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.
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.
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.