Thanks to Stephen Ambrose for the title of this post. “Undaunted Courage: Because we are ending our trip on the banks of the Columbia River very near the place where Lewis and Clark spent the winter of 1805-1806 on their journey of discovery of the west; and, because that’s the kind of mind set it has taken to accept that our journey of discovery with Heather and Judy is reaching its conclusion.
But a trip isn’t over until it’s over and we still have a few hours to spend together. So, let’s recap the past couple of days.
We headed west from Salem on Sunday morning under beautifully blue skies. This was another drive that showcased the diverse landscape that Oregon has to offer. Agricultural land, forested land, dairy land and astonishing coastal vistas.
First stop was Tillamook; see photo above to get a sense of the new-ish visitors’ center. Lines for ice cream were too long; old folks just don’t have that much time to devote to dairy products.
Final stop was the Holiday inn Express in Astoria, Oregon. It may be a chain hotel but its location right under the bridge is hard to beat. We did a little recce of the town, checking out some of the many brewpubs the town has to offer before settling on Buoy Brewery on the waterfront. Good beer, good cider, great view of the river. Short trolley ride back to the Bridgewater Bistro for a delicious dinner.
Yesterday, we began the day with Lewis and Clark at Fort Clatsop, a reconstruction of their winter camp on the banks of the Netul River (also known as the Lewis and Clark River). The visitor center/museum provides excellent context for the visit and walking through the forest under the BIG evergreens dripping with lichens is very pleasant.
Fort Steven’s State Park and the wreck of the Peter Iredale were also on our itinerary. Lunch of burgers at Fort George brewpub back in Astoria. Our afternoon included the maritime museum and a visit up the hill to the Astoria Column with its exterior covered with a spiral of sgraffiti images of the history of this area since the arrival of white people. It was also good fun to watch people launch their balsa wood gliders from the top of the column and follow the paths of the little planes as they were buffeted by the winds.
Pink bubbly stuff back at the hotel and another delicious dinner at the Bridgewater.
We’ve packed quite a bit into the past sixteen days and, if Judy and Heather have enjoyed them even half as much as have we, it has been a most incredible vacation.