Monday, September 27, 2010

Our start of our week at the Oregon Coast.

Last week “Hub’s” and I packed the car with our things (yes I over packed.) I some how always think I need to pack everything and the kitchen sink when we do a road trip. I think my new rule is going to be an over night bag for a weekend and a cary on suit case for the two of us when we are on a road trip. Not over packing will totally be the next thing I start to work on. 
We started our travel of our week long down the Coast adventure, rolling down the road in our Land Rover Rosie ( yes I named my car!) with the Fur babies. Our first stop down the coast is Astoria. 
Astoria is rich with history nestled against the hill along the Columbia River, a city centered around the maritime industry surrounded by natural beauty, It is full of character and it is one stop that you don’t want to just pass by or drive through un-noticed. The Oregon trail that Lewis and Clark traveled on ended here in 1805.  A historic waterfront where you can observe barges and freighters navigating the river in the course of their duties. Watch sailboats and evening cruises sail by without a care in the world enjoying the sealions as they swim and play.

We decided to do some of the tourist “trap” activities that Astoria has to offer. The first place we tried to explore is a place I have been to now three times. Once when my mom was 7 1/2 month pregnant she made it to the top and I was 3 days later, I was born.  

The next time was roughly two years ago when they were doing repairs to the column so I didn’t make it to the top that time. This time we made it to the top. All 125 feet and all of the 165 stairs later, all the while I was huffing and puffing, and throwing myself down in a fit as big as any two year old would do. When I opened the door I was slapped in the face by a gust of wind but that isn’t what took my breathe away it was the panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean, Oregon and Washington coastal hills it was like what I would imagine heaven would be like for you to look down on all the beauty that is all around you from the top of the Column.            
The Column was built in 1926 and has art work of the trials,triumphs and turning points of the Pacific Northwest.  More then 400,000, visitors are drawn to this beautiful art work on top of Coxcomb hill yearly.  One thing that the shopper in me enjoyed was the gift shop, they had many things to choose from. The Column park is open from dawn to dusk the gift shop and information center is open during the winter 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Summer hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. This is a place that everyone can find something for them to enjoy, There is a $1.00 parking fee. It looks out upon the city of Astoria and acts as a protector. It is a must see when you visit the coast. 

The Second thing we checked out was the Columbia Maritime Museum. The Museum features interactive exhibits that combine history with cutting-edge technology. Visitors of all ages will experience what it is like to pilot a tugboat, participate in a Coast Guard rescue on the Columbia River Bar, and live in Astoria during the height of the salmon fishing. Huge windows make the Columbia River a living backdrop for classic fishing vessels and Coast Guard rescue craft. This was "Hub's" favorite being he is in the maritime profession himself. Seeing these things with him and all that him, my Dad and Grandpa did and continue to do in this profession of the sea, makes me only love them and appreciate them so much more. 
 The best part is the fact that you can see an interactive first hand how the Bar Pilots work the dangerous wind and waves during a fierce winter storm in the award winning orientation film The Great River of the West.

The coast guard is on hand to show you along the bridge of a WWII era US Navy Destroyer, see the world class collection of maritime artifacts, and then walk out to the dock to explore the Lightship Columbia, a floating lighthouse

The third thing we checked out that was my favorite thing was the Sunday Farmers Market. Like most farmers markets Astoria Sunday Market features fresh and locally grown artists each week performing on its Music Stage located in the Food Court. The one thing that Astoria farmers market had is four blocks of vendors selling their goods. It is amazing the way they work their farmers market. The people that work on it do it in a way that makes this a destination all on its own.

The fourth thing that we checked out was the beautiful Liberty Theater with it’s start dating back to 1925, the building is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. After a renovation in 2005 it opened back up and it had brought to live many movies, plays and lectures of history all on the Liberty Theater Stage.  

Last but not least the 5th thing we did was take a tour of the Goonies, This year being that it was the 25th Anniversary, I never have watched the entire movie all the way through until we sat in our hotel room at the Cannery Pier Hotel.   I did think it was funny when the part that the kids rode their bikes from Astoria to Cannon beach in a quick bike ride, which if you haven’t been there let me just let you know that it is miles apart. 
So that is the few things we did while we were in Astoria I will be writing about the Hotel we got to stay in and enjoyed so much! So please stay tuned!


Dumblond said...

You mean you didn't grow up obsessively watching The Goonies? Was I (and my sister-in-law) the only ones?
I wanted to go to that celebration so badly. Stupid money troubles...
I love the Oregon Coast. There is so much to see. Thank you for sharing your trip!

Tracy said...

It sounds like you had a wonderful time! The places in the pictures look gorgeous! I have never been there before. Wow, 25 year anniversary for the Goonies, it just doesn't seem like it was that long ago.....time sure does fly.
Take care,