Thursday, August 18, 2011

We're in Washington State, #3

Post Two - 7:00 pm 

We are just over the border into Washington.

We crossed over the Columbia river and into Washington State this afternoon.  So now we have three states on our map.  Yeah!

I'm typing this as we are parked in a rest area.  We went up the 101 to Astoria, OR and over the Astoria Bridge, which stretches 4.1 miles from Astoria, Oregon, across the mouth of the Columbia River, to Point Ellice, Washington.  The main span is 1,232 feet in length, the longest “continuous truss” in the nation.  It is a very cool looking bridge, and loooong.  My favorite bridge so far.  

Astoria Bridge - Oregon side.

I accidentally deleted my beginning photos of the bridge, so the photo above is courtesy of Oregon Department of Transportation, an on-line photo.

 Starting to head down.

Still going down.

About halfway through the second “structure,” we were in Washington:

 I almost got the sign. :) 
 Going down to one lane - what's going on?

They were painting sections of the structure on the Washington side.  It was down to one lane, and draped on the sides and top, very weird feeling driving through.

This is a very long bridge, before I got on it, we went over a drawbridge, then through a large structure under which boats/ships can sail on the Oregon side, then over a long bridge, into the second structure, which is a series of seven smaller structures on the Washington side.  Two are being painted. 

 Drop cloths on the top and sides of two sections.

We came off the bridge and turned right toward the Rest Area shown on a sign, just a mile, I think, from the bridge end.  It’s very nice with a panoramic view of the water and the entire Astoria Bridge.  In Oregon the rest stops said overnights are prohibited, they sounded very serious about it, but this rest stop has a sign asking to "Please limit your stay to eight hours," so I’m going to try to spend the night here and leave early in the morning.  We’ll see how that works – keep your fingers crossed that we don’t get the dreaded KNOCK.

 How would you like to own this house?
It overlooks the mouth of the Columbia River
and the Astoria Bridge.  Nice.

 Gorgeous view of the Columbia River from the Rest Stop.
Lots of boats out today.  I can also see five huge commercial ships from here.

 View of the bridge on this side, showing the painter's drop cloths.

My patience is being tested and my knowledge expanded, that’s for sure.  When we packed up to leave at noon today from Pleasant Valley RV Park, all I had to do was unplug the electric cord and bring down the TV (that didn’t work there) antenna.  While I was turning the TV antenna handle, it came off in my hand.  Then the spring dropped to the table.  I got out the antenna instructions and tried and tried to get it back on, but it didn’t work, then the wire dropped again and I couldn’t find it.

The antenna was almost down, but not completely.  I remembered once, at the very beginning in May, driving with the antenna like this, when I thought I had lowered it completely, but not quite.  That worked out okay, so I thought I’d try again.  The antenna was level with the height of the roof A/C unit, so it wasn't sticking up much.

As I was driving along, the ceiling plate dropped out onto the table.  I was a little worried that these things were holding it together and the whole antenna would fly of the roof and hit someone.  But that didn't happen - I guess they are installed better than that.

We got here to the Rest Stop okay, and I got out some tools and the instructions again.  Just didn’t work, so I turned the metal bar (elevating shaft) that the handle attaches to with pliers, and the antenna went all the way down.  Whew!  So that was okay now.  I tried again to attach the handle, and I think I’ve got it.  We’ll see next time I try to raise the antenna.  But at least I won't be driving with the antenna part way up.

Everything else went well today.  We drove for around four hours.  I wanted to limit my time on the road because I slept so little last night, only about three hours.  I went back to bed at 5:30 am, after I published the first post this morning, and I finally fell asleep until around 8:45.

I was feeling fine while I was driving, but I know I’m not 100 percent on three hours sleep.  So we’ll stay here tonight and start out early tomorrow refreshed.

I don’t know where we’re going tomorrow, but I have a couple of ideas.

From Me and Katie, have a good Thursday evening, everyone!  : )


  1. Welcome to Washington State. It is beautiful here and I really enjoy seeing Mt. Rainier. Hope you get a chance to drive up that way.

  2. What I want to know is how are you taking pictures of the road in front of you? Are you driving and holding the camera, or do you set it on the dash and set timer? I love the pictures of Or and the bridges. I hope to do that trip next year, but in a fifth wheel. They sorta scare me! But not enough to keep me from going.
    I have had the same problem with the TV handle. Finally had to buy a new handle assembly, and got a nice man to install for me. Good luck, have fun.I am so jealous

  3. Astoria is one of my favorite towns out west... don't forget to update your map...

  4. Love that bridge too. Drove over it a couple times in the past. Thanks for the memories. Cool shot of the bridge too!!!

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  6. welcome to Washington State!! your map looks like ours!!..three states!!..enjoy the views!!

  7. That is a beautiful bridge! I'm glad you got that handle back on and perhaps it is fixed!! Fingers crossed!! :-)
    Hope you don't get that knock on the door and can get some good sleep and rest.

  8. It seems to be a common problem with all RV's. The antenna handle falling apart. We finally gave up and used the pliers for about a month until we could replace ours.

    We love the area you're in. It is so gorgeous out there. Hope you got a good night's sleep.

  9. You will enjoy Washington State. There are some really nice things to see and do up there. Go see Poulsbo if you get the chance. Bainbridge Island is nice. We enjoy Gig Harbor and the surrounding area.

    Seattle is fun, but you probably won't want to drive The Palms around there too much. Public transportation is good there. You can see the Space Needle and other interesting things.

    On the side you're on, don't miss Long Beach. That's always fun.

    Enjoy your time, and be safe. Give Katie our love.

  10. Wow, you are just Ms. Vagabond aren't you? So happy for you, getting to just go wherever you want and stop when you want. You sound like you are having the time of your life.

    Ditto to what Russ said about WA. We sure love that place, lots to see and do. Have a ton of fun.

  11. I, too, love that bridge. Astoria can be fun, though I haven't been there in decades.

    Somehow, I suspect that sleeping at a rest stop won't be a problem unless you seem to be setting up for a long stay. What cop wants to say, "move on," only to become liable for a subsequent accident? That could be a career ender, as well as emotionally trying.

  12. Hi, my name is Pam and I live in Olympia, Wa. Just found your blog a few days ago, I hope to be a fulltime RVer someday down the road, we are trying to sell our home and get on with life. Enjoy your visit to Washington.

  13. I realize I'm posting on an oldish blog now...well kinda oldish ;-) But never drive with the antenna even partially up. The antenna can actually rip out of your roof & take part of the roof with it or leave a lovely hole in your roof.

    I can't tell you how many handles I've had to replace. My antenna isn't a winegard, it's a commander, so not sure if the post is the same or different? My last handle, I glued it to the post out of frustration...yep, it broke too. So now I have a lovely glued on handle & have to use garden gloves to turn it with!

    You've taken some beautiful pics. You really make me want to travel that part of the country, which I've never been up into the northwestern coastline. Fabulous! I'm enjoying the trip with you!


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