On the way along highway 30 just east of Astoria, you will come to signs that point the way to the "Twilight Eagle Sanctuary". These point the way to a narrow road named "Burnside Loop Road", which gets a little closer to the Columbia River.
There is a nesting pair of bald eagles that have chosen to nest in a tree near this site, and their favorite place to hunt for fish is in a wetlands area on the north side of this narrow little road.
The only indication you have arrived at the site is an observation platform equipped with benches and interpretive signs. There is a somewhat paved wide spot in the road for you to put your car.
You will definitely want some telephoto equipment for visiting here. Binoculars, spotting scopes, or telephoto camera lenses will help you see the bald eagles. There is one in my photos, but the best you will be able to see is a small black speck.
While you can not see the tree from this location, the long-dead tree where the eagles nest has been known as the "Twilight Tree" for many, many years. This sanctuary for the eagles was set aside by a group of volunteers called the Oregon Eagle Foundation and with considerable help from efforts from local citizens.
How to Get Here: Highway 30 from downtown Astoria. A little more than 8 miles from downtown Astoria you will come to a sign pointing the way to "Twilight Eagle Sanctuary". Turn left onto the road. Look for the observation platform on the north side of the road, facing the river.
On the same long and wide sandy beach where people lay out, kite surf and build sand castles is the rusting iron hulk of a shipwrecked vessel- the Peter Iredale. It ran aground in 1906 while attempting to enter the Columbia river at night in the mist and has lain there ever since.
It was built in 1890 in England and sold for scrap. It is a wonderful monument to the difficulties of ships to navigate the treacherous mouth of the Columbia whose waters when mingling with the ocean without a delta create a bar of sand, large waves and back currents. This portion of the "graveyard of the Pacific" has claimed over 2000 ships.
Astoria is wel known for its location to the Ocean and the Columbia river but friends of mine and I have discovered it is a great place to go Garage Sale hunting. We head down to go camping and end up spending a few hours cruising around newspaper in hand looking for local garage sales. We have picked uo some really great things for next to nothing. Of course there are always the ones that are just plain junk for sale. I like to pick up books and unusual things like tins. I have another friend who looks for salt and pepper shakers Sometimes we just drive through some of the neighborhoods looking. If its nice and its a weekend I bet you can find some.
Most people don't relize that Astoria is the first and oldest city in the state of Oregon . When arriving in the city just find a street going uphill till you get to either Franklin or Grand street and look for the homes with the little emblem saying it is a Pioneer house . There are hundreds of them also that do not have the emblem .
It was very interesting to learn and hear about the Lewis & Clark expedition.
Lewis & Clark were explorers who charted a route from the east to the Pacific through the Rockies and the Northwest about two hundred years ago. Fort Clatsop
is the site of their westernmost winter encampment.
Location about 5 miles southwest of Astoria off US 101
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Fort Stevens. - Just like the wreck of Peter Iredale this wasn’t what we expected either. There wasn’t much left of the coastal fort and it was covered with trees and plants, there wasn't even a view of the sea. All right, as we say in Belgium, it can't be Christmas everyday! A historical note: Fort Stevens is the only continetal US military installation that was fired upon since the war of1812. In 1942 a Japanese submarine fired 17 shells at the fort causing no damage.
Peter Iredale Shipwreck - It was an oceangoing ship that was wrecked in the early part of the century. After 90 years only some rusted iron and steel is left over. The wreck can still be seen at low tide. Access is available from Fort Stevens State Park.
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