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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Astoria Column: Views on a gentle evening

View of Young's Bay and Bridge from the Astoria Column By the time I reached the top of the Astoria Column on November 13, 2009, the most spectacular colors had faded. However, the view from here is delightful and inspiring in any light. If you click on this photo to enlarge it, you'll see the (new) Young's Bay Bridge. The taller portions are the drawbridge section, and occasionally the cars have to stop while it's being lifted to let a boat go through. The big ships stay in the Columbia River and do not go into Young's Bay, which is too shallow. I think I've only been caught with the drawbridge up once or twice in eight years. It helps if you're not in a hurry.

The Astoria-Megler Bridge from the Astoria Column To the right, beyond the point of Astoria's peninsula, is the classic view from the top of the Column - the Astoria-Megler Bridge, spanning just over four miles to the coast of Washington. It's clear enough today at water level that you can see the ocean beyond the jetties - but just barely, due to the curvature of the Earth. This photo is also worth enlarging. The wide, dark, undulating patch in the middle of the river is a huge sand bar (or mud bar) that becomes exposed at low tide. This an other bars like it is what helps determines the shipping channel, and why the ships don't sail just anywhere in this treacherous river. The channel hugs the land coming in from the mouth of the river all the way around the curve and between the towers of the bridge.

Ships on the Columbia River from the Astoria Column, Astoria, Oregon On the 13th, there were at least eight ships moored and waiting to go up or down river. I'm not sure what the delay was, unless it was stormy weather. That's the most likely reason, and we had been having heavy storms. About half an hour before I climbed the column, there was a huge dark cloud hanging low over the river, but it had mostly dissipated by the time I took these pictures. You can see six of the ships here. I think the most I've counted at any one time is nine.

Tongue Point from the Astoria Column Looking upriver beyond the spires of a radio tower, you can get a nice view of Tongue Point. With the tree in the way it looks like an island, but actually it's connected to the mainland. This view is upriver from Astoria's downtown area, and shows the forest from which part of the city and many of the residences have been wrested.

9 comments:

Nori said...

Magnificent Views!

B SQUARED said...

You really need to blow-up the photos to get the full effect.

Small City Scenes said...

Excellent views from the top. The skies look sorta like ours have been. We've been hit with some crazy storms. MB

cieldequimper said...

That door was definitely worth the climb! What a gorgeous, superb, terrific view! You live in a place of such beauty!

Jacob said...

Well, I've decided that if we ever get to Astoria, I'm going to conquer my lack of interest in high things, climb up there and take some pictures.

These are magnificent, Sheryl! And the colors are wonderful...such grandeur! Merci beaucoup!

Don and Krise said...

I'm with Jacob on this one. I'm not so crazy about heights either, but I think I'd brave this one. Wonderful photos Sheryl, all of them. It almost looks as though if you were any higher your head would be bumping those clouds.

Vogon Poet said...

May a camp a few weeks on top that tower?

Stine in Ontario said...

Magnificent views! Thank you for going to the top to get these for us.

Amy said...

Very pretty - I love the sunset!

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