Sunday, 6/28/2009 Actually, we are staying in a park in Chinook, WA just over the bridge from Astoria, OR and decided to go back one more time for a last sightseeing visit. Astoria is very beautiful and a lot like San Francisco, old craftsman's style houses and very hilly.
As is our usual m.o. we went to the visitors center & found out what to see and where it was and off we went. The first thing we wanted to do was visit the eagle sanctuary, remembering quiet well about the elk sanctuary...NO elk. But we were not deterred and off we went about 10 miles out off town. When we got there we discovered a small viewing platform where there was another couple. Unfortunately, they had not seen any eagles and were ready to leave. We talked a little while and discovered they had seen polar bears in Canada and we promised to exchange pictures...her polar bears for my safari pictures. I can't wait to get them. Just after they left we were getting ready to go and laughing about the eagle & elk sanctuaries when low and behold an eagle flys just off to our right from one tree to another. It appeared to be a mama eagle as there was another small bird with her & they did that several times, from tree to tree. We think the baby was learning to fly, but anyway....we got to see an eagle.
We headed back to Astoria, found a parking space and boarded an old restored trolley that runs along the Columbia river at the edge to town. It is run by volunteers and they give a history of what you are seeing at the wharf and in the town. The track runs 4 miles & we rode up and back for $1.00...what a bargain.
After leaving the trolley we decided to walk the Astoria Sunday Market www.astoriasundaymarket.com that is held each summer 10 am to 3 pm. The merchandise for sale was very beautiful, artistic and expensive and so was the produce. However, we wandered along enjoying the sun and 70 degree weather. It really was a beautiful day but the wind never seems to stop blowing. I don't remember the last time I had the cotton balls out of my ears. We found the outdoor food court, with 50's music playing and I had Chinese food while Will was able to find a hamburger & fries. We shared a table with a very nice young man (34 and single) and of course I engaged him in conversation...after all I am the Mayor, blah, blah, blah.....after some conversation I asked him what kind of work he did and discovered he was a Doctor in family practice......Yikes. Can I tell you, it took everything in my power to NOT ask him to check my swollen glands & sore ears but fortunately, I did the right thing and kept my mouth shut. Anyway, it is much better and I'm feeling fine.
After lunch we headed up to the Astoria Column www.astoriacolumn.org A mural on this tall column that shows the Northwest history. The column sits high on a hill and you can climb the 164 circular steps to the top. Well, we did just that, climbed the steps, pausing at every rest stop and finally made it to the top. What a view!!! And wind, did I think the wind was blowing before you can't imagine what it felt like up here but it was worth it. A beautiful view of the Columbia River, the Washington/Oregon bridge, Astoria city....just a beautiful view.
After leaving we decided to try and squeeze one more thing in as it was late afternoon by now and decided to go and see the restored historic Flaval House. www.cumtux.org The house was built in 1886 by Captain George Flaval for his wife (who he married when he was 30 and she was 14) and three children. The house is approx. 12,000 sq ft and furnished beautifully. Some original furniture and some purchased by the historical society, who now owns it. I hope you are able to access the web site as seeing this home is the only way to do it justice.
With that it was time to cross the bridge again back into Washington and our home and we were exhausted. There is no doubt we will sleep good tonight. There was so much more to see in Astoria such as the Maritime Museum www.crmm.org Lewis & Clark Historical Park www.nps.gov/lewi just not enough time. Will keeps reminding me, "we can't see everything" but I keep trying.
The Oregon coast is truly a beautiful place to visit, I don't think we could live here as it just to cold for us but absolutely gorgeous to see. I really hope someday to get to come back again and revisit this area. Signing off with love to family and friends.