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The Graveyard of the Pacific

By Linda Tancs

The Columbia River Bar represents a clash of the titans. That’s where the mighty Columbia River (the largest in the Pacific Northwest) meets the Pacific Ocean. As the river surges towards its meeting point, it drops a deposit of sand and silt that extends six miles into the ocean. Not surprisingly, this can result in a navigational nightmare. In fact, since 1792 around 2,000 ships have sunk in this area, earning it the moniker “Graveyard of the Pacific.” One of the most popular shipwrecks is the Peter Iredale. Its skeletal remains are on the beach at Clapsop Spit at Fort Stevens State Park in Hammond, Oregon.


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