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Monday, May 31, 2010

Adventures on 8th Street

April 10, 2010

I hope we get some interesting comments from locals and visitors about 8th Street. Eighth Street is one of my favorites. It's fun for walking, and I feel like I've accomplished something when I get to the top. Every few steps, it's fun to turn around and look at the view. And no, the hill doesn't stop where it looks like it stops, you simply can't see any further up the slope from here. It's fun driving 8th Street, too. At about the point where the road disappears in this photo, it feels like you've gone airborne. No wonder the sign at Franklin and 8th says, "No Trucks, No Trailers, No Buses."

Looking back down 8th Street from somewhere near Franklin. That's the Flavel House behind the power poles. Since this is Goonies Week (25th anniversary of the movie), I'll note that the Goonies' Jail is behind the Flavel House (out of view). You can see the corners of the Clatsop County Courthouse and the Astoria Post Office.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Shadows and Reflections

Sunet over the Columbia River, Astoria, Oregon
May 25, 2010

Sunet over the Columbia River, Astoria, Oregon When I glanced up from the computer, I discovered one of the most glorious displays of evening light we've had all year. The drizzle and mist over the river caught the sun's fading light, turning the river into a wonderland.

Sunet over the Columbia River, Astoria, Oregon The black mark in front of the hills of Washington is a buoy on the river.

Sunet over the Columbia River, Astoria, Oregon Zooming changes the color of the sunset. In this case, it became more dramatic, but less real. This is how it came out of the camera - I didn't tweak. What I really liked and tried to capture was the momentary straightness of the sun's reflection over the water as it poured through the gap in the hills. Between my first shots and this one, the sun moved just enough to take one of the piers of the bridge into its path.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Animal Planter

Animal Planter, Warrenton or Hammond, Oregon Warrenton or Hammond, Oregon ~ March 28, 2010

Animal Planter, Warrenton or Hammond, Oregon I've enjoyed looking at this planter in the grassy median ever since I first noticed it. I don't know how old it is, but I hope it's around for awhile longer. I'm not sure how long that will be, since it has clearly been affected by the wet environment. The planter was made with nice colors, and it features animals of our maritime area.

The median separates 6th Street from Pacific Drive and stops at Lake Street, just beyond the planter. Not that I would have known any of these street names. It's across from the mini storage on one corner, the mini mart on another corner, and is at one of the entrances to Ft. Stevens State Park. I'm actually not sure if the location is Hammond or Warrenton, but if you know the area, you will know where it is. There are small stores where you can buy bait and tackle, and various things needed for an outing in the park or a fishing trip on the river or ocean. Can anyone tell me if this is officially Hammond or Warrenton?

I've found myself taking so many photos of animal art "along the way" over the years, that I finally started a blog for - yes - Animal Art Along the Way. It's not brand new. I'm up to 107 posts now, and it's an *almost* daily blog. I'm sure that parts of this planter will appear there soon.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Friday, May 28, 2010

The Goonies' 25th Anniversary Celebration: June 3-7, Astoria, Oregon

The Goondocks May 26, 2010

This is the place. I found out the other day that headquarters - or The Goondocks, as they're calling it - will be in the old Englund Marine building right next door to my shop at 15th Street and the River Walk. Does that mean there will be 30 people converging on the nextdoor parking lot? 300? 3,000? I have no idea, but I'll definitely keep you posted. Today's photo is the window of Englund Marine. (I've left the image large so you can read the poster if you click on the image.) With the "We've Moved" sign removed from the glass, the empty store will come alive for the long weekend, and will be the location for ticket sales, souvenirs, and treasure maps. June 3 to 7 will will be festive and interesting around here, I'm sure. I'll keep my camera at the ready. You can read more about events and plans on this web site.

By the way, the reflections in the window are Hunt's Furniture Store (in front; now under new ownership and renamed Roby's Furniture and Appliance), and Owens-Adair Apartments (the taller building in the back with a pointed roof), a care and housing facility for seniors. It was at one time St. Mary's Hospital, now in a much bigger building a few blocks away. If you look again, you might see the looming shape of the photographer.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Red, White, and Blue?

Big Rhododendron bush at the southwest corner of Astoria's Post Office May 26, 2010

The violet rhodies at the southwest corner of the Astoria Post Office are almost in full bloom. As you can see, the red ones in front have about disappeared. I've been musing on the fact that the scheme at the post office seems to be vaguely red, white, and blue, with violet covering for blue. There are at least six or seven bushes around the front of the post office making up what looks at first glance like two huge bushes, and I'll show others in upcoming posts.

The shelter across the street at the corner of the courthouse is a memorial to (or display of) one of the area's lumbered old-growth trees. It's hard to photograph with the strong lights and darks, but I'll post it one of these days with good or bad photos. The corner is 7th and Commercial.

Big Rhododendron bush at the southwest corner of Astoria's Post Office Here's a close-up of today's rhododendron flowers.

Big Rhododendron bush at the southwest corner of Astoria's Post Office I took this photo four days ago when many of the blossoms were getting ready to open.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Flavel House Garden in Bloom

May 22, 2010

The Flavel House garden is absolutely gorgeous this year with azaleas, rhododendrons, irises, and other flowers I can't name. For those unfamiliar with the location, the houses you see here are private homes on the other side of Exchange Street. The gables on these Victorian homes look unusual to me. They make me think of farm houses from the Midwest. If anyone can tell me more about the style, I'd be interested.

If you liked Monday's post about the whaling ship Tom & Al that had a number of interesting careers, check back and see the five new links at the end contributed by Midnight Mike. They show the ship in use as a whaler and also as the pilot boat Columbia. Nice photos. Mike also made some interesting comments about the people he knew who were involved in whaling. Have you ever had a whale burger?

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Lots of Lines

Demarcation between Art Deco and Victorian, Astoria, Oregon - marker of the edge of the fires Some people separate sheep from goats. In Astoria, we separate Victorian from Deco. It's not because we like to segregate them, it's because two fires required the downtown to be rebuilt. This rock marks one of the corners of both fires. Behind me you will find a lot of Victorian architecture, and in front you will find mostly art deco, or in some cases just plain rectangular buildings.

The rock says:


Demarcation between Art Deco and Victorian, Astoria, Oregon - marker of the edge of the fires The rock sits just past the street sign in the middle of the photo.

Street signs, Astoria, Oregon Here's the sign (at the corner of 9th and Exchange). If you follow Exchange for a few blocks, you'll come to another of the fire's landmarks, which I'll show another day. I read about it, but I don't think it has a marker like this corner has.

The Labor Temple, Astoria, Oregon I took this photo of the Labor Temple a few paces down 9th Street toward the river. You can see clearly the deco influence in this building and the tan building on the right, which fronts on Commercial, the main street of downtown Astoria. Like many of the downtown buildings, the date, 1923, is stamped on the Labor Temple along with the building's name. Keeping up with the times, the Labor Temple Diner & Bar has its own page on Facebook. And here's an earthy review of the venerated landmark. I suppose "language or content warning" is appropriate on the second link, but I think it gives a true picture of what you'll find there, and it has a photo of the inside.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Monday, May 24, 2010

History in Hammond

Harpoon gun and harpoons in Hammond, Oregon The last thing I expected to see when I went to the laundromat in Hammond was a harpoon gun. And the last thing I expected when I researched it for this post was that there would be any history connected with my family. The history connection is not to this area, but to the ship that carried the harpoon gun. I'll show you at the end of the post.

Harpoon gun and harpoons in Hammond, Oregon At the main intersection in Hammond (diagonally across from the mini-mart and laundromat) is the Lighthouse Museum, and on its west side is this harpoon gun with two heavy metal harpoons. I truly feel sorry for the whales on the end of that thing, but history and culture are always interesting to me.

Harpoon gun and harpoons in Hammond, Oregon Just as I got this far with the photos, the sun went behind a cloud and stayed there, so the colors became a bit dull and muddy. Sorry about that.

Harpoon gun and harpoons in Hammond, Oregon The harpoon gun and harpoons in situ at the small museum. On the left is a plaque giving a brief history:

The sign says, Harpoon gun used aboard the whaler Tom and Al, co-captains Eben and Frank Parker. Whales processed by Bio Products Hammond, OR 1961-1963. Gun donated by Bio Products, Harpoon donated by Mike Murphy. I didn't know there was whaling in this area. Usually, our local connection to whales is watching them from the headlands along the coast. It seems the whaling years were very short.

King and Winge

I looked up the ship Tom & Al online and found that it was a beautiful ship fitted for both sailing and power, and it had an unusually interesting and varied history. It was built in 1900 or 1914 (depending on the source) as a fishing schooner for halibut and given the name King and Winge, which was later changed to Tom & Al. During its life it made a famous rescue in Alaska, was present at a maritime tragedy, served as a rum-runner, a whaling and dragging ship, and as a Columbia River bar pilot boat before it sank in the Bering sea in 1994.

The connection to my family is that during the rescue in Alaska, the King and Winge struggled with packed ice and bad weather along with the Revenue Cutter (later Coast Guard Cutter) Bear to effect a rescue of survivors of the then-famous Stafansson expedition. This took place in 1914, two years before grandfather, Clement Joseph Todd, was assigned as Executive Officer to the Bear in 1916 for two trips to Alaska and Siberia. The link to his name gives a taste of his experience, which was posted by The Bancroft Library from a booklet my grandmother typed up from letters and photos that he sent home. Just because I was on the track and doing research, I thought I'd post several pictures of the Bear that I found online.

The Bear was also a majestic ship when under sail, and I grew up with a painting of it in my grandmother's house. The Bear had three masts and the King and Winge had two, but they must have looked somewhat similar in their heyday.

Cutter Bear in Ice

Here is the U.S.R.C. Bear in the ice. There's an even nicer photo here.

More links:

Midnight Mike found some fantastic links which he posted in the comments. I've re-posted them below:

Mike's comments:


I knew Eban Parker from the Triangle Tavern back in the late 70's. Oregon Fur Producers were located right behind Cascade Natural Gas and were the one's that promoted the whaling. Marv Hille was the manager of the Fur Producers and was my stepdad's father. The idea was to get whale meat for mink food. The whales were flensed (stripped of the blubber or skin) out in Hammond at Bioproducts. I remember my grandfather Cass bringing home whale burger in the mid 60's from Bioproducts. It tasted just like hamburger. Here [above] are some pictures of the King & Winge when it was the bar pilots vessel named the Columbia and one of the Tom & Al and one the partners in the enterprise. I think the guy they brought into flense the whales was Marquette Dozier. I guess you don't just find a whale flenser off the street!

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Mini Fort Clatsop Tot Lot at Tapiola Park

Laurel and Teagan at Tapiola Park, Astoria May 22, 2010

A few years ago, businesses and individuals in Astoria got together and created this wonderful playground. Laurel and I have walked through the area for older children and now Laurel and Teagan enter the Tot Lot designated for kids ages 2 to 5. It's nicely designed, and even at just under a year and a half, Teagan was able to use most of the play areas and wear himself out.

Tapiola Park is located on the Young's Bay side of the Astoria hill just across the street from the bay. Wooden play structures reflect aspects of the area. You'll find a Victorian house, the Riverfront Trolley, wooden salmon, and a fishing boat, along with the tot-friendly "Fort Clatsop." The real Fort Clatsop is on the other side of the bay. Charming tiles on the entrance to the Tot Lot show the plants and flowers as Meriwether Lewis might have drawn them. Just a few yards up the hill is the skateboard park where I took this photo.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Guessing Game

The Towboat _Maverick_ on the Columbia River at Astoria, Oregon Does anyone know what this is?

The Towboat _Maverick_ on the Columbia River at Astoria, Oregon How about now?

The Towboat _Maverick_ on the Columbia River at Astoria, Oregon Got it yet? If you think it's stuff piled on a dock, think again.

The Towboat _Maverick_ on the Columbia River at Astoria, Oregon
Do you see it now? The cut pieces of rubber tires make up the bumpers on the front of the towboat, "Maverick."

As I was walking between my office and the Wheelhouse to get coffee and lunch, I notice the Tidewater Barge Lines towboat tied up at the 14th Street pier. It's always fun to see the boats up close, and this was a rare chance to get a good look. It doesn't stay here long. The last time I spied it, it was just taking off back into the river. Usually there's no boat here at the old ferry landing.

The Towboat _Maverick_ on the Columbia River at Astoria, Oregon You can see that old pieces of rubber tire are also used on the stern.

The Towboat _Maverick_ on the Columbia River at Astoria, Oregon These are just bonus pictures that have nothing to do with the rubber tires. I liked the rope in different colors, although it lost some brilliance being photographed against the black of the deck.

The Towboat _Maverick_ on the Columbia River at Astoria, Oregon Tidewater Barge Lines . . .

The Towboat _Maverick_ on the Columbia River at Astoria, Oregon
The Towboat _Maverick_ on the Columbia River at Astoria, Oregon As I was leaving, I noticed another towboat, very similar, coming up the river pushing a barge. And now . . . time for coffee and lunch.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Growing Like A Weed

James cleaning up the yard at Paul's house in Alderbrook May 15, 2010

Have you noticed how fast everything is growing now? Flowers are flowering, bushes are bushing, the grass is as high as an elephant's eye, and the weeds are going crazy. Here James chops and prunes in the garden of a home in Alderbrook, the segment of Astoria at the far east end of town. It's a lot of work. If you'd like to call someone rather than do it yourself, you can call Cody Carpenter and his sidekick, James, at Timberland Lawn Care & Home Maintenance: (503) 440-2480. They have a whole list of services, and they give free estimates. Check 'em out.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Stormy Weather

Wind and Waves, Young's Bay, Astoria, Oregon May 19, 2010

It's rare to see Young's Bay whipped into such a frenzy. The waves are not huge, but . . .

Stormy Weather on Young's Bay, Astoria, Oregon . . . since this is a river bay with a limited distance for the wind to create waves, it's not every day that we see them like this. I liked this angle with the sun on spring poppies and the winter-like storm.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Biggest Rhododendron Bush in Astoria

May 14, 2010

Lee pointed out this rhododendron bush at 15th Street and Exchange as being the biggest rhodie in town. I don't think I'd disagree. It seems the colors tend to bloom at different times. The reds and salmon came out first, then the various pinks and whites. There are some purple rhodies I'm keeping my eye on for future blog posts. They are almost ready. On a rainy day like today with gray skies the past two days, it's good to remember that we sometimes see such a stunningly beautiful, unpolluted blue up above.

The building behind the rhododendron is Angel Medical.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Bronze Map at the Astoria Column

Bronze Relief Map at the Astoria Column May 13, 2010

One of the things you can do at the Astoria Column is to study the bronze relief map on the walkway leading do the column. The text on the map gives interesting notations, such as how far it is to this place or that. From this angle, looking north, we're seeing at the Columbia River and the hills of Washington in the background. You can barely see the Washington side of the bridge on the left. The map tells us that the base of the column is 595 feet above sea level.

Bronze Relief Map at the Astoria Column From the opposite direction, in the background we can see Saddle Mountain on the left, and Young's River emptying into Young's Bay. Saddle Mountain is 17 miles away, according to the map.

Bronze Relief Map at the Astoria ColumnThis bronze map was donated to the City of Astoria by the Angora Hiking Club in 1966. Some pathetic vandal has chiseled off part of the word "donated." Fortunately, that's a relatively rare occurrence around here.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Second Sunday Market of 2010

Sunday Market and the Bank - Astoria, Oregon
May 15, 2010

The weather was perfect for the second Sunday Market of the year in Astoria, Oregon. I was away last weekend, so this was my first Sunday Market this year. I look forward to its start each year, and throughout the summer I look forward to market days. It's early for fruit and vegetables, but handmade things were around in abundance and old friends greeted each other happily.

The neon sign on the white building at 14th Street and Duane says, "The Banker's Suite, Bank, Ballroom." I didn't know the building when it began as a bank, but I've heard and danced to a rock band there, and I got wonderful treatment when it was a day spa. This web site will tell you everything . . . and don't miss the snazzy upstairs. In Astoria? Are you kidding?

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

A Luscious Italianate Victorian on Harrison Street

Italianate Victorian House on Harrison Street May 15, 2010

Bob and Roger have put countless hours of their own time as well as lots of money into their project of restoring their historic Italianate Victorian home on Harrison Street between 10th and 11th Streets. The inside has undergone at least as much restoration as the outside, and this year the house is the recipient of one of the coveted Dr. Edward Harvey Historic Preservation Awards (or Harvey Awards for short). The recipients are given a framed certificate from the mayor; the awards were created to "celebrate the best in preservation by individual property owners" according to the Daily Astorian. Bob and Roger did a lot of research as well as hard work. I remember a special trip to San Francisco to get exactly the right gold paint for some of the trim. This house is often open to the public as part of official home tours.

You can also see in this photo some of the issues that owners of older homes have to contend with on Astoria's hills. Cracks in the retaining walls are always something to be considered! And, historic houses like this are bound by strict rules when it comes to preserving the original character and materials. I know very little about this aspect, but I'm sure that many readers will know what I'm talking about.

What caught my attention about the house in yesterday's sunlight was actually the gorgeous purple azaleas at the foot of the steps. I noticed them from up the street where they were not in competition with any other colors, since I viewed them with the neighboring retaining wall blocking the colors of the house.

Congratulations, Bob and Roger! You certainly deserved this award.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Perspective 2: Crossing the Bar

Maritime Museum and ships: Crossing the Bar The current show at the Maritime Museum (shown several times in this blog) is "Crossing the Bar." It sounds fascinating and I'm going to make an effort to see it. It was a beautiful day yesterday as we strolled along the River Walk. Cruise ships disembark at two docks in Astoria. The smaller ones like this riverboat dock tie up at 17th Street, above, while the big cruise ships tie up at the port docks at the west end of town.

The Maritime Museum and Crossing the Bar The photo above shows the Maritime Museum with its wave-like swooping lines and the dock at 17th Street. On the evening of May 13th, when I took the photo from the top of the Astoria Column, there were no ships docked, but usually you can see a Coast Guard ship and sometimes a passenger steamboat. If you enlarge the photo, you can barely make out the light ship Columbia, which is a permanent resident and part of the museum. Until a number of years ago, it was anchored 17 miles offshore, and severed as a lighthouse.

In this photo, you can also see the pilot boat Arrow 2 heading back to its dock at 12th Street, having put a bar pilot on board the ship. Remember the sign above - "Crossing the Bar"? It's such a specialized activity that it requires a seasoned and specially-trained pilot just for the short trip.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Friday, May 14, 2010


A view onto the Columbia River from the Astoria Column The sun was out today and the light was nice. Toward sunset, we climbed up to the top of the Astoria Column, and believe me, by the time I got to the top, all I wanted to do was lean on the railing and look through the camera. With the long zoom, you can see how the buildings from yesterdays post fit into their niche along the edge of the river. The Tyack Dental Group's building is the big red one on the river bank. The side nearer the camera belongs to a graphics studio. The building in the water is "Big Red," a former net shed that became the art studio of Royal Nebeker. The building was badly damaged in the storm of December 2007. In yesterday's post, you can only see the catwalk leading to the building. Pilings are from former buildings, piers, and platforms, probably all relating to the fishing industry.

A view onto the Columbia River from the Astoria Column Pulling back a little, we get a different perspective. On the left, you can just see the water of the old mill pond, where wood was sawed and processed in days past. Now there's a housing development called "Mill Pond," and the pond still connects to the river. Bald eagles like the treetops on the side of the hill below the column.

A view onto the Columbia River from the Astoria Column With the zoom pulled all the way back, you get a completely different perspective of the river, although I'm shooting the same location. You can barely make out the red buildings from the first two photos, and you can see the partially-shrouded hills of southern Washington four miles across the wide Columbia River. The light color is not an island or clouds, but the pattern made by different currents or by the wind.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

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