My dad was born there but somehow in my many years of traveling I have never been to Astoria. It was time to remedy that.
With nearly two weeks to spend in the US, and a busy schedule planned, we bookended the trip with Astoria. We spent the first two days and the last two days there and I finally got to know this beautiful little city where some of my roots are planted.
What I found was that this small city of about ten thousand people made me fall in love with the idea of spending more time here.
The port is busy, clean and picturesque. Whole days could be spent watching the ships and smaller boats come and go. I love the way they swing with the tide.
We spent a bit of time on the water front, where the fresh fish market sells the catch of the day fresh off the boat with a smile. We picked up buckets of crab meat which may have caused some moaning and grunting later on at the dinner table. So good.
The food and the night life? Just our speed. The town has so much character, a bit of history, some pop culture (hello Goonies!), beautiful scenery and friendly outdoorsy people hanging out in the pubs. So much charm!
Some of the buildings facing the water have been dressed up with some fantastic art. Gah, my photo would have been so good if that woman didn’t keep jumping in the front!
And if pub life isn’t for you, you can drive up to the Column at the top of Coxcomb hill and soak up the views.
I’m pretty sure I also saw our friends’ house from there.
And, of course, there is the bridge.
The Astoria-Megler bridge, at 21,474 feet long it’s the longest continuous truss bridge in north America. Driving across it was quite an experience. Coming from the south we felt like we were flying as the road continued up to the main span over the channel, and then we skimmed the water for the last few minutes of the drive. It’s a narrow two lane bridge with no pedestrian lanes, and we almost felt like it was too delicate to hold our weight, but the view is so impressive we soon forgot.
The best part of crossing that bridge back into the city was knowing that our good friends were there, ready with open arms as always to spend some time with us, ruin our photos and make us feel like family. I love those guys, every last one of them.
Now that we’ve had a taste of the area, we added Astoria as one of the top contenders in our list of places we might settle down one day, way, way down the road when we’re ready to stop traveling. We’re not anywhere near that day yet, but with places like this to come home to, settling down doesn’t seem so bad.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go watch Goonies. I was informed that I may be the last person on the planet who hasn’t actually seen it.