Saturday, May 01, 2010

Oregon Coast Astoria to Cannon Beach


We spent last Thursday night - a week ago - in Astoria, Oregon on our way to the Central coast of Oregon. Born, raised and living almost all my life in Washington, I had never been to Astoria before. Heard good things about it. We have been to Long Beach, WA, just a few miles away several times... just didn't get to Astoria.

Astoria is a working town with a lot of tourism, but a working town. The port is not a major source or destination of shipping, but all the Columbia River shipping comes by and very close! There are two sets of pilots - one for the River upstream and one just for the Columbia River Bar - and there are other river businesses - fishing, etc.

The Columbia River Bar is one of the worst in the world. The River is the second in the US by volume and flows in a single channel, not branching out in a delta like the Mississippi. And there is bad weather in the winter. The combination of massive fresh-water flow and weather is deadly.

There is an excellent museum - Columbia River Maritime Museum - which goes into everything about the River and its bar. History, Coast Guard, and everything! An excellent use of the a few hours and a few dollars.

From our hotel a mile east of downtown we could hear dozens of sea lions a few blocks away. They bark and shove each other constantly. All night - a bit quieter between 3 and 6 AM! Photo

We visited the Astoria Column and photographed the scenery from it, but didn't photograph the column itself. It sits at 595 feet above sea level, less than a mile from the tidal River and is 150 tall.

Driving down the northern coast we bypassed Seaside - everyone goes there - and stopped at Ecola State Park on the north edge of Cannon Beach. It has a great view point that's a short walk from the car. The "dog party" photo is on that trail. It shows what I call Canoso/Canosa tourist season. Canoso is the Spanish word for a gray-headed man/canosa female. The last week of April we saw this every where outside the weekends. Photo

Other photo - Haystack Rock at Cannon Beach in the distance from Ecola State Park.