Saturday, September 17, 2011

More Astoria

It was another dreary morning when we headed back across the bridge into Washington. Our first stop was a place that Lewis and Clark named Dismal Nitch. The Corps of Discovery was trapped there for six days by raging storms while within sight of the end of their journey. We could easily imagine their frustration.

Next we moved on to Cape Disappointment State Park. I'm seeing a theme here. Am I the only one who thinks this sign is funny?
(Actually Cape Disappointment was named long before Lewis and Clark made their incredible journey. In 1788, British fur trader John Meares named it in frustration over not finding the river channel.)

However in 1805, Cape Disappointment was one of the places that the Lewis and Clark expedition considered for their winter quarters. They took a vote and decided to cross the river into Oregon. The interpretive center at the park chronicles their fantastic journey from St. Louis to the Pacific. Even I spent quite a bit of time reading the signs and examining the exhibits. I highly recommend it.

It did clear up enough that we could see the lighthouse overlooking the Columbia River.

Then we went to see the North Head lighthouse on the Pacific Ocean side of the point. I swear this has to be the shallowest surf ever.

And here's the North Head lighthouse. (Only the first two of many lighthouses to come, I'm sure.)

Back in Astoria, we drove up streets with ridiculously steep grades to the Astoria Column. The 125 foot column stands 635 feet above the Columbia River. And you can climb it, which Ron and I did, making the views even more amazing.

But what I like best about The Column is how it's decorated with scenes depicting the area's history.

It's a good spot to see the 4 mile bridge over the Columbia River joining Oregon and Washington.


  1. Did you really go there or did you copy our blog. Oh yeah we didn't go to the place L&C were held up before Cape Disappointment.

  2. Ha, ha, Donna - I thought she swiped the bottom photo from my blog! :)

    I love the name "Dismal Nitch" - so perfectly descriptive. And your morning weather - imagine living in Ft. Clatsop all winter, arising almost every day to gray, dismal, wet and often windy. UGH!

  3. I guess we all saw the same things in Astoria! It's a great place - glad you enjoyed it.

  4. What a great column ... will have to remember to take my binos with me so I can see all that wonderful detail.

  5. You should have stopped by to see my granddaughters, they live in Astoria. Their Daddy (my son) is in the Coast Guard there and takes care of the lighthouses you pictured.

  6. Great place and stunning scenery. Some of that weather sounds very similar to ours here!