Yesterday we biked 72 miles on heavily trafficked roads to Astoria, Washington, where we also stayed today. Astoria was the winter camp for the Lewis and Clark expedition in 1805. They followed the snake river starting in Idaho which emptied into the Columbia river and finally ended here in Astoria. This route has turned into a major shipping for timber and agriculture; if you look out on the Columbia river there is always a steady stream of freighters. Clark was commissioned by Thomas Jefferson to explore the Louisiana territory and points west soon after the Louisiana purchase was signed. Much of the early contacts US representatives had with Native Americans occurred on this trip west and which was surprisingly peaceful. In the winter of 1805 expedition was running out of food and camped near Astoria. They were able to trade for food and other supplies and stock up for the return trip the next year. Fun facts for all. Another fun fact is that because of county regulations, there is almost no Internet here. So in Astoria there is actually a booming video business; this is the first place I’ve actually seen video stores in decades.
There are memorials and sites named for Lewis and Clark all over this area. Tomorrow we begin our southern journey down the Pacific coast; this should be by far more scenic than our pleasant but undistinguished trip from Seattle to Astoria.