We flew into PDX late last night and after some shut eye in Portland we were headed to Astoria by morning, as part of a ten day Oregon trip (love Spring break).
The Lewis and Clark bridge spans 830 meters across the Columbia river, intersecting the border of Oregon and Washington.
The first place on our list was the best fish and chips in Astoria, at Bowpicker. It is hard to miss the red gillnet boat in the parking lot across from the Columbia River Maritime Museum.
The Columbia river is tidal up until the Bonneville dam, over 100 miles away.
The sea lion population in Astoria has reached record numbers, 2,300 in fact. That is 1,000 more than in 2014, and 2,100 more than in 2010.
What will next year bring?
We wound up at the end of Pier 39, specifically at Rogue Ale Public House. There was a wait for a table inside, but we were totally content enjoying our seven-beer-flights and artichoke dip outside, even if we had to yell to talk over the sea lions barking (whom I asked politely to quiet down on several occasions).
We walked back to the maritime museum on the Riverwalk, which hugs the Columbia river.
Admission to the Columbia River Maritime Museum includes a tour of the lightship Columbia. Lightships are floating lighthouses used to guide mariners around reefs and narrow entrances, where traditional lighthouses cannot be placed. The Columbia was stationed at the mouth of the Columbia River in 1892, and was the very first and last active duty lightship on the entire west coast.
The Columbia River is the largest river in the Pacific Northwest. It has been a source of international trading since the late 1700s. Since that time over 2,000 ships have sunk at the Columbia River bar, and more than 700 people have lost their lives, hence its nickname the "Graveyard of the Pacific". The US Army of Engineers has tried to do what they can to tame the river, with jetties, dredging, and locks, but it is still dangerous as silt flows from the Cascades and constantly changes the geography of the bar.
This dive suit was used in the early 1900s to clear gillnet snags. Gillnetting is a technique used to trap salmon as the migrate. Their heads go through the net but the rest of the body can't fit, they can't back out because their gills get stuck in the net.
Many Chinese immigrants worked in the canneries for very low pay and high discrimination.
Our evening ended at Buoy Beer Company.
Today's selection of activities, food, and beer has been nothing but incredible.