Return through Astoria

Astoria Travel Blog

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Astoria-Megler Bridge

We decided to drive back to Portland on the Oregon side of the Columbia River, crossing at Astoria.  The causeway and bridge over the Columbia is is a engineering marvel -- very long and dramatic.  It's a four mile long crossing that was completed in 1966.  We were told that the seagulls like to cruise along beside your car and try to get something to eat.  I had taken a piece of an English muffin from my breakfast to try my luck, but alas, no gulls took the bait.  the last part of the bridge is metal and rises up quite high -- much higher than the causeway.  That's to allow ships to flow under this portion with ease.

Trolley and Bike Trail Intersect here. Never saw a sign like that before!
  It does make you feel a little funny as you start going higher and higher as you near Astoria.

Astoria is sometimes called the "San Francisco of Oregon" in that it is built on steep hills like the one in California.  It also has a lot of Victorian homes and a river front trolley system.  The town was named after the American entrepreneur John Jacob Astor (who also lent his name to the Waldorf Astoria in New York).  Astor had a fur trading company that was headquartered here in the early 1800's.

We stopped and took a few pictures of the bridge, but really did not have time to check out Astoria much as we were in a hurry to catch our planes in Portland.  It does look like a fun place to come back and visit.  We did see some wildlife here -- some Canadian geese were flying along the bridge, and I got a good picture of them cruising by us.

Canadian Geese along the Astoria Bridge
  There is a nice bike trail along the Columbia River that would be fun to ride -- I had to have a picture of the traffic sign where the bike trail meets the trolley line.  It's a picture of a biker fall off as he hits the trolley line's rail gaps -- I had never seen a traffic sign like that, so had to get a picture of it!

The trip along the south side of the Columbia is not as scenic as the northern side.  It was still green and nice -- but fewer glimpses of the river.  We did hit a speed trap in St. Helens, Oregon and Paul was not able to talk himself out of the ticket.  Drivers beware that stretch of road if you are not keeping to the speed limit.

We got into Portland about 40 minutes ahead of our flights -- barely enough time to check in the rental car, check bags and clear security.  I made my flight on American via Dallas with about 10 minutes to spare.  Paul had even less time as his flight was ten minutes earlier than mine.  I was not sure about whether he made his flight until I got back to Austin -- as he was on Continental and his battery in his cell phone had died.  I got my bags off the conveyor belt and headed over to Continental -- and there he was.  He said it was close, but he made it.

hummingbird50 says:
Very interesting sign. Love the Astoria bridge. Better safe than sorry!!! :)
Posted on: May 14, 2008
TYoungTX says:
Yeah, I loved that sign too. Definitely one you don't see every day. Seems like there should be other ways to deal with the confluence of the two routes, but at least there is a warning!
Posted on: May 13, 2008
wesnmacke says:
I think I'm rather partial to the trolley that takes on the poor man falling off his bicycle! Yep, that's my fave...if they know they're going to intersect, why didn't they just move the man on the bike sign down a bit, eh? lolololololol
Posted on: May 12, 2008
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Astoria-Megler Bridge
Astoria-Megler Bridge
Trolley and Bike Trail Intersect h…
Trolley and Bike Trail Intersect …
Canadian Geese along the Astoria B…
Canadian Geese along the Astoria …
Down on the Columbia River
Down on the Columbia River
Pauls rental car
Paul's rental car
photo by: hanleyscot