8 posts tagged Astoria Oregon
The Astoria Megler Bridge, Astoria, Oregon
The bridge is going through some restoration. We were amazed to see guys scrambling along the top.
Old railroad car and gasoline pumps along the path.
Yesterday was a perfect day.
Astoria, Oregon is located at the northwestern tip of the state of Oregon. As you bicycle through the city on the shore of the Columbia River, you understand that its commerce is all about hard work at sea. Positioned at the Columbia River Bar and the Pacific Ocean, boaters for hundreds of years have called this city their home. Rich with history, there are canneries and marinas full of fishing boats. The city has hundreds of tall, Victorian houses, many dressed up in detailed, gingerbread trim.
Astoria catches tourists in the summer, but the off-season is cold and rainy. Like the rest of the Northwestern Oregon coast, the weather is fickle. Despite what’s going on in Portland, you can never count on a good weather day at the beach. Yesterday we got lucky.
Astoria has streets so steep you need to switch your car to a lower gear to drive them, but the top of the city is its crowning glory. The Astoria Column sits 600 feet above sea level on Coxcomb Hill, providing majestic views of the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Columbia River to the north. You can see snow-capped peaks of the Cascade mountain range to the east, and Saddle Mountain rises in the southern horizon.
We enjoyed an elaborate picnic lunch after an easy 10 mile bike ride along the river. We toasted with champagne and sat in the sunshine and laughed for the better part of the late afternoon. I have seen a lot of the world, but yesterday’s views and experience ranks near the top. It doesn’t get much better than to languidly spend hours with blue, sunny skies, best friends and cold champagne. We toasted to each other and to our good fortune to be at the right place at the right time.
Saturday we found another “rails to trails” path, this one in Astoria, Oregon. We’ve been waking up to perfect weather in Portland for weeks, but you can never assume good weather inland means good weather at the beach. However, a quick online weather check promised blue skies and 80 degrees, so we threw the bikes in the car along with some gear and were off.
Astoria sits on the north-western tip of Oregon, at the mouth of the Columbia River. Lewis and Clark arrived here in 1805, making this town the West’s oldest American settlement and a National Historic District.
River Walk is a short trail that runs right along the water, 5 miles from end to end (10 miles round trip), and there’s a lot to see. We spent about an hour riding and more than an hour taking pictures and taking in the scenery. Huge ships on the river, vestiges of old piers and canneries, boardwalks, and the magnificent Astoria Bridge were highlights.
All in all I recommend the trip with one caveat: Part of the trail is paved and the rest is planked trestles, which run parallel to the tracks. Many of the cracks between the boards are wide enough that skinny bike tires can actually slip through them, so we found ourselves walking our bikes some of the way.
Scenery along the Astoria Riverwalk.