Today we have reached the westernmost point of our voyage, Astoria, Oregon, just inside the mouth of the Columbia River, “the Great River of the West.” Astoria is the oldest American immigrant settlement west of Saint Louis and north of California, where John Jacob Astor sent parties overland from the east and by ship from the south to establish a fur trading post on the west coast of North America. Only a decade after the treacherous mouth of the river was first navigated by American Captain Robert Gray in his ship the Columbia Redivia, and just a few years after Lewis and Clark spent the winter with the Corps of Discovery in nearby Fort Clatsop, the area played a key role in the politics of the early 1800s. The United States, Britain, Spain, and Russia were all vying for territory and influence in order to create lucrative trading relationships with the Indigenous people. Now a popular tourist destination and artist community, as well as a transportation and maritime hub, the colorful history of the city reflects the topsy-turvy world of politics and economy throughout the last two centuries.