"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime"-MARK TWAIN

Monday, June 20, 2011

Last day in Oregon

Rain most of the night.  Some broken sunshine around 8AM but didn't last long.  We had a small breakfast and departed Tillamook for Astoria.  The clouds had returned and some rain was falling as we climbed into the foothills toward Astoria.
Arriving in Astoria, one of the first attractions we noticed was related to Lewis and Clark.

Fort Clatsop was the fort where Lewis and Clark, along with the other members of their party, spent the winter of 1805 after reaching the Pacific Ocean.  One sign said they lived there for 106 days and it rained every day but 12.  This replica was built using notes from Clarks journal.  It is built within yards of where the original fort stood in 1806.  I'm not sure it was as weathertight as this one appears to be.  Either way, I'm sure they were all getting claustrophobic by the time Spring arrived.

The visitor center had a lot of displays and dioramas depicting the times of their visit here.  The quilt was created for the bicentennial recognition of their amazing journey.

From there it was on to one of Astoria's most famous sites.  It is the Astoria Column, which was created in 1926.  It originally was a project of the Great Northern Railroad.  It is wrapped with 22 different scenes depicting the history of the region.  It sits on the highest point in the area, giving a panoramic view all way around.

View of the Astoria Bridge between Oregon and Washington, crossing over the Columbia river. It is a little over 4 miles long.
From the Column we went here.  It was a fantastic museum with some of the best displays, actual boats, everything about the area from the time of discovery through the present.  The only downer was they allowed no photo's inside.
This Harbor pilot's boat was on display outside.  It originally was a North Sea lifesaving boat.  As the area where the Columbia River meets the Pacific is known to have the most violent seas of anywhere, it was impossible to get to the ships with a small boat.  The pilots would board this larger boat, and as they got near the ship, the small boat would slide off the rear with them aboard, and make the short run to the ship.  It would then return and be winched back aboard the larger one.  It was retired in 2003, and the pilots now go and come by helicopter.

We are now in Long Beach, Washington for the next couple of days.  The truck is tugging toward the East, but I'm trying to hold him back as long as I can.

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