Yesterday, we began our adventures in road-tripping by leaving town in about as close to a monsoon as Seattle gets. The drive from Seattle south to about Olympia was a haze of rain-splots and spray and a blur of windshield wipers. The good news is that I didn't have to drive that part.
I took over the driving at a rest stop south of Olympia and the car is mine for most of the rest of the week. The roads on the Oregon coast are just too winding for me to be a passenger. The bonine helps, but not enough.
We arrived in Astoria around two-o'clock in the afternoon and made our first stop at the Columbia River Maritime Museum. It made Tom very happy. Lots of boats, well-presented. I've never been a big fan of maritime museums, but there were enough things there that were not boats to keep me occupied. A whole display of the evolution of maps was fascinating--did you know that for a long time California was depicted as an island?--and a video display showcasing all sorts of sea monsters that made their way into the maps were my favorites.
After that, I was tired from the long drive and requested that we check in to our hotel. It was a good idea, except for the part where we missed the turn and got stuck on a very long bridge. By that time, we were seeing signs for Fort Stevens, so we followed those instead. Fort Stevens is very similar to Fort Casey and Fort Warden up in Washington. Gun emplacements dug into the hills looking out over the water so as to be invisible from any boats. I had lots of fun climbing ladders, making hooting sounds to play with the echoes in the empy concrete bunkers, and climbing stairs in the pitch black. Tom waited for me while I took a walk on the Jetty Trail. I didn't encounter another soul, but I did see several types of birds I hadn't seen before, and walked through a grove of trees that is likely to make an appearance in my next story.
Dinner was back in Astoria at a brewing company. Since neither of us drinks beer, we missed that opportunity, but the people sharing our outdoor (brrr!) table, had flights of samplers, so we got to hear the spiel on all of them. Good food, a short walk to see the architecture in downtown, and then it was time for an early night. Clearly very early, since I'm awake by six-o'clock.
Today, on to Newport!