Sunday, July 15, 2012

Astoria Oregon Area

Today we left Tillamook and headed north along Hwy 101 to the Astoria Oregon area.  We are staying at the Astoria KOA which is next to Fort Stevens State Park, which is full.  This KOA is huge, with around 200 RV sites, along with tent and cabin sites.  The park is probably 3/4 full, and those that are here seem to have young kids, teenagers, along with just couples.  With so many people one would worry about noise, etc., but they have a lot of staff who frequently go by, and they are very clear with the rules when you arrive in a nice, friendly way.  Sometimes KOA are the best option you have, and in this case, since we decided to come here at the last minute, it seems to be the best.  We came here because we have not been able to attend church for a few weeks, and there is a church only 25 minutes away just south of Astoria.

The trip here was ok, as far as ocean side driving goes.  I did stop about 1/2 way here just to take a 10 minute mental break, which seems to help when you have to be so alert driving along the coastline.  There were few turnouts and fewer passing lanes, so a couple of times up to a dozen cars were lined up behind us.  But that is something that happens from time to time, and you just pull over where it is safe to pull over, and not before.

 I was able to pull over along Tillamook Bay and take these two shots, the one above is to the south, and the one below is to the north.  The tide was coming in, and as you can see, the water was very calm.
After we got to the KOA, we got set up, and we both took naps.  We then took off to find the church for tomorrow, and find a Safeway for some more food.  I plugged everything into the GPS, and it was easy to find.
This church is called Coastline Christian Fellowship, but it still is in the family of Calvary Chapel Churches.  The building is a converted school, probably a elementary school.  They have done a nice job of turning it into a church, from what we saw from the outside.

As we headed to Astoria, we did pass a large doe along the road, but did not get a picture.  My research had shown that one of the sites in Astoria that we should see is the Astoria Column.  The column is patterned after Trajan's Column in Rome, Italy.  It is made of concrete, sits on the highest hill in Astoria at 600 feet, and the column is another 125 feet high.  On the outside, there is artwork with about 200 figures, 12 cartoons, and the state seal of Oregon adorns the top.  The original cost was $27,000 in 1926, and its restoration in 1995 was a mere $1 million dollars, with a plaza restoration and lighting for an additional $2 million.  And one wonders why our country is going broke....
We would have liked it better if the sun had been out, and it was a little warmer.  We pretty much drove around it, stopped to take a few pictures of the city of Astoria, and we left.
The overcast has been around since we got to Coos Bay, Marcia has had enough of it.  I think it will be warmer and sunnier near Mt. Saint Helens, I guess we will know on Monday.

As we got down from the hill, right there along the street in front of a home was a doe with two fawns.  We already missed a picture of a large doe coming back from the church, so we had to get these ones.

 My picture above was as we drove by, and Marcia's picture below is after we turned around and they were headed across the street.
I guess there is so much wildlife around here that they just feel comfortable being right in the midst of the town.

So we then went to Safeway, then to Papa Murphy's for an easy dinner at home, and while we were driving back, I inquired as to where the camera was.  Marcia said it was in her purse already, and since she had Skruffy on her lap, I just let it be.  Not 5 minutes later, as we got close to the KOA, there it was....a young, male Elk with large antlers standing right along side the road.  By the time Skruffy was shoved into the back seat, and the camera was out, he was wandering into the woods.  It was a nice looking Elk, and I know that we will have many opportunities in the next month to get more pictures, but it is hard to see one get away from the lens....

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