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Published: August 4th 2011
Well, it’s been a few days since I last posted, mainly due to a couple of much needed quiet days in Astoria, Oregon and one overnight in Pendleton, Oregon as we now make our way to Salt Lake City, Utah, via Boise Idaho. To recap:
We had a winding drive out of Pacific City, on our way to the border of Oregon and Washington. Astoria, home of the winter encampment of the Lewis and Clark expedition is a small town on the banks of the Columbia River, right at the mouth of the Pacific Ocean. Our hotel room had a view of the river bank and each morning we watched the tides roll out and the seabirds land and feast. We arrived a bit too early and had to wait for our room to be ready – at the recommendation of the hotel clerk, we went to lunch at the Wet Dog Café, our first microbrewery in the area. Jim had an ale and I had a strawberry blonde and a hefe. Very packed and loud, filled with tourist, but what are we, if not tourists??
We finally hit a tired wall and Astoria quickly became a place of
rest. We took a long nap that first afternoon and then stayed up pretty late watching movies. I have also been really distracted by the details unfolding for my mom and her cancer treatment. Her surgery is now scheduled for Monday evening at 5pm. It has been so hard to stay focused on vacation when she is heading into this part of treatment. I know there is a long road ahead and that my dad, Jenny and Brian are taking good care of things while I am away. I officially hate breast cancer more than I ever did before. It’s an absolute insidious disease.
The next day we visited some of the city’s sights – the fort at Clatsop where Lewis and Clark wintered before finally making their way to the Pacific Ocean. At the park, there was a pretty impressive exhibit along with a short video that described the two year expedition. We learned about how they made clothes and candles, hunted for food, harvested salt from the ocean and survived that very rainy winter (of over 100 days at the fort, there were only 12 days that didn’t have rain). The docents at the park were in
period dress and knew every tiny detail.
After that, we drove over the Astoria-Megler bridge, an impressive bridge that spans the width of the Columbia River, connecting Oregon and Washington. We decided to have lunch at Rogue, a very popular local brewery built in a renovated cannery on the waterfront. Super yummy beers – black saison by buckman was the taster, Jim had the red and the hazelnut brown and I had the hefe and a pint of the black saison. We both ordered kobe beef burgers that were crazy delicious! A first for us both.
After lunch, Jim conceded to drive me to the Victorian house where the movie Goonies was shot, but didn’t leave the car. Those poor people! Thousands of dorks like me trapse up their driveway (on foot, no cars allowed) to look at this house made famous by this 80’s film. The house is now for sale for a little over $200,000, but I can’t imagine it will sell easily. We visited the Astoria Column. The column had carvings that depicted the expedition of Lewis and Clark and if you were willing to brave 164 steps and a million people, you can climb
to the top. We then visited the Flavel House, a Queen Anne style Victorian built in the 1885 by a prominent family in Astoria. The house was really neat, creaky and smelled like old wood.
Overall, Astoria was a bit dreary, sunlight only came in spurts and the people also seemed in a perpetual funk. Not rude or unfriendly, but best described by their overwhelming reality that it is grey and dreary the vast majority of the year. A good stop overall!
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