In the Footsteps of Lewis and Clark
From Illinois to the Pacific
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Sept. 22, Day 17, Astoria, OR to Portland, OR
Last night we slept under the bridge -- the Astoria Megler Bridge


Breakfast at the Holiday Inn Express (under the bridge).



Many of us climbed the 164 steps of the Astoria Column.


We marched into Fort Clatsop, raised our flag, and sang the National Anthem

 Amy's Journal

Day 17, Tuesday, September 22, 2009, Astoria, OR -- Portland, OR, 112 miles, 3246 total.
On our last day of travel we began with a great Holiday Express breakfast on the patio overlooking the magnificent Columbia River.  A colorful Norwegian Pearl Cruise ship sailed by under the Astoria bridge.  The colorful pearls painted on the ship reminded me of our "Indian Beads" compensation from Tom for our good deeds.  The Astoria-Megler bridge stretches 4.1 miles from Astoria to Point Ellice, Washington.
 

Our first visit today was the striking Astoria Column atop Coxcomb Hill, one of the most potent symbols of American presence in the Pacific Northwest. It draws on the imagery of classical Rome, stories of Native Americans and early Euro-American adventurers at the mouth of the Columbia, technology of the 20th century, and the talents of a remarkable artist, Attilio Pusterla. Those of us that climbed the 164 steps had the fun of sailing our balsa gliders into the sky and watching them float to earth.  The views of the Pacific, the Columbia and the mountains were breathtaking!

We proceeded on to Fort Clatsop National Memorial.  L&C selected this site for a food supply (roadside sign:” Elk next 2 1/2 miles!"), enough wood, and high ground away from the tide.  We raised our flag, Tom wearing his Fort Clatsop hat, and all singing the Star Spangled Banner. On the camp site, we saw huge Western Red Cedar and Sitka Spruce trees.  This Fort was rebuilt in record time after a fire in 2005, possibly from a demonstration fire, not properly extinguished. The L&C expedition members spent nearly the first two months of 1806 boiling sea water in 5 large kettles to make 3 to 4 bushels of salt. Later Tom showed us his video made in 2002 on his visit to Seaside, with reenactors making salt in the same manner that Lewis and Clark did 203 years ago. 

We had a great lunch at the Silver Salmon Restaurant, then re-boarded our bus for the trip to Portland. On the way Tom  said  an Astoria Channel pilot must memorize the Astoria Channel.

On the internet, I read that Channel Pilot  George Flavel dominated bar pilotage and Astoria commerce.  For a long time he was the town's most prominent citizen.  Because of the possibility for extreme weather and sea conditions on the bar, the licensing standards for Columbia River Bar Pilots are the highest in the nation.

 After checking in at the comfortable Clarion Hotel, A delicious dinner was catered by Nancy Romero and we had Reflections of our journey.  Some of our group sang a funny parody of Clementine, making fun of the new name of Elderhostel - Exploritas.    Kate read her clever poem about our memorable journey!  

Tom, Grace, Marv, and Ned entertained us with a humorous skit. 

After all reflections, Tom, in keeping with the re-creation of the Lewis and Clark expedition, gave everyone the same discharges that Lewis gave to the members of his party. 

This was a wonderful journey; hard to believe it is over, BUT THE MEMORIES WILL LAST A LIFETIME!!!!

 Respectfully submitted,

Amy Bernd

Download Amy's Complete Journal in Word or PDF

3134 + Astoria to Portland 112 = 3246

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