20th – 21st Aug 2018
I think Astoria is American for home of many breweries. Oh and it is also where the cult classic movie from the eighties, “The Goonies”, was filmed. We laid in a bit, before taking another walk around town for some breakfast. A block away was a cafe, we chose it, it was not great. Expensive and not the best food. Oh well, you can’t win them all. Another thing they have lots of here, are museums. Maritime, History, Cinema, and one I really wanted to see was The Museum of Whimsy. I had no idea what might be in there, but it sounded fun, and that was my choice for today. Bugger me, it doesn’t open in summer, only in the Fall. Two more weeks. So we head to Will’s choice, the Maritime Museum.
Our quirky hotel had some good vinyl records for decorations. We considered a few other bike options, had a couple of goldfish bowls of coffee, and found these very cool and creepy creatures.
They’ve done a great job here. This town is all about the river, and the ocean. The Pacific Ocean meets the Columbia river and it can be fierce. So there is a lot of information about the lifeboats, the coastguard, and also the fishing etc. Weather patterns and a billion other things. It was a good museum, if a little expensive. It is a not for profit organisation that gets nothing from the government, so well done.
The little sail boat is a Gillnetter. Eventually they were all converted to motorboats, this is the last remaining one in original condition. Would have been rough out there in this little thing. The blue and white boat was Japanese fishing boat that washed ashore in Longbeach after the tsunami in Japan in 2011. Amazing that the fisherman survived.
The Columbia was a lighthouse boat. Basically it was anchored out from The Sand Bar, and acted just like a lighthouse. About 12 sailors lived onboard, just to ensure the lights and everything worked. They usually did two weeks at a time onboard, but sometimes the weather and seas made it impossible to do a crew change. I bet they were good at cards.
After all that learning, we staggered off along the waterfront to yet another brewery, The Astoria Brewing House, where we sat and tasted many more beers, while watching the boats, ships and sea lions. It was very nice. It wasn’t all just fun and relaxing, we did get some washing done, and a bit of shopping sorted. A small amount of business. There are some really eclectic little shops here, with local artists, and lots of antique shops. It has a nice feel to it. Finally we went back to Norblad, to meet up with Carsten (who we’d met on Vancouver Island way back), and had rolled into town today. He’d taken the western route from Port Angeles, we’d taken the eastern one.
An artistic garden, called The Garden of Surging Waves.
An easy place to walk around, with lots of nice architecture, and artworks.
Rogue Brewery, Astoria Brewing Company, and back to Reach Break. Carsten enjoyed Reach Break with us, before we headed to Fort George Brewing on the other corner. Enough of the beer now!
It was nice to catch up and share experiences, and to enjoy some more beers, oh yes, another brewery, Fort George Brewery, and it was on the other corner of our block. Good beers, and good chats, and eventually we had to call it a day. We farewelled each other again, but I’m sure we’ll see him again soon. Now we are on the go slow, as the Oregon coast is renowned for beaches, and beautiful things. Apparently also for it’s State Parks for Hikers and Bikers. We’ll see.
Astoria – Fort Stevens State Park 27kms
A funny morning, feeling ready but not ready, to keep going. It was too easy to just sit here and drink nice beers at nice breweries, but it isn’t really good for the budget. So Will ran across the road to the grocery store for milk and cereal, while I boiled some water for coffee. We get through that trauma (bloody nuts and berries, this stuff was like the scraps from your muesli bar wrapper), packed our crap, and lugged it all down three flights of stairs. I’m sweating already! Will goes down another two flights, to collect the kids, while I talk to “Stoner Girl”, whose on reception this morning. She was very nice, just stoned, and we had a nice chat about cycling. Will brought the kids up, we loaded them, and rolled back to the River trail heading towards the giant bridge again.
The second big bridge, the Warrenton Bridge, which we decided to avoid today, because we could.
We’d got some advice from the guy at the bike shop, yesterday, so we followed his advice as long as we could. I’m sure our route would have looked like a confused ant if we mapped it, as he wasn’t actually that accurate with his directions. There was less traffic, and it wasn’t bad, just a bit all over the place. All of this was to avoid another longish bridge, with not much shoulder. I think it would have been fine, really. We stopped in Warrenton for our food supplies, then rode out along the Warrenton Waterfront Trail, until it died and we were back on the 104. It was a quiet ride, and we certainly didn’t rush.
The trail we’d been told to ride, looked pretty good, only the gate system wouldn’t fit our bikes through. It was actually a walking trail. So we had no choice but to ride the road. It wasn’t too busy, but took us through the industrial, more rural part of the area.
Arriving at the campground we saw the “Campground Full” sign, and worried a little. Even though we’ve been told again, and again, that bikers and hikers get spots no matter what, we weren’t confident. Silly of us. I went in, asked the lovely ranger lady, who informed me it would be a massive $8, “There are two of us?” No problem, she said, still eight bucks, including showers. These special hiker, biker sights even have a special charging and storage box system for us to use, all for our eight dollars. Hot showers, fire pits, toilets close by, and showers we can easily walk to. Wow, cool.
Great spot! There is a skeleton of an old shipwreck, some old defence relics, a nice beach, and lovely nature to enjoy around here. We only did the nature thing, but it was good.
What a nice place. A couple of other campers near us, and we got introduced to Huckleberries. Yummy! And enjoyed some interesting political discussions (not me, ugh, boring!) with Eric and Warren. Interesting guys, just living it easy. Well maybe not easy, but lightly. Another interesting day, and I feel like I’ve hardly ridden anywhere. Oh, I have hardly ridden anywhere…ha ha ha.
The Huckleberries aren’t big, but they are packed with vitamin C, and taste really good. Purple is ripe. Will was happy with his find of these little tetra packs of wine. Easy to carry, easy to drink. Nice one!