Coasting

Astoria Maritime Museum – Bad Bar

“Who, Who cooks for you?” The song of the barred owl. We attended a ranger talk on owls and learned that Western barred owls, similar to the eastern ones that we have at home are invading the habitat of the endangered Spotted owl. The Barred owl thrives in man made segmented forests/suburbs, while the Spotted owl requires large tracts of old growth trees. What’s worse the two are now also mating and creating new hybrid owls. So far this crossbreeding hasn’t got out of hand, but with climate change accelerating everything, who knows what will happen.

I’ve enjoyed our month plus journey. With all it’s travels and often poor internet. It has provided a welcome sabbatical from the hum-drum stupidly of American politics, which is basically all about a lot of sound and fury, signifying nothing. Like I said, I enjoy tuning it all out. I feel blithely superior and do not welcome a return to any so-called reality, anytime soon.

It rained last night and in the damp morning after, I am reminded how much West-coasters look like extras in some post-apocalyptic movie, when wet. And if the nice young families who share our campground look like something out of a dystopian future, then the homeless of Portland resemble the walking dead. I mistakenly made eye contact with a crazy woman, who announced, “I choose death. It’s my right.” And then walked on.

We drove north on the 101, along the last stretch of it to be completed, connecting Canada to Mexico. The rugged beauty of this part of Oregon’s coast has to be seen, to be believed. We drove through rain, fog, mist and the marine layer and couldn’t see the sea, at least on the way up.

We drove to Astoria, where we could see Washington across the Columbia River. Second breakfast, this time I did Willapa Bay oysters hash, with twin Bennies on top. Anne had French toast with lingonberry sauce. We were looking for the Scan Fest, Scan for Scandinavia, but instead found the regular Sunday downtown farmers market and bought snap peas.

We toured the Maritime Museum, from which this photo was shot. It dioramas an impossible rescue by the local Coast Guard. Afterwards, we toured Lewis & Clark’s Fort Clatsop, where the expedition wintered before returning to “the States.” We headed south to Ecola State Park for some coastal views and then Cannon Beach for photos of iconic Haystack Rock and then camp.

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