Knitting |On The Road by Judy @ 11:07 PM
Astoria-Megler Bridge

I like to think of this as the longest, scariest bridge in the whole wide world.

This is the Astoria-Megler bridge. It carries Hwy 101 a little over 4 miles across the mouth of the Columbia River from Astoria, Oregon to Washington. Above is the main span which is 1,232 feet long and is the longest continuous three-span through-truss in the world. Or that’s what the guide-book says. I have no idea what that means. I just know it’s tall and long and scary.

On the Oregon side, the approach to the bridge is a 360-degree twist that rises from just above the river to the level of the main span some 200 feet above. At the end of the main span, the bridge drops to near river level again for most of the length. Click on the pic to see the biggie version. If you follow the bridge in the picture over towards the vanishing point at the Washington side, you will see a second smaller and lower span at that end. From the Washington side, Hwy 101 flows on just above the river and it doesn’t seem nearly as scary from that side. Until you get out in the middle of the river and see the main span rising ahead.

I drove the Astoria-Megler Bridge twice this weekend. My friend’s beach house is in Longbeach on the Washington side. Going through Astoria is my favorite way to get there. Other than the bridge, that is. The bridge is scary.

I had a wonderful time knitting. The house is about 3 blocks from the beach, on a quiet back street. There’s nothing behind it but dunes and scrub pines and a couple of buildings — one of which, I later found out, is a kite museum.

I arrived about 7:00 PM on Friday, and set right in to knitting. I knit until midnight. I woke up at 6:30 AM Saturday, made a pot of coffee, and decided I wanted a brisk walk to the beach while the coffee brewed. I set off along the path behind the house, and within the first block was swarmed by a hoard of mosquitoes, each intent on sucking me dry. I decided that discretion was the better part of valour and beat a hasty retreat back to the house. Coffee mug in hand, I went back to knitting. Other than a couple of short breaks for meals, I knit until nearly midnight.

In all that time, I knit on only one project: The dreaded green sweater that grows only in tiny, tiny increment. I mean… really. I’m a fairly speedy knitting. Not the fastest in the world, or anything, but not the slowest. I’m getting 4 rows to the inch on the darn thing. I swear it grows less than 1/32 of an inch each row. I swear.

I took other unfinished projects with me, but I never touched any of them. I knit only on the green sweater. I got most of the way to the shoulders. Not all the way — most of the way. In about 20 hours of knitting, more or less. (OK. there were a couple of meals in there, and maybe a nap.)

I woke up at 5:30 AM Sunday morning, made coffee, watched the Trojan cooling tower implosion on TV and read a book. I couldn’t face the green sweater again. I think I needed a knitting break, strange as it may seem.

shipwrecked picnic?

I spent the morning picking up the house, doing a little laundry, finishing a Reader’s Digest Condensed Book I found, and just goofing around. I left about 11:00 and drove to the beach, thus thwarting the swarms of vampiric mosquitoes.

This picnic table and its surrounding platform was down on the beach with no explanation. Is it meant to be there? Did it, as it appears, float in on the high tide during a winter storm? It’s turned the wrong way for the short walls to offer any shelter from the prevailing wind (off the water). And I think it would be tough to keep a picnic on the table without it rolling off.

Anybody who knows anything about this, please comment because I really would love to know more about it. In lieu of real information, it’s fun to speculate. Perhaps we could raft it over to the Lost survivors, eh?

After leaving Longbeach, I drove down 101 and on to the bridge. I was at the tail end of a long line of slow-moving traffic. Three large SUVs came up behind me like bats out of hell, and then passed me on the bridge and cut back in in front of me. I have no idea why. It was a majorly stupid thing to do. Nobody was going any faster than the person at the head of the long line of traffic, and that was about 30 cars in front of me. Perhaps they just couldn’t stand to be last. But it was stupid.

They were very big SUVs. Very big. Driven by men. And my theory has always been that the size of the SUV is inversely proportionate to the size of the other equipment the driver might be packing. (yeah… inversely. That means… the bigger the truck, the smaller the dick.) They would have been real hot shots if they’d lost control and driven off the bridge, eh? I dropped back and gave them plenty of room.

Along Hwy 30, I passed Trojan before I realized it. It’s so strange not to see the cooling tower rising above the river. I’m glad to have it gone. But it’s strange.

Since arriving home, I knit 1/2 a row on the Tipsy Knitter socks and then just put the knitting away. My fingers hurt and I’m really tired. Sleep sounds better than knitting right now.

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