Two weeks. I had two weeks to cover the entire "North coast" of Oregon. Suffice it to say, that's not enough time. Three months wasn't enough time in Kalama, and that was one little town. I tried to make the most of it, but I'm sure there are many hidden gems I missed just by virtue of not having heard of them along the way.
Seaside is the archetypal "tourist town." There downtown is filled with quaint shops that sell all kinds of things nobody needs but somebody clearly wants. There's even a mall with an honest-to-goodness carousel. It's creatively named the "carousel mall."
The beach in Seaside is one of the nicer ones I know of, though I think some people prefer Cannon Beach. It's nearby, a bit less touristy, and I didn't have the chance to get down there. I remember my mom taking me to Cannon Beach as a kid to search for agates. There's something to be said for the tourist traps, though. They give Seaside a bit of charm that would otherwise be missing.
Plus, Seaside is home to Fascination.
I'm gonna be honest. I went to the trouble to take several really nice photos of Fascination. It's like if Bingo and Skee-ball had a love child. My current version of the blog software sitting under this blog won't let me do a gallery, and I've contacted support about it. So I'm going to come back to the idea of Fascination, maybe give it its own blog post entirely, and hopefully by the next time I want to post a bunch of pictures I'll be on a newer version.
Here's a teaser.
Something I can talk about is the Astoria Column. Built in 1926, it rises 125 feet above the already considerable hill it rests on.
There's stairs in there. 164 of them. And I climbed to the top. Of course, once I got there, the wind was strong enough that I didn't feel comfortable taking my phone out to take any pictures. I honestly barely even remember the view, because I was mostly concerned with the fact that I was being pushed around by the wind 125 feet above the nearest flat surface.
It was a neat experience though. It's a bit out of the way, and I honestly can't remember how I heard about it. The mural that wraps around the outside of it tells the early history of Oregon with a focus on Astoria's role in it. The Lewis and Clark expedition features heavily.
I always find this particular style of monument fascinating. I'm aware that it tells a story, but it's almost impossible to see the details from the ground. Someone clearly cared a lot, but even a dedicated student will only see a fraction of it.
This particular site played another part in history, which the nerd in me couldn't help but observe:
The cable industry would love for everyone to forget that they got started by sticking big ole' antennas up on hills with a clear line of site and then running cable to the nearby homes. Did they pay anyone for this? Heck no. TV used to be free, man. Many decades later, a little company called Aereo tried to do basically the same thing with a bunch of small antennas and a data center, and the cable lobby crushed them into the ground.
Interesting little piece of history.