Travel theme: Gray

Have you ever built yourself up to see something in the tour guides or on the map, and then you get there only to find it’s closed?  Or under repair? Or something? Well, sometimes a splendid day of vacation can turn gray simply because you don’t read ahead to see if a landmark is ready for viewing.  And for us, that’s what happened this summer during our coastal tour of Oregon.

Sheathed in plastic during repairs, the Astoria Column appears to one big gray monolith.

Sheathed in plastic during repairs, the Astoria Column appears to be one big gray monolith.

It’s our Astoria Column story.  Located on Coxcomb Hill in Astoria, Oregon, the 126-foot high Astoria Column patterned after Trajan Column in Rome (114 A.D.) is known for its pictorial bas relief using sgraffito technique.  Inscribed on this column are 14 scenes and many messages commemorating the history of Astoria, a dream of Ralph Budd, president of the Great Northern Railroad, who, in 1925, wanted to “properly salute Astoria’s explorers and early settlers.”  Visitors (well, usually) can climb the 164 steps to the top for spectacular views of Astoria, the Columbia River, and even the Pacific Ocean in the distance. But time and weather have taken a toll on the column — so much so that the community of Astoria and Friends of the Astoria Column have sheathed it in grayish plastic during summer of 2015 while the column undergoes an extensive renovation.  We had no idea since we obviously didn’t do our homework very well on what to see in Astoria. But with more than 400,000 visitors per year, we’re hoping most of them get the message. Otherwise, they, too, might have a gray day on Coxcomb Hill if they’re coming to see the column.

View from Coxcomb Hill, Astoria, Oregon

View from Coxcomb Hill, Astoria, Oregon

All was not lost, however.  Take a look at the view from the hill (albeit at the bottom of the column). Absolutely superb!

For more information on Astoria Column, click here.

For more shades of gray, click onto Ailsa’s blog Where’s My Backpack for entries into the challenge known as Travel theme: Grey.

And our advice from our mistake:  Talk to those people at the Visitor Center!

–Bert and Rusha


About Oh, the Places We See

Met at University of Tennessee, been married for 47 years, and still passionate about travel whether we're volunteering with Habitat Global Village, combining work at Discovery with pleasure, or just seeing the world. Hope you'll join us as we try to see it all while we can!
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20 Responses to Travel theme: Gray

  1. ralietravels says:

    Thanks. Alie and I are both well. Just before Christmas, my sister — whose husband is still not recovered from hip surgery – had a small stroke. They needed help – and still need some but not much. Just after Christmas, sister-in-law up from Costa Rica fell, broke her wrist, needed surgery, and moved in with us for nursing care. Michelle went back to Costa Rica this week, so this weekend we took advantage of some long-postponed free tickets in Orlando. Next week we have guests from Philly, so art remains problematical. Glad you had a good time in Alaska. Alie and I want to get back there some day. I have missed you guys too. If I don’t see you, say hello to everyone for me.

  2. GF-Chopstix says:

    Great view! Oh yes, done that many times, unfortunately! haha! Stayed overnight in a town on our roadtrip, as I really wanted to visit their museum – no information about it online, or anywhere else, Arrived bright and early, only to be told that they don’t open on a Monday! We couldn’t stay another night, so an opportunity missed.

  3. David says:

    Closed when we think it’s open. Done that plenty of times. Hope your summer travels are going well.

  4. Sorry, about my garbled comment, Rusha, but I’m sure you got the gist. 😳

  5. Yes, that’s certainly a wonderful view. Your photo of the column made me smile as remember when our lighthouse in Umhlanga being covered in a giant condom for World Aids Day, a few years ago. 🙂

  6. Amy says:

    it’s all familiar to me… Like the take on, Rusha!

  7. Leya says:

    Great! And I think we all recognize the feeling…

  8. ralietravels says:

    The batter doesn’t get a homerun every time he/she goes to bat. Indeed, we have had a lot of strike-outs. But we stay in the game because it is fun.

  9. Sue says:

    Good take on grey! And yes, I have made that mistake…..

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