Astoria is a beautiful and charming town uniquely settled along the mouth of the Columbia River on the Pacific Coast. he city was named after John Jacob Astor, an investor from New York City whose American Fur Company founded Fort Astoria at the site in 1811, 207 years ago. Astoria has served as a port of entry for over a century and remains the trading center for the lower Columbia basin. Astoria is also the western terminus of the TransAmerica Bicycle Trail, a 4,250 miles (6,840 km) coast-to-coast bicycle touring route created in 1976 by the Adventure Cycling Association.
To reach Astoria I had to first cross the Columbia River on the Astoria – Megler bridge, the longest single-truss bridge in North America. It is 4 miles or 6.5 kms in length and it took me a harrowing 30 minutes as it was narrow and cars and trucks whizzed past me at too close a proximity.
There was a hurricane predicted for the following day so I chose to halt at Astoria and rest it out. The meteorologist had warned to stay indoors for 2-3 days as the wind speed would be in excess of 40 miles per hour with heavy rainfall.
I chose to get myself into the Motel 6 on the banks of the river and endured the howling winds and rain for two days. In the time the hurricane that was set to hit Astoria and Cannon Beach veered off course and hit a small town of Manzanita,
I walked around Astoria a bit and saw 18th century churches, libraries and the Finnish house where the Indian Ghadar Party used to meet to plot how to wrest independence from the British in India. There is a small memorial dedicated to their struggle for freedom.
After spending 3 days in Astoria I cycled a short distance to Cannon Beach and chose to stay the night there.