Friday, April 24, 2009
Surrounded by rivers and forest; connected by bridges
The distant hill is the city of Astoria as it was this morning (Skywatch Friday), still somewhat shrouded under a layer of melting fog. The city consists of a forested peninsula with most of the city's residences not far from wooded land, and the downtown built over the Columbia River's marshy banks on pilings. It's hard to remember that, because the city looks normal, but in places you can still see the evidence. Astoria is reached from eastward by the highway from Longview, an hour's drive up river, and from three other directions by bridges. The Astoria-Megler bridge on the left - the one with the two points - spans 4.1 miles of the Columbia River to the state of Washington. On the right (you may want to click on the photo to enlarge it) a drawbridge and causeway, together called the Youngs Bay Bridge, connect Astoria with its neighboring town of Warrenton. Ten miles in this direction lies the Pacific Ocean. Out of the picture on the right, a shorter bridge called the Old Youngs Bay Bridge connects the city with the meadows, farms, and pasture lands to the south. For reasons I'm not sure of, "Youngs" has no apostrophe in the name. To get an overview, and to see all this water, click on the map link to the right. It's pretty cool.