The weather was holding this morning, so I decided that I would do my Epic Road Trip today. The itinerary? Over to Tillamook, up to Seaside (with a stop in Bay City for some Jerky for Shelley and Debbie), then on to Astoria. Over the bridge to Desolation Nitch, back over the bridge and home through Washington.
First off, no issues with the car. She behaved splendidly.
I got on the freeway and hit traffic immediately. It didn’t last long. By the time I got on the 26, it had cleared out. I then got on the 6 and there just wasn’t really anyone else on the road. Sure, the occasional car, but it was just a lovely drive. I love that kind of driving. Windy roads through small towns, forest and fields. The only thing lacking was Bigfoot. I mean, really. I gave him lots of chances today. He could have just stepped out and said hi to me and made my vacation, but no, I guess he had plans elsewhere.
I didn’t really get any pictures of the drive. One, I didn’t want to keep stopping and two, taking pictures while I’m driving is unsafe and stupid. I haven’t given my 90 day notice of death at work, so I can’t do anything stupid. Matt says.
I made great time to Tillamook. Got to the cheese factory and went in for my tour.
And? Free Samples! Love that part of the tour.
I did buy a few things. Swan, I got you a key chain and someone needs to tell Ell at the gym that I got her a shot glass. I also purchased and mailed off postcards. A few people will know they are getting them, but I’ll let the last one be a surprise.
I did make a very quick stop to buy Jerky in Bay City. Shelley has publicly declared her love for me. 🙂 You’re welcome.
I stopped along the way to eat my lunch (I packed today). Just a lovely view.
I then went on to Seaside. I paid $8 to get into the Seaside Aquarium. I’m not sure it was worth the price, but they did have some great exhibits. Feeding the seals was fun. They slap the water if you’re too slow to throw them the fish. There was a new baby there.
I then went and stared at the sea. Such a gorgeous view.
I then tooled my way up to Astoria. I had to go over the bridge, you know.
You can’t really see it, but that bridge is really, really high. Freaky going up there. But fun.
I came back and went to a River Viewing Tower.
Where I met Ann and Angie. This is Ann.
Isn’t she beautiful? We got talking and discussing living in Astoria. I didn’t find out till quite a bit into the conversation that she is living on the streets (she doesn’t like the term homeless, she has a home, it’s the streets). She knew a lot of the history of Astoria and wasn’t afraid to share it. I asked her about these ships, and why they were all just sitting there.
She explained that they were waiting for their turn to go up river to Longview or Portland to get their shipments. Logs at Longview (I went through that town and wow, lots and lots of lumber waiting to be shipped) and grain from Portland. They have to wait to go up until there’s a parking place for them, because there’s no room to stand off further up the river. It’s amazing to me that the Columbia is wide and deep enough to accommodate a ship this large!
Ann wasn’t afraid to answer any questions. I asked her how cold it got in Astoria during the winter and did she live on the streets then. 17 degrees last winter and yes she did. She said living on the streets was not for the faint of heart, but it was her way of life and she wasn’t ashamed of it. Amazing woman. Just amazing.
I then got back on the 30 and started driving back to Portland. I took a small side trip over to see some wetlands. And just stand and listen. No traffic, no humans, just animals. And no Bigfoot. Darn him!
My return trip took me up into Washington and down through Vancouver, to Portland.
I haven’t quite decided what I’m doing tomorrow. My life is so organized, mainly due to my job, that I’m enjoying living in the moment on my vacation. Any suggestions? Leave a comment and tell me where to go…(yes, Steve, do it. I expect it!)