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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Captain Fishhead Moves His Plunder

Captain Fishhead's treasure trove of "Furniture, Books, Plunder" has recently moved from its east end location to the west end of Astoria. It's hard to miss coming in or out of town, and you really should not miss it.

The items on the porch and around the front of the building give just a taste of what you'll find inside. The quality is good, the prices are reasonable, and there is virtually something for everyone, from music to kitch to art to the completely undefinable. Tomorrow we'll look beyond the front door of what used to be the old porn shop . . . uh . . . adult store. 

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Floating Ziggurat

September 28, 2010

When I saw this cruise ship in the Port Docks, I wound my way up onto Alameda Drive to see if I could get a good angle. It's docked in exactly the same location as the dredge Essayons in this recent photo, but the cruise ship is much larger.

Zoom-in of the dock. The ship's name is Oosterdam. The Essayons was so much smaller that I was able to take the bow-end photo from approximately the left-hand side of this photo or a little out of the picture on that end.

Here you can see part of the Astoria-Megler Bridge. The red-roofed building is the Harbormaster's Office (and rental space), and a few masts in West Mooring Basin can be seen on the right. I took this photo from across West Mooring basin looking back at the building across the water.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Almost Tropical

September 28, 2010

I hate to complain about the muggy, tropical humidity here this week when Southern California is experiencing temperatures of 113 in Los Angeles and 115 in Corona, where I grew up. The last week in September can often be a scorcher in Southern California, although I don't remember minding it much when I was younger and more resilient. It was only 90 degrees yesterday in Palisade, Colorado, which is where I lived for eight years after California and before moving to Oregon.

With rains, fog, and some incredibly beautiful blue skies alternating throughout the days here, I'm happy to be in Astoria. Yesterday on my drive across the bridge from Warrenton, I wished I could have gotten a photo of the wisps of marine fog in front of the bridge and the Astoria hillside. This morning the clouds are forming pretty shapes against the hills of Washington, and you can see the ghost of a layer over the river.

The boat is the tender boat, Triumph II. Someone once told me the Triumph brings pizza to the big ships in the river. I imagine it's possible they could carry pizza now and then, but according to this link their main job is transporting Homeland Security people.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Monday, September 27, 2010

An Opera House Stood Here

March 26, 2010
Corner of Commercial and 6th Streets

Built on the site of the Ross Opera House
which burned in October 1892,
These are the only Itailianate style
buildings in Astoria designed as
a multi-family residence.

Sorry about the wires. . . . When the sign says "these," I am sure it refers to the building on the far right as well as to the building with the plaque. I should have checked that building, too, but I was snapping photos rather than thinking.

Here's a close-up of the scrollwork, of which there is quite a bit in Astoria that seems to have been made by the same person.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Tower Standing

Photo by Midnight Mike
June 15, 2010

In response to Astoria Daily Photo's post of September 23 ("Tower Down") Midnight Mike sent this gorgeous photo of the same tower while it was still alive. Mike asked his friend Ken what the tower was for and then explained that the tower was built by the Coast Guard. This and similar towers were sited near "Aids to Navigation" such as lights, foghorns, "LORAN-C," etc. so these navigational aids could be maintained and repaired. I had never heard of LORAN-C, so I looked it up. It seems the government was shutting down this system of geolocation in February, so maybe that's the story.

In the background, you can see the Young's Bay bridge crossing to Warrenton over the mouth of Young's Bay. The two square towers on the bridge are what make the drawbridge work.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Trouble on the Tracks

September 23, 2010

In spite of, or between heavy rain showers, these guys are working to fix something on the Riverfront Trolley track at 15th Street and the River Walk. I'm not sure what the problem was, as the cones remained in place when they left and the trolley kept running.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Brown Pelicans on the Columbia River

Photo credit: Kim Taylor

These photos were sent to me by Kim. It's such a delight to see them on the river. Kim took the photos at the Hammond Mooring Basin. I've seen many herons, cormorants, and of course thousands of seagulls, but the only time I saw pelicans on the river (near Astoria) was a week or so ago when a flock of them flew past. I wan't ready with my camera, and they weren't hanging around. So, thanks, Kim, for sending them and for being right there with your camera when the timing was right!

There's certainly a lot of action here, including a small bird of some other species taking its chances near the pelican's beak. I read in my bird book that these guys were considered endangered in the 1970s due to the common pesticide DDT causing the shells of their eggs to become thin and break under the weight of the parent birds. Thanks to regulations, the pelicans have made a comeback here on the Oregon coast as well as on the Atlantic seacoast and the Gulf Coast. Unlike the birds in those two locations, ours are supposed to have a bright red throat, but apparently only when they are past juvenile stage and are not feeding chicks. I have yet to see that brilliant coloring.

More nice action shots. These unlikely-looking birds are such fun to spot.

Bye bye till next time. It's not uncommon to see brown pelicans at the beach or in flight past Cape Disappointment, but here on the river? Is this something new?

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Tower Down

This jumble is just to the left of where I was standing to take the pictures for yesterday's post. I wonder what this was? Does anyone know? Was it one of the markers that stand in the river? I don't remember what they're called, but I'm sure it was in some way historic.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Norwegian Pearl

September 20, 2010

As I was driving back from Warrenton, I noticed that the Norwegian Pearl had just left the dock and was on her way toward the bar and back out to sea. Several cars were parked where the road from the Port Docks meets the river near Young's Bay. It's a great place to watch ships. At the moment, the N.P. didn't seem to be moving, or not very fast. She was in one of my earlier posts.

There are often a lot of seagulls on the bay where it enters the river, but I've never seen them swarm around the front of a ship before. They were here in droves and nowhere else near the ship. Maybe this is common. I don't usually see the ships from this vantage point when they're not moving.

It seems that either the rainy/drizzly weather or dinner was keeping most of the passengers indoors.

A fishing boat was also heading out.

There she goes. The shipping lane is pretty interesting. The bar and then the open ocean are way to the right, then left and out of sight, but the big ships first go left, following the channel and the curve of the land, then they follow the land to the right, making a big long curve before they get to the ocean. If you enlarge the second photo, you'll see a tiny light on a ship way in the distance following this route.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tuesday View

September 21, 2010

Astoria must have as many scenic view points as any town on Earth. This vista from a driveway on Harrison Street is the one I chose today. That's the Columbia River with Washington in the background.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Going Home

September 19, 2010

It's not unusual to see Coast Guard helicopters all around the area both working and training. Among other things, Astoria is home to a Coast Guard Group/Air Station. This helicopter is headed home to its pad, which is nearby behind the wild trees and bushes at the edge of Young's Bay, which you see in the foreground. Click the second link fora nice photo of the air station from above. 

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

"The Pig"

These are not what you'd call artistic photos, but many people will recognized the much-loved (or not) Pig'N Pancake, sometimes referred to as "The Pig." I'm not sure how I got so far into this blog without showing a photo of it. Many people enjoy the no-nonsense, affordable pancake-and-other breakfast dishes you can get here all day long and much of the night, and I've been here plenty of times myself. What I also like, though, is that a very entertaining (and good) local rock band came up with a variation on the theme and called themseves "Pagan Pancakes." They're definitely worth a listen. In person is best.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Buoy 17 with Bell

Buoy 17 at the Maritime Museum September 13, 2010

The other day when I was taking the photos of the brass propeller for yesterday's post, I included a shot of Buoy 17 at the entrance to the Maritime Museum's parking log. There is a buoy on either side of the entrance (as you can see in this photo from June), but Number 17 has its bell and 93 does not. I am guessing that someone purposely brought Buoy 17 to this location because the driveway is an extension of 17th Street, and the Pier is also known for the street name.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Brass Butterfly

September 13, 2010

Can you guess what this is? I noticed it in front of the Maritime Museum the other day. I'm not sure when it was installed, but it's reasonably new there.

As I back up, you'll be getting more of a clue.

This is a beautiful and interesting object from many angles.

The propeller was installed as a memorial for all to enjoy and learn from. It's impressively large - taller than a person.

Thanks to friends and family of Arthur E. Farr, the museum has a new and interesting display right along the River Walk. I found adults of about my own age or so clamboring onto the concrete, wrapping themselves in the blades, and posing for photos. I didn't get a great shot of them, or I would have included it. In the photo above the plaque, you can see they've moved on to pose with the anchor display. It seems that Arthur and the propeller will be remembered happily for a long time.

I didn't know Arthur E. Farr, but he was honored by the Propeller Club in 1993. You can read more about the Columbia River Propeller Club here. It seems the Columbia River chapter was merged with the Portland Shipping Club and is still active under that name.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Essayons in Dock

Dredge Ship Essayons in Dock, Astoria, Oregon September 11, 2010

I was on my way to check out some smaller boats in the docks and beached on land on this beautiful day, but my attention was caught by something larger. Unlike when the cruise ships are in, the dock area was open to the public, and my camera couldn't resist. A U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dredge ship, Essayons is a much smaller vessel than the cargo ships we see on the river every day, however, I can tell you for sure she seems quite big enough when you get this close. The picture hardly shows the scale, but it's enough to take your breath away. (Here's a picture of her on the river - from my other blog.) I took lots of photos, and I'll probably have more coming up soon. The crew was taking trash to the dumpster, untying ropes and emptying hoses, and they said they hoped to get back underway within the hour. I wanted to watch, but I felt compelled to head over to the beach for sunset.

Here's an unexpected bit of trivia about the ship's unusual name.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sunset at the Peter Iredale

Peter Iredale SunsetSeptember 11, 2010

Toward sunset when the sky is clear enough to see the sun, people begin to gather on the beach near the wreck of the Peter Iredale. If you enlarge the top photo, you'll see a couple of tripods.

Peter Iredale Sunset It's a nice time to watch, relax with loved ones, wade in the tidal lagoon or the waves, play with the dog, and enjoy the free show.

Peter Iredale Sunset Last night there were few clouds, but the viewers were rewarded with a bright zig-zag across the sky.

See more Weekend Reflections from around the world.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Batteries Included

Riverfront Trolley, Astoria, OregonJuly 24, 2010

I think it was Jacob who asked how the trolley was powered since there are no overhead wires. The trolley carries its power supply beind it, although I couldn't tell you how it works. Electrical? I took this photo on the River Walk between 15th and 16th Streets. I also took it on one of those days when the sun was out. There is nothing outside my window at the moment to distinguish the day from any day during winter.

September 11: Dave made a comment on this blog's Facebook page and described the trolley's power source: "The trolley has a diesel powered motor that operates an electric generator mounted in the trailer. The trolley has electric motors mounted on its axles. They have an electrical cord that goes between the two. Originally the trolley took power from an overhead wire, and that's what the poles on the roof are for. Long ago Astoria used to have a trolley that ran from the Astor Court Store area, near Gray School, to Alderbrook. You can see the rails still in the streets if you know where to look."

Thanks, Dave!

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Mystery Navigation Tower

Navigation Tower I'm sure this tower on the Washington side of the Columbia River is no mystery to many people, but I really don't know what it's used for. It looks like a lifeguard stand, but this is no swimming beach. Below the tower is a rocky drop-off to cold water filled with sturgeon, salmon, and strong currents.

Navigation Tower The tower has something to do with navigation, and I could not tell you what that is. If you know, please leave a comment or send e-mail!

Navigation Tower I forgot to take a close-up of the sign, so I enlarged the small one and tweaked the levels. It says:

U.S. Government Property
Report Violations to:
U.S. Army Corps
of Engineers
Navigation Division
Portland District

Interestingly, on the board to the left of the sign, someone who could almost spell wrote graffiti that says, "Astoria Rescue Mision." Perhaps it's a note to the needy that help is on the other side of the bridge.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

One of Its Last Trips

Pilot Boat Peacock March 1, 2010

The pilot boat Peacock will be taking up residence at the Maritime Museum after a career of about 32 years crossing the Columbia Bar. I've usually see it docked in East Mooring Basin, but on March 1 it was travelling down the Columbia. Here is a quote from The Daily Astorian. If the link works for you (if it doesn't, try Google with appropriate search words) there is more info in the article. Here's a summarizing sentence: "The 89-foot, self-righting vessel has been mothballed for the last 10 years after serving the Columbia River shipping industry from 1967 to 1999." The small boat next to the Peacock is the Lee H, a small tugboat.

Below are a few more links about the Peacock and the Chinook, the boat that replaced it.

. Peacock
. Peacock
. Chinook (pix and cool video)
. Chinook on this blog

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Covered Bridge

Astoria-Megler Bridge, Washington Side September 5, 2010

Here's a closer-up view of what's happening on the Washington side of the Astoria-Megler Bridge. You can also see how the bridge dips down much closer to the water level before it rises up toward the sky at the more famously-photographed end.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Monday, September 6, 2010

From the Washington Side

Astoria-Megler Bridge from the Washington Side Washington ~ September 5, 2010

This is the other end of the famous Astoria-Megler bridge, which crosses the Columbia River between Astoria (the land mass on the left) and Washington, where I'm standing. This is the same bridge with the recognizable towers seen in most of the bridge photos on this blog. The towers are there in the distance, but the bridge is 4.1 miles long, and they've become lost in the dim light. The structures you see here actually fade away to a very low rail, and the bed of the bridge lies closer to the water for much of its span, then it arcs up again near the Oregon side so cargo ships can pass beneath it. The two sections in the photo that look like boxcars or a covered bridge are only temporarily covered with sheeting so the bridge can be painted. Nearby is Dismal Nitch, part of the Lewis and Clark story. There was a fishing station (now gone) near here called Megler. The Dismal Nitch link will also tell you about Joseph Megler.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Details of the Lamp Post

Lamp Post at the Post Office September 1, 2010

Several of you asked questions about the lamp post in front of the post office after yesterday's photo showed lines and shadows of the base. I found the parts more interesting than the sum, and I never took a photo showing the whole post. There is a lamp post on either side of the steps leading to the front doors, and the photos include both lamps.

Lamp Post at the Post Office It's not too clear, but the lamps are placed on a cement footing above ground level on either side of the staircase. The fencing in the foreground is the railing along the handicapped ramp.

Lamp Post at the Post Office . . . So, there you have it :) When I first looked at the three-legged base the other day, it reminded me of the triskelion seen everywhere in Sicily. The link will show some of the ways a triskelion is used, but when seen anthropomorphized as running legs (which is how we saw it so often in Sicily), it looks very strange.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Lines and Claws

Lamp Base with Lines September 1, 2010

Patterns found in front of the post office on Commercial Street. Initially, I took the photo because I was trying to get a photo of the other-era three-footed lamp base, but the situation was wrong for details and right for shadows and patterns.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

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