Aug 162013

After picking up our mail yesterday, we drove down to Seaside, Oregon to make a bank deposit, since that’s where the closest Bank of America branch is. Okay, Miss Terry drove, because to get to Seaside involves crossing the Columbia River on the Astoria-Megler Bridge. If you’ve been following our travels for very long, you know that all high bridges scare me, and this bridge is the granddaddy of them all!

Starting out with a long curving approach high above the river on the Oregon side, the bridge drops steeply down to just above water level, where it continues across to the Washington side. It’s just over four miles long, and two lanes wide. The higher portion is enclosed by a superstructure, and the downhill slope and the rest of the bridge just has side rails. I got my start in the newspaper business here on the Pacific Northwest coast, and I drove across the bridge literally hundreds of times, in everything from cars and pickups, to a motorcycle. But the first time I came to it in a motorhome, where I sit up so high that the guardrails are only as high as my tires, I had a panic attack, and drove 75 miles upriver to cross on a lower bridge, only to drive 75 miles back to the Washington side of the bridge! Yes, I know it makes no sense, but that’s why they call them phobias.

Astoria bridge washington side 5

Astoria bridge downhill 2

Terry, on the other hand, is fearless and can handle anything, so these days she drives over the scary bridges while I sit in the passenger seat and snivel. Very loudly, I might add.

Though they are both tourist oriented beach towns, Seaside is a much busier than laid back Long Beach. And, of course, the traffic was a lot busier too.

With our banking done, we stopped to check out the Seaside Leisure Time Resort, where we will be going when we leave here in early September. I have to say, based upon our short visit, this could easily become our favorite campground in the Thousand Trails family. The RV sites are roomy and laid out in such a way that you don’t feel like your neighbor can hear you sneeze, the place is well groomed, there is a nice indoor pool, and all of the staff seemed very friendly. And best of all, my Droid Razr Maxx had four bars of 4G Verizon service! We’re really looking forward to staying there.

On our last trip through this area we discovered an excellent Chinese restaurant in Astoria called the Golden Luck, so we decided to stop there for dinner, and if anything, it was even better than we remembered! Terry and I agree that it is in the Top 5 Chinese restaurants we’ve found anywhere en the country and definitely deserves its place in our Guide to Favorite Restaurants.

After dinner we stopped at Safeway to stock the larder, and then headed back across the big bridge and home. It’s only uncomfortable crossing in our Ford Explorer. I’m saving the real panic attack for when we cross it in our motorhome!

If anything, the poor internet service we had when we arrived here has gotten worse every day, and it takes a lot of work to do simple things like checking e-mail or posting the blog. But Bad Nick stuck with it and managed to post a new Bad Nick blog titled One Butt Whipping To Go. Check it out and leave a comment.

Thought For The Day – Too much emergency medicine prevents natural selection.

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Nick Russell

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  8 Responses to “Across The Big Bridge”

  1. Seaside and Verde Valley TT’s are our favorites and they both are managed by Jeff. Say hi for us if you see him.

  2. I feel your pain. I hate bridges! I have to follow Jim in the RV so I tuck up real close to the back and don’t look anywhere. My stomach gets queasy and my heart pounds so hard you can see it. You’re not alone.

  3. If there is a guardrail I can deal with it, but not those roads going across the side of a mountain. I had to turn the car over to Leeanne when we got above the tree line in Rock Mountain NP

  4. Nick,

    One of the things I love about you is your refreshing honesty about your high bridge phobia and your description of yourself as “sniveling”.

    Obviously, you can take care of yourself and Miss Terry when a robber is charging at you out the door of your RV, as well as handle all the other more ordinary things you do in a day’s time that speak to your values of hard work, responsibility, honesty, good humor, concern for others, love and loyalty to family and friends, etc.

    If you didn’t have a bridge phobia, we’d have to invent something for you to offset all your amazing greatness. Terry shows her love for you by quietly taking the wheel to get you both safely over those blasted, scary bridges.

    Yours is a symbiotic relationship that works well, not only in high bridges, but again when she cooks a delicious meal from scratch and then you help her out with loyal, supportive, loving appreciation as you happily eat it. What a partnership you two have!

    To sum up:
    Your bridge phobia keeps you from being INSUFFERABLY magnificent and gives Terry an opportunity to show her love. Sounds to me like a win-win.

  5. It’s not always easy being this wonderful, Llana, but I do the best I can. 🙂

  6. Nick, my name is Al and I recently discovered your blog. It comes to me by email and I look forward to each one. I AGREE with you on the bridge thing – one of my phobias, as well. And not just high bridges. There’a a bridge between Anniston and Birmingham, Al that if you sneeze, you’ll miss it – and it makes me nervous every time I cross it!!!!!!!

  7. Nick, do you know about the “reset” hole on the back of your Mi-Fi? Take the cover off of the battery and find the reset hole and push it with a paper clip until you feel a click. A Verzion person told us to do this when we are not receiving a strong signal. He also said to wait 15-20 seconds before working with the device.It has worked for us on a few occasions.

  8. I knew about that Glen, but in an area like this, with such a weak extended network signal, it doesn’t help.

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