Astoria's Bicentennial 1811-2011

Wednesday–Saturday, September 14–17, 2011
Leader: Barbara Beard
Bus

Paul and Barbara Beard, were the organizers and leaders of this very enjoyable trip. Twenty-eight riders and one excellent bus driver left Eugene Wednesday, September 14 for a 4-day excursion through the Northwest Coast Range to Astoria, enjoying a part of a year-long celebration of Astoria's Bi-Centennial. Our trip - approximately 500 miles, only had us on I-5 for about 20 miles.

The theme for the trip was to take our minds back 200 years, to relive life, myths, rugged country, exploring the terrain, rivers, forests, forts, Indian culture, fur traders and settlers, and remembering their hardships, paving the way for us to enjoy life in Oregon as we know it. These hardy people called immigrants carved the path to the Oregon country.

As we began our trek 2 miles outside of Eugene, we crossed our first river - the McKenzie. From that point on, most riders were watching and writing names of rivers we crossed on notepaper. We were beginning to especially take note of the crossing, and the difficulties the immigrants faced crossing rivers. As we traveled the old highway 99 through Harrisburg and Albany to our first stop at the Santiam River on I-5 for a coffee break, we were already getting a good count and awareness of how many rivers and how much water we have in Oregon.

At Salem, we turned north on Hwy. 221, heading for McMinnville. A few miles south of Dayton, we turned right toward the Willamette river and crossed the river aboard the Wheatland Ferry, a cable drawn barge with the capacity of carrying 60 tons. It could hold the bus, except for the fact that the incline to the ferry was too steep. Therefore, we rode across the Willamette and back afoot. This was a great experience on a sunny day on the open river. It took us back a bit to travel of river crossings via barges without the hardships many settlers possibly experienced floating across on rafts of logs.

In Dayton, we saw the tower and observation area remains of the Fort Yamhill Fort, which was moved to the Dayton area and placed in the city park. We also drove by the home of Joel Palmer, which is now a very fine dining restaurant. We connected with Hwy. 47 at McMinnville to Forest Grove and Hwy 26 west. Our lunch break was a picnic at a rest stop on Hwy 26, and then we turned north on Hwy 103 through Jewell and to the Young River Falls. What a wonderful fan of water over the rocks, even in September. Not one person on the bus tour had ever seen the falls, except the leaders. Some of us hiked to the bottom of the trail, enjoying the deep green pool below the falls. Then on to Ft. Clatsop, where a wonderful park ranger talked and showed a short film about the Lewis and Clark hardships living through an Oregon winter there. We checked into several B & B's to enjoy 2 nights in Astoria. Janet Jacobsen enjoyed hiking up the hill to the top of the Astoria Column for a great view, before joining the rest of the group at Fulio's Italian restaurant for dinner.

Day 2 found us at Fort Stevens, with a little drizzle. We toured the Military Museum and some braved the rain to take in displays of the fur traders and Indian encampment. Back to Astoria at noon, with a fine lunch on the waterfront of the Columbia at "Baked Alaska" restaurant. After lunch, we took the trolley along the waterfront with an interesting conductor as our guide. We even learned and participated in turning the trolley to forward seating for the return trip. We next had a tour of the Heritage Museum, with a splendid art collection and then across the Columbia to the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center. Some did hike to the lighthouse. Dinner was at the Silver Salmon, in downtown Astoria, with some of the group taking in the lecture at the Liberty Theater, presented by author, Jane Kirkpatrick.

Day 3: A beautiful sunny day, especially clear for viewing the sights along the North Oregon Coast. Our first stop was the rugged Ecola State Park. There is great walking along the cliffs, wonderful view of the lighthouse, perched out on the rocks. We drove through a heavy, dense forest before arriving in the open area for viewing. At Girabaldi, just north of Tillamook, we enjoyed a delicious lunch at Pirates Cove. Then on to the Coast Guard Station, for a tour of the operations at that station. The station has a 47 ft. life boat, that is equipped with the capability of turning itself right side up again in heavy storms in a matter of 8 seconds. This is a very busy Coast Guard station with the Tillamook bay bar and heavy traffic over this for the fishing industry. Many rescues have happened at this station. We were all in awe of the work being done and the highly trained personnel at this facility. We made a stop at the Tillamook Cheese Factory, enjoying their famous ice cream and other items. We arrived in Lincoln City, and the Inn at Spanish Head in plenty of time to enjoy beach walks before and after dinner. We watched as one of the bellman from the INN drew in the sand messages of welcome to the Obsidians. At 8pm, we celebrated a 50th wedding anniversary of guests Doug and Maxine Hughes, Pop, Popcorn and a movie depicting families on the Oregon Trail, was enjoyed by the group.

Day 4: Found us staring out the windows again, at the beautiful ocean and drawings in the sand again.- OBSIDIANS. Our final day saw us at the Glass Museum in the Taft area and on to Depoe Bay for the Indian Salmon Bake, held in the city park. The afternoon found us atop Cape Perpetua observing the views from approximately 800 to 1000 ft. above the ocean. Florence found us again snacking on ice cream at one of their popular snack stops east on Hwy. 36. Then we traveled on Hwy 126 to Mapleton for our homeward bound trip to Eugene. The last river crossing, was the Long Tom River, making a total of 30 rivers for the trip. Rules of river counts are that the river could only appear one time in your listings. We all saw new things and sights, and gained a greater appreciation of those hardy settlers who helped develop this great state we call OREGON.

Members: Barbara Beard, Paul Beard, Thomas Adamcyk, Bill Arthur, Paula Beard, Barbara Bruns, Sharon Cutsforth, Rose Mary Etter, Barbara Flanders, Dennis Flanders, Barbara Hottle, Kess Hottle, Janet Jacobsen, John McManigal, Lenore McManigal, Don Payne, Barbara Payne, Virginia Prouty, Liz Reanier, Mary Ellen West, Cristy White. Nonmembers: Judy Adamcyk, Doug Hughes, Maxine Hughes, Velma Hammer, Edith Pattee, Judith Philips, Jan Sears.


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