Are you familiar with the movie The Goonies? I wasn’t before we visited Astoria, but it was a favorite of John’s when he was young (rightly so, being a quintessential young boy’s adventure movie). It’s set in Astoria, and when John realized that, we had to watch it. Evidently our idea wasn’t unique, because when we called down to the front desk of the hotel to ask if they had any movies available to borrow, the answer was – “well, we have The Goonies….”
(Fun fact – it’s got a young Samwise Gamgee in it.)
The thing is, the actual house that’s the setting of the first part of the movie is an actual house in an actual neighborhood in Astoria, and it’s labeled right on the map, so of course the next day we had to go and see it. It’s conveniently located at the east end of town, so after we passed the Sea Lion dock, we headed south into the residential streets. The land climbs steeply (and so do the roads – more on that later) so soon we were not far from the river laterally, but quite high above it, in front of The House!
John was a little sad because in the movie, there is a huge and elaborate Rube Goldberg device in the yard that allows you to open the gate from inside the house, and – surprise! – there was no such thing there in real life (any longer).
It was also a little awkward, because there were a lot of other people trekking up and down the driveway to take photos in front of the house. We had to wait for a few minutes before our turn came up for a photo. However, it was pretty cool to see, and we were both glad to take the little side excursion.