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We are heading up the Oregon coast and when we get to Astoria we will back track a bit to Portland where we are going to see the sights there while Camping World installs a new awning on our coach.

Azalea Park


Brookings is a small harbor town just north of the California border. Many fishing and small boats call its harbor home. Because of its mild climate it is called "The Banana Belt of Oregon". The only Japanese aerial attack on the mainland was a bombing just east of town.

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.

Umpqua Lighthouse South Breakwater


We camped overlooking the Salmon Harbor Marina which is at the mouth of the Umpqua River. This is a very pleasant place to be, with several things to see and do, including walks on the desolate beaches.

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.

Umpqua River Lighthouse Self righting rescue boat

Left: The Umpqua River Lighthouse is still operating after 100 years of service.
Right: One of the old style, self righting, Coast Guard rescue boats.

Inside the fresnel lens Outside view of the fresnel lens

Left: Inside the 2 ton, 1st order (the largest size), fresnel lens. Originally, it was lit by kerosene, and now, by a halogen bulb.
Right: Outside view of the lens built in Paris in 1890.

Umpqua Discovery Center Elk near Reedsport

Left: Umpqua Discovery Center - Very well done presentation of the history of the area
Right: Elk near Reedsport on Hwy 38. There are several viewing stations a few miles from town.

MP41 Sea Coast


Cannon Beach is billed as the Carmel of Oregon. It is a small town, very tourist oriented and very environmentally concerned. They don't even have a car wash because of possible pollution.

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.

Haystack Rock

Astoria Column


Astoria is located on the south side of the Columbia River where it enters the ocean. This is where the Lewis & Clark party finally reached the Pacific Ocean.

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.

View accross the mouth of the Columbia from the Astoria Column Desparation Point lighthouse and the Columbia Bar beyond

Left: View across the mouth of the Columbia from the Astoria Column
Right: Desperation Point lighthouse and the Columbia Bar beyond

Wine Country


Tualatin is one of the many smaller towns south of Portland. It is a good place to stop if you want to see the sights of Portland and also the wine country of northern Willamette vally.

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.

barge and tug going up river Orchards along the Columbia

Left: This tug has pushed these barges up river through two sets of locks to get here.
Right: Some of the many orchards along the Columbia.

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