The Bow Ramp

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Blogging from Astoria

By the time Friday rolled around, I was in desparate need for some mental down time. What to do? Take Monday off and go on a road trip. Fortunately, I have a wonderful, understanding wife; so she put what she wanted me to do on hold and gave me a kiss goodbye. God, I love that woman!
So, this morning I drop by the Navy Reserve Center in Portland, OR and visit with the Coastal Warfare folks. It was a pleasure to talk with these fine sailors and get a tour of their new patrol boats. These boats are about the same size as the old PBRs we used in Vietnam, but a lots nicer. Aluminum hull with built in inflatable sponsons and an air-conditioned pilot house with bucket seats for the whole crew. Weapons are about the same as a PBR, but these babys are a lot faster. A number of months ago, I posted that the Navy should quickly ramp up their riverine warfare capacity by just buying some boats off-the-shelf and arming them. These new patrol boats I saw today are pretty much that. OMG, I can't believe the Navy and I are on the same wavelength for once. Now, if they would just adopt a few more of my suggestions :-). Sorry guys, no pictures. I didn't think it was polite to snap photos on base without clearance. One other thing I saw there was quite a treat. Apparantly there is a local group that is restoring a WWII PT boat. No one was around, but it seems in good shape on the outside and has the 40mm mount on the stern. I believe it was the 651 boat. I'll see if I can find out anything more about it.
This afternoon finds me in Astoria. Here is a picture of the Astoria bridge which spans the mouth of the Columbia River.

If it looks familiar, it was feaured prominately in two movies--The Goonies and Short Circuit. Right now, I am in the Pig 'N Pancake restaurant for an early supper and to avoid what it loves to do around here--rain. Ther is quite a thunderstorm passing through town right now, so I don't think I want to cross the bridge right now. I had to drive through this storm on the way out here from Portland, and the visibility was just about zero. Here is a photo of the Astoria Column.

The column was built by Jacob Astor's grandson to commerate the coming of the railroads. There is a spiral mural winding around it showing the history since the Lewis and Clark expedition.

There are about 175 steps in a spiral staircase up to the observation deck. Yes, I counted as I came down.

thre is quite a view from up here.

Next weekend, there will be 2000 bicyclists come up here to finish the annual Cycle Oregon ride. That is one steep ride up there. Charles Johnson eat your heart out.

[Posted with hblogger 2.0]