|We awoke to overcast skies & a slight drizzle...darn! But we decided to head for Astoria anyway & hopefully the gray skies will go away! David & Judy picked us up so we didn't have to drive. It is always nice to have one of the locals acting as tour guide, gives us a break from driving & allows us to rubberneck more!
Astoria was the first permanent U.S. Settlement west of the Rockies, dating back to 1811. Much of the town has a turn-of-the century Victorian look. Astoria's history is very much tied to the nearby Columbia River.
When we arrived the skies were still gray & a slight rain was trying to mess up my hair & get Lare's bald spot damp too! And, we weren't smart enough to bring a hat along today so serves us right...
So, we just did the Sunday Market shopping by ducking in & out of the tents! It was still fun.
We then just cruised around checking out the architecture & found this elegant Victorian home built in 1885 by Captain George Flavel. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it is a monument to the rich style and architecture of the Queen Anne style with period furnishings & artwork, resting on park-like grounds covering an entire city block!
We knew we wanted to see the Astoria Column so we headed there next. The Column, built in 1926 by the Great Northern Railway, sits in a wooded park atop Astoria's highest hill, presenting a spectacular view of the historic city. Known as the symbol of Astoria, the 125 foot tower has 164 spiral stairs that you can climb for a grand view of the Columbia River, the volcanic cone of Mt. St. Helens and the Pacific Ocean. Both Larry & David made the trek to the top but Judy & I wimped out...it was gray & overcast & visibility was about 5 feet so there wasn't going to be much to see.
Patterned after the Trojan Column in Rome, the monument was still worth going to, visibility or not. Because our pictures are all taken with overcast rainy skies I am going to post a couple from the Internet also! You'll be able to tell the difference, that's for sure!
We all decided we were starving so we took time for lunch at the The Ship Inn on 2nd street...that was a good decision...the combination seafood platter I had was great & Larry had the best Fried Oysters he's ever had. We highly recommend this restaurant. With large picture windows the view was great (it was clearing just a little!) & so, with full tummies we were ready to hit the road again.
We crossed the Astoria-Megler Bridge, stretching 4.1 miles from Astoria to Washington & arrived in Long Beach. A cute little town, we stumbled across Marsh's Museum. Established in 1921 as an ice cream & candy store, Marsh's is now a cult destination. And yet, history abounds. It doesn't cost anything to see Theda Bara's headband or the Civil War leg irons or the spittoon from the Silver Dollar Saloon in Alder Gulch, Nevada.
But, the biggest attraction is Jake the Alligator Man. Jake appears to be an ossified dwarf whose skin has turned a putrid black. From the waist down, Jake is an alligator, with scales & a tail.
Some folks claim Jake the Alligator Man was a valet in a New Orleans whorehouse.
Others say Jake the Alligator Man was a sideshow freak who smoked cigars & could nod yes or no to simple questions. A retired couple who drive from Kelso every summer to see Jake claim they remember him, alive & nodding, in a Texas carnival. What do you think?
We enjoyed the corsets, jugs, saws, 2 headed calf, fortune tellers & even the dime Kiss Tester.
Hope you enjoy seeing them too...
A little further down the road, we found this young man, braving the stormy weather, with his trusty chain saw! He had some truly beautiful things. And the prices were very good. Unfortunately, Larry says if I try to bring one more thing into this rig, I have to go! So Judy & I just stood for several minutes & watched. If I owned a cabin I would surely want one of those cute bears!
We then headed further on down the coast & stopped in Longview to check out the city park & the lovely residential area across the street. All of the rain smelled so good. Back across the Lewis & Clark bridge where I took this welcome to Oregon shot.
What a great day even with the gray skies. So glad we decided to go. We will be here again sometime & I will pray for sunny skies so I can get some great ocean pics. We'll be moving on down the coast in a couple of days & I am sure there will be some pretty shots then. Till then, may all your days be beautiful & sunny!!