Most people (myself included) have no idea about the traffic that plies the Columbia River. To access the river from the Pacific you bust cross the “Bar.” This section of water is so treacherous that you must wait offshore for a local river pilot to be delivered to your vessel and guide you through. The confluence of the ocean and river creates a turbulent zone that has claimed many ships over the years, hence the name “Graveyard of the Pacific.” The museum documents early commercial boating on the river and the loss of many ships to the bar. The early fisheries and local fisherman’s way of life are explained. The skill and bravery of the local Coast Guard rescue boats is also on display. It’s a good museum and relatively close to downtown, such that you can park there (for free) and wander around. There is a light boat (used as a signaling station for commercial traffic in days gone by) moored right next to the museum and entry to the boat is included in your ticket. Wander onto the boat and see what life was like 20+ years ago.
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