Thursday, July 15, 2010

Castle Rock, WA to Lincoln City, Oregon - July 15th, 2010

We left our hotel this morning around 7:30 and headed down the coast. It was a little overcast but still very nice out and a beautiful drive. When we got to Astoria, WA we stopped at the Columbia River Maritime Museum and spent about 2 to 2-1/2 hours there. The museum does an excellent job of explaining the extreme conditions of the Columbia River Bar (this is where the flow of the Columbia River meets the tide of the Pacific Ocean and creates extreme violent conditions). Many ships have been lost over the years due to this bar and even today specially trained bar pilots are being trained to navigate the ships across the bar to or from the river. Once across the bar a river pilot takes over and navigates the ships up the Columbia River.

There was also a part of the museum that did a very good job explaining a few of the search and rescues that have taken place over time. I thought of Ron Johnson and things that he has seen or done when he was in the Coast Guard.

After satisfying our curiosity at the museum we headed to the Astoria Columns which is basically a silo on the highpoint with a spiral staircase inside up to the top with a walk out platform - there are 164 steps to get to the top and an incredible view of the entire sea harbor and the townof Astoria.

From there we headed on down the coast and stopped numerous times at viewpoints that overlooked the ocean. We got out of the truck and spent some time walking on the beach and collecting shells. I went to stand in the water and it was so cold (see the picture attached).

We also stopped at the Tillamook Cheese Factory in Tillamook, Oregon. John and I were both shocked at how many people there were at the cheese factory. You can stand and watch how the cheese is made, cut, and wrapped, you can shop, you can get ice cream, you can eat at the cafe, or just watch around and view video's on the process of making cheese. It is quite the place and has a very good business (according to the number of people that were there today).

We are spending the night in Lincoln City at a Motel 6. We walked down the road to a brew pub and had a few drinks and then settled in for the night. Tomorrow we will continue on our drive down the coast and then go to Eugene, Oregon and spend the evening with Ryan, Darcy, and Jackson.

Happy Trails!

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