Across a four-mile bridge from Ilwaco, Washington sits the port town of Astoria, Oregon, on the mouth of the Columbia River, “known to mariners as one of the most hazardous crossings in the world,” according to an interpretive sign on a public viewing area along the river.
“The bar” is so dangerous that ocean-going ships are actually piloted by expert “bar pilots” and “river pilots” — the first navigating vessels from the ocean across the bar to Astoria, the second as far as Portland, 100 miles further inland. The process is reversed when ships return to the ocean.
I heard them before I saw them — and Bob’s sharp eyes picked out the seals on the buoy in the river.
Downtown Astoria is a fun place to shop and offers up enough restaurants that picking a spot for lunch meant readinga few menus, then choosing by instinct. The chowder and sandwiches at Urban Cafe got our vote, not once but twice.
And a stop at the Blue Scorcher meant we took home a bag of pastries and bread made from organic ingredients. MMMMM!