We finally made it to the state park visitor center for Mt. St. Helens. I walked up to ask the ranger what the best location in the large park would be to view the mountains and her response was: “on a TV.” Too cloudy. What a bust. Since this detour was more for Knak, he made the final decision not to press another hour and fifteen minutes into the park to the national visitor’s center. We decided to cut our losses and head directly to the Goonies House in Astoria, OR. Long on my mind as an amusing destination when we reached the coast.
Both Greg and I had built things up quite a bit and there was a real anxiousness by this point. Astoria, OR was roughly the final point in the Corps of Discovery’s journey and the location of their second winter fort: Fort Clatsop. The town had a cool vibe similar to the northeast fishing and port towns: old, a bit dirty, sleepy, and rough around the edges with a working-class spirit I always appreciate.
At long last though, the Goonies House. I was flooded with memories of watching it in the drive-in as a 5 year old.
Very few options strangely. It didn’t help that it happened to be a Saturday night on the week leading up to July 4th so we (well, I) grudgingly accepted our fate at a crowded campsite at Ft. Stevens State Park that was full of RVs and kids on bikes. At least we had a shower. We set up and headed to the beach though and I was immediately happy to finally see the ocean. The joy was a bit muted with the weather being a bit funky. Still, there was an immediate joy and relief. We also ventured out to the very tip of the peninsula where we had a more quiet experience and saw some ocean going vessels heading out along with large flocks of birds moving about. Back at camp we savored what would be our last night of camping. Chef Knak saved some fancy chili. We had a very brief ritual bonfire of all maps and brochures we deemed non-essential and I sat typing the Sand Station entry while Knak read in the tent.
OCEAN PICS UPCOMING...PREPARE YOURSELF!
I was definitely re-energized at the magnificent sights from this area of the ocean as I’m sure Knak and the Corps of Discovery would have been. The sun certainly helped too.
The expedition sort of ended at that point. Both Greg and I are pretty drained I think and he is in the mode of getting back to his responsibilities at home. We headed to Portland and have been hanging out with one of my dear friends Matt Langley. We have known each other for a long time and he moved out here a little over two years ago. He loves it, is happy, and has taken us to some nice spots. Knak leaves in the morning and I will stick around for a few more days to spend time with Langley and hopefully see another old KCD friend Jeremy Sherrer who has been out here for 8ish years? I want to soak up a bit more before I return to the muggy and uncomfortable Louisville in July.
I’ll try to post one more entry of reflections, but I’m sort of running out of steam.