Vacation highlights

Barn swallow, along Lewis & Clark River, OR

Here’s a few pics from our recent visit to the North Coast of Oregon.  We stayed in a rented house (through Airbnb) near Sunset Beach in Warrenton, and took side trips to Cannon Beach, Astoria, Cape Disappointment (in WA) and other points.

The photo album is on Google+, click here to see it (17 pix).  Most of it is obvious except possibly the picture of a bluish-brownish surface that looks a bit like a sponge, below left.  This is a close-up of the steel hull of the wreck of the Peter Iredale (below) on the beach at Ft. Stevens in the northwestern corner of the state, showing the effects of 107 years of salt water and windHull of the Peter Iredale.  She was one of the many hundreds of vessels shipwrecked while trying to enter the mouth of the Columbia River a few miles to the north.  The Columbia River Bar — the place where the outflow of the river collides with the onrush of the ocean wind and waves — was long called the graveyard of the Pacific.  The native Americans who fished and hunted here knew it intimately and built boats as long as 50 feet to navigate it.  There’s a museum in Astoria that has

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lots of historical background.

This area is infatuated with Lewis and Clark; their name and likeness and souvenirs are everywhere.  After reading their journals I wasn’t so charmed with them.  True, they were resourceful and persistent, but they did a whole lot of lying to the native Americans along the way, without whose assistance on several occasions they would have been dead and lost forever, and they repaid that assistance in a most shabby way.  They not only failed to acknowledge their debt, their trip initiated a brutal wholesale reduction and removal of the Native American civilizations in the territories they passed through.  We didn’t get a chance to explore this chapter in detail but I’ll wager that L&C aren’t viewed much more fondly than Christopher Columbus in history books written by First Nation scholars.

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