June 2, 2020

Week 18: Spanning Oregon

Taking flight at the Evergreen Air and Space Museum.

All photos by the author.

Have you been to all 50?

We checked off another U.S. state on our “life list” this past week, as we traversed the state of Oregon from north to south. It was a whirlwind trip that was perhaps one of our fastest tours of any state thus far this summer… well, OK, we were in Montana for only two days at West Yellowstone, and it took us only scant hours to cross North Carolina and Iowa.

Shipwatching in Astoria harbor.

Our adventure began as we departed the Long Beach peninsula in Washington to arrive just on the opposite bank of the Columbia River in Astoria, Oregon. The entrance to the state and the city is dramatic as you cross the longest continuous truss bridge in North America. We stayed at the outstanding Cannery Pier Hotel, a great place for ship watching as vessels large and small ply the often treacherous passage out to the Pacific Ocean. Astoria is famous as the film location for the cult classic movie Goonies, and the Maritime Museum in town features a tour of the Lighthouse ship Columbia and a chance to spot some fine astronomical tools of yore… for a great atmosphere and growler refill, head to the Fort George Brewery just across town.

Avast… an astrolabe sighting at the Astoria Maritime Museum.

And to think, we managed to be in the town of Astoria on Talk Like a Pirate Day!

We also experienced a technology fatality on the trip; our Canon D60 DSLR camera gave up the ghost. This meant a quick swing through Portland en route to Salem for a replacement: we’re happy to report that our mission was successfully accomplished, with an upgrade to boot. And the dream of the 90’s is still alive in Portlandia,  a city where you can sleep in, work a coffee shop job three hours a week, and brunch reaches epic proportions.

Wanted for our backyard… a massive Baker-Nunn satellite camera.

We also managed to squeeze in a stop at the amazing Evergreen Air and Space Museum as well. The center-piece of the exhibit is the huge Hughes H-4 Hercules troop carrier nicknamed the “Spruce Goose,” but the museum also has an excellent collection of one-of-a-kind aircraft and space memorabilia as well.

The Apollo-Soyuz transition module.

Our faves… a Baker-Nunn satellite camera, a F-104 Starfighter (with authentic NASA logo and markings) circa 1960’s, and the docking module used for training during the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project. Hey, I remember watching that mission as a kid!

Our last Oregon stop was at the Oregon Garden Resort just outside of Salem in the town of Silverton. Nestled in the Oregonian farmland, the Gardens make for a great stroll or morning jog. We day tripped from the site to explore the dog friendly parks of Salem and the nearby hop fields of Chatoe Rogue Brewery.

Mmmm… (soon to be) beer…

And with that, it was in to the wilds of California. All we need to do now is set foot in Nebraska and Kansas and we’ll have traversed all 50 states… now, to finish off all the countries of the world. We here that the Northern Lights in Greenland are great in the springtime… more to come!

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