Oregon Coast, Astoria, and Lighthouses

Breaking convention, and against all suggested practices, this is yet another lengthy offering.  I’m sorry, but I can’t see it unfolding any other way, so I warn you . . . this ain’t a quick foray.

However, it is more sporadic documentation of our 2004 trip to Washington (the state, not the festering pool of greed and corruption found near the Eastern seaboard).

Previous posts included part of our Olympic Peninsula drive (Port Townsend, HERE), and our visit to Mount St. Helen (HERE).

I should present our Mount Rainier drive before this segment, but I’m not following the chronological order of the trip.  I’m not worried about it, and I suggest the same to others.

I did not snap any photos of Oregon’s interior.  While pleasant, there was not much worth photographing that made its presence known.  I should have photographed the Tillamook Cheese Factory, but back then I was stingy with my photography.  I was, however, introduced to fresh cheese curd, and that is reason enough to someday revisit the place.

From Tillamook, we followed U.S. Route 101 North along the Oregon Coast.

The first photo I snapped on the Oregon Coast
The first photo I snapped on the Oregon Coast

There be pretty scenery along them shores.

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We followed Route 101 North.  Before heading into Astoria, we hit Fort Clatsop National Park.  Fort Clatsop was the winter encampment for the Corps of Discovery from December 1805 to March 1806.

As huge fans of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, we were looking forward to the visit.

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That’s the only photo of the place that I kept.   Ok, that’s not true . . . there is also this one.

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The park is underwhelming.  It also manages to look like a cheap tourist trap.  To be sure, it does have lots of information about the Corps, but the visuals and presentation left much to be desired.

We left the Fort, and headed to Astoria, located at the mouth of the Columbia River.  More specifically, we visited The Astoria Column.

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The column depicts scenes from the Corps of Discovery journey in chronological order, carved in a spiral on the outside of the column.

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The column is atop a hill overlooking the town, the mouth of the Columbia River, and the Pacific Ocean beyond .

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The bridge visible in the first photo is the Astoria-Megler Bridge, connecting Oregon to the Olympic Peninsula. .  The bridge is 4.6 miles long (the Mackinaw Bridge is 5 miles long, and a scarier drive).

Side note . . . when we visited, one could buy balsa wood gliders (about 6 inches long), and launch them from atop the tower.  A fun thing to do.

From the Column, we headed down to the Astoria shoreline.

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That is the Columbia Lightship Lighthouse.

I should mention the coast is littered with Cormorants (see earlier photos), so I figure I should try to photograph at least one up-close.

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We did not spend much time in Astoria.  The sun was marching across the sky, and we had miles to go before reaching Aberdeen (Olympic Peninsula).

We crossed the bridge . . .  took a detour.   Our destinations were a pair of lighthouses.

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That is the North Head Lighthouse.  You have to walk to it, as you cannot drive the car all the way to the property.  But, the scenery on the way there is worthwhile.

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That’s Astoria in the distance, across the mouth of the Columbia River

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Here’s the approach to the lighthouse . . .

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. . . and here’s the lighthouse.

It looks like it’s just waiting for a treatment from one of the Topaz filters . . .

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Come to think of it, a couple of the earlier photos are also good candidates for Topaz’s newest offering, Restyle.

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If you want to know the exact location of the lighthouse, all you need to do is walk around the back.

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One last look at the lighthouse . . .

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. . . and we are off to the next one; the Cape Disappointment Lighthouse.

Once again, it’s a nice walk through impressive trees . . .

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This last photo was difficult to process.  I am not unhappy with it, but I can present it a couple of different ways.  First off, using OnOne’s Perfect B&W to create this:

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I can also use Topaz to create this:

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That’s a blend of a couple of different filters.

And here’s the lighthouse.  By now the sun was going low in the horizon, the structure is black and white, and it’s backlit . . . still, through the magic of RAW shooting, we get this:

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I did walk around to the front of it . . .

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. . . but it’s not as attractive from this angle.  But the coastline is.

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And then I see this:

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I did not see a doe around, and this deer looked rather young.  Those shots are taken with a very long lens.

But then, next thing I knew, it had come up to the level of the lighthouse.  I happily snapped away.

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The last photo I took from the spot was with my 400mm lens aimed at Astoria.

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That’s the Astoria Column.  Google Earth shows it to be 13 miles away from the lighthouse. This photo is also a candidate for a little B&W . . .

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All of these photos were shot with my D100.  Again, not as much detail as my current camera, but not bad.

To the one, maybe two, people who made it all the way here, you can go see these and a few more photos in the associated Smugmug Gallery (HERE).

Thanks for giving me a bit of your time.

 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ o o o o o o ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The Small Intestine
The Small Intestine

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