Jun 29, 2012
Jul 30, 2012
We arrived in Seaside just after noon so we set up the coach and headed out to explore Astoria, Oregon. We drove North for about 30 minutes along Hwy 101. Saw a lot of signs letting us know there was a "sunken grade" ahead. After passing probably five signs we looked it up because we didn't know if we should be concerned. A "sunken grade" is where the road has dropped out and was backfilled and could cause large vehicles loads to shift ... so we slowed down a bit:) We expected to see old seaside towns along the way but instead were greeted by a Home Depot and Costco!Lance visited the Columbia Maritime Museum while I toodled around with Roxie looking for a few good snaps.In reading about the Columbia Light Ship I learned that it was used as a floating lighthouse until the river became too trecherous for a manned ship to stay on the river at which time they replaced it with the large automated bouy you see to it's left. Many of the Canneries have been closed but there are still remnants of them in the waters which made for a few good photo opps.During his museum tour, Lance learned that pilots of commercial vessels entering the mouth of the Columbia are not skilled enough to handle maneuvering up the river so they are met by River Pilots that actually board the commercial vessel and take over piloting. There were many barges in the Columbia outside the museum and we imagined each of those being piloted from the ocean to the river. He also learned that Coast Guard lifeboats are virtually unsinkable. Even in 40 foot swells, then may tumble but automatically right themselves.We walked around the riverfront shops. Not really much different than any other tourist areas; however, we did see a sign for the Hotel Elliott. Can't ask for much more than a wonderful bed :)We headed back to the coach in time to bbq some dinner then found a local Dairy Queen so Lance could get a Blizzard. He was happy :)More from the Oregon coast tomorrow.