Morning activities were a choice of a 2.5-mile nature hike, or a 5-mile longer hike. The 5-mile hike was a lovely trek on the first scenic highway in the United States: Route 33. Mr. Sam Hill, lawyer and entrepreneur who wanted access to local waterfalls and scenic views, created the pass. He and his engineer, Sam Lancaster, designed a road of gradual grade, wider areas around corners, and one of the first guardrails. Our section was for walkers only, giving us great views. Ponderosa pines, big leaf maples, and colorful poison oaks were along the trail. Later in the day, we explored the Columbia River Discovery Center, a wonderful interpretive museum with a garden of plants identified by Lewis and Clark. A pond behind the center brought grace to the beautiful garden.
National Geographic Sea Bird
O! the Joy! Hmm, we needed to rethink that one this morning, as we woke to a rainy and blustery Astoria. What this weather did give us was a taste of historic authenticity in relation to the Corps of Discovery and their experiences here in the winter of 1805-06. Our first activity this morning was amongst the magnificent exhibits of the Columbia River Maritime Museum. This world-class facility tells the story of the mighty Columbia and the treacherous results to mariners when the river shoves against the incoming tides of the Pacific Ocean. As our day progressed, we crossed the Astoria-Megler bridge to the state of Washington. At the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center the winds continued but the rain subsided, and we enjoyed a sun-drenched afternoon with an option to walk a forest trail down to Waikiki Beach. The sun and sand were a siren to us and we made an additional stop at the North Jetty to get a water-level view of the waves crashing against the rocks of the Cape Disappointment lighthouse. The day turned out anything but disappointing.