(Above) Sailing ships in open sea, bound for the Columbia River, pic early 1900's. Their first stop was Astoria. Today, ships lack grand sails but continue to dock at Astoria. A bar at the mouth of The River remains a dangerous place. Ships are safely guided into the Columbia River by skilled river pilots.
Salmon have always been a treasure. Canneries once lined Astoria's River front. Now piers along the river are reminders of those days as well as several impressive museums. A few canneries have been converted to interesting shops and restaurants.
(Below) Salmon fishing on Columbia River upstream from Astoria, early 1900's.
Cannon Beach Oregon:
Seaside, the e
Lewis and Clark Trail
There is much to be said regarding the town of Seaside at the end of Lewis and Clark's trail. While Lewis and Clark stayed at Fort Clatsop, they traveled south to Seaside before their return. A replica of their salt making system is located in Seaside. During the Bicentennial Celebration, a Lewis and Clark history buff asked me the name of their dog. I did not know. He later complained that the north coast towns roll up their sidewalks by 10 pm. I replied, "Well, now you know why Lewis and Clark only stayed here for one winter.” Actually there is much to do in Seaside, kites, bikes, rides, volleyball, food, events history, ... We just like doing them daylight.
Manzanita and Neah-Kah-Nei Mt. Mystery(s)
An Indian god once climbed 1,600 foot Neah-Kah-Nei Mountain. He sat down and turned to stone. That was a long time ago. He still sits there today. If you are the super-ego type who likes to hike, I recommend the Neah-Kah-Nei trail, but don't sit down.
The area is filled with mystery. Bees wax has been found on the Manzanita Beach, from a ship wrecked in times forgotten. Native Americans passed down stories of one ship chased by another, of a crew of sailors or pirates who buried a treasure on Nea-kah-nie Mountain. And then there are those strange stones with hieroglyphics that have been found on the mountain. It has sent many in search for the treasure. One fellow calculated the water currents and concluded that the treasure had shifted. It was under Manzanita Beach. He spent a fortune digging up the beach and he recovered a lot of sand.
Sir Francis Drake may have staked a claim to the area in 1579. This was just after the Frobisher Expeditions to Hudson Bay, Canada, in search of the Northwest Passage. Perhaps Drake planned to greet Frobisher when Frobisher reached the other side. Perhaps Drake was the one the Natives saw chasing the Spanish ship. Perhaps the strange hieroglyphics are Drake’s survey markers. All that is certain is when walking the beach, or climbing Nea-kah-nie, keep a sharp eye. There’s no telling what you might find.
(Above) Beneath "The Bridge," a Tribute to Sailors who did not return; accessible by Astoria Riverwalk that extends from Maritime Museum along the waterfront. .
(Above) Sea Lions on an Astoria Dock, east Astoria Riverwalk . They were a rare sight on The River prior to 1970. Their numbers have grown, and no one can figure out how to get rid of them. The problem is simple. They like to eat Salmon and refuse to review the endangered species list before chomping a hole in a fish. In 2005, the Army Corps of Engineers at Bonneville Dam watched California sea lions consume 3,023 salmon during the year. That was just one section of the Columbia and only those observed.
(There are observable differences between Sea lions and seals.)
(Above) Gearhart, a peacful town, as viewed from north end of Seaside's beach. The two towns are separated by a river mouth.
(Above) Seaside Oregon looking north to mouth of Columbia River, as viewed from a Helicopter ride.
The town was founded as a vacation destination and continues as such.
(Left) Seaside fun includes renting a bicycle built for 1, 2, 4, or more. When driving in town, look for small yellow triangular flags. There's a bike below the flag. Try not to hit it.
(Right) The restored Merry-go-round still provides rides in the heart of Carousel Mall.
(Above) View of Pacific from Hwy 101 south of Cannon Beach, looking north.
(Below) View from a turnout south of Cannon Beach.
from Canada to Mexico is a must drive. Between Astoria and Seaside, visitors ask, "Where's the Ocean?" It's west of Hwy 101 and requires a turn at a beach sign to see. South of Seaside, every turnout offers a photo op.
Hwy 101 looking south toward Manzanita.
(Above) North Coast Traffic Cam on Hwy 101, Warrenton, OR.
Warning: In some coast towns, a speed limit of 45 mph means 45 mph and not 46 or higher.
Wheeler has a charm of its own. In Wheeler you can catch a fish, or a ride. Old fashion trains offer fun and views along the coast.
(Left) Wheeler Train Station.
(Below) Amazing shingle art on Wheeler's main street.
(Below) South of Wheeler, along Hwy 101.
named after a cannon from the U.S. Navy ship Shark, wrecked at Clatsop Spit in 1821. Their annual Sandcastle Festival brings the arts to the shore, until the high tide washes it all away.
Fort Stevens State Park,
southwest of Warrenton:
Fort Stevens was a primary military defense from the end of the Civil War to the end of WWII. It is now a fine State Park offering a glimse of history as well as a great spot to camp, hike, picnic, view the ocean and the Peter Iredale shipwreck. It hosts a major annual Civil War reenactment.
North Coast Towns:
Each one is unique.
Only a few listed below
from north to south
(Above) Looking south from Hwy 101. Neahkahnei with Manzanita in background.
Astoria the largest north coast Oregon town by population. It's neighbor, Warrenton, is the largest by square miles. Astoria is rich in arts and history. Today Shanghaied in Astoria is a delightful show. In the early 1900's persons were actually Shanghaied (kidnapped) in Astoria.
The grand Astoria - Megler Bridge spans the Columbia River. It was built 1962 - 1964. Before that, only a fair weather ferry service connected Oregon to Washington. The bridge closes on rare occasion due to bad weather. For the most part, it is open for all those with the guts to cross it.
(Above) Pilings from old cannaries along Astoria's Columbia River bank. Several have been converted to restaurants, pubs, gift shops,...