Astoria, a town situated at the mouth of the Columbia river, marks the start of the Oregon Coast. Although it is now a quaint fishing town, it has history of being one of the most significant settlements in the West.

John Jacob Astor and Thomas Jefferson had the original intention of turning it into a trading port and creating a transcontinental settlement. One group of men traveled by sea while the other went by land. Their harrowing journey across the country followed Lewis and Clark’s route to the Pacific Northwest. Astor established the first settlement there and laid the foundation for the Oregon Trail. According to Peter Stark’s novel Astoria, nearly half of the parties died along the way before they established the trading port on the mouth of the Columbia. It became a huge fur trading port Fort Astoria was short-lived but helped blaze the Oregon Trail and show the potential that lay in the Pacific Northwest.

Since then, Astoria has been through all kinds of economic booms and busts in both the fur trade and fishing industry. Today, the town still contains remnants of its past, which can be found in the Heritage Museum or at the Fort Astoria National Historic Landmark. Astoria is also well known as a pop culture hub for film fans of movies like The Goonies, Kindergarten Cop and Free Willy. A charming town with rich history, Astoria is well worth a visit.


Image obtained from the City of Astoria website.

This year marks the 50thanniversary of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, which was passed in 1968. Almost 2,000 miles of river in Oregon is protected by the act, broken into 58 Nationally designated rivers. This makes up 2% of Oregon’s river miles protected, the most of any state. The purpose of the act was to recognize significance of the rivers and to create law that encourages proper management. It was implemented with the “goal of protecting and enhancing the values that caused it to be designated”.


Rivers can be classified as wild, scenic or recreational. Rivers that are “wild” are primitive and inaccessible except by trail. “Scenic” rivers are free of development, but may be near roads and have shorelines, while “recreational” are readily accessible and may have some development. A river with any of these classifications are protected through regulations from federal, state, local, and/or tribal governments.


Cliff jumping into the Wild & Scenic Chetco river near Brookings. Photo by Erik Urdahl


These rivers contain some of the most beautiful landscapes and wildlife in the state and are well worth visiting. People can hike, bike, swim and boat in or around these rivers. There are also companies that provide guided tours of these rivers, whether it be by kayak, raft or jet boat. These guides have intimate knowledge of the rivers and are excellent for learning more about the wildlife and how the act serves both the river environment and the people who use it.


For more information about Oregon’s Wild and Scenic Rivers, visit



Eighteen years ago the Farmers Market on Central Avenue in down-town Coos Bay was just one city block. It has come a long way since it first started. Today the Market runs three city blocks plus a little more on the side streets. With the ability to have a maximum capacity of 87 vendors, up by 18 from last year, the market is still growing.

Over sought by the Coos Bay Downtown Association, an independent organization with a mission to revitalize the down-town area, the market runs from the first Wednesday in May through the end of October. Within the season the market runs every Wednesday from 9am to 2pm, making it a big part of the community’s lifestyle.

“I think it is really important for customers, for community members to be able to directly consume fresh, wholesome produce that is grown in their region,” said Market Manager Karlee Cottrell.

Cottrell was born and raised in Coos Bay. After living out of town for a while, two and a half years ago she moved back and found a position she’s always wanted to get involved with. Starting as the Assistant Manager, she took over as the Market Manager in September and her favorite part about the market is the sense of community that it brings in.

“It connects a whole range of different individuals,” said Cottrell. “As far as the vendors who come form the Salem area, all the way down to the Roseburg area to come sell here and then all of our community members who come to shop here as well as the tourist that are traveling through. So it gives a really good opportunity to let people see what our region has to offer.”

According to Cottrell, the market sees around 2000 customers every Wednesday with a good portion of those being tourists visiting the area. The attraction brings in people from all over, representing a large amount of local businesses and artists.

“I think that is really important as an economic stimulus as well,” said Cottrell. “This money is coming from community members and going back into the community.”

Vendors that want to participate in the Farmers Market can do so by applying through the online application process and paying a $17 non-refundable application fee. Customer’s that are on Oregon Food Stamps can also shop at the market.


For more information about the Coos Bay Farmer’s Market please visit: