The Maritime Inn in Gig Harbor, where we stayed last evening, had several photographs of Gallopin’ Gertie and Chrissie the receptionist told us of her mother in law’s first-hand account of the day the bridge collapsed.
So this morning, when we headed out to cross the new Tacoma Narrows Bridge, the warning of high winds and rain didn’t exactly boost Mary’s confidence. After all, she could remember the tale of Tubby the dog.
Fortunately, we made it safely to the other side and were soon on our way to Olympia, where we hoped to take a look around the Washington State Capitol Building.
We’ve actually been here before, a few years ago on one of our family holidays with Edward but on that occasion, didn’t hang around to take a tour.
Though we’d planned to do that today, we still found ourselves hanging around because on a Saturday, the tours begin an hour later. Still, we were there ready and waiting!
Our volunteer guide added greatly to the experience, explaining the origin of the Washington State Seal. When the State became part of the Union, the task of designing the seal was given to a local jeweller who drew around his inkpot, then drew around a silver dollar coin to create an inner circle. He placed a postage stamp with an image of George Washington in the centre and added the words around the band to finish. Nice story and an interesting one to compare with the great lengths taken to create a logo these days!
We very much enjoyed the hour spent looking around and felt pleased we’d waited a while rather than rush on our journey south. We were heading for the Columbia River and the border with Oregon today, which was quite a drive.
Sadly, our scenic, seaside ride was a misty, cloudy one and we saw very little of the coastal scenery. Instead of seeing a spectacular coastline everything we saw looked pretty bleak.
Reviewing my photographs this evening, I couldn’t remember why I took this next photograph
Until I zoomed in, that is and spotted Dismal Nitch.
This is Lewis and Clark country and signs like this and the previous one, to Cape Disappointment, bring a smile to our face, particularly so on a wet Saturday afternoon!
There, in the background too, is the last bridge of the day: The Astoria-Megler Bridge over the Columbia River.
This bridge is quite something. It’s 4 miles from one side of the river to the other and the crossing seems to take an age. From the Washington side, the first stretch is undergoing some repair right now, so there are covers over part of it.
It then opens up and it’s possible to see where we’re going – my goodness, so far!
The centre part is more of a causeway, lower level and without an overhead structure. The Astoria side comes into view and what looks like quite a steep incline towards the end.
The last part has a similar superstructure to the first, this being high enough to allow shipping to pass by underneath. We spot the beige building on the left and think that it’s our hotel for the night. Will we have a bridge view?
We do indeed! We step into our room and look out of the window, not seeing anything to begin with, because it’s so high, so huge and we are looking underneath it. But sure enough, there it is – magnificent!
I’m not sure I’d feel the same if I lived in quite such proximity to it! But for just one night, it’s rather fun.
It overshadows the small Mexican restaurant which was recommended to us as well.
We nearly have second thoughts when we see the sign – is this our sort of place? We carry on regardless and have a great meal, including enormous Margaritas which hit the spot perfectly.
We return to our room and watch a bit of passing traffic. What an interesting place to stay!
Tomorrow, we’re keeping everything crossed for a little sunshine, as we explore the Oregon coast, going south from here. The forecast looks a bit iffy though. Ho hum!!