ASTORIA, OREGON 3/13/01
It's a dreary overcast day with a little bit of rain. On Saturday, my dad & sis picked me up just outside of Raymond and we drove over to Long Beach Peninsula and did some sight seeing. This is the area where the Lewis & Clark expedition ended in 1805, fulfilling President Thomas Jefferson’s instructions to find a way across North America to the Pacific. This area is also known for its oysters. Around 1850, ships started loading oysters from here and taking them down to San Francisco where they made a good sell. Chinook salmon is another force providing settlement in this area. In fact, they're predicting that this year, 2001, will be one of the strongest Chinook runs in many years.
We also toured the 2 lighthouses in this area, North Head Lighthouse and Cape Disappointment Light. Cape D. was completed in 1856, and North Head lighthouse was dedicated in 1898. The older lighthouse, Cape D., guides mariners into the mouth of the Columbia River, while the beacon at North Head welcomes sailors approaching from the north. Since 1939, both lighthouses have been managed by the US Coast Guard as part of their jurisdiction.
Back in the town of Raymond, one of the most interesting things I saw were all the life-size, metal silhouettes of people and animals that were everywhere in and around town. They included herds of elk, deer, ox, bears, coyotes, ducks, a flock of seagulls and beavers, plus farm families, loggers and children. Over 200 sculptures are in this town.
The Willapa Basin sits among the coastal hills along the Pacific Ocean just north of the Columbia River. Western Hemlock, Western Red Cedar, Sitka Spruce and Douglas Fir are the main types of trees around here. Sea cliff grasslands and coastal pine forests also surround this area. Several types of fish are coho, chinook, chum, sea run cutthroat and steelhead. One of every six oysters consumed in the US is grown here. Willapa Bay produces about 15% of the national oyster crop, averaging 3-4 million pounds per year. Pacific Salmon, Dungeness Crab & several species of clams also abound here in the Willapa Bay. There are also 1,400 acres of bogs that produce & harvest approx 1.5 million pounds of cranberries annually. Cranberries have been cultivated here for more than 100 yrs, growing well with moderate temps and coastal climate.
Intriguing facts about the Corps of Discovery's (Lewis & Clark) transcontinental expedition of 1804-06:
* Members of the expedition each ate about 10 lbs of meat per day -- equal to dining on 40 quarter-pound hamburgers.
* "Rain" is the word that appears most often among all the expedition members' journals. Clark's journal contains 55 separate entries between Nov 7 to Dec 31, 1805; of those, 42 entries included "rain" in the first sentence.
* York, who went on the expedition as Clark’s slave, was the first black man to travel west of the Mississippi River and north of Santa Fe, NM.
* Lewis and Clark's combined journal entries exceed 1 million words, more than the Bible.
* Sgt John Ordway was the only expedition member who wrote a journal entry every day of the trip.
* When Clark wrote the immortal line "Ocean in view! O! the joy" in his journal on Nov 7, 1805, the explorers were still 20 miles from the Pacific shore.
* Meriwether Lewis and William Clark described 178 species of plants and 122 species of animals including the grizzly bear, coyote, bighorn sheep, prairie dog and pronghorn antelope - that were previously undocumented.
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