They were originally built during the Civil War. Who would have thought protecting the Columbia River would be a priority? Eventually they were decommissioned, but then brought back in service in the 1940s. I knew Japan was a threat, but I never knew that a Japanese submarine actually shelled this fort. No damage, no casualties, no return fire because the sub stayed out of range of the fort's 19th-century cannons.
I never knew foxglove, also know as digitalis, is not native to North America. It is an "escapee" from cultivated gardens. It seems to do well on the Oregon coast. Quite pretty.
Next we went out to the South Jetty, where a long rock breakwater helps control the sandbar shifting. It is on the south side of the river, but is also as far north as you can go in Oregon.
|Just another wonderful view of the Oregon Coast|
It is where they built a small log fort so they could stay for the winter. Visiting this site filled out our knowledge of their outbound journey. They still had to return.
After seeing the park "movie" and looking at the displays in the Visitor's Center, we took a walk towards the Netul River (also called the Lewis and Clark River).
Part of the walk was across a bridge that went over a rather muddy stream. I noticed these tracks, and couldn't decide what had made them.
Later, after checking some Google images, I decided they were Canadian Goose tracks.
Speaking of things that one sees, but doesn't quite understand, we wondered about these rotting wood pilings in the river. If they were along a docking area one might assume they were from old piers, or from buildings that were no longer there. But these were in the water far from any dock area, either old or new.
Just as I was wondering about them, we came to a National Park information sign that explained they were used to sort the logs from upriver and then create the log rafts that were floated out to waiting ships.
Our day continued with a stop at one of Astoria's landmarks, the Astoria Tower. Yes, we did climb the 164 steps to the top, and since it was a clear afternoon, we were able to enjoy the fantastic views of the river and surrounding countryside.
After a stop down on the waterfront for a cone at the "Frite and Scoop", a highly recommended ice cream shop, we took the roundtrip ride on the Trolly. It took about an hour, is operated by volunteers, and cost $1 each. The conductor and motorman took turns talking about the history of Astoria and the places we could see. The car itself brought back memories of when I was a child and rode the streetcar in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. If you are ever in Astoria, it is a pleasant way to spend an hour and you will learn some new things.
Finally, as the day ended, it was time for the main event: The NBA playoff game between the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavilers.
We could have watched it at the coach on our computer, but decided to go to a local sports bar, Bubba's in Warington. Both the burger and the wings were pretty good, and we had a good table for watching the big screen. (Actually most people at the bar were watching Seattle Mariners baseball.)
The Warriors won, so Craig was happy.
Thursday started with a fish and chips lunch at the Bowpicker.
Yes, it is a boat on a trailer, that has been made into a food stand. It has a very high rating on all the travel sites, so of course we had to try it. I thought the fish fry was very good, but not really the best I've ever had. Craig said he wasn't impressed. But then we have eaten fish and chips from coast to coast. My personal #1 was The Bus in Hyder Alaska, with the Stagecoach Inn, in Aguanga California coming in #2.
After lunch we went to tour the Flavel House, a turn of the century mansion built by a man who had made his fortune as a river pilot and entrepreneur in Astoria. It was quite interesting, and very well restored. Like many of the grand old houses it had fallen into major disrepair, and was close to being torn down before it was rescued by local history buffs.
Our last tourist stop in Astoria was the Hanthorn Cannery Museum.
It was really a multi- room display of old cannery equipment with a 50s TV documentary playing, which was remarkably good and told the story of the cannery quite well.
Many of the old cannery buildings have burned down over the years, but this free display enhanced our understanding of the fish processing business. I sure wouldn't have liked working there! But many women did and I'm sure their pay was welcome at home.
Friday was our travel day. We went all of 38 miles! But it was a long 38 miles because it was raining and a bit foggy. We were glad to pull into our site at Nehalem Bay State park. I am writing this on Sunday, and it has been raining sporadically since our arrival. Although we did get out on a short walk to the beach on Saturday, we have been just being lazy and nesting. We will be here for a total of six nights, so I'm sure we will get out and about.
Finally, I just had to include this picture of Craig, taken at the beach last week:
His hair might be a bit mussed, but it is rare for me to get a picture of him without his hat. It was a nice week and he looks happy.
Life is good.