Short Road Trip To Long Beach

25 Mar 2010, by Brian in Uncategorized

We’ve been working so hard these last few months, preparing for our trip to Mongolia… it can feel like a 2nd job at times, and as our 1st jobs are not exactly free of stress Kim and I were both starting to feel a little burned out.  What with saving up all of our vacation time though, we can’t exactly take time off to get away too far now.  So last weekend we dropped Sophie off with the parents and skipped town for the weekend, heading out to the coast to take Highway 101 down to Long Beach, WA.This Way To The Beach

Reminiscent of our first real road trip together down this same stretch of road over 10 years ago, we waxed nostalgic about camping our way down to the Redwoods in Northern California and passing through the Shakespeare festival in Ashland, Oregon on the way back.

This was a quick half day drive out to the “Longest Beach In The World”.  It’s not actually the longest.  Maybe they should change their claim to “most charming”, not only because it’s more qualitative and harder to disprove, but it might yet be more accurate as well.  Kim found us a great environmentally friendly studio cabin at Akari Bungalows in the middle of town. A short walk down the boardwalk to the beach gave us a great view of kite flyers, beach combers, and fake whale carcasses as the wind whipped up quite a stream of dry sand currents over the hard packed beach.

Long Beach might have to rochambo with nearby Ilwaco for that charming title though.  Hwy-101 winds its way south through the fishing village on its way to Oregon, past mostly maritime themed or based businesses along the waterfront.  Most of the actual fishing businesses (canneries and smoke houses) were close for the season.  We passed on the Sea Hag Tavern and opted instead for a great lunch at the Tuscany Cafe before crossing the mouth of the Columbia River to Astoria, Oregon.

The one thing we knew about Astoria was that Goonies was filmed there, so we sought out the “Goonies House”, and with the help of Google and GPS found it in no time!

Kim was drawn to visit Seaside, but her childhood memories were fonder than it deserved, as it definitely had no charm to compare with Long Beach or Ilwaco.  It was just as well that it started to rain when we got there, so we turned back and returned to Ilwaco for a great tapas style meal at Raven & Finch, accompanied by an eclectically entertaining show by Monica Metzler and Timbral Hut. After dinner Kim bought a couple of their CDs, and Dave Storrs chatted us up about their experimental approach.

1. Bend & Break
2. What’s Your Poison?
3. Nature of…
4. Hallelujah
5. Are You That Somebody?
6. Cuban Porch Song
7. Haunted In Dreams
8. Blackout
9. Little Bird
10. Happy Accidents
11. Cowboy Song
12. Other Words
13. Monkey
Sunday morning had us driving back in time to Oysterville.  It looked like oystering really was the only thing going on there, the “town” consisted of a historically restored main street, and everywhere else were oyster fisheries and processors with mountains of leftover oyster shells along the perimeter of the beach.  I don’t think the town was always so small.  The cemetery had tombstones dating back to the 19th century when it was apparently the county seat and a thriving little fishing village. We were most entertained by the stories we imagined were suggested by the headstone of Stormin’ Normin, “the mad Russian”, after whom is named a souvenir shop in Long Beach.  The weather turned again just in time for us to head back home and end our quick weekend getaway.

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