Pages

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The mouth of the Columbia River

South Jetty with Ship at the Mouth of the Columbia River, Oregon It was a bit hazy early yesterday evening when I drove the few miles to Fort Stevens and out to South Jetty to get a photo of the mouth of the great Columbia River. And I got lucky. Do you see the small gray bump in the center of the horizon? That's a big ship coming in from the ocean. It's best to click on the image to enlarge it for a more impressive view. I took this photo from the viewing platform on the jetty. The ocean is on the left, and the river is on the right. The end of South Jetty and North Jetty are so far apart, I couldn't capture them both in the same picture from here, but you'll get an overall view tomorrow, when I intend to post an aerial photo by Frank Wolfe that shows the river pouring into the ocean. In fact, South Jetty angles to the left, and the end of it is just outside the frame of this photo. On the north side, the jetty also ends just outside the frame of the picture. I could easily fill a week's posts with different ways to look at this spot.

Before the jetties were built, ships sometimes waited as long as two or three weeks for conditions to be safe enough to attempt to enter the Columbia River. The jetty in this photo is made of huge rocks, but if you look at the left edge of the silhouette, you'll also see the remains of wooden boards. This is part of the ruined railroad trestle that ran several miles, bringing rocks of up to 50 tons for construction of the jetty. (Much of the trestle still exists, and would make a good photo for another day.) When it was finished, the jetty was five miles long, but it was extended another two miles - a task begun in 1903 and finished ten years later. According to the interpretive plaque supplied by the State Park system, the two jetties were built between 1885 and 1895 "to keep the mouth of the Columbia river from moving around, to narrow the current to help flush out river sediment, and to keep beach sand from clogging the river mouth . . . . Generally, waves and wind push Oregon Coast beach sand south in the summer and north in the winter - sometimes driving sand into shipping channels."

Locals and tourists enjoy coming out for an interesting view, to watch the sunset here and to see big waves during storms. Occasionally the storms are so strong that advisories will warn us to stay away from the jetty and viewing platform.

For scenic photos from around the world, drop in for a visit to Scenic Sunday.

7 comments:

eileeninmd said...

Looks like a great place to see the waves crashing. Thansk for sharing you scenic Sunday.

Jacob said...

The mouth of the mighty Columbia! I've read and heard so much about it and now I finally got a chance to see it!

And that jetty - 7 miles long...never heard of such a thing! Massive.

What a great shot, Sheryl! Thanks and thanks for the most interesting information!

Vogon Poet said...

Impressive image and story. The sheer size of this river and of the works to restrain it are immense. Then there is the ocean, this word so strange for us living in a relatively quiet inner sea. When I look at size of the Columbia at Portland it looks more a narrow gulf than a river...

Lee Spangler said...

Your picture transports the viewer right to the spot. One of the most powerful spots in the country. One of the most dangerous crossings in the world.

Don and Krise said...

That jetty is an impressive thing to see isn't it? Can you imagine being on the crew that actually moved all those rocks? I can't wait to see tomorrow's post.

Sueso said...

I just had to comment here with a word of caution. We went on a VERY windy day to see the waves crashing on the rocks, safely from the observation tower. I thought dirt had blown onto our car, but as the days went by, noticed it had literally been sand blasted! You know what? It, the view, was worth it. I am really enjoying your pictures..I grew up across the river and many times played on the North Jetty. Was even placed there by my stepfather off of his boat as he he plied me with candy bars, etc. and I got so sick he decided to put me off on the jetty! After jumping from the boat onto a large rock, I walked the trestle on that side until my stomach was, well, better. ha Then I laid down on a big rock and fell asleep for 3 hours...then they picked me up! He was a gill net fisherman who knew what he was doing I suppose, but my mother probably would have fainted had she known I was jumping from boat to rocks & back again. lol This was in the early 60's.

AB said...

Nice photo - I love the misty spray of the waves and the way the line disappears off into the horizon.

You might also like

Related Posts with Thumbnails