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Saturday, October 31, 2009


Halloween House, Astoria, Oregon Even under gray and drizzly skies, this house on Bond Street wishes everyone a fun and colorful Halloween. The sign next to the door reads, "Happy Fall, Y'all." This small Victorian home is one of Astoria's most colorful in any season.

Friday, October 30, 2009

The Hobson House on Bond Street

The Victorian Hobson House on Bond Street, Astoria, Oregon The Hobson House is one of the numerous historic houses in Astoria, Oregon, but it's also one of the best known, and it's on the National Register. I think it's also one of the most attractive of Astoria's venerable old Victorian ladies. As you walk around town, you see a wealth of unique detail. This house puts it all together beautifully.

Historic Plaque on Hobson House, Astoria, Oregon
Historic Sign at the Hobson House, Astoria, Oregon In addition, this house has an unusual colored sign as well as the black and white plaque we've seen a few times before

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Blue Scorcher: A bakery/cafe with a big difference

One of the pleasantest places to eat in Astoria is the Blue Scorcher Bakery Cafe at the corner of 15th Street and Duane Avenue. Occupying half of an older Astoria concrete building, this place has an atmosphere like no other. It's built into the side of a hill, which is not so unusual for this town, but it does lend charm. The walls are . . . well, you can see for yourself. The decor is funky. The space is spacious. The views are riverine. The smells are delicious, and the tastes are even more so. It's run as a workers' collective. You can borrow and read the New York Times or any number of other papers and magazines you don't see on every street corner in Astoria. The owner/workers are friendly, and they think "Community" with a capital "C." They have a program called Bread Equity, which you can read about on their fascinating web site, linked above. (Check out their gallery; 40 types of bread? And those are only the ones they have photos of!) One thing I'm not sure about is how they got their name. Do they have a temperamental indigo oven that runs a little hot? (Ah, mystery solved.) One warning: Don't go in unless you intend to get hooked.

Here's a review and some photos by someone who loved it.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Since 1886

McLin Hardware Company Sign, Astoria, Oregon - Since 1886 I absolutely love the way this 2nd-storey wall looks near the corner of Duane Avenue and 13th Street. How did it retain the lines? It looks like someone planned it, but it's simply an old, old wall. It says McLin Hardware Co. Inc. Since 1886. Sometime I'll try to decipher the whole wall. I also wonder what the name was of the hotel. Like art in a museum, it invites the imagination to put the pieces together - or maybe it tugs at the historian in all of us. It certainly showcases the signpainter's art of a bygone era.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

It's a jumble out there

Astoria, Oregon I took several elegant photos yesterday, and this is not one of them. But I think it's a fun photo, so I'm using it. It's a little like a collage artist's rendering of some of the things we've already seen.

In the downtown area, each block you walk away from the river takes you up to yet another "viewing platform" level. There are no platforms, only sidewalks, but it's like climbing any mountain where you keep turning around to see the view below. I took this photo from Duane Avenue between 14th and 15th Streets. All day long we had drenching rain punctuated by sun breaks. I especially love looking at the bright orange ships in this weather. Still, the color hasn't come out right; getting the orange to appear as it does in real life has been a big challenge. I'm still working on it! It's simply a joy to look at them in the changing light.

The distance in this photo is extremely truncated due to the long zoom. The river is about four miles wide here, and yet the hills in Washington look so close. So does the ship, although it's quite far out in the river.

Most of the cars you see are parked on Marine Drive. Beyond the hedge and invisible in this photo, is the River Walk, which passes in front of the red and gray buildings. The red building is the old radio tower building, built in the 1950s, and re-sided and re-windowed in 2007. I lease the downstairs for my shop, while the landlord keeps the apartment above. Online, the store is called Tapir and Friends Wildlife World, but the more accessible local name is The Animal Store. (I thought it would be easier for people to remember who had no association to tapirs.) In the cyberworld, it doesn't matter so much. They look up "toy aardvark" or whatever on Google, and they find us (often at the top of the page). Most of our business is done online and the post office picks up from us every day. We like the locals and tourists dropping in, but if I'd been planning on making a living from local traffic I'd have had to locate on Commercial Avenue. The gray building the right of us is Englund Marine, now vacant because they moved into a huge new building in the harbor area at the west end of town. Eventually, their building will make way for condos. It will probably be a nice building, but nobody with a view over the top of that area is looking forward to the day. Local ordinances going back to the 1800s give the property owners (actually 99-year lessees) the right to build far out into the water, so local committees are working with the owners to create as much visual and functional quality along the river as possible for the public, even when new buildings are put in.

In this photo, Commercial Avenue is represented on the left by a gray building (The Garment Gallery) and on the far right by the very front edge of Area Properties. In the middle is a parking lot, which is why I was able to get this view straight through to the water.

. My World Tuesday

Monday, October 26, 2009

Screaming scarlet bushes

Railroad Tracks and Scarlet Fall Foliage This is what I meant in the last post about "screaming scarlet" fall leaves. I've noticed these bushes a lot around this area and in Portland. It's not like you can miss them. I'm sure they're chosen exactly for the color they turn in fall. I took this photo at the edge of the Safeway parking lot not far from this old shed. The river looks white on this drizzly day. The hills in the distance are on the Washington side of the Columbia River. Of course, that's the River Walk beyond the tracks.

One of the rail lines you see in both photos is for the much-used Astoria Riverfront Trolley. The other line hasn't been used for awhile. They resurrected it a couple of years ago for several Amtrak passenger cars that ran between Astoria and Portland (2 hours by car). It was a great idea if you wanted to come from Portland to Astoria for the day or a couple of days, but the sceduling and logistics were a mess if you wanted to go from Astoria and spend the day in Portland. The timing was all wrong, and it made for an expensive proposition since you would almost have to stay overnight in Portland if you lived in Astoria. Daytripping was virtually ruled out unless you wanted to ride the train, turn around and come right back. Maybe they'll plan it better next time. We all loved the idea.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Is this normal?

Moss on a Tree with Fall-colored Leaves It seems I've lived in the Pacific Northwest (PNW) just long enough to wonder if moss grows on trees like this everywhere, and I simply can't remember. I don't think so. I'll bet our 70 to 90 inches of rain per year have got something to do with it. (This photo looks especially nice if you click on it to enlarge it.) We have some beautiful colors now, including bright red, mostly on lower bushes. I'll do my best to get a photo before we have a wind that blows them all away. Have you noticed that the city gardeners (or whoever they are) seem to plant lots of bushes these days that turn screaming scarlet in the fall? Was that always true?

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Inside/Outside at Coffee Girl

Flowers at Coffee Girl It's always warm and inviting at Coffee Girl, even when it's wet outside. Here you can get a hint of the superb view from the window or the outside deck. The deck is perched quite a few feet above the river with fantastic effect. If you're going to sit out at the table, I suggest waiting until the rain stops. The flowers are inside on the window sill, by the way! The link above has lots of nice photos. I recommend it highly. Or if you're in Astoria, I recommend dropping in. It's on Pier 39, on the east end of town.

Take a look at Floral Friday to see more nice flowers from around the globe :)

Friday, October 23, 2009

Tails tell tales

I took this on a drizzly day recently using the zoom, as we don't get this close to the big ships in reality. The Hanjin Madrid is unloaded, revealing an interesting pattern of metalwork. In this photo on another web site, you can see the same ship in another port with a full cargo. One of the links from this page will take you to many more photos of the same ship. Hanjin is one of the most common shipping lines seen on the lower Columbia River. I found it interesting that this particular ship was registered in Hamburg, Germany, as so many of the ships we see are registered in either Panama or in Monrovia, Liberia, where about 10% to 15% of the world's big ships are registered.

In case you wondered, I spent a few days in Portland. I expected to post from there, but it didn't work out, so I'm playing catch-up today, which is actually late on October 25th. I'm looking forward to visiting your posts for the weekend and making comments, although it may not happen till morning!

~ Sheryl

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Bridge, river, gulls, ship

Astoria scene with bridge, river, gulls, and ship I took this photo a year ago September, but it might as well have been taken today. This is our weather. The horizon line blurrs, the hills in Washington cannot be seen, the sky is nothing but gray clouds, and seagulls roost in the rain or drizzle. Ships such as this one, Ocean Lotus, make their way up and down the river, passing beneath one of the most scenic bridges in the world, and some call it a romantic scene. I do. Do you?

It looks like we have a cruise ship in today. The Riverfront Trolley is running, and it's full of tourists taking one of the changeable moods of Astoria, Oregon.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Autumn leaves, sun break, designer coffee

Autumn Leaves and Coffee Kiosk, Warrenton, Oregon The trees are well into their "turning" phase, although many are still green. We don't usually get the freezing temperatures here that are found further inland, and our colors are slower to brighten. However, we've had so much wind and downpouring rain that many trees are becoming bare when they've scarcely shown their autumn glory. It rained hard again last night, and you can see a few small puddles in the parking lot.

I took this photo during a brief "sun break" (those few moments of sunshine on our typical overcast days) just across Young's Bay in Warrenton. I had never heard of a "sun break" until I moved to the Pacific Northwest (PNW). I rarely see any cars at this coffee kiosk, but they must get enough traffic during peak hours to keep them going. Not visible from this angle, a huge sign on the top says, simply, "ESPRESSO." Astoria has some wonderfully unique coffee places, and I'll try to feature them this season.

Drive-up kiosks for designer coffee was also a new concept for me when I moved here in 2001. I don't know when they began in the PNW (although I believe this is their genesis), but I'd seen my first one in Clifton, Western Colorado, in 2001 before moving here. I never saw anyone buying coffee from it, and I thought it was just someone's crazy idea for a business that was going to fail. Granted, I didn't usually pass buy during rush hour. Imagine my surprise when I moved to the PNW and found that these coffee stands breed like rabbits and people use them in droves. You can order custom blends and sizes with an astounding array of words I'd never heard or associated together until I came here.

I realize the trend is no longer local. Does your town or city offer drive-through designer coffee? What's your poison?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Ferns grow almost anywhere, including out of the moss that clings to a cement beam over the river. One could talk about nature reclaiming its own, but all I really had on my mind is that they were bright green and pretty.

Monday, October 19, 2009


Aerial Photo By Frank Wolfe, Astoria, Oregon Here's one more aerial photo taken by Frank Wolfe and sent to us by Branden Wilson. It gives a remarkably clear view of the lay of the land and water on the east end of town, including a number of the landmarks I've already included in various Astoria, Oregon, Daily Photo pictures as well as many still to come.

As I said, we're looking eastward, upriver. The hills are all in Washington, while the foreground is in Oregon. The white roof at the bottom of the photo is the Maritime Museum. The lump of land sticking way out on the far peninsula is Tongue Point, visible in a number of photos, including this one taken at the Maritime Museum showing the lightship Columbia, which is half visible at the very bottom of the photo.

The first structure towards the viewer from Tongue Point is Pier 39, just at the top of the double basins made from jetties that create East Mooring Basin. Pier 39 appeared in a number of posts: Pier 39, the kayak place, and Bumblebee Seafoods. Showing East Mooring Basin itself are several other posts, including this pink sunset with fishing boats, my sea lion post, and this photo from last May.

Moving closer again to the viewer, the big red building sticks out into the water all on its own. Here's a photo of it from July. The River Walk runs the entire length of the river's shore here (and much further "down"). In fact, most of the downtown area is below the bottom of this picture. In the middle of the long stretch of River Walk, you see a round pool in the land area. This is called Mill Pond, and I don't have any photos yet. It connects to the Columbia River via a very short waterway, and in the past it was actually the pond for a large lumber mill. Now there are new houses surrounding the pond, and some are built on stilts over the pond's edge. The water birds enjoy the pond, and I'll try and take some interesting photos before long.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

House on a hill

Cottage or Bungalow House in Astoria, Oregon I've always loved this little house at the corner of 10th Street and Harrison Avenue. The picture suggests the name, "House on a hill," but in fact how many houses in Astoria are not perched in some manner on a hillside? Not many. It would be harder to find a residential building that was not on a hill. It's always interesting to see how foundations, stairways, garages, and all manner of other parts of the houses are built to adapt to the slopes.

I come to this neighborhood often, and on October 13th, I especially liked the way the light brightened the house and the dark clouds beyond added some drama. That little bit of blue hill to the left of the house is on the Washington side of the Columbia River. You can barely see a few fall colors in the branches. The leaves are changing, and I'll take some pix of them this coming week.

Does anyone know a name for the style of this house? The words that comes to mind are "bungalow" and "cottage," but I don't know how technical these terms are. It was probably built in the 1920s or '30s. I was inside the house one time, and it has some elements of Arts and Crafts or Craftsman Style, but it also has a lot of elements you don't usually see in traditional Craftsman Style houses. The exterior of the house is made of stucco, which is unusual here, as most Astoria houses are sided with wood. Anyway, it's always looked cozy, and it has a glorious view unobscured by wires.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Two canoes: one for the sea, one for the river

Chinook Indian Ocean-going Canoe The two canoes in this post are on display at Fort Clatsop, just outside of Astoria. The top photo is the canoe on display outside the fort's museum, and is a typical ocean-going Chinook Indian canoe. They were made in several sizes to carry various numbers of people. The ocean-going canoes were often used for hunting seals. This canoe is the same style as the burial canoe replica seen in my earlier post. You can also read about Chinook canoes on this interesting site.

Chinook Indian Sweetwater Canoe From the site linked above, I learned that this canoe is for use on rivers, also called "sweet water." It rests near the end of the trail that leads to the canoe landing used by Lewis and Clark.

For more pictures of Fort Clatsop and the trail in the woods, see this post with photos I took in 2001.

Friday, October 16, 2009

National Geographic's "Sea Bird"

National Geographic/Lindblad Ship Sea Bird The National Geographic ship Sea Bird has been in port fairly often recently at the 17th Street docks by the Maritime Museum. At first I thought they might be doing some kind of research or photography, but it seems this is a cruise ship in conjunction with Lindblad Expeditions, and both logos are on the side of the ship. Unlike most of the tour ships that stop in Astoria, the focus of these tours is on active observation of nature.

Kayaks aboard National Geographic Ship Sea Bird The Sea Bird's primary destinations are north and south of us: Washington, British Columbia and Alaska to the north, and Baja California to the south. The passengers are encouraged to snorkel, kayak and hike, and the ship searches out pods of whales and other of nature's wonders that can be observed on the sea and around the coast. They advertise: "Expedition Equipment: Bow Camera, hydrophone, kayaks, snorkeling gear, Splash-Cam, underwater video camera, video microscope, Zodiac landing craft and wetsuits in Baja." Sounds intriguing. Coming back to my computer, it was a little odd to see the same logo on my tiger mousepad as I'd just seen on the ship.

The dull colors you see in these photos reflect our recent weather: lots of rain and low clouds. In this photo you can actually see more variety in the sky than usual. As I look out the window this morning, it's a flat gray and the horizon is barely visible. Happy Skywatch Friday.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The big drip, part 2

Buildings and Paint, Astoria, Oregon Since I'm sure you were all wondering what happened to the 5-inch-wide water-filled drip on the wall at 15th Street and Duane Avenue (posted on October 1), I'm presenting a much-anticipated follow-up. No, I didn't poke a hole in it as several of you mentioned you would want to do, and I don't know if anyone else did, either. I didn't see an obvious hole. For several days, it remained about the same, and by October 13th, it had morphed into this. Your vigilant reporter will keep an eye on it, and let you know if anything newsworthy occurs.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Lewis & Clark's canoe landing

Lewis and Clark River, Netul River Just about a block down a remarkably peaceful trail through the dense woods from Lewis and Clark's Fort Clatsop replica, the trail gives way to a short boardwalk over the marshy ground. A few paces further, and you emerge at the spot used by the expedition as a canoe landing. They had already camped and traded on other parts of the Columbia River's mouth, so this was not their first stop, but it was the landing they used to access the fort during the wet winter of 1805-1806. Originally named the Netul River, it is now called the Lewis and Clark River. A short distance to our left, the river feeds into Youngs Bay and then directly into the Columbia. In this photo, you're looking south into Oregon.

Stepping out of dense woods onto the river at this point presents a rewarding view, so beautifully contrasted yet integral with the vegetation of the forest. The rigidly regular pilings you see in the distance are the remnants of a large lumber industry in past decades. Kayakers still use the river, and I'm sure it's used by fishermen as well. The day I was there, several people were paddling their way up the river in kayaks, making an interesting continuum to the history that was on my mind.

. For more photos of water, please visit Watery Wednesday and follow the links.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Guest photographer: Laurel and the Great Columbia Crossing 2009

The Great Columbia Crossing 2009 I was driving back to Astoria from Bend, Oregon, on Sunday and missed the event, but Laurel Sullivan put together a great blog post so we can all enjoy nearly first-hand what it was like without freezing and without getting our feet sore. This is Laurel, number 3032. She's Lee's (Bend, Oregon, Daily Photo) daughter, the mother of my "grandtapir," Teagan, and a great delight in my life.

For two hours on a Sunday morning each year, the one lane of the two-lane Astoria-Megler Bridge is closed to cars, and walkers and runners make the crossing. The bridge itself spans just over 4 miles, but the route is just over 6 miles due to the start and finish points being well beyond where the bridge meets the riverbank. The hills in the background are in Washington, the state line is somewhere in the midst of the river, and in this photo the pack is getting ready to climb the 200-foot hill that makes it possible for ships to go under the bridge. The photo is by Laurel's friend Bonnie, who you'll see on her blog. My thanks for the use of the photo, and please check out Laurel's blog for a stunning sunrise and some interesting and amusing photos and commentary on the crossing. When asked by phone how it was, her first word was, "Cold." Note that she's wearing a tank top, and there's good reason why everyone else is in winter clothing!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Lewis & Clark's Fort Clatsop, life-size replica

Fort Clatsop, Astoria-Warrenton, Orgon I think one of the coolest places to visit in or around Astoria is Fort Clatsop, where Lewis and Clark's Corps of Discovery spent the unusually rainy and cold winter of 1805-1806. It's only about a 10-minute drive from downtown Astoria. The fort replica itself is very interesting, and the dense forest surrounding it is breathtaking, making a visitor feel that they've entered the depths of the wilderness. (It seems there are more trees now than when the first replica was built in 1955.) Although you enter the grounds through a small, nicely-done museum run by the National Park Service, once you're a few steps out the back door, you feel as if you could be part of that early party of explorers, especially if you go off-season when there are fewer visitors. I took this photo on October 4th, and there were only about ten or fifteen other people on the grounds, most of whom were a small group of parents and teachers learning what a volunteer needs to know to take students through the fort, since the staff is short-handed.

If you've ever been to Fort Apache, Fort Vancouver, or just about any other preserved or rebuilt frontier fortress, you'll find Fort Clatsop very small. There are six rooms, each with several bunks, a fireplace, and a rough-hewn table and benches. There's also a small indoor area for food storage. It's quite sparse, but in a weird way, inviting and almost comfortable-looking. I don't know if Lewis and Clark felt the same way about it. I do know they thought it was a very long winter, and it rained all but 12 of the days they spent there. One of the great things about visiting this fort is, you won't find any chained barriers or "Keep Out" signs (except for the food-storage room, which is closed off by a half-door). At least most of the time you can walk through the rooms and get the look and feel of the entire place.

October 4th was my first visit to Fort Clatsop after the fire of October 3, 2005 burned it to the ground just about a month before the Lewis & Clark Bicentennial festivities began - featuring, of course, the fort. More than 700 volunteers helped rebuild the replica, and it was dedicated on December 9, 2006. Meanwhile, events that had been planned for the location had to be held elsewhere. To me, it looked identical to the 1955 replica, but the fire and rebuilding did give historians a chance to make minor changes based on things they had learned since the original replica was built.

I have more photos, so stay tuned.

More info: Wikipedia

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Captain George Flavel House

The Flavel House, Astoria, Oregon This home, built by Captain George Flavel in 1885, is one of Astoria's most highly touted landmarks. The Victorian masterpiece in the Queen Anne style sits at the corner of Eighth Street and Duane, across the street from the old county jail (used in the "Goonies" move) and the courthouse. And speaking of corner cupolas as I have been in the last couple of posts - this house has a "rather nice" one. Anything but abandoned, this house is a jewel of the Clatsop County Historical Society, and you can purchase a tour (see my tour in photos below). There is a lot of history one could give about Captain Flavel and his house, but I'm just going to leave you with a few relevant links. I'm sure we'll see the house again, and maybe sometime I can capture it in lighting other than this shivery shadow. I took the photo on Sunday, October 4. It's rare during warmer seasons to find the place unobscured by parked cars.

I wanted to share another comment by Mom of Three on yesterday's post: "Which begs the question: Top 10 Uninhabited Astoria Buildings that you'd like to break into--not for harm, just for a tour. Now that the Flavels are both in Portland care homes, what I would give to skulk around that house on 15th. I wouldn't steal a thing, either, just look and look and look. And the place on 17th. Which others??"

Mom. We'll have to talk about this. Send me e-mail, photos if you'd like to have them used as a guest photographer, or links to any of the houses you like if you've got them on your blog. You can find me at oregontapir at Thanks for your contributions so far :)

. A tour inside from my personal blog, 2001 (old camera)
. Facade with June flowers, 2008
. From my Picasa album, various years (incomplete)
. On
. Astoria, Oregon - Places by Robert D. West (scroll down to #5)
. Wikipedia
. Found on Flickr

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Carriage house at 17th and Jerome

Carriage House at 17th and Jerome, Astoria, Oregon Yesterday I showed another side of this house with a large corner cupola (to the left, outside the current photo), and Mom of Three made the comment: "About two years ago, I saw a really old man puttering around out there. What's also great about that house is the carriage house there. It's in better shape. That place has it all. An amazing grassy front yard, views for days, and the architecture." "Views for days," refers to the fact that this house is perched at the top of 17th Street with an incredible view over the Columbia River and the town.

These are not fall colors. I took this photo on the same day in May as I took the pictures for yesterday's post. The lighting makes all the difference. The potting shed or tool shed is also interesting in that it is not separate from the house at all, but (speaking of corner cupolas) wraps itself around the corner of the house, covering part of two walls. It's all so intriguing, and I love the colors.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Corner cupola on 17th and Jerome

Victorian House with Corner Cupola, Astoria, OregonIt looks like I could do "Corner Cupola Week" without much effort. I've been wanting to post photos of this house since I took them last May, and after yesterday's cupola, it may be the right time. I actually don't know what you'd call this style, but it has wonderful details. Some seem quite unique; I don't think I've ever seen a diamond made of shingles like the one between the two windows.

Victorian House with Corner Cupola, Astoria, Oregon Here's another view of the house on the hill. It's empty now. I expect it will be fixed up and sold. One thing's for sure. There are a lot of unique architectural details in this town, and it would be fun to take pictures of all of them.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Corner cupola . . . what's the story?

Grandview Bed and Breakfast with Corner Cupola, Astoria, Oregonj I love walking past the Grandview Bed and Breakfast at 16th Street and Grand. The thing on the corner of the building is called a "corner cupola." The history of this architectural form is a bit more elusive than the name - at least in a cursory online check. I'd like to research the style further and hopefully talk with the owners of the building. For today let me just say that I've seen pictures of corner cupolas on ornate Victorian buildings and on French Medieval fortresses. It does make one wonder what came in between. Please do follow the link to the web page of this charming place. The rooms have delightful names, the B & B looks more than inviting, and you'll see a photo of the view and a photo of the other side of the building, in which the style looks completely different. I'll have to post more of this very interesting building another time.

The steeple in the distance was featured in this earlier post. It's worth a look if you haven't seen it (or just want to see it again). It's lovely and intriguing.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Swooping like waves

Columbia River Maritime Museum, Astoria, Oregon The Columbia River Maritime Museum was built in an unusual shape custom-designed to fit its theme. You can't see it from here, but inside the blue glass is a Coast Guard boat perched on a fiberglas wave at a rakish angle you can hardly believe. A sound system blares the noise of the sea in storm, and the point seems to be to show that (unlike lubbers might imagine), the boat rocks not only in one direction, but torques in several at one time. If you thought a carnival ride was designed to play havoc with your senses and your last meal, give some credit to Mother Nature.

The museum contains world-class exhibits and a nice gift shop, and owns several real buoys and lightship, which you can tour. There is also a dock where real ships tie up. Here are some glimpses of the museum and grounds during the arrival of a cruise ship not long ago. I'm looking forward to going inside again, and I'll be sure to take you along.

The pavement on the right is actually part of Astoria's River Walk.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Monday, October 5, 2009

The other side of the tracks

Tracks and Old Building along the River Walk, Astoria, Oregon On the left (not seen here, of course) is the great expanse of the Columbia River. On the right are old tracks and a weathered building I particularly like. Between them is the River Walk, surfaced in blacktop and much-used on a nice day like this.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Outside in

Baked Alaska with Reflected Ships Ships on the Columbia reflected in the windows of Baked Alaska, Astoria, Oregon: September 20, 2009. For more details, a panoramic view, and a second reflection of the ships in another building, check out this post on my personal blog.

For more photos featuring reflections, take a look at Weekend Reflections.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

End of summer

Brown Pilings, Columbia River at Astoria, Oregon I took this somewhat dreary end-of-summer photo on September 22. Compare it to this one taken on June 16th. The green stuff (moss, algae?) has almost burned away in the last two months of comparatively dry and occasionally hot weather. The gray building is the Columbia River Bar Pilots' dispatch office (and what a location for an office, eh?); you see it from the other side in the June 16 photo. The pilings are what's left of city structures and (perhaps) sheds to dry and mend nets. I haven't checked the exact history of this block, but an interpretive plaque nearby says, "Before the fire of 1922, much of downtown Astoria was built on pilings over the river. People built out from the original hilly shoreline, creating a level commercial district with access to the water. Every type of business might be located over the water: hotels and taverns, churches and fish canneries, lumberyards and a railroad depot."

Some people complain that winter brings rain, and that we have all too much of it, but I look forward to winter, too. The visiting crowds thin out, the pilings turn green again, and the skies are brightened with the most amazing sunsets. We even have a number of bright t-shirt days. At the moment, however, toes and noses are pretty cold.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Clouds over the Columbia

Clouds over the Columbia River, Astoria, Oregon I've shown this view a few times, and it changes with every nuance of lighting. A moment before I took this picture, there was light reflected off of the sides of some of the buildings. I liked those shots, but the clouds over the Columbia River became more dramatic after they hid the sun. The clouds have been very active lately, including dropping a lot of rain. Happy Skywatch Friday from Astoria, Oregon, everyone.

Thursday, October 1, 2009


Paint Holding Water - Hunts' Building, Astoria, Oregon We've had some very heavy rains the past few days, and on one of my walks after the sky cleared up, I found this unusual sight. Although I've never seen the like of it before (certainly not on this scale), it illustrates one of the hazards of painting in a rainy climate. It looks like the new coat of paint dried just enough to hold water. I didn't measure, but I'd estimate that sac is just about 5 inches across.

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