To Astoria and Back

For several days this week, we have been living in convection oven…hot, hot, hot with a breeze.  Are we done yet?  Are we baked all the way through?  Where is that cake tester?

Happily, we made it by staying inside utilizing our covid skills of total social distance from the outside world.  Only a fast trip to the grocery before it got really hot and a short walk twice a day broke the monotony of home confinement.  Self administered staying safe is the new normal so it didn’t feel as abnormal as it would have two years ago, say.

Therefore, today just had to be different.  We needed to break from the casa as the heat was dialed back a bit for this Tuesday.

So…we jumped in the car with the dog and headed for the beach.  Specifically we headed to Astoria, Oregon via an obscure route via the state of Washington.  So what went wrong was that the GPS doesn’t work very good when you want to find backroads.  The GPS wants you on the freeway for the most most part.  And maps are now too tiny to read.  The print is absurdly small…like the guys at McNally are either near-sighted or about 18 years old.  And so we guessed at what the map said.  And that is how we eded up a road that ran along a park that abruptly ended.  Kaput.  It just stopped going anywhere and without warning…there was no “Dead end” sign anywhere to found.  We also found ourselves wandering around the city of Vancouver, WA trying to find the secret passage to the west.  We successfully managed to squander about an hour lost in space.  However, we did get to see where Ryan works up close and personal.  So all was not lost…just us.

Rayman drove and I was navigating.  Perhaps on not the best use of rnesources.  But somehow, we overcame that deficiency and we found our way driving west in the state of WA along the mighty Columbia River.  It was a beautiful ride with very little traffic.  We did manage to see quite a few logger trucks which I flipped off was we passed them…they were headed east and they were hauling newly felled trees.  Glimpses of clear cut mountains were observed much to my chagrin.  Denuding a mountain of its trees is both heartbreaking and horrifyingly ugly.  Just saying.

At the point that we were about to turn south and take the bridge into Astoria, I saw a sign pointing to a road that had an historical marker announcing that two miles down this particular road would lead to the oldest covered bridge still remaining…or something to that effect.  So, we went to see the covered bridge.  


Here is some info re: the bridge.

We crossed the bridge which was sort of out of the way except that there were two ATT trucks down the road with men/women up poles.  So, we parked at a small clearing that sported a “honey bucket” and a sign explaining how the bridge came to be.  When we bailed from the car, we realized, we needed to relieve ourselves so Rayman went to the honey bucket and returned with warnings about things overflowing and disgusting other images.  So, I decided to relieve myself standing up behind the car door using my paper funnel thing.  That worked like a charm only there was no place to throw it away so Rayman suggested we rinse it out with the water in Beau’s bowl that he did not drink.  Good idea until Rayman did the pouring, I held the tinkle aid and the water went throughthe tinkle aid and landed on the shoe of my right foot.  

This got me to laughing and I could not quit.  My funny bone had been tickled and there was no use.  I laughed as traversed the bridge.  I laughed as we drove back the two miles to the main road.  It was like a culmination of all the funny things that have ever happened to us…crystallized in that one moment.  Who are we?   The Marx brothers?  Lucy and Desi?  The two stooges?  Do these things happen to you?  I am deeply curious or is it just us?

As my shoe was drying we rode into town over one of the bridges that looks like a giant erector set.  We were hungry.  We found a brewery but they only did pizza.  I wanted fish.  Three establishments later, we gave up on food.  Either the restaurant was closed on Tuesday or the wait list was ridiculously long.  My cousin was right…everyone escaped the heat and headed for the beach.  

So we headed back to Portland with hunger pains keeping us alert.  When we hit the first big town, we found a Baskins Robbins and had ice cream for lunch on a sugar cone.

And here we are, too hot again, too tired from driving, but exhilarated by all the pretty scenery we saw on the unguided tour of the Pacific North West and the Columbia River.  It is big, it is mighty, and it is beautiful.  

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