Posted by: mckenzie68 | April 27, 2010

Astoria and the “Crab, Seafood and Wine Festival” … days 5,6,7

Friday morning dawned and we got prepared to journey to Astoria, Oregon without the bikes for the weekend.  We loaded up Sheila and Rohne’s Toy hauler, hopped into their big Dodge Dually and the four of us headed out.   The drive was beautiful as we headed down the Washington side of the Columbia river.  When we arrived, to our surprise, we had to cross a 4 mile long bridge across the river to get to the downtown Astoria,  The seagulls flew so close to the truck, it could only mean that they wanted me to grab them, so I tried a couple of times and actually came fairly close to one who seemed to enjoy being just out of reach!  LOL.  We ended up at a fantastic KOA campground that was just the ticket for the big fifth wheel.  Once the trailer was set up we immediately jumped into the truck and Rohne took us to Oysterville, Washington, where we picked up some fresh oysters and clams!  They actually harvest their bounty there and we got to see some guys out on the flats either seeding or picking – we weren’t sure which.  He then took us for a drive along the beach in the truck for miles and miles, which was pretty darn cool!  We exited at Long Beach and found the world’s largest frying pan and Razor clam that Rae just HAD to see.  Just across the street life got even more interesting at Marsh’s Free Museum.   It’s billed as ‘totally tacky’ and it doesn’t disappoint with an alligator man, shrunken head, crabs, sharks, whale bones and other kitschy memorabilia which seemingly turn grown adults into serious jokers!  We then went to a local lighthouse braving the rain and heavy wind to take some amazing pictures of a rough sea, and the stalwart lighthouse warning sea goers of the jagged rocks hundreds of feet below.  After the great day of sight seeing, Rohne and Shelia took to Rouge Brewery in Astoria for dinner.  If you are in Astoria, you will want to head to the Rouge Brewery – you won’t be disappointed.  Try the ‘Dead Guy Ale’…yum.  This place was a cannery before it was the pub, and later, as I took the LONG blue line to the men’s bathroom (seriously, they have a line panted on the floor so you know where to …go) I took in the cool stuff they have houses there including boats, a Plexiglas covered wall of signatures of people who worked at the cannery and lots of other things.  It’s very cool, it’s almost like a museum.  On the way out we walked over to an Alaskan crabbing boat from the TV series “Deadliest Catch” that was tethered to the dock.  We assumed the crew was inside the pub eating.  The captain was in Astoria for the festival signing autographs.  It was really cool to see a crabbing boat up close!

We got up early Saturday morning and relaxed into the day with some coffee, scones made  by Sheila (super yum), and sausages.  Then it was off for another tour with Rohne at the wheel.  It was just a great time – we took in Fort Stevens State Park…and the wreck of the Peter Irland which ran aground on the coast and has since been destroyed slowly by the sea.  We played in the sand, took pictures and I ran out to “touch the butt” (a little ‘Finding Nemo’ reference for you Disney fans) and ended up jumping at the thing when a big wave came through the shipwreck!  LOL.  There were people there, at the time walking their cat on a leash, which was way too funny.  Cats just aren’t for that, and this one was less than thrilled.  Oh!  And these tiny little birds – Sandpipers I think they are called – running back and forth with the waves!  Crazy lil beggers! Their legs are so thin, they looked like tiny hover crafts.  Sadly, the wind was strong enough to eventually drive us off the beach and back to the warmth of the big Dodge.  We then drove to the end of the peninsula and watched the waves breaking on a man made Jetty (a rock breakwater).  It was amazing watching the waves crash and break against the barrier creating huge sprays…very cool.  Our next stop took us to a wildlife viewing area, that was a calm area in the same state park and as we walked, we noticed a little raccoon foraging for food along the shore line (we named him Mangy).  The wind and noise prevented him from seeing, hearing or smelling us, which allowed me (Ray) to use my ninja like skills to get within spitting distance, much to the chagrin of the lil fella who nearly pooped himself when he saw me!  He crouched in attack mode and just as I thought it might be safer for me to move aside, and he came right at me!  He ended up running away, but it made for an interesting moment, and a good thing it was not a bear!  LOL.

We returned to the trailer and prepared for the wine and seafood festival.  As soon as Rohne’s sister Georgy and her husband Mac arrived we jumped in line for the bus at the front of the KOA (brilliant!).  We arrived at the festival building and went right to the food hall and ordered some Dungeness Crab.  Neither of us have eaten crab like that before and had to learn how to crack the suckers!  Man was it worth it…that crab was SO good!  We made a mess, played with the claws like kids, and laughed that a guy who joined our table looked just like Long Duc Dong from ’16 Candles’.  Priceless!  We then began our tour of the festival, ‘tasting’ wine (Rae says, “just can’t bring myself to spit it out…why waste?”), or in my (Ray) case port!  We did end up seeing that ‘Deadliest Catch’ captain signing autographs and it was interesting to watch a crab boat captain being treated like a superstar.  The whole thing was so much fun from the tasting to the people watching, and we just can’t do it justice here.  You should really try to attend it sometime…but beware of what campground you stay at!  LOL.  If you attend, you’ll know what I mean.  Once we got back to the trailer, Rohne immediately got into host mode and started the process of cooking the clams (pronounced steamers) and oysters that we had picked up Friday.  The food was unbelievably good, our mouths are watering just thinking about it!  It was an incredible day.

As Sunday dawned, we got up late and enjoyed a lazy morning just chatting for a few hours before our drive home.  We eventually packed up and had a pretty quiet trip back to their house, since everyone was a little tired and hung over.  Once we got there, we all perked up and decided to go to Edgefield Winery for dinner…hair of the dog and all that!  Sheila ripped us there in her Jeep with the top partially down which was awesome!  That Winery is really a must see – it’s just so interesting as it used to be an insane asylum!    We headed home and I think we were all sad that the weekend was over.

Thanks for such a great weekend Rohne and Sheila!  You two rock!

Ray and Rae

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Responses

  1. We already miss you 2 – 🙂
    But do so wish you the best of fun & adventure!!! and look so forward to following your big adventure on your blog.
    It was a great weekend, one of those times in life that makes one realize how fortunate & blessed they are to have friends like you 2.
    Be safe.
    Friends always – Sheila
    OH ya…..”positive thoughts, positive thoughts” – LOL.

  2. We had a wonderful time showing you two around! Ride safe.


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