Friday, September 16, 2011

Astoria, OR

We're back in Oregon in Astoria which has to be the hilliest place I've ever been. We plan to stay with the WINs for awhile, traveling south along the coast. However if we have too much dreary weather, that could change.

As you can see by these pictures, the clouds settled in to annoy us. So we adjusted our schedule and had a museum and town day. First we hit the Maritime Museum, which was very nice, but not really my cup of tea.

I did enjoy touring this lightship, used to mark the channel into the Columbia River from 1950 to 1979. It had a crew of 18 and was replaced by the buoy in the foreground. Although that seems like an obvious move, the buoy was notoriously hard to repair in the rough water of the channel.

There were a lot of ship models that I had to admire for their perfection, but my favorite exhibit was one that showed the land changes over the years around the mouth of the Columbia. I should have taken a movie of that.

We followed the barking to discover these sea lions hanging out on the pier. The one in the cage was fighting all comers to retain his 'king of the mountain' status. Not too smart since we found out the cage is used to catch the animals for branding so they can keep tabs on them. Run, little guy, run!

Or you'll end up looking like these poor souls. We also heard these are the males who couldn't find mates. Well, no wonder, just look at them!

After lunch, we rode the Riverfront Trolley. It's a bargain at $1 a ride or $2 for the day.

Built in 1913, it used overhead wires for power. Now it has a generator which rides along and provides the power.

The trolley must have been restored recently. Nothing looks this good after 98 years.

The conductor really fit the part. Can you see what the sign over his head says? (As always, you can click on the picture to enlarge it.)

There were actually two conductors who took turns driving and narrating. We passed many canneries like this one that were reminders of Astoria's past.

When the fish was hand packed into cans. (Maybe progress isn't so bad.)

I thought this new construction project looked a little like a New England fishing village. Cute, but we learned all the flat land in Astoria is fill dirt from dredging the channel.

One of the WINs, Sue, bought a bunch of oysters which was an excuse for a potluck. It was supposed to be snacks, but I doubt if anybody ate dinner afterward.

Here are the hapless oysters which look even more disgusting than the crabs in my former post.

It always pays to have the proper tool for the job. I guess nobody had a putty knife.

Sue also breaded and fried some oysters. Donna looks like she's not quite sure she wants to try it.
I did eat a bite and asked Sue if she could just fry me up a ball of the breading.

But there was plenty of other food. As you can see, we're all bundled up. I think this was the coldest potluck I ever attended.


  1. You made do with what mother nature handed you weather-wise and had a fun day

  2. Don't miss the Cox Column. You're right about the hills! We went down around the Piers. Great place.

    We usually hit good weather in Oregon, but when we didn't we put our good rain gear on and didn't let it stop us from enjoying the northwest. As a matter of fact, the Columbia River Drive is beautiful when the sun shines or it doesn't. My dream is to spend a winter on the coast to watch the surf.

    Glad you're enjoying, too.

  3. Hey guys! Will you be coming down toward Eugene OR at all?

  4. I'm with you - I'd go for the breading and not the oysters - good taste runs in the family...

  5. We were near Astoria for 2 months 3 years ago. It rained almost every day we were there. People on the Oregon coast do everything in the rain. Did you see rain covers on the baby strollers? Bundle up and enjoy.

  6. I used to visit my Grandparents in Astoria when I was a child and still go back once in a while for a short vacation trip. It is so beautiful there. It has also changed so much over the years. Fort Stevens State Park has been cleaned and expanded over the years, not only for camping, but the old forts or batteries. There are several I never saw until just a few years ago. I even remember the old ferry from before the toll bridge was built. Now you no longer have to pay a toll to use the bridge. Please, everyone, go to the Astoria, Warrenton area. Enjoy the beach, parks, Astor Column, and the big bridge, not to mention the museums. Heck, just go down to the water front for a meal and the view! Enjoy!