Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Astoria, OR. 10/2/12

On the road again Tuesday Oct. 2 at 7:20. When asking permission to stay overnight at Walmart, they said yes, but leave early.

We stopped in Astoria, OR. to take a look at the Columbia River. We heard a strange noise and followed it to the pier where there were lots of sea lions.

Many were sleeping but some barking in their low bellow.

Some were on a platform with fencing around it.

Across the pier more sea lions.

Then two research guys came and enclosed the caged platform.

They put one sea lion at a time in this contraption.

And branded them. A deck hand told us there is research done on the sea lions.

At the entrance of the Columbia River Maritime Museum there is a huge map of the river area.

Gillnet boat, early fishing boats. Near the end of the annual Gillnet Race the boats looked like butterflies because they were moving their 2 sails as quickly as possible.

Gill net, ropes and buoys.

Salmon capital of the world

First Cannery on the Columbia River was opened in 1866. By 1883 there were 55 canneries.

Chinese workers could clean a 40 lb. salmon in 45 second, 1,700 fish in an 11 hour day.

Ship cargo

Tug to move the barge on the river.

Bar pilots are taken to the ships wanting to enter the Columbia River. Specialized pilots are need to get the ships through the 17 mile hazardous area called the "The Bar" where the Pacific Ocean and turbulent Columbia River waters collide. The Columbia can be like the force from a fire hydrant. Waves can be as high as 40 feet.

Bar pilots enter the ships by helicopter or wooden ladders on the side of the ship.

Coast Guard boat.

Mustang suit worn by the Coast Guard men.

Mustang suit made of waterproof fabric and foam.

There was a very interesting map exhibition. Early beliefs were that California was an island. Map from 1650.

One of the first maps showing California connected to the mainland.

Map with limited awareness of the central part of the future United States.

Engraving tools for map making.

Maps were etched into copper plates for reproduction of the maps.

Compass was used by Chinese as early as 1100 A.D.

Astrolabe measures angle to sun, moon, stars and planets.

Back staff

Quadrant measure distance by looking at the sun's shadow so less damaging to the person's eyesight.

Octant was an improvement.

Triple spy glass

Baleen from whale and gun to shoot whales.


Scrimshaw cribbage board.

Scrimshaw fork

Scrimshaw pastry tool


U.S.S. Astoria was in World War II. Saw much action before destroyed at the Battle of Midway.

A second U.S.S. Astoria was commissioned in 1944.

Full Dress of the traditional capered hat, tailcoats with epaulettes and sword were required of officers for Ceremonies until World War II.

Astoria Column built in 1926 to celebrate the discovery and settlement of the Pacific NW.

The town dates to the time of the Lewis and Clark expedition.

The 125 foot tall concrete column is atop the 600 ft Coscomb Hill. Murals depict Oregon history.

After climbing 164 steps we could see Columbia River.

To west....Pacific Ocean

To east.....Youngs River.

Jason from Colorado and Wade from Arlington Heights, IL. Wade took the train and his bike to Washington D.C. Then he rode solo across country until his buddy joined him in CO. They are continuing onto San Diego. Interesting young guys on an adventure.

The Pacific Ocean at Cape Disappointment.

It is almost unbelievable the miles we have traveled. We were at the most eastern point of North America, Cape Spear, Newfoundland on Aug. 21. And here we are 6 weeks later experiencing the Pacific Ocean. We have traveled 21,000 miles so far this year.

Cape Disappointment lighthouse is the oldest functioning lighthouse on the west coast.

In 1788 while in search of the Columbia River English Captain John Meres missed the passage over the river bar. He named the area Cape Disappointment.

We camped at Fort Stevens State Park for the night. We used our propane fire pit for the first time on the road. Worked great. Enjoyed roasted marshmallows and S'Mores. A very nice campgrounds, good showers and rest rooms. Would stay here again.

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