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,
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
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.
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.
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
Grace, Marv, and Ned entertained us with a humorous skit.
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.
a wonderful journey; hard to believe it is over, BUT THE MEMORIES WILL
LAST A LIFETIME!!!!
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