the northwest corner of Oregon, is one of the endpoints of the TransAmerica
trail, and my starting point. It is near the location of Lewis
and Clark's winter camp on the Pacific, Ft. Clatsop. They
were here from November of 1805 until May of 1806. As you
might imagine, L & C bicentennial festivities are heating up.
in 1811, Astoria is America's oldest settlement west of the Rockies.
It was named for John Jacob Astor, who sent two groups here
to establish a fur trading post. Astor never made it out here
himself- his loss.
its history, the town is known for its excellent seafood.
I can personally attest to the fact that a couple of its restaurants
serve up some fantastic fish and chips. (Hey, I have simple
was here, DreamWorks was in town filming a sequel to their horror
movie, "The Ring". (I didn't see it, and probably
won't bother to see the sequel, either.)
several days here, assembling my bike, taking test rides, and traveling
to and from Portland for Justin Linden's
funeral. The weather was spotty while I was here, but I enjoyed
my stay, anyway.
125 foot tall Astoria Column was built on Astoria's highest point
in 1926, and underwent a $1 million restoration in 1995. The
column is wrapped by an impressive spiraling mural depicting important
events in Astoria's history.
164 steps to the top (that I walked up after climbing to the site
on my bike!). The view from the top is incredible! In
fact, I couldn't do it justice with a picture, so you'll have to
come out here to experience it for yourself.
also home to the fascinating Columbia
River Maritime Museum, which, incidentally, is the actual starting
point of the TransAmerica Trail. The museum's exhibits include
the Columbia lightship, galleries full of all kinds of boats, and
a re-creation of an ocean rescue featuring an actual 44-foot Coast
Guard rescue boat on a simulated 30-foot wave, complete with the
sound and fury of wind and water.
I went to bed on my first night in Astoria, I thought I heard frogs
croaking on the riverbank behind my hotel room. I have fond
memories of the sound of frogs from various times of my life, and
the "frogs" serenaded me to sleep.
awoke the next morning and walked outside, the biggest frogs I've
ever seen were on the dock in the harbor behind the hotel!
before I left to start riding, I trimmed nine pounds of stuff from
my load, and sent it home to Philadelphia.
As I finished
my final packing on Monday night, the butterflies were back, bigger