I needed a trip to get back on the solo travel horse. It had been while since I had traveled by myself, but my new reality is that I won’t always have someone to travel with, and if I want to keep traveling, I knew I had better get used to doing it by myself again.
I booked a long weekend trip to Astoria, Oregon in November, 2016. Close enough to drive to, in case I decided I really wanted to come home early. Far enough away that it wouldn’t be too easy to come home early…
Thursday, November 10, 2016
I headed out mid-morning on Thursday, for the long drive. Traffic wasn’t too bad and I made it to Astoria about 3 pm, enough time to do just a little touristing before the light faded for the day. I headed out to Fort Stevens State Park, to walk on the beach and see the Peter Iredale. I have blogged about the Peter Iredale before, but this trip I had more time to walk along the beach and enjoy the ocean. The tension of the long car ride melted away as I walked along the beach. It was too cloudy to catch a beautiful sunset, but it wasn’t raining, and it was warm! Certainly more than one can typically hope for on a November Northwest day.
Horses on the beach at Fort Stevens
Barnacles on driftwood
The Peter Iredale in the distance on the beach
The setting sun at Fort Stevens
The Peter Iredale in the fading light
I checked into my hotel and discovered it was just a short walk away from the pier where the sea lions like to hang out! It was dark when I got there that first evening, but I could definitely hear them! I know some people think they are loud and a nuisance, but I was excited about the idea of waking up to their barks in the morning!
Dinner was at the Rogue Brewery in Astoria. I walked there from the hotel and parked myself at the bar. I had the Sriracha Tacos and the Fruit Salad Cider, which is made with Rogue Farms Cherries, Rogue Farms Plums, Apples, Pears, Marionberries, Peaches & Apricots; Pacman Yeast – they pack a lot in there! I also had a schooner sized Chocolate Stout. I chatted with some Canadians who were making their way back up north, and got hit on by a drunken guy almost 20 years my junior. Thankfully, the bartender seemed ready to intervene on that one if needed…
A good night all in all, capped off by hearing the sea lions barking some more on my way back to the hotel. I left the window open so I could hear them as I drifted off to sleep…
Friday, November 11, 2016
Friday I slept in; it was a holiday after all! After a leisurely morning, I headed out into a beautiful late fall day. Of course, I made a beeline for the sea lions, to check them out in the daylight! There were so many of them – I spent awhile watching them and taking pictures.
A male sea lion checks on his harem
The dock where the Sea Lions hang
Sea lions on the dock
Sea lions with the bridge
Then I headed downtown, and poked around in the shops and antique stores. I had no agenda and nowhere to be and it was glorious!
My late lunch was at T Paul’s Urban Cafe. I had the Hood River salad – grilled chicken breast served over spring greens w/ fresh Anjou pear, fuji apples, candied walnuts, tomato, bleu cheese crumbles & bleu cheese dressing. Yum! I had a beer too – just because! Why not when you are on vacation!
After lunch, I did some more wandering and ended up finding a little thrift shop that had 2 Howard Pierce geese for my collection for $15. Score!
I wrapped up my afternoon wandering at the Fort George Brewery. I have been there once before and the beer is awesome! I ended up having the Seafood Chowder and 2 Willapa Bay oyster shooters, along with an IPA and a Pekko Pale Ale. Everything I had was delicious!
The rows of windows at the Fort George Brewery!
I also checked out the Albatross & Co., a cocktail bar around the corner. The drinks were fabulous, and the atmosphere was very eclectic and cool. I sat on a couch near an electric fireplace – you know the kind with those fake flames. A great place to end the evening, before heading back to the hotel.
It was a great two days, and I still had two left!