This could really be a love letter to many coastal towns in Oregon, and inland towns as well! So many times in the past 6 years I’ve packed my son and I up for a quick getaway and we are never disappointed with what the state of Oregon (and Washington!) has to offer.
Many know Astoria by way of the movie, Goonies, and I’m not going to shy away from the fact that I just had listened to a podcast (if you want to listen the podcast is called Thrillest Explorers/‘the pros & cons of living in a very famous house’) about the relationship between the city and the movie. As children, Goonies was one of maybe 3 movies we were allowed to watch so it has a special place in my heart, like it does for so many other people. Goonies never say die.
On our first night in Astoria, I scrolled through pictures of the Goonie house, some with big, happy tourist faces in the foreground and the famous house in the background. Other pictures were less joyous, the owner pasting up tarps so no one could get a good selfie in. If I was in her shoes, I would have probably done the same. Evidently the house is hard to drive to and away from and no one wants that kind of frantic energy where they live, in my opinion at least.
Astoria homes seem to be creatures from another time and most are. There are many Victorian styled homes there and with time and weather, many have turned slightly green. I even saw one that had a sorts of moss and ivy over grown over half the side of the large structure! They look like giant wraiths sticking up from the steep hill overlooking the Columbia River and Pacific Ocean. They seem to say to me that they aren’t going anywhere and I hope when my son is my age he can visit Astoria and see the same striking site.
Many of the old canneries survive as museums or converted space for restaurants and other businesses. Just like Goonies never say die, the town of Astoria seems to have the same character and attitude. There is a definite stubborn atmosphere that hangs over the one of a kind city.
My son and I traversed the Astoria-Wegler bridge. I honestly could have just gone back and forth over it a few more times. Visit this blog post for more on Astoria and also some good snaps of Astoria and the loooooong green bridge! The Wandering Nomads
We traveled to Long Beach, Washington, rain pelting us from above and gray water on all sides. I drove my car out into the beach and we watched the waves and few other parked cars and some individual people walking around. It feels so fun to be able to drive your car on the sand! I had been to Long Beach before, but had always wanted continue and ride up to the end of the peninsula, because, er, it was there? Being home so much in the last year, I had forgotten how good it felt to just drive and explore. We made it to Ledbetter State Park right at the tip.
The weather wasn’t great and my son kept lecturing me about tsunamis so we basically just parked, snapped some pictures, and drove on back to Astoria. I could see that the spot was lush and inviting, but probably thick with visitors during the summer. It was nice to be there, only with a few cars here and there, so quiet and isolated. We drove back, bought some Thai food along with several other fast food spots to cater to a picky 6 year old, and had a feast back at our hotel overlooking the looooong green bridge, docked boats, ducks and seagulls below us, and Columbia. All was gray and sopping wet the entire time we were there and even this sun lover wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.
I had a 10am virtual yoga class to teach so my alarm went off at 5am the next morning. I did my best to meditate bundled up on the balcony with hotel coffee, but it was just too damn cold. I hustled my son into the car with our bags and we barreled down the 101 to Seaside back to the the 26. I love to drive early in the morning before anyone has gotten up, and it was pretty magical to take that familiar route back home with all of the Christmas lights sparkling bright in the darkness. We made it back right as it was getting light as it doesn’t get really light here in the winter till 7/8am especially when it’s so cloudy.
It was a good little trip. I’m grateful for my life. May you be happy, peaceful, and free as you step into 2021.