Astoria to Portland

We got up to a sunny Saturday in Astoria.  Our first stop was the Astoria Column, a 125 foot tall tower built in 1926 overlooking the mouth of the Columbia River.


We climbed the 164 step spiral staircase to the top,


and got some spectacular views of the surrounding area.


After the descending the column, we went to the Columbia River Maritime Museum.


It had lots of interesting information on the Columbia River and the various Coast Guard rescues on the  bar.  They had an actual rescue boat that was used by the Coast Guard on display.


In the parking lot they had one of the retired pilot boats that was used for many years delivering and picking up pilots from all the ships navigating the bar.  Can you spot Bill in this picture?


The pilot was actually delivered using the little boat sitting on the back deck.  The back of the big boat was hinged and folded down so the little boat could slide in and out.  Pretty clever.


We then went for a stroll on the Astoria Riverwalk, a four mile path along the Columbia River.  We went to a couple of the viewing sites and saw some birds,


some ships,


and some old cannery buildings.


We also saw hundreds of log trucks driving right through the middle of town.  Logging is alive and well in Oregon.


Back at the hotel we went out on the docks at the East Mooring Basin.  We had heard sea lions barking while walking home from dinner the night before and wanted to investigate.  In daylight we could see that the sea lions had completely taken over the docks!


What an astounding amount of noise they make.  I’m glad our room wasn’t on the water side of the hotel.

After sea lion viewing, we headed back to our room to watch the Ohio State football game.  Go Bucs!  They won in an upset over Michigan State.  It was an exciting game.

At this point, we needed some dinner.  Since it was late, the only place we found open was the Pig ‘N Pancake.  We had seen these restaurants in various locations during our trip and giggled about the name, never imagining we’d be eating there.  It’s a local Oregon coast chain and we got some dinner.  Enough said.

Sunday morning was pretty rainy in Astoria, so we packed up and headed to Portland.  By the time we arrived, the rain had mostly stopped so we went to check out the downtown waterfront park.


There’s a pathway that goes for about a mile along the Willamette River through downtown Portland and has some great views of the city.


The ‘Saturday/Sunday Market’ was going on in part of the park so we took a quick look.  It’s billed as North America’s largest open-air handicraft market.  We didn’t buy anything but there was a fun marimba band playing while we were looking around.


There was a beautiful tree in the park that caught our eye.  I think this qualifies for fall color.


After the park we took a look at Powell’s Books, a downtown Portland landmark.  It is the largest independent bookstore in the world selling both new and used books.  It was overwhelming.

After our journey downtown, we headed back to the hotel for a little rest before dinner.  When it was time to go eat, neither of us wanted to get back in the car and drive, so we walked to a pizza place down the block.

Now it’s time for bed.  Tomorrow we’ll continue to check out Portland.  Washington Park with all it’s various gardens and museums along with The Grotto  and it’s statues are on the list of things to do.


One thought on “Astoria to Portland”

  1. You just missed Gary – he returned from Portland late Friday night. He was there last week for a conference. He is all set to move to Portland – he loves it there. (I am not sold on “city” living but could be convinced to try living in Salem, Corvallis or Bend!) I love the blog, although I wish I could be traveling with you.

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