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Jul. 24th, 2002

This is a post that I started on the coast trip a few weeks ago but it got lost when palm-LJ client crashed my pilot.
Incidentally, the client should use TWO scrollbars, not one.


02.7.11 14.35 pm
This post is recovered from my own memory. The "palm LJ" client dies hideously (corrupting palm memory) if you go larger than its viewable buffer area, as I discovered to my great frustration yesterday (July 10th).

At 11am we set out for a quick day trip to the coast. Plan was to go north on Cornelius Pass Rd to St. Helens, thence take Hwy 30 to Astoria. The route is mostly northwards. It was lovely but punctuated by really bad sections of road as the summer road repairs ground the surface off large tracts of roadway leaving a few really nasty bumps! in the road.

Once we got to Astoria, it was gorgeous. Of course, the streets in town were crowded and ugly, as repairs and urban renovation vied with closings and bankruptcies, and empty storefronts in old buildings sat next to Grand Openings.
Some of the streets in Astoria are pure vertical. There were three intersections on a hill we explored that were 40 degrees UP on two sides. Dangerous Intersection, the signs said.

We went across the bridge at the mouth of the Columbia River, then (in Washington) went north to Long Beach. It is. The town is pure Turistaville, but the beach (several miles long) was gorgeous. If we had wanted to, we could have driven on the beach next to the ocean for a while. It would have been a TV commercial moment, driving our metal-blue new beetle beside the Pacific. But the risk of getting too deep in the sand (or worse, caught out by the tides) killed our weak enthusiasm for beach drives.
None of the restaurants really piqued our interest so we went back to Astoria and to the Pig-N-Pancake restaurant. This is a good old-fashioned pancake house, and the food was excellent. The coffee could have been used to re-charge a dead boat battery. Probably had been.

After some wandering we headed south, aimed at Seaside. Once upon a time, Seaside was a pleasant little resort. It was the official "most western" point where Lewis & Clark saw the Pacific Ocean. There is a national monument right there at the end of one avenue, with statue and turnaround just in front of the beach. It used to be that the last two blocks before the monument were a sort of tacky Coney Island sort of gauntlet of shooting galleries, touristy shops, and similar carnivalia.
As we approached, we couldn't see the beach for the four block long concrete wall of ugly, ugly turd-beige parking/hotel structures, whose 3-5 storey barricade was made even more offensive by the fact that the whole unfinished lot was wrapped in plastic tarps to keep the salty ocean air from getting in and prematurely rotting the steel bits.

Disgusted and dismayed, we went south 15 miles or so to Cannon Beach, the site of another old fort. Happily,
the rental cottage at which we'd spent many anniversaries and vacations was still standing, still in operation. The "main drag" of town was, for the most part, preserved in a uniform, standardized beach-town mall experience that we both simultaneously recognized as being pure SIMS. We cured the twitching by stopping further down hwy 101 at a turnout and watching the late-afternoon surf pounding in and out.

Thence south, again, to Manzanita, another past vacation spot. Basically, has not changed in 6+ yrs.
Wheeler (just south on 101) had a really good restaurant in 1997 - the Blue Heron Diner. Three and a half stars - fine food. Now, it's The Sea Shack, and has pictures of anthropomorphic seafood dancing on the false-front roof. We did not stop.

South more, thru Garibaldi, Tillamook, and back to home that way. Forest Grove then down Tualatin Valley Hwy to home.
We watched the temperature climb steadily until it showed 91 degrees at home !! :P

Anyway, the coast was great, I was exhausted and my interior 'driver' subprocess (which can operate separately from most of my waking self, except when I'm well and truly asleep) was on strike for a while.