One of the most violent bits of waterway is its estuary - the place where the river and the ocean meet. The Columbia River bar is one of the worst anywhere in the world. The mighty Columbia's massive flow of fresh water meets the onrushing Pacific Ocean as they are in a constant state of trying to reach equilibrium - a balance they will never find. An incoming tide and a rain-swollen river are the two key ingredients for the most violent of these encounters. Today was not that day, fortunately.
We had stopped at another spot to look at the Columbia, and saw a large freighter working its way down the channel. Wanting to see it go over the Columbia River bar, we rushed over to another point a little downstream. Alas, the ship channel turned away from our bank of the river to center itself for its trip over the bar. Also, it turned out to be a much further trek to a good viewing point than we had guessed. We tried to walk out on the jetty, but it was home to some very big and very jaggedly placed rocks. the crossing was very much slower than we anticipated. The jetty runs a long ways out into the Pacific. We were only able to go a short distance out before we realized the sun was going to set before we got out as far as we wished so we turned back.