A journey from Los Angeles to Seattle on Highway 101, seeking out view spots for picnics… and old car junk for Clark.
May 31, 2014
Yachats to Astoria, Oregon
Breakfast was a long, 7-course affair, at a communal table. Nine of us, total. Clark and I put on our shipboard faces and working hard at helping to keep conversation going, as did a couple of the other guests. There’s something kind of cruel about forcing strangers into that situation, in the morning… Everyone was very nice, etc., but there’s no question that it is work to keep chatter flowing between people who don’t know each other at all, and yet are forced to sit together for seven courses of food. And yes, the chatter was necessary, as there wasn’t even background music to fill the lapses, and we’d all sit there trying not to stare at each other, while wracking our brains for a way to flog the conversation back to life.
Food was good. There was more of it than either of us would have chosen on our own, but ah well. We didn’t need to stop for lunch.
Heading north to Astoria, we stopped at a couple flea markets and antique stores, but didn’t find anything beyond a $10 metal cart for Clark. Which reminds me: I think the only thing I’ve bought on this whole trip is that $7 champagne coupe with a pressed glass naked person for a stem.
Around 5:00 we finally pulled in at the Cannery Pier Hotel, our digs for the night. Our room is on a corner, looking out at the Columbia River and the Hwy 101 bridge that crosses to Washington.
The hotel has two vintage cars, with drivers, to ferry you to dinner and back, free of charge. So, we hopped a ride in a 1937 Studebaker, to the Buoy Beer Co., on the waterfront.
Food was fine at the pub (not great), but the view was lovely, right on the water. Clark pointed out the River Queen, a faux sternwheeler out of Portland. He’d written an article once on the fate of ex-Washington State ferries, and that gussied-up sternwheeler was one of them. Which makes you look at a boat now used for wedding receptions, etc., in a different light.
We decided to walk back to the hotel along the Astoria Riverwalk, and along the way saw the schooner Lady Washington under sail. A fitting sight, perhaps, for the night before our return to our home state.