Just 5 short years after Lewis & Clark wintered here a few miles away, town founder John Jacob Astor sent ships to seal off this harbor and make it his own.
Astoria sits on a deep-water port at the mouth of the Columbia River, still a working harbor.
Long since eclipsed by Portland and Seattle, Astoria is home to less than 10,000 people. Like Salida Colorado, it's a cool town that doesn't care if you think it's cool or not. And, like Salida, it doesn't even try. It just is.
Yesterday evening I strolled the downtown and I was the only slack-jawed camera-toting tourist I saw. The town is a step back in time, before the big box stores overtook retailing.
Yep, Astoria does it old style. When was the last time you saw an independent shoe store?
Or music store?
Or a main street JC Penney?
The theater is still in business
And I don't know about your bank, but mine doesn't have a ballroom.
Working hotel lobby or movie set?
Even the trash bins have charm.
I started the day at Fort Stevens State Park. Suzanne recommended the beach for good walking with miles and miles of pristine surf. That's the shore of Washington in the distance.
Fort Stevens is also home to the haunting hulk of the ill-fated Peter Iredale. The ship ran ashore in 1906, its corpse forever part of the Graveyard of the Pacific.
Later in the day, I visit the Fort Clatsop National Memorial, site of the winter camp for the Corps of Discovery. The Visitor's Center houses a small but well-considered museum.
Later still, I spend some classroom time in my newest office.
I'll return to the beach today for some serious bird-watching, strolling, and crosswording. The predicted high is 70. (Apologies to the folks back home).