Monday was my husband Steven’s birthday, so as a surprise, I took him on a little day trip to Astoria. If you’re not familiar with the area, it’s up in northernmost Oregon, right next to the Columbia River, which forms the border between Oregon and Washington. It’s got forests, beaches, and rivers, and it’s a super charming little town.
Not shown: the sign that tells you what to do if you find tsunami debris. Detritus (including a whole dock!) from the 2011 Japanese tsunami has been washing up on Oregon and Washington beaches, and scientists are concerned about invasive species from Japan damaging the ecosystems here.
Steven made a sweet little friend.
We I totally wanted to bring this kitten home with me, but she seemed well-fed, and probably already had owners.
When we first arrived we parked in a neighborhood, and as we walked past a yard we noticed a doe with her two fawns. She hung out for a bit, munching somebody’s plants, and then led her young down across a street (she used the crosswalk!) and towards the busier part of town. Clearly she had done this before.
A bunch of movies have been filmed in Astoria, most notably The Goonies. They showed that movie on TV all the time when I was growing up, probably because it was filmed in the state. This is the house from The Goonies.
Other movies filmed in Astoria: Kindergarten Cop, The Black Stallion, Short Circuit, Free Willy, Free Willy 2, Into the Wild, Benji the Hunted, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III, The Ring Two. If you’ve seen any of those, this town may look familiar.
From the Goonies house you can hear the cacophonous barking of sea lions. These guys seem to be constantly fighting for the best spot on the docks.
This is the wreck of the Peter Iredale, which was grounded off the coast in 1906. The captain’s final toast to his ship was: “May God bless you, and may your bones bleach in the sands.”
Although this looks like a lighthouse, it’s actually the Astoria Column, which stands in the hills overlooking Astoria. It was built in 1926 and it seems kind of unclear what it actually memorializes–I guess the history of the area in general, which is depicted in murals on the sides.
You can climb a spiral staircase to an observation deck on the top, where you can enjoy the view. The bridge in this photo spans the Columbia River and connects Oregon to Washington. Out past the bridge you can see the Pacific Ocean. You can actually still hear the sea lions from on top of the column, even though they’re down on the docks. Those guys are loud!
If you’re in the area, I highly recommend visiting Astoria, especially on a sunny day in the off-season. Since it’s a tourist town, my expectations were low, but we ate lunch at the Blue Scorcher Bakery Cafe, and dinner at Geno’s Pizza and Burgers, both of which were actually really good.