Seaside, Oregon – Day 3

OK – right off the bat, the title is misleading. Sure, we woke up in Seaside, but didn’t stay long before heading north toward home. That’s probably misleading, too, but you can look at a map and figure out that St. Helens is kinda NE from Seaside. Going up Highway 101 one must go north to Astoria, East to Rainier, then south to St. Helens. It’s complicated. If we were crows it would be a much shorter trip but we aren’t so it wasn’t.

After packing everything into the Buick, we took one more walk up to the board walk to see how things were progressing. Ruth, our hostess, told us that she was the “T-Shirt Lady” for the upcoming volley ball event, that there were 126 nets installed,  and the number of teams registered to play was up to 1162. She figured it would be closer to 2000 since registration didn’t close until Friday. So, I grossly over estimated how many nets there were. But, it looked like hundreds to me. Either way, Seaside is going to be jumping this weekend. Seriously.

Ruth also changed their reader board to commemorate Grams’ 86th. Here’s proof …


Oops … I was there, too …


… and, this is Ruth with the girls …


As I recall, from our previous visit to the Hillcrest Inn, Ruth and her husband, Don, met in the Marine Corps. She completed either 6 or 9 years (I can’t remember) and Don made it a career. We had some fun conversations during our first visit, but didn’t get to talk this trip.  Jay, whose image I failed to capture, helped us at check-in, as did Missy. They just make the experience better. Nice crew. A great place to stay.

OK – no more plugs – that’s it …

Here’s a picture of the Seaside turnaround, the end of the Lewis & Clark Trail.


The bronze statues are rumored to be of Lewis & Clark staring off into the ocean discussing what they were going to have for dinner that night. Being terminally tired of eating fish and venison, the opted for Norma’s, only 1.5 blocks away, where they reportedly shared a Turkey of The Sea sandwich and bowl of clam chowder. That’s how old Norma’s is.

From Seaside we drove north about 6 miles to the nearest Goodwill store which Diane had her sites on. It’s in a new area of Warrenton that has been stripped of whatever used to grow there and developed into a growing mall area on both sides of Highway 101. Goodwill is on the east side of the road, just past Costco. We wandered around in Goodwill for an hour or so, and I was the only one who purchased anything. I got a bag of Nike golf balls for $5, and 18 pencils for $1.99. Seemed like a really good deal, to me.

Then it was lunchtime which brings me to what was vetoed as the potential title for today’s entry. Since we had already planned to visit Costco for their outrageously big and cheap hotdogs, and soda, the first thing that popped into my mind was Grandma Gets a Weiner. It was, although she laughed, deemed inappropriate so I didn’t use it. I suspect, however, I’ll earned a considerable amount of grief for even mentioning it. I did not, as you notice, take a picture of any of us eating lunch. They are really good, by the way. I normally get the Polish Dog, but went for the All Beef today. And a Pepsi. I was going to get vanilla yogurt and refill my cup with root beer so I could make a root beer float, but by the time I got to the counter, the yogurt machine was reportedly defunct. So, I went without.

Then we crossed the Youngs Bay Bridge, on which we had to stop because it was raised to allow a tall masted fishing boat go by. It didn’t take long. Here’s the view while we waited.


Now, first glance may cause you to think the bridge you see in the distance is the one we’re on, but that isn’t the case. The distant one is the Astoria-Megler Bridge which links Oregon and Washington. If you follow that link you’ll discover that bridge is 4.1 miles long near the mouth of the Columbia River which is 1243 miles long and originates in British Columbia, Canada. One of the memorable things about the river is Buoy 10 which is at the mouth of the Columbia. If you want excitement, that’s the place to go. If you have a tendency to get sea-sick, stay away. I spent over 1/4 of a century in the US Navy and had the opportunity to ride some pretty rough seas, but Buoy 10 is the only place I ever got sea-sick. I was miserable, but I caught a nice Silver.

Once we gained access to the other side of Youngs Bay we took a right turn before heading in to Astoria proper. Instead, we weaved our way around the back side of the hill, on which Astoria resides, and made our way up to the Astoria Column, a significant landmark in Oregon. It has a continuous ribbon of artwork wrapped around it depicting the history of the area starting in 1792. It’s literally a work of art that you can climb. Inside, of course.

Here’s what it looked like, today …



We have all visited it many, many times in the past, and have climbed the 164 steps to the tower but not today. I threatened to do it, leaving instructions to call 911 if I wasn’t back in 30 minutes. Then I just went around taking pictures of the view.

This is the Astoria-Megler Bridge going to Washington …


This is the Youngs Bay Bridge looking toward Warrenton …


After leaving the Astoria Column, we headed down the hilly streets of Astoria toward Highway 30 and home. The streets of the city rival those of San Francisco. Honest.

The trip home was uneventful and I didn’t watch any of it preferring, instead, to read my current book on my iPad. I’m reading The Witness which started out boring, but is turning into an interesting mystery.

Now it’s supper time and I must quit in order to ingest some of Diane’s very tasty beef stew in order to replace all the energy I’ve used here whacking away on my keyboard.


The Long Road Home and Television Deprivation

It rained last night and got everything wet so we decided it was a good time to pack up everything and go home. So did the other 852,643 people who spent their weekend in Long Beach, Washington for the Rod Run. It was a brutal trip that took almost 5 hours. Normally it only takes about 3 because it’s only, like, 80 miles away.

Initially, it was the crowd going across the Astoria-Megler Bridge which is 4.1 miles long. The link is to the webcam on that bridge. It took us about an hour to cross it, just idling along, using lots of gas. Once across the bridge we stopped to eat some dead chicken in a parking lot, then joined the throngs exiting that Scandinavian hot spot for more hospitable climes to the east. The trip through town was at walking speed, then once through we came to a complete and utter stop for no apparent reason. Traffic kept coming our toward us for the 2.5 hours we crept along, but we remained at a standstill for most of that time. Had it not been for Jennie, who was in Rainier at Lydia’s ball games, which we intended to  attend, we’d never known that it was a rollover accident just below Bradley State Park. By the time we arrived at the scene it had all been cleaned up. Then the traffic picked up and moved along at it’s normal 55-85 mph pace. Interesting how that works. The traffic was backed up at least 20 miles, with no respite, or alternate route once a driver had committed himmerherself. We all just toughed it out like good Oregonians do. Even when there was a passing lane, no one tried to pass because they knew it would incur the wrath of everyone else on the mostly two land highway. No one got mad and blew their horns, no one yelled … we just piddled along knowing it would eventually end. And it did.

The dogs were really happy to get home. They missed their yard and immediately glistened it with spots of urine as if to say, “I’m home!” I have no doubt those bits of lawn will respond greenly to the nitrogen-rich applications. They always do. It’s unfortunate that they can’t distribute it a little more evenly to bless the portions of lawn not blessed with a direct hit. There are lots, and lots of those.

Though Diane and I are also very happy to be home, we controlled ourselves and did not urinate in the yard. Instead, we emptied the RV of things that would spoil if we ignored it. We felt it was important to not ignore it which would result in a mess the next time we decided to load the refrigerator for a trip. It would be ugly.

Since we only had two fuzzy TV channels during our absence, we turned on all four of our TVs so we wouldn’t miss anything as we roamed from room to room, touching all the things that we missed the most over the past three.seventyfive days. Had we but known, we could have taken one of our many DirecTV receivers and connected it to the permanently mounted satellite antenna on Barnes’ modified single wide. That would have been sweet and Diane wouldn’t have missed a single event of anything on HGTV.

Did you know that most of the programs on HGTV are hosted by, produced by, and filmed by aliens? It’s true. They all Canadians and everyone knows that all aliens are from Canada. I know this because I went to High School with one of them and his ID card identified him as an Alien. It said it, right there on the US Government ID card, so it has to be true, right? Everyone else living in this country, who wasn’t born here, is called an immigrant, illegal or otherwise.

I feel that this’s a good point to stop, so I will.