Aug 262010

The ‘cousins’ like to visit the Astoria Column every year when we come to Ocean Park for our family reunion. We don’t always make it, but this year we did. I don’t remember how long ago it was that we discovered that you could buy balsa wood planes from the gift shop in the parking lot and then launch them from the observation deck at the top of the column. My brother, Jim, bought each of the 10 kids three airplanes and they headed up the 164 steps of the interior spiral staircase to the observation deck at the top. Once at the top, the kids started launching planes. Some of the planes catch the air currents and float, sometimes for a mile or more, down into the wooded hillside.

Others were not quite so aerodynamic. I took the first shift of collecting any plane that did not clear the top of the hill. After collecting at least a dozen, one of the boys came down to get them from me and take them back up to try again. I then made the trek to the top and got some photos from there and tossed an obligatory plane. Jim came down and scavenged another dozen or so planes from the bushes along the road leading up to the column which were promptly launched into the wild blue yonder once again.

After all the planes had floated away we headed back to town to find something to eat. We parked the car and walked along the waterfront looking for a good place for 11 people to eat. The first place we entered was getting ready to close and shuttered at the sight of our group. The second place made us shutter when we multiplied the cost per meal by 11. So we ended up stopping at Papa Murphy’s, buying 4 large pizzas to take back and cook in my brother’s hotel room.

While walking around Astoria we came across some nice old Fords. I am always a sucker for a classic and these definitely fit the bill. They had all been restored beautifully and almost looked like they were in the right time period where they were parked.

The Astoria Bridge is amazing. It climbs over the roof top of Astoria before making the four mile journey across the Columbia River. Maybe next year I will find a good vantage point to shoot the entire bridge.

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