Astoria is a town that we wanted to visit while in the area. As the day unfolded, we learned more about the history in the area. The Lewis & Clark Expedition keeps surfacing as we learn more about the northwest corner of Oregon.
We started out visiting the Astoria Column which has an interesting history. The column is covered with amazing at work that shows the history of the area. A spiral staircase inside the column leads to the top where an observation area offers views for miles of the Columbia River and Pacific coastline. Unfortunately the iside was closed due to Covid-19 and we were not able to include that in our visit.
After seeing the column we drove back down to town and parked. We walked around downtown, which again was mostly closed even thought it was a Friday. We had a hard time finding a place for lunch here. There are not a lot of quick lunch options here and none of them offer inside seating due to the pandemic. It was a bit on the cool side and eating at an outside table was not appealing, so we grabbed some take out and sat int eh truck to eat. Fun!
After grabbing a bite to eat, we stopped at a small market and the girl at the register told us about the Astoria River Walk Trail. We drove to an access point and walked along the route to the east. The trail is around 5 miles long and we were were wishing we had our bikes to be able to see the entire trail with the time we had available. It was interesting to see all the ships on the Columbia River, some anchored and others being escorted by tugboats. We also so docks with sea lions which surprised us since they were on the river and a ways from the seawater.
The Astoria-Megler Bridge cannot be missed when you are in Astoria and of course we felt impelled to drive across it. The bridge was called “The Bridge to Nowhere” by critics during the planning stage. It replace a ferry going from Astoria, OR to Megler, WA.
Crossing the bridge is worth the time. The arch of the steel structure on the Oregon side is huge, reaching the needed height for the large ships to pass under. The bridge deck has a significant grade as it crosses the span before dropping back down to the level portion of the bridge that crosses the majority of the river.
When we reached the Washington side of the river, we found that Cape Disappointment was only 11 miles to the west so we headed over there to check it out.
Cape Disappointment State Park is another place we need to return to. It was late in the day when we got here and barely touched it. What we did see was enough to make us want to come back. There is enough there and the immediate area to make this a week or more stop.
TheDiscovery Trail (map HERE) from Ilwaco to Long Beach goes through the state park and we saw a trailhead at one of our two quick stops in the park. THe trail looked awesome and is now on our bucket list, as well ass the rest of the Long Beach Peninsula.