(Seaside, OR) Hi 67 Lo 50 – It was another beautiful, sunny day, just warm enough to be pleasant. A perfect day for sightseeing.
This area is historically very significant, as it’s the end point of the famous Lewis and Clark Expedition. They set out from St. Louis, MO in April 1804 and arrived at the mouth of the Columbia River in November 1805. Just south of the Columbia River, near what is now the town of Astoria, they constructed Fort Clatsop. They spent one winter there before heading back to Missouri in the Spring of 1806.
A reproduction of Fort Clatsop sits at the original location and is part of the Lewis and Clark National Historical Park. We started out at the Visitors Center where we watched a half-hour video about the Lewis and Clark Expedition, then wandered the exhibits of clothing, equipment and weapons used on the expedition. (Remember to click on the photos to enlarge them.)
A hundred yards or so from the Visitors Center is a reproduction of Fort Clatsop.
It was a small fort, very rustic but adequate for the 30 or so members of the expedition. This is one of the bunk rooms.
There were rangers in period costumes who gave talks about life in the fort during the winter of 1805-06.
It was a very interesting visit, and has inspired me to read more about Lewis and Clark. The courage it took for that group to head out into unexplored territory is almost hard to believe. And it’s important to know that it wasn’t just a voyage of discovery, but it was also a scientific expedition. They created the original maps of the western territory, and cataloged many new species of plants and animals.
After our visit to the Lewis and Clark National Historical Park we went to nearby Astoria, which sits at the mouth of the mighty Columbia River. We drove along the riverfront. This paddle wheeler was very impressive looking.
There’s a trolley that operates along the riverfront. A nostalgic form of transportation from a bygone era.
The best place to get a great overall view of the surrounding area is the Astoria Column, a 125-foot tower that sits high on a bluff overlooking Astoria. Here’s the Column from down at river level.
A winding road took us up several hundred feet to the small park at the base of the tower. On the way we were startled by these two deer that came bounding out of the trees and across someone’s yard.
Up close, the tower is very beautiful, with an intricate mural painted on it.
It’s a 165-step climb up a spiral staircase to the observation deck on top. Dee wasn’t up to it, so I headed up myself. It was a slow climb in tight quarters, made more difficult by having to squeeze by everyone who was headed down. My legs were getting a little rubbery by the time I got near the top, but I made it. And the view was pretty cool!
This is downtown Astoria looking west, with the Astoria Bridge that crosses into Washington.
Young's Bay is to the south. Pretty nice!
Looking east is mainly forests and mountains.
The parking lot below.
Can you see Dee looking up at me?
And here’s me, looking down and waving at her. I’m the one on the left.
We’ve been enjoying our visit to the Oregon coast. It’s very beautiful around here, and we’re lucky we got to visit during the dry season. We understand they get around 70 inches of rain here in the fall and winter. Yikes!
See you tomorrow.