Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Oregon Part III: The Goonies {Astoria}

After guzzling sipping pinot noir in Dundee and paling around in Portland, Evs and I took the scenic route up the Oregon coast to Astoria...

Usually, I'm not one to rave about a half-day of driving, but tooling through the Tillamook State Forest and up along the coastline was actually one of my favorite things we did during our week in OR.

{Tillamook State Forest}

Obviously we had to make one very important stop in the midst of our "communing with nature" bit...

{"Land of Many Waters"?? Pfffffft! More like "Land of Many Delicious Dairy Calories!"}

Oh yes!  Tillamook Cheese!  The Happiest Place on Earth!  

{Ahhhhhh!  These are my peeps!}

After wrestling small, meatloafy children for a prime spot at the curd sampling buffet, we hitched up our pants and continued Northward... First Stop: Cape Meare to see the lighthouse and the Octopus Tree. 

{This is the closest I got to "Hiking Hotness" the entire trip... 
REI Modeling is decidedly not in my future}

{Octopus Tree! I can't tell you any more about it... I fail at sign-reading}

So many itty-bitty picturesque coastal towns...

Why am I looking as if I'm about to urinate on that lovely boat dock....

{Possibly best photo I've ever taken with a point-n-shoot}

{Haystack Rock on Cannon Beach}

Astoria is situated at the tippy-top of Oregon's Northwest Coast... right across the way from Washington State.  Possibly most recognized as the backdrop for The Goonies and Kindergarten Cop (and tons of other deeply significant cinematic achievements such as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III), Astoria is a CHARMER of a town!  Picturesque but happily industrial - the town as a whole doesn't try too hard and really makes you feel right at home!  

The Cannery Pier Hotel was our favorite of the three we stayed in. It is right on the water (the photo above was taken in the parking lot) and is chock full of charm while maintaining a somewhat sleek feel - think cozy but still a bit modern, rather than toile and chintz curtains.   And the freebies... hot damn!  Lovely continental breakfast (with literally every kind of CoffeeMate a girl could dream up in a mini version!) overlooking the marina, daily wine and cheese happy hour, fresh baked cookies laid out in the evening... and those vintage cars from the Twenties?  Ready and waiting to chauffeur you to dinner every evening!  

And oooo the rooms!  I was sold at "clawfoot tub" and swooning at the sight of the fireplace... You can bet your last Buffalo Nickel that I enjoyed several glasses of wine and many pages of my book in that tub with the fire cranked up while Evs took in the last of the NCAA Tourney games... Heaven!  

And now I shall speak of the Time In Which Our First Anniversary Trip Was Nearly Our Last Anniversary Trip... not because we pushed each other to the brink of divorce... but because The Bitch Mother Nature almost killed us... like, killed us DEAD.  FOR REALS.  

We should have known as we walked into the Lewis & Clark State Park Visitors' Center and the Female Ranger With The Unfortunately Ill-Fitting Synthetic Jodhpurs gave the stink eye to our footwear (full disclosure: he switched to tennis shoes about 2 minutes later) that we were in for it... 

... But no, we had an itinerary.  One involving 15.2 miles and 5 micro-climates. (Oh. And cows.)  One that would take us...

... from FORT TO SEA!  

And at first things start out all quaint, with the really ginormous linkin-log-like reconstruction of Fort Clatsup and the lovely green trail head and the benches on which to stand...

And then you go down like 127 STEEP AS HELL switchbacks... but you're galloping down like freakin' ponies because ITS DOWNHILL BITCHES!  And we're all "teehehehe, this is going to suck going back up but look how outdoorsy we are and Ooooo check out these yellow things!  Its like we're in Avatar!  Honey, plug your ponytail into one and see if you can touch its soul!"  

And then its like the Bridge to Terabithia, eighteen times over, except no one dies (YET)...

And then came the cows.  And the pastures that are IRRIGATED WITH TREATED HUMAN WASTE WATER.  And the rain... the rain pouring down and mixing with the TREATED HUMAN WASTE WATER.  And the Mooing and the Switcheroo Anti-Cow-Gates and the TREATED HUMAN WASTE WATER ALL OVER MY LULULEMON YOGA PANTS.  

And then there are no photos for 3 hours.  Because they don't allow cameras in Hell.  After the cows (and the TREATED HUMAN WASTE WATER), we keep trekking towards the SEA (because we came from the FORT, remember?) and obviously the end of the trail (aka: time to turn around and do it all again) MUST be JUST AROUND THE CORNER.  67 "corners" later, we see the SEA.  It's gray.  And there is sand.  And it's still raining.  Harder now. 

Then, I have a plan!  We'll be smarter than the trail... we'll cut the cabbage and trek along the highway (forgoing the cows and the TREATED HUMAN WASTE WATER) and meet back up with the trail right before the Bridges and the Switchbacks and the Benches On Which To Stand.  After all, it's just 1/4 of a mile or so...

Or Two. Point Seven.   In the pouring in rain.  With no shoulder.  And logging trucks hauling ass with a force so fast that their trailing mist microderms your face (a silver lining, perhaps?).  I am 174% positive that it took every ounce of restraint in Evs' body not to turn around at the end of the highway portion of our hike and yell WHOSE IDEA WAS THIS, GENIUS???  BET YOU'RE MISSING THAT TREATED HUMAN WASTE WATER RIGHT ABOUT NOW, EH??? 

Because that?  Totally would have been my reaction. 

Thankfully it was not his.  Which is why I love him.  And why I'll go hiking on our 51st Anniversary Trip if the mood strikes us.  {Didn't think I'd go to LovelyDoveyVille right there, did ya?  I'm crazy like that.}  And then the logging trucks let us live long enough for the nearly-vertical.switchbacks to kill us.  This photo was taken immediately after completing all 5,127 of those whorebags.  

There are no photographs of the last 4 miles of our hike.  Only the fleeting memory of my delirious rendition of Don't Stop Believing... a {successful} attempt to ward off the Blair Witch.  

I'll take this opportunity to note that in the 4.5 hours we hiked the FORT TO SEA Trail, we saw ZERO other hikers.  Zip.  Zilch.  Nada.  Just two citified lawyers in Big 12 paraphernalia and ridonculously expensive yoga gear.  Noodle on that while we drink all this beer and eat all this sausage and take the grossest photographs of each other ever at the Fort George Brewery + Public House (aka: Sheer Heaven).  

And because our glutes are GLUTEuns (get it? pun!) for punishment, we climbed the 164 steps of the Astoria Column after lunch.  

Ahhh!  80s Movie Trivia... that's more like it!  The school from Kindergarten Cop...

... And, obvs, the Goonie's house!  We're not as hardcore as these dudes, but there may have been some Truffle Shuffling at the end of the drive!  

Outstanding marks to both our Astoria dinner venues: BridgeWater Bistro and Baked Alaska.  

So that's about all she wrote, folks!  Oregon really was incredible - I can't complain (aside from the TREATED HUMAN WASTE WATER... and the almost-dying) about any of our activities, and really, I have nothing but raves for the people, places, sites, wine, and food we experienced!  Four Stars... all around! 


  1. oh the nearly dying story is hilarious...

    ...how equally glad am i that i wasn't on that hike, and how very much i would have loved to witness it :)

  2. You just are SUCH a funny person.

  3. Evs face in the cow sign is so absolutely perfect.

  4. there are so many emotions through this post - it was hilarious. first i'm like, "wow, oregon is really pretty and those pictures are awesome" and then i proceeded to laugh out loud at your human waste story (coworkers looking at me strangely) plus the "Don't Stop Believin'". Sounds like you had a great trip anyway! :)
    Cute jacket in the brewery btw

  5. Oh my goodness. Best post ever. They almost dying on the human waste trail had me in tears. Hilarious.

    And the Octopus Tree! We saw that when we visited for our honeymoon along with the cheese factory! I so want to go back so I can visit Astoria now!

  6. Girl...you are hardcore! And I cannot believe you climbed more steps after doing that entire hike. I would've collapsed in my food.

    And thanks for including the Kindergarten Cop photo :) That made my day :)

  7. ha! too funny! I work in a gallery in Cannon Beach..
    sounds like you made the most of your trip! the only thing you missed was Ecola State Park, where the look out and Futolies had there run down restur. Fort to Sea is a PAIN.. but fort George after is the perfect thing to do!
    great trip!

  8. This was hilarious! you guys are hard core!

  9. Glad you had fun in Oregon -- my husband grew up in Portland and visit a decent amount -- in fact every summer we go camping in Ft. Stevens, just north of Astoria. It's SOOOO beautiful!

    You've inspired me to check out the Oregon wineries!

  10. People are wondering why I'm sitting at my desk cracking up! You are hilarious.

  11. My favorite post ever, Miss Kate. I MISS YOU!

  12. Oh yikes, sounds like a rough hike. I've never done that whole one. I have been to Astoria and Ft. Stevens a million times though. Glad you made it out alive, and I'm happy you liked my home state! Come back any time! :)

  13. You never cease to entertain me and make me laugh out loud (like 5 times in this one post). Glad you enjoyed your trip and made it out alive!

  14. ok so the cheese place? I need to go there I think!

  15. I'm glad you had fun in Oregon! I work for the state tourism board and you helped pay my salary with your visit.

    It is too bad, however, that you'll miss the big celebration that Astoria is planning for the 25th Anniversary of the Goonies - FELDMAN is coming for it!


happy little comments!