Exploring Fort Stevens and Astoria… IN OREGON YO! This is my new JAM! – Day 2

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Exploring Fort Stevens and Astoria… IN OREGON YO!  This is my new JAM!  – Day 2

Thursday, 18-June-2015

You know what I dislike? Sleeping pads. Every time I get a new one, a new one that “won’t instantly pop!” and “Is actually for backpacking!” and “Ohh Ben, we wouldn’t lie to you again!”…

It gets a leak.

It leaks air as the night goes on.

I wake up early because I’m now sleeping on the cold and unpleasant ground Damnit I spent $75 on this stupid thing wtf arg!!!

Anyways. I woke up early.

Since we’re near a city, and because why not, we head in to grab breakfast somewhere. I honestly don’t remember where, but it was good… nothing exceptional, but definitely good food. Energizing enough to keep me happy.

And energizing enough to get us moving toward the shore – to see the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald!

Not really. The wreck of the Peter Iredale, however, is right nearby. And from what we’d read, it was a pretty famous wreck – the hull of an old iron ship that ran ashore during a particularly bad storm.

In actuality, it’s a few iron spars sticking out of a beach.

But whatever. It was an excuse for us to walk around on the beach, enjoying the salt spray and the wind and the cool air and… well, really everything. It was pleasant, and I enjoyed it. And we didn’t go a short way either – we must have walked four or five miles total in that one section – down the beach, then inland and back toward the car.

Honestly, the inland section was kind of suck, but the beach had been excellent enough to keep us happy and contented as we forced our way through scrub grass along a tiny little horse trail. Literally a horse trail – we may have read that one sign wrong. Thankfully Liz was up front, and she had a good eye as far as watching out for… ahh… “horse-deployed landmines”.

The car then takes us to Coffenbury Lake, where our hands bring cheese and crackers and apples into our faces. And then our legs took us around the take itself – a supremely picturesque loop that reminded me a lot of Jurassic World… which kind of worried me for the first few minutes. Then I remembered that the West Coast doesn’t have velociraptors, and I felt a lot better.

The lake tuckered us all out a bit, so we stayed low key the rest of the day. I mean… it wasn’t a long walk, but it was kinda toasty, you know? We checked out an observation post that looked out over the ocean, watched some birds, and climbed over an old test-range bunker. Or… I climbed over it, while Mike and Liz snuck off to make out somewhere. Hey, at least they’re polite about it.

And then? Well… I mean, it IS Astoria. And there ARE a lot of breweries…

  • We hit three brew pubs this time:
    • Fort George Brewing – Mike and I get flights of 8 drinks each (in a double-shot glass), and we all share a plate of nachos. The food is excellent, but the beer is doubly-so. The bartender is pretty excellent too, so we have a really good time.
    • Astoria Brewing Company – Just beer here, but we all share a big flight, and enjoy the extremely chatty bartender, who is awesome. Seriously; we talk about everything, and I learn a ton about the area and what Oregon is going through and what it’s like. Turns out? Sea Lions are a problem in Astoria right now. They’re eating all the fish, as they migrate out of their normal territories.
    • Wet Dog Brewing – We get another full flight here, and split it among the group. Order up some more oysters, and some cheese fondue – it’s awesome, and we devour everything. I should note: the oysters here are different than those I’ve had in Boston. They’re served off the shell, firstly. And they’ve got a meatier texture to them than the ones I’ve had before. Bostonian oysters are sort of consistently slimey, and they go down smoothly with a salted taste. But Oregonian ones have a denser meat to them, and aren’t nearly as salty. I think this is (for Willapa Oysters, at least) because they’re farmed off the sea floor, at a junction between salt water and fresh water. Not sure though.

After finishing up at Wet Dog, we tried to find ourselves some good shellfish to make up for dinner – specifically scallops… since for some reason both Mike and I had been freaking ravenously craving scallops. Probably because he made some over the weekend, and they had been delicious.

But alas! It was not meant to be, because the seafood section of the grocery was closed. So we got firewood and some chicken instead, and made the best of it back at camp. Big fires, good food, good drink, and pleasant company. Good times.

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