John and Maxwell

The two buddies together once we had finally reached our next destination, the Astoria Column.

Astoria ColumnGetting there was quite the adventure – and not a 100% fun one, either.


Goonies House

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 and Max in front of the Goonies 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.

The Civil War at Fort Stevens

After we drove out to Astoria, we had a few hours free before we could check in to our hotel, so decided to visit Fort Stevens for their “miles of bike trails,” batteries, beaches, and washed-up shipwreck.  We parked near the entrance, hopped on our bikes, and embarked on the miles of trails, heading in the general direction of the  batteries and military museum.   As we popped out of the woods, though, we saw that everything was not as-expected.

The "south"'s civil war encampment


Right in front of the battery: a huge civil war encampment.

We spent quite a bit of time walking around and looking at the demonstration… I’ve never seen one before, and was startled by the size and scope of the thing.

We also did get out (briefly) to one of the batteries to look around.  Nice view of the river from on top (of course).

So now the park is on our must-return list, since we got an unusual and unexpected (and interesting) adventure but missed out on most of what we wanted to see there.  Next time, we are definitely visiting the Peter Iredale shipwreck!

Astoria Weekend

John and I spent the long weekend in Astoria, OR – at almost the very northwest corner of the state, near the mouth of the Columbia River.  We had some fun adventures, including stumbling across a huge Civil War reenactment, a super-long, super-steep bike ride (or in my case, bike push-up-the-hill), and visiting museums and historical sites.

John found a really cool hotel, located actually on an old pier, which originally housed a canning factory, so we were (mostly) surrounded by River.

Hotel on a Pier


Our room was on the southeast corner of the building – so while we had to go out on the balcony to look across to Washington, we had an excellent view upriver.  Lots of passing boats and barges, like this one heading out to the ocean (and eventually to Mabini, Batangas, Phillipines, if you’re curious).


Bulk Jupiter

The Bulk Jupiter – weird name, huh?

Bulk JupiterVery pretty against a background of the Astoria-Megler Bridge, though!

Bulk Jupiter with Bridge



Civil War to come!

Haircut Sadness

Not me, thankfully, but Maxwell.  He went to the groomer again this morning and came back looking even weirder than last time.  Whereas before they gave him a super-round head and strange, high bangs, this time they didn’t trim his cheek and chin hair at all.  His face is square and droopy – his eyes are resentful.  He could be General Burnside for Halloween.

I didn’t actually get a good shot of his new haircut; upon returning from the groomer’s, he flopped down on his side and refused to budge.

Flopped Pups


I can’t tell if that’s depression about his new haircut, or just unhappiness about having gone to the groomer at all.

Please help, I can't go out in public like this.


Or it could just be laziness.

As a separate animal update: I have official news that our friendly neighborhood cat has been adopted.  She still visits, although less frequently, and now has a collar and tags.  Her new name is Black Bat.  Hooray!

Black Bat


(I assume it’s a she, given the pink and purple tags and collar….)

On that note – happy Labor Day, everyone.  Posting will resume (perhaps with a new look) on Tuesday!

Rabbit Mold

This was in the lighthouse kitchen: a rabbit-shaped mold.  The question is, what were you supposed to mold inside it?  It’s between a candle mold, and some sort of cooking implement.   I can’t see it used for a cake, or a large rabbit candle….

Mysterious Mold

What do you think?

More Historic Crafting

Perhaps it’s not “crafting” if it’s a practical sewing machine that was probably used for clothing, linens, curtains, and other every day requirements…

Pretty and Practical

but there was some beautiful decorative handwork as well – cross stitch embellishments and crochet edgings …

cross-stitched flower

and an impressive beaded rendition of the light station done by a coastguard worker while stationed there.

Grand Traverse Lighthouse and grounds in Beads

John G. Tregembo