mothers day

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Astoria and Fort Clatsop

Thursday we had planned to go to the beach again as it was so quiet, gorgeous sandy beaches and we simply didn't want to drive anywhere today...however - the weatherman changed our minds.   We woke up to heavy clouds, no sunshine in sight so we decided to head up to Astoria.  Ed had mentioned the night before that he might want to take me there to the job corps center so when it was too cool to enjoy the out of doors I hopped in the truck with him no realizing that it would take us 11 hours to get back AND I would be in and out of the truck all day - no sweater or jacket!!  I did wear my walking shoes thank heavens.  We didn't even stop at the job corps.  I think Ed realized they wouldn't know who he was anymore!!  
The drive was green and beautiful as all of Washington has been so far.
 I fell in love with these gorgeous flowers -  it's hemlock!!!  Gee, do you just grind it up and put it in the salad of the person you want to get rid of??  Hah!!  Good thing I love Ed, cause this grows like a weed all over this state!  It is still pretty though!
 We went to Ft Stevens, North West of Astoria and found the ocean.  We got out and wandered around for a while, nice sandy beaches.

 There was a neat shipwreck skeleton on the beach.  I have no idea how old it is - it is however, steel not wood.
 What is it about waves that are so mesmerizing?  As you can see, the clouds are heavy overcast - cool, windy, but still beautiful

 Fort Clatsop is the fort that Lewis and Clark built to spend the winter...they had come down the Columbia River and checked out all the different possible wintering sites and finally chose this area (instead of Cape Disappointment farther North) due to the availability of game - elk, deer etc.  They said the first day they arrived they (the 30 members of the whole team) went out and shot 18 elk mainly for the hides so they could replace the ripped, falling apart deerskins they had been living in for the past months and months.  They had lots of protein to keep them alive that winter but very little else.  But they survived and headed back to St Louis leaving Fort Clatsop in March of 1806

 There was a couple of fascinating talks - one was a couple of ladies dressed in deerskin showing how to tan and brain and stretch the hides making them pliable.  Then we went into the fort itself and a fellow was sharing the history of the Lewis and Clark expedition.  Boy, he knew his facts well.  It was so interesting hearing him talk about how excited they were when they were able to buy 300 pounds of whale blubber from the Indians to add to their diet.  He talked about how tired they got of just elk and deer meat and how they would carve off pieces of whale blubber to chew on.  YUMM for sure!!  This fellow here gave a real cute fun explanation of how their rifles worked - how to load, aim and fire them.  He talked about the different guns carried by both Lewis and Clark - and how thankful they were for both types.
 This is a gun turret at Fort Stevens - the only other spot on the continental US that has ever been attacked (other than 9-11) by an enemy.  During WWII a Japanese sub fired on this fort (that had been in existence since the civil war!)...the commander of the fort held fire and after a while the sub went away after deciding that the fort was no longer in existence.   The guns would come up and over the edge of the wall and fire huge cannons 8 inches or bigger and then return down into the hole in the ground so they were completely hidden from anyone at sea.  This fort was about a mile or two from the ocean! The cannons could heft those cannonballs upwards of 10-20 miles away!
 This is the view of the 'whole' fort...it held two huge guns and amazing storage rooms for the ammo.
To finish off the day we drove back to Astoria and drove to the top of the town to the Astoria Column.  From the column you have the most fantastic views in 360 degrees.  It was built in the 20's ..you go inside the small door you see on the right side of the white square...and then proceed upwards -150 steps to the top.  I was worried about my knee but the stairs were deeper steps and it didn't hurt the knee but by the time I was half way up I was really feeling like I needed to hang on tight - I was NOT liking the heights!  But I made it up and back down without falling down the stairs!!
 We went across this bridge from Astoria to the island that held both Clatsop and Stevens.
 Here is a little better view of the gorgeous murals up and down the tower.

 The view from above down to the parking lot
 Thick green forests

Another view of the parking lot ---that's our truck in the middle.  It was a grey and wet day and we didn't get back to Sauvie Island until 9 pm that night but we had a great time and learned lots!!

1 comment:

Kristanne Willden said...

I am so glad you are enjoying yourselves. It is nice to have no plans and just enjoy looking at things. Wish we had another day in Washington, it was so beautiful.