Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Astoria, OR

Oh, I'm so glad I didn't miss this jewel of a town!

Web Photo

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).


  1. OMG, I am laughing out loud! We posted within what?? 15 minutes of each other? And even similar photos! Too funny,. Kudos to you for being so timely, blogging in real time, while I am two weeks behind. We've shared donuts since then! LOL! I love what you said about the town not caring if you think it's cool or not...it just is. That is so true! So glad you are finding as many charms to enjoy as I did. It is fun seeing it through your eyes.

  2. What a beautiful town. This place is a must visit.

  3. I'm really enjoying your time in Oregon. It's firming up my 'sort of' plans to go there next summer. Nice photos.

  4. Dave always has to walk around the Peter Iredale when we are out there. It would have been easy to do on your visit. Sometimes he gets pretty wet and it can be a real struggle when the tide is in. Glad you are having such a good visit to my favorite part of the country.

  5. Awww, apology accepted hahaha!!!!! High today was near 96 with high humidity.
    What a unique and gorgeous town!!! I love, love, love the lack of big box stores. Wish things could still be that way.
    I would have loved a nice morning walk on that beach :-)

  6. I love these small towns with the colorful store fronts and easy way of life. If I had an office like yours I would find a job. Of course I wouldn't get anything done. To Busy day dreaming.

  7. S I G H : : : : JUST sigh!

    Virtual hugs,


  8. LOL - when I was a child, in the early 1960s, we drove through Astoria, where I saw my first sign advertising showers and steam bathes. I so wanted to go in, but my parents said no, without an explanation of why it was not kid appropriate. My husband, a commercial fisherman, later explained. It was right on the main street at the time. I wonder if it is still there?

    1. Don't think so. I would have noticed - I could use a good shower!

  9. Saw the Peter Iredale photo. I was there last month. I'm just so far behind in posting to my blog (no internet at my current campground). By the looks of the other photos, I should have stopped in the town of Astoria. Maybe, next time when I'm in the area.

  10. I LOVE the Peter Iredale! Now that's one BIG piece of rusty stuff! Gl


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