Where the 4.2 mile long Astoria, OR bridge is closed for the morning so runners and walkers can enjoy the spectacular sites around the mouth of the great Columbia River.This was the 31st year for the event. One lane of traffic on the bridge is closed for the 10K run/walk. 3,000 people gather on the Oregon side in Astoria to be shuttled across the river to the starting point. The starting point is Dismal Nitch, Washington, so named by the Lewis and Clark Expedition during a not-so-pleasant winter stay on their arrival on the west coast - hard to imagine on this summer-warm, sunny morning in late September! Today, the name sounds more like a location in a Harry Potter novel.
|Looking back at the end - yes, the high part is at the end after about 4 miles of walking!|
Folks gather between 7am and 7:30 to be shuttled across the river in an endless stream of yellow schoolbusses.Lots of volunteers and porta-potties (they repeatedly remind us that there are no facilities on the bridge). Everything is very well organized, my only complaint is that there is no Starbucks and I haven't had my morning caffeine!
3,000 people is quite a crowd as we wind our way from Dismal Nitch to the bridge (about a mile)
Here we are partway across the bridge at the 'Entering Oregon' sign!
Pelicans and Pilings!
Amid all those seagulls is a flock of pelicans. The birds overflew the bridge many times, apparently wondering what the heck all those people were doing on the bridge. 4.2 miles is a long, long bridge and there were moments when I was wondering the same thing.
At low tide, the bridge spans a huge mudflat. You can still see the pilings of what were horse barns. The horses were used to pull nets when seining for fish was a major industry in the area.