Portland-Astoria: day two, bike-free

After a short break to talk about randonneuring, I return to my normally-scheduled mini-bike trip to Astoria and down the coast. Or something. :)

Anyway. When last we chatted, I’d biked to Astoria following a pretty amazing route. The next day, I kept my bike totally locked up in the basement of the B&B I stayed in, and explored Astoria by foot (and, incidentally, by trolley):

(it may only go about 4 miles down the waterfront, but it’s fun)

It’s a pretty small city, but super cute. I had a rockin meal at the Blue Scorcher Bakery Cafe, where I recognized the guy who took my order as the same fellow who’d passed me the night before on a ride up to the Astoria Column (I was walking; he biked past). We talked bikes and bike routes for a while, and he gave me a free cup of tea to complement my absolutely amazing (and proteinaceous) vegan meal.

I’d also heard I should check out the Fort George Brewery, and, seeing as it was right next door, I had a sit in there for a while. Though I had some reservations about chilling by myself in a bar, it turned out to be super awesome. I chatted for a long time with an older fellow who’s lived in Astoria for 15 years now and left feeling like I had a much better sense of the place and of the people who lived there. And the beer was pretty good too:)

Mostly, I took a good, long wander all over the city. I mentioned the Astoria Column–it’s a huge monument (basically to manifest destiny, which is kind of funny) with 164 stairs you can climb up to get amazing views of the city and surrounding river/ocean.

(the column during a cloudy sunset)

Like I said before, the city itself is pretty ridiculously steep, kind of like a mini (and much less densely settled) San Francisco. But there’s a lovely path along the Columbia River that’s totally flat and gives you awesome views of all the ships that line up there. Most of them, I learned, are either waiting for a river pilot to take them out into the ocean, or sitting pretty until their cargo in Portland is ready for them to come pick up.

(trail and ships. Had it been a nicer day, the benches would have been more appealing:)

(perhaps all good trails must come to an end…)

The river trail also has what I think is now my absolute favorite bike sign:

(that one’s worth zooming in on, if only to see the detail…)

(not only will you fall off your bike, you’ll fall into the water!!)

I was totally charmed by Astoria. Clearly I can’t write about everything here, but it was a lovely little town with friendly people and a lot of quirky history. I would love to go back. And now that I know it’s possible with a day’s worth of biking, it’s likely I will sometime.

[By the way, I’m trying to post the rest of my pictures online, but I’m currently fighting with Picasa, where until now I’ve been storing all my adventure pictures. So for this Astoria trip I’m reverting to my old standby Flickr. I’m putting the link up even though I haven’t really figured out what I want to do with Flickr yet, so be patient:)]

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