Since I was a kid, taking photographs interested me. I received my very own first camera, a Polaroid Swinger (popular in the 1960’s), when I was 12 years old. With it, I could tell within a few minutes, as the photo developed in front of my eyes, whether the picture was good or not.
As an adult, I graduated onto fully automatic 35 mm film cameras. The film, of course, had to be developed, so it took longer to ascertain whether the shots I captured were worthwhile. That’s why I now enjoy my digital single lens reflex camera so much. I know immediately whether the photo is a keeper or not.
But back in the 1990’s, film cameras were only available, and that’s how I captured photos. Point and shoot and hope for the best. When it came to photographing the Pacific Ocean off the coast of our newly acquired altered state back then, I hoped often and was rewarded with nice photos most of the time.
Today on my Tuesday Tour, I’m chronicling jaunts our family made to the northwest corner of Oregon and into Washington state.
On two occasions, our family of five spent weekends in Long Beach, Washington, located on a peninsula of the same name and noted as the longest (28 miles) contiguous beach in the United States.
The little town of Long Beach was founded in 1880 as a tourist camp for Portland, Oregon residents who would travel there by stern wheeler on the Columbia River since roads to the Washington and Oregon coast did not exist yet.
During our visits to Long Beach, we loved the fact that often we were the only ones on the beach, and we could easily fly our kite, play in the sand, investigate tide pools, build driftwood sculptures and forts, and just enjoy nature.
Keep in mind, often the Washington and Oregon beaches aren’t necessarily lay-on-the-sand and suntan kind of places, especially when the weather is still a bit chilly and the water is frigid, which it was both years we were in Long Beach during Memorial Day weekend trips.
Seafood is, of course, most plentiful on Long Beach Peninsula, especially oysters. We remember observing tons of oyster shells everywhere and I recall our children got their first taste of clams and crab legs there. Another first for us was spotting and visiting North Head Lighthouse on that Washington state coast.
To arrive in Long Beach, we first traveled from our home in suburban Portland to Astoria, Oregon. This city, where numerous movies have been filmed including The Goonies, Free Willy, and Kindergarten Cop to name a couple, sits along the Columbia River and not far from the Pacific Ocean.
Astoria is considered the oldest American settlement west of the Rocky Mountains. On its highest hilltop, we visited the Astoria Column, a 125-foot-tall structure erected in 1926, where we viewed the Columbia River, Young’s Bay, and the Pacific Ocean as well as huge evergreen trees.
To cross the Columbia River from Astoria to Long Beach, we drove across the Astoria Bridge stretching 4.1 miles across the river and connecting Oregon and Washington on US Route 101. Again, I believe crossing that bridge was the first time any of us had been on a bridge that long.
I recall thinking it was a bit scary and I surmise that’s why I wasn’t keen on holding a camera in front of my face while we were driving along, since I don’t have photos of the bridge other than the one below taken from the Astoria Column.
The Pacific Coast became one of my favorite places to photograph and on a subsequent Tuesday Tour, I’ll take you along on a journey we took southward on the Oregon Coast Highway, US Route 101.
Capturing many pictures, even if they weren’t always the best, on our travels during the time we lived in the Pacific Northwest was a pleasurable experience because that coastline mesmerized me with its unique beauty. And those photos provide lots of wonderful memories for me.
“Photography is thus brought within reach of every human being who desires to preserve a record of what he sees … and enables the fortunate possessor to go back by the light of his own fireside to scenes which would otherwise fade from memory and be lost.” ~ George Eastman