Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Astoria Bridge to Oysterville, WA -- LOTS of Oysters

 The Astoria-Megler Bridge is spectacular and is the longest continuous truss bridge in North America. Connecting Astoria, Or with Washington state, it crosses the mighty Columbia River.

 Crossing the bridge is a thrill as you first climb a steep approach to the truss section which provides 192' of clearance below. The bridge was completed in 1966 and is over 4 miles long!

Traveling on the Washington side of the bridge, we came across several small towns near the resort town of Long Beach, where we had a great seafood lunch. Every town has its own marina with many working boats being in evidence.  

There are many small businesses focusing on the ocean, including this one, the Jolly Roger Oyster company. We noted that they sell only to commercial users, such as restaurants, and we wondered how many oysters they process. 

 Wow -- we quickly got our answer as we saw these mountains of oyster shells! We had never seen so many and realized what a great resource this is for the area.

Obviously, oysters are big in this area! Hence, the town of Oysterville! Founded in 1854, oyster farming was its main focus in the past and remains so today. With a name like this, we had to check it out. 

 Oyster farming is still the main business of Oysterville today, but unfortunately, that is about all that is still going on in the town.

This street sign kind of sums up the area around town. This is Main Street, and as you can see, there is not much hustle and bustle. We learned that in the 1860 - 80 period, the town was thriving, but a promised railroad expansion never occurred and as a result, the county seat operation located in Oysterville was moved to South Bend, WA. 

 When the county seat moved, that was the end of Oysterville expansion. However,  the Willapa Bay is still beautiful and the oysters are still here, so all is not lost. This was an interesting voyage to the past -- and we really enjoyed our fried oysters at lunch!

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