Oregon Part II: Gone for Goon
After leaving my family members, Jason and I and drove up the coast from Newport to Astoria, making a couple quick stops to check out the Devil’s Punchbowl and Rockaway Beach. You may remember Astoria from the 80s flick The Goonies. If not, you may be too ancient or juvenile to remember anything memorable.
On our first day in Astoria, we visited the Columbia River Maritime Museum and the US Coast Guard lightship Columbia. (Yes, a lightship is exactly what it sounds like, a mobile lighthouse.) The museum recommended allowing two full hours to peruse its collections; we spent over five there and still missed a third of the exhibits. I like to read and process everything at museums so you should avoid going to one with me unless you are an atypically patient person. Learning about the Graveyard of the Pacific, as the mouth of the Columbia River is called, was intriguing. Did you know that over 2,000 ships have gone down in that region? I didn’t either.
We also climbed the 164 steps circling through the Astoria Column to get a peek of the Columbia and Young Rivers and peaks like Mount St. Helens and Mount Rainier. It was bitingly windy at the top of the Column so the temperature degrees kept us from thoroughly enjoying the view degrees.
Keeping with our maritime-misfortunes theme, we spent the majority of our evening at the wreck of the Peter Iredale, a 285-foot sailing ship that ran ashore about 110 years ago. Her barnacled bones are reachable at low tide and are a fabulous place to take way too many pictures… which we did.
We began our last full day in Oregon with a trip through Flavel House, a Victorian mansion worthy of its “mansion” title with 14-foot ceilings and 11,600 square feet. Be still my bygone heart! We’ve toured a number of historic homes but this was one of the best we’ve visited.
After Flavel, we spent the afternoon in Cannon Beach, a cute, crowded, uppity seaside town. Although the sand and sunshine seekers swarmed, it was a fun place to spend a few hours. (Really people, you came to Oregon for sun?) We strolled the shore near Haystack Rock of Goonies fame and ambled around Hug Point, a beach with a waterfall and multiple caves. Yup, sounds like a place One-Eyed Willy might still be lurking.
Our Oregon outing was a pleasant mix of relaxation and exploration. That shoreline was windier than I remember but sunnier than I expected. (The last time I was on the Oregon coast, I don’t think I experienced more than a few stolen moments of sunshine.) The seafood sure was tasty but, thanks to gorging, I did OD on it a bit. By the last day of our trip, I couldn’t coax myself into ingesting even one more bite of sea bounty. With how much my family members enjoyed themselves, “magical” was the term they used, Oregon could definitely become a tradition.
On a random closing note, Oregon must be an impish land because all of the Devil’s stuff is there from his punchbowl to his elbow. I found the number of deviled names strewn about the shore pretty amusing.