's collection was carried by the expedition's men, including three portages of the Columbia and one at the Great Falls of the Missouri.|
|In addition to the books, large trays of hundreds of new flora were carried by the expedition. Information that would fill new books in the future.|
|In addition to the horses, the expedition traded for other useful items including baskets and leather bags. This is a Chinook Spruce Root and Beargrass basket.|
|One of only a few original pieces from the expedition, this hatchet head was carried by Sgt. Patrick Gass.|
|Planning to return along much of the original route, the men buried caches of supplies for use on the way back. All were found and used - all without GPS or metal detectors :-)))|
|The center provides amazing views of the cape from the second floor,|
|and the outdoor platform.|
|This beautiful First Order Fresnel Lens served as the Cape Disappointment Light from 1856 to 1898, then moved to the North Head Lighthouse where it served until 1935. It was displayed outside until it's last move to the Center in 1975.|
|Turning the ceiling into art.|
|Cape Disappointment Light reflected in the panes of her old lens.|
|Not the pessimist one might think.|
|Automated in 1974, her light still guides ships.|
|In need of some TLC - a tourist gives a hug to help out.|
|The clearing skies enhance the beauty of this little place on the Willaby Bay.|
A stop for lunch and a long drive on the beach in Long Beach rounds out our day. Once past the busy" entrance" area, we have a nice stretch of beach to ourselves.
Completed in 1926 by artist Attilio Pusterla, the column depicts three historic events of the area: the end of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, Captain Robert Gray's discovery of the Columbia River, and the arrival of the ship Tonquin. Painted in a spiral, the mural would be 500 feet long if flat.
|You can climb to the top of the 126 foot column. Not me, but you can!|
|The technique is called sgraffito.|
|Replica of native boats used by the Expedition on the Columbia River.|
|A few weeks ago we were at Saddle Mountain, visible to the southeast.|
|Wonderful views of the Astoria-Megler Bridge.|
|Yummy field greens and the best Calamari I've had in ages.|