Astoria, Oregon

Oct 10, 2019 - National Geographic Quest

At 8:30 a.m. photographic instructor Linda Burback gave a 25-minute presentation. With cameras in hand, the sun overhead, and in crisp temperatures, guests undertook several shore side expeditions.

One motor coach crossed the Astoria-Megler bridge into Washington State. Its destination was Cape Disappointment and the frenzied mouth of the Columbia River. Another motor coach toured the town, with stops at the famous Columbia River Maritime Museum, and later to 600-foot Coxcomb Hill as well as the Astoria Column. At this elevation, panoramic views were offered under clear skies. From this vantage, one can observe the hillsides of Astoria, the Pacific Ocean, Tillamook Head, and the 3,283-foot Saddle Mountain all in one sweep – the last of these the avowed genesis site of native peoples in that area and named in 1841 by Navy Lieutenant Charles Wilkes.

The visit to Cape Disappointment included a stroll on Waikiki Beach where two Sandwich Island crew members perished in 1811 from the John Jacob Astor ship Tonquin. Several guests elected to walk back, using the boardwalk next to the Astoria Trolley tracks. This scenic waterside revealed historic signage, birdwatching, and the occasional bark from a rogue sea lion.

After recap and dinner, a geology presentation was given by Duncan Foley, leader of a shipboard group called Betchart.

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About the Author

Junius Rochester


Junius Rochester was born and raised in Seattle, Washington.  He graduated from Seattle’s Garfield High School; Whitman College, Walla Walla, Washington; took graduate courses in history at the University of Washington, Seattle, and attended Harvard Business School, Boston, Massachusetts.

About the Photographer

Linda Burback

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Born in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, Linda and her Air Force family moved extensively throughout the U.S. when she was a child. Linda continues to travel and explore a broader spectrum of the world as a naturalist with Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic. Linda earned her B.Sc. in horticulture from the University of Arizona in 1985 and worked with this degree in the commercial cactus industry for sixteen years.

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