Friday, October 23, 2015

The Beach, a Lighthouse and Astoria, Oregon

Since we were going to be near Astoria Oregon, we thought we'd take in some of the sights and go for a walk on the beach. There is a trolley that runs the length of downtown Astoria. It's two bucks to take the trolley and the docent gives a running documentary of this area. Well worth the money. Grab a quick lunch and enjoy the gazebo overlooking the Columbia River.

After setting up the coach, we took a short path to the beach. The tide was out so it was perfect for looking for sea shells, driftwood and sand dollars.

Even Jasmine was enjoying herself.

The Columbia River is a major water way from the ocean inland. These huge container ships bring their cargo to be offloaded. They then have to wait for the tide to come in so they can sail again.

At the south end of the Astoria bridge is a huge port for lumber shipments. The cranes you see in the middle of the picture are loading logs onto a ship to be sent to China for building furniture and houses.

The container ships line up outside the port waiting for their turn to dock and take on cargo.

Often it's hard to imagine how large the Columbia River actually is. Remember the Astoria Bridge spans this river and is 4.1 miles long. We are looking at the Columbia from a high vantage point near the Astoria Column.

Overlooking the Youngs River and Daggett Point south of Astoria.

In this picture, which is an overview of Astoria, Oregon, you can see the container ships on the left and the huge warehouses in the middle. US30 runs through the middle of the town.  The trolley runs alongside the big warehouses. There is a maritime museum at the base of the pier in the middle of the picture.

While we were out, we decided to visit Cape Disappointment lighthouse. The fog was rolling in so we didn't get as clear a photo as we would have liked. We were able to take the tour into the light tower which was interesting.

Of course, outside the lighthouse we discovered a pathway to the beach. Being the adventurous souls we are, we decided to follow this pathway to see where it led. 

The path led to another overlook just below the lighthouse. On the way back, we discovered this abandoned water tower lost in the nearby woods.

As we drove around Cape Disappointment we arrived in the town of Ilwaco, Wa. It's a shipping port with shops and a fresh fish market.
While rounding a curve these two young bucks provided us with another photo op.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Port Garibaldi, Oregon to Long Beach, Washington

Arriving at the Port of Garibaldi, we got settled into our site at the Harborview Inn. There are two parks within the Port and we like the Harborview the best. It's right on the bay which offers excellent fishing and crabbing. 

As you can see, we are right on the bay. The pathway you see in the foreground leads into the town of Garibaldi. There is a railroad that travels alongside the park featuring a steam engine that serves as a tourist train along the Oregon Coast.

Heading north, we drove through the small quaint town of Wheeler, Oregon, Pop:414. It sits on the Nehelam River Estuary.

Because of the narrowness of U.S. 101 and the many bicyclists who use this hwy, the speed limit is only 55MPH. We took our time and averaged only 33MPH. Traveling slower allowed us to take in more of the beautiful scenery.

I snapped this picture while we passed by Nehalam Bay State Park.  Note the lower green sign. It directs you to the Cemetery AND a Recycle Center. I wondered if they were one and the same. Zombies anyone.

 As we passed through the town of Warrenton we can see the Astoria Bridge in the distance. We passed through here three years ago and it was being refinished. Construction was still going on although they appeared to be close to finishing.

Of note, relative to the refinishing of this bridge, is the fact that it is costing more to refinish it than it did to build it!

The Astoria Bridge  is the longest contiguous truss bridge in the U.S. at 4.1 miles. It spans the Columbia River separating Oregon and Washington.

Heading north, we neared the end of the bridge. There are two steel trusses at each end of the main span. The steel structure ahead is located in the State of Washington.

Welcome to the State of Washington, The Evergreen State.

Immediately outside this tunnel is Fort Columbia, a 593 acre park that preserves the site of Fort Columbia. The Fort was built in 1896 to protect the Columbia river waterway. Twelve historic wood-frame fort buildings still stand along with several gunneries. It's worth a stop if you're in the area.
We finally arrived in Long Beach, Washington, which features a pier and a drive on beach.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Random Pictures around Oregon

We went into Portland to pick up our grandson who loves to spend his summer vacations traveling with us. I've included below, some random pictures I snapped along the way to and from the coast to Portland and back. Our trip photos will continue with the next posting...Dennis

Random shot of a portion of Portland as we were leaving the airport area.

Debi loves old churches and I love old farmhouses. This is one of the reasons we travel mostly backroads and not Interstates. A lot of these barns and farmhouses have so much more character than those you'll see in a City.

Another view of the same property. I wanted to get a better view of the house itself, but this was the best I could do. If you look closely, you'll see a peek of the house above the barn in front.

This was a shot along U.S. 26 WB towards U.S. 101 as we crossed over the Cascades.

We finally reached the Oregon coast near Cannon Beach.

We had taken Oregon 6 across to Portland from Garibaldi and not wanting to take the same route twice, we stayed on US 26 for our return to the coast. This dropped us off quite a bit north of Garibaldi so we headed south to home.

A view of the steep cliffs along this stretch of the Oregon coast.

This is what it looks like if you're standing on top of one of those cliffs, looking straight down. There was a sign posted advising "No Diving" I needed to be told.
In the distance is the quaint City of Nehalem and Nehalem Bay

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Oregon Coast - Pacific City to Garibaldi, Oregon

This will be a fun week. We are headed to Garibaldi, Oregon. From there we'll take a day trip over the Cascades to Portland to pick up our grandson. He has spent his summer vacations from school traveling with us across much of the United States. He's been able to travel to 42 States and see things other kids his age only read about in books.  We love being able to provide him with this unique opportunity to experience different areas and cultures of this great nation.

Near the town of Neskowin the beach stretches out in front of us. The "lake" in the foreground is left after high tide recedes.

With water on both sides, this is probably the perfect campground. Blue skies and white sandy beaches...picture perfect!

Oregon's weather is diverse. You can have crystal blue skies and go around a turn in the road and discover spacious beaches but with what appears to be a marine layer. 

We diverted a bit because we wanted to visit Netarts Bay. We'd heard about the area but had bypassed it because it's a bit west of US 101. Coming across on Oregon 131 we spotted this weather pattern. Those are clouds hugging the mountainous terrain. I looked like an ocean wave just beginning it's break.

The fog/cloud formation continued down into the valley and stayed right on the ground enveloping the trees etc. but leaving clear blue skies above.

The town of Netarts sits along Netarts Bay which is Oregon's seventh largest bay. It is known for it's crabbing and clamming.

These are all pictures of Netarts Bay.  Cape Mears is over the mountain from the bay but the road was destroyed in a rainstorm and due to the sandstone makeup of the area efforts to rebuild the road continue to be delayed.

We arrived at the Port of Garibaldi and will be staying on a bayfront site at the Harborview RV Park. From here we plan on cutting across to Portland to pick up our grandson.

Welcome to big city Portland! We normally avoid big cities if possible because of the traffic. We weren't disappointed. Traffic stopped and we endured 30 minutes of bumper to bumper traffic heading to the airport.

Over the bridge and traffic simply stopped! We never passed any construction or accidents so who knows what the problem was. We got a little anxious as we didn't want to miss our grandson's plane arrival time.

Being in bumper to bumper traffic did allow us to get a great view of the City. Under different circumstances we might have enjoyed it more.

After some 35-50 tense minutes, we finally arrived at the Portland Airport. Fortunately the plane had already landed and we didn't have to park. All our worrying was for nothing.
Back over the cascades and back on the beach. Happy campers once again!