Almost Aerial Astoria: Oregon Coast from Above
(Astoria, Oregon) – Astoria's Coxcomb Hill is always a scenic wonder, in just about any weather. Of course when it gets too windy you don't want to be at the top of these 595 feet. But other than the periodic inclement Oregon coast weather days, this place is a bit of heaven.
Or at least closer to Heaven.
Seeing these sights at night, however, is a whole different kind of ethereal.
Above, in late December of 2012, Coxcomb Hill yielded this extraordinary scene, with a full moon lighting up the skies and puffy clouds into massive, floating clumps of surrealism. Below this striking night scene is the famed Astoria-Megler Bridge lit up in quite the dramatic manner.
In the far distance, across the Columbia River, is the Washington side.
Looking south, you spot the Young's Bay Bridge fired up on this dreamlike night, which is most likely how you got to Astoria, if you came from the south and the Oregon coast. Astoria looks larger and a tad more metropolitan from up here than if you're down below – and even more so with this abundance of twinkling lights.
The lights of Warrenton in the far distance seem so much brighter, however. Blinding even.
Another view, slightly southward, shows the slow, grinding climb of the twisting road up to Coxcomb Hill, with hints of the Astoria-Megler Bridge in the background and that fantasia-like sky above it.
A massive ship is slowly moving through the Columbia River, looking a bit like a small floating city all its own.
Another night scene, concentrating on that winding drive to the top, shows another shimmering side to these hillsides. A car is slowly heading up here, captured in motion by this long exposure photograph.
At the very top sits the impressive and gargantuan Astoria Column, which was built in 1926 and stands about 125 feet tall. Here, the north Oregon coast landmark is dressed up for the holidays, as a full moon appears to dance around it.
Also on this night, with rain squalls periodically battering this soaring spot, the streets are soaking wet. This makes for an awe-inspiring sights as the lights of the Astoria Column are reflected there, and the wild night clouds swirl around above it.
For another hefty dose of mind-bending beauty, check out the Astoria-Megler Bridge on even a somewhat foggy night. The whole scene glows in a jaw-dropping, otherworldly manner.
It all drives home the point even further how beautiful this place can be in ways you hadn't even considered before – if you took a few minutes to view Astoria from not just a different vantage point, but a different time of day.
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