Day 22 – I wanted this to be a real day off. Not too much exploring, not too much cycling, not too much walking. Just a real day to relax a bit. I got up around 9am and took my time getting ready before cruising into town. I found a little cafe on 14th Street and grabbed a coffee and some oatmeal pancakes. I took my time eating and typing and catching up on the world and some work.
Afterword, I strolled around town a bit. I took my bike to get a checkup at the local shop – I was having trouble shifting into my highest gear. The tech made a quick adjustment and sent me off with no charge. Now I can go fast down hills again. I eventually meandered over to the Oregon Film Museum, which was inside of the old prison. It was a very small museum, but they had a bunch of The Goonies memorabilia, including the Fratelli’s Jeep that sat outside. The Goonies is one of those movies that instantly teleports me back to my childhood. I was filled with nostalgia as I looked around.
From there I decided to make the long walk over to The Goonies house. It was about 30 blocks away. I made a pit stop at the Safeway to grab a sandwich and some water. It was early afternoon when I tromped up to the front of that big old house on the hill. I felt like some kind of childhood pilgrimage had been completed. I snapped a bunch of photos and chatted with some other fans.
On the way down, I passed the middle school that was used in Kindergarten Cop. I never realized how many films were made in Astoria. There were also scenes from Free Willy, Short Circuit and a bunch of other classics that were shot in town. I found a bench by the riverwalk and took in the sun and the breeze next to the Columbia River. It was so nice to just zone out and completely relax for a bit. I felt like I was sitting at the end of the world.
I walked back into town and grabbed a mint chocolate chip ice cream cone that was too big to finish. That’s when Trudi messaged me and said she was off work and grabbing a drink before heading back to her place. I met up with her at Fort George and had a drink with her and her friends. They were telling me all about a big Wizard of OZ / Alice and Wonderland theme party that they were all going to later that night. Trudi said I could come. I was intrigued, but I didn’t want to start my day too late the next day. Then they mentioned that Seth, one of the hosts, was a local philosopher and professor. That was enough to seal the deal for me. Philosophy and a theme party. What more could I ask for?
We went home and got ready for the party. We showed up around 8:30pm. It was in a big 2 story home up on the hill above downtown. There was a rainbow of balloons that we walked under to enter the party. Inside we got a tour of the whole house. Every room had a different theme. The Wizard and the Emerald City were in the kitchen. There was a Tea Party on the back porch. Poppy fields lead to the 2nd floor where Seth had his library and work area. A bathroom was turned into a rabbit hole and the basement was a dark forest of rose bushes.
The costumes were just as amazing as all of the decorations. There were witches, and lions and a giant Mad Hatter. I met Seth and he told me all about how he got into philosophy and some of the amazing places he had taught. I learned about a terrible 3 day storm that hit Astoria in the late 2000s, which took the power out and ripped trees down all around town. Supposedly the wind meter on the bridge broke off at 140 miles per hour. Wow! I never realized how bad storms could get up in the Pacific Northwest.
I met a bunch of other great people and tried all of the amazing punches that were set out in each room. A bunch of us sat around the fire and talked for a while. Eventually, we decided to head back home for the night. Trudi had work in the morning and I needed to hit the road and head south. Little random things like that party are what make a trip like this so special. Can’t wait to see what surprises the coast holds.
(Repost of my 2014 Pacific Coast Tour Instagrams)