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Thursday, October 27, 2011

Amazing Astoria

We had decided to take another trip this week as football season is winding down and heading into the playoffs.  So over the weekend, we decided to return to Maryhill state park.  We were there two weeks ago and had a good time considering that I was sick most of the time with a cold.

We woke up Tuesday morning and got ready to go to Maryhill and ended up in Astoria, OR.  Yup, we went 180 degrees in the other direction.  Carol called the state parks office as we were getting ready Tuesday morning to check on the water at the park.  Many of the parks east of the mountains turn off their water at some point to prevent the pipes from freezing.  Last year we were at Maryhill when they told us it would go off on Nov. 1.  Fortunately, we left the day before.

So she called just to check and found that it was already turned off.  So we decided to go to Lewis & Clark RV Park & Golf course in Astoria.  (So nice not being on a schedule and able to change “plans” and the drop of a hat, or in this case, at the turn of a faucet!)

We arrived here at noon to clear skies and temps in the mid 60s.  All in all a beautiful day.  After setting up the RV, we went to lunch at one of our favorite places in Astoria, Stephanie’s Cabin.  After lunch while Carol napped, I got in 9 holes of golf.  Shot a 43 which isn’t half bad.

On Wednesday, we packed a lunch and headed to Cannon Beach, about 30 miles south of Astoria.  We parked in town and went for a walk along all the store fronts.  Carol found a couple of cute gift items.

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The main drag in Cannon Beach

After that, we went to Tolovana State Beach where we parked the car overlooking the ocean and enjoyed our lunch.  Carol has a new hobby using her new sewing machine, so she visited a quilt store in Cannon Beach.  Then later after we got back to the RV, she went on her own to another quilt store in Astoria.

This morning, we made a short trip to Youngs Falls.   While Lewis & Clark never visited it, some members of their party did while on a hunt for food.  It is a 65 foot tall waterfall that is very nice and serene.

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Youngs Falls, Oregon

On the way back from the falls, we decided to visit the Astoria Column.   The column is part of a city park at the top of Coxcomb Hill.  There are several interesting displays in the park besides the great views.

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A Native American canoe on display

The column was built in 1926 and overlooks the mouth of the Columbia river.  It is 125 feet high and you can climb up 164 steps to the top.  The outside of the tower is covered with a pictorial history of the area.

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The Astoria Column

Of course, I just had to climb the 164 stairs inside the tower to the top.  The stairs are actually a winding spiral staircase.  There are 5 landings along the way where you can see plaques for the donors of each of the stairs.

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Looking down from the top to see Carol below casting a shadow to the right on the grass.

The view from the top is stunning.  You can see almost any direction.  Given that this day was cold and clear, the visibility was great.

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Two cargo ships coming down the Columbia River headed out.

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The city of Astoria and the Astoria Bridge

After the column, we returned for lunch.  Then we went for a 5.1 mile bike ride in the city of Hammond.  It was cold and breezy there and the path we thought was longer was actually rather short.  So we made it a short ride and came back to the RV.

We head out tomorrow to return home.  I have a varsity game tomorrow night, so we will leave somewhat early in the day.  It is forecast to rain tomorrow, but I hope we get out before the rain comes.