We spent two days there which was probably too much. There was a small whale to see
in the bay and the Azalea Park is very nice. The only problem was that it rained
almost all the time we were there which dampened our enthusiasm some what. Given
better weather we could have explored more.
This is the center of the Oregon Dunes country where you can ride ATVs or do
some sandboarding. A few miles to the north is Reedsport where they have a really
well done Umpqua Discovery Center. About two hours north is Newport which has a
great aquarium and between is Yachats where the Adobe Resort has a dining room
overlooking the sea, a nice place to have breakfast or lunch.
The picture on the right is typical scenery along the Oregon coast south of Cannon Beach and causes us to remember the saying, "The journey is its own reward".
Haystack Rock is the famous landmark at Cannon Beach and is shown in the picture
below. The beaches here have a very gradual slope and the wet sand is very fine
and compacts to a hardness such that you don't leave much of a footprint as you
walk on it. If you go down on the beach at low tide, you will find many tide pools
to explore. This part of the beach is almost deserted, which was amazing to us.
The people were all down by Haystack Rock, probably because it is easier to get to.
The Astoria Column pictured to the left depicts the history of this area, from the time of the Clatsop and Chinook Indians to the time the railroad arrived in 1893. This is all carved in "cartoons" that spiral up its 125 foot high column and ends with the State Seal of Oregon at the top. It stands at the top of Coxcomb Hill and overlooks the entire area and the view is well worth climbing the 164 steps to the top. It was finished in 1926 and was a joint effort of the Great Northern Railroad and Vincent Astor.
From the top of the column you can see across the Columbia Bar to Desperation Point. This is one of the most treacherous bar crossings that exists during times of high storm activity. There is a great exhibit that describes this and the maritime history of this area at the Columbia River Maritime Museum.
A drive across the bridge to Washington takes you to the Desperation Point Interpretive
Center where there is a complete chronology of the Lewis & Clark Expedition. It is
very well done and is worth the drive if you have the time.
As usual for this trip it rained most to the time we were here, but we did get into Portland to see some of the sights and we also made a trip through the wine country and found some good wines to sample as we continue our trip. The picture to the right is from a winery that we visited. All the wineries were putting on special open houses on Memorial Day, so we were treated to music and food as wandered around and sampled their offerings.
As left the Portland area, we headed up the Columbia along its southern banks on
our way to Yakima, our next stop.