Friday, June 10, 2011

Day 16 - Astoria, Oregon - a gem of a town

A great night’s sleep (well except for the dinosaurs howling around 1:00 am - Paul says they were owls but really do owls sound like dinosaurs?). The temperature was cool enough to keep the mosquitos down but warm enough to not freeze - a good thing.

We also found that Oregonians are good coffee lovers and there are drive-thru expresso bars everywhere in little Astoria including the internet kafé across from the park (you guessed it - run by the local KOA - these folks don’t miss a trick).

The park is actually about 20 minutes from Astoria. Before hitting the kafe, we decided to drive through the park on an orientation tour and saw this other park occupant.

We also had our first view of the pacific ocean

 and while there were no whale sightings today, we remain hopeful.

Once in Astoria, we found several options for sightseeing so settled today for the River Road trolley

 a wonderful deal for $1.00 for an hour tour. ( for $2 you can stay on all day!) You stand anywhere on he trolley line waving your buck , and they’ll pick you up. A local historian dressed liked a motorman gives a running commentary on the history of this oldest settlement west of the Mississippi. While not the actual setting for Steinbeck’s ”Cannery Row” , it seems like it could have easily stood in for it.

It has though been the setting for several movies especially “Goonies” and “Kindergarten Cop”. The trolley historian pointed out the “Goonie” house from the film 

and encouraged us the visit Astoria’s film museum in the town’ former jail . We saw sea lions (which apparently drive the locals crazy with their barking) and more azaleas & rhododendrons  than any one town should be able to support. We also saw this tree?bush?  with blue flowers

. I leave it to you to determine its name.

We will drive down the coast tomorrow to Newport to see the aquarium - apparently something not to miss. We’ll keep this campsite for the rest of our time in Oregon as a base from which to do more day trips.

It’s so nice to come home to ;-)

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