Crossing into Oregon

Trip Start May 09, 2009
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Trip End May 27, 2010


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Flag of United States  , Oregon
Thursday, September 17, 2009

(9/30/09: I just realized that I inadvertently skipped some photos that we took when crossing the Columbia River from Washington into Oregon on 9/17 and our visit to Astoria WA.)

After crossing the Columbia River, our first stop in Oregon was at the Astoria Column in Astoria, WA.  We knew about it from a brochure we picked up at a Visitor Info Center.  Unfortuantely, nothing in the brochure provides an address or directions.  So, with trailer in tow, we headed uphill, knowing it was supposed to be on the highest point in town.  We ended up stopping and asking a resident where it was, and it turned out we were only a block from where there were finally directional signs!

It was worth the search.  The Astoria column is the last in a series of 12 historical markers erected in the early 1900s between St. Paul, Minnesota and Astoria, Oregon.  This particular column was the pet project of Ralph Budd, president of the Great Northern Railroad who wanted to salute Astoria's explorers and early settlers for their critical role in the expansion of the US to the Pacific Coast.  After securing the financial support of New York philanthropist, Vincent Astor (great grandson of businessman John Jacob Astor, whose Pacific Fur Company settled Astoria), the column was erected in 1926 on Coxcomb Hill.

On clear days, the column provides panoramic views of the Pacific, the Columbia, Mt. Rainier and Saddle Mountain.  Unfortunately for us, we were there on a very gray cloudy day when visibility was limited.  However, we still had some great views, especially when Jim climbed to the top (164 steps).  The column itself is amazing, with 500 linear feet of art depicting exploration history wrapped around the column.  The column is 125 feet tall, so it was difficult to see the artwork at the top. 

For more info on the column, see www.astoriacolumn.org
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