Thanks everyone for letting me vent and whine a little yesterday! I was really worried that I was going to cave, thought maybe that might happen about day 10 and not at all expected it would happen yesterday on day 2!
This morning got off to a slow start, we are having a break today, have to work into this trip slowly!! Astoria appears to be a lovely riverside town and we wanted to go and check it out. Believe it or not, there were 2 moments of inspiration on tv for me this morning! Just random words of encouragement from a most unlikely source! One of the morning news shows ran a story on the stress relieving benefits of "wearing the same thing every day". I could not help but think how reassuring that was since I would be sending almost all of my extra clothes home at the post office in a few hours! The second bit of encouragement, random words across the screen SEEK THE ADVENTURE!!!! I took those words to heart!!!
With those words helping to lift my mood in the right direction, we set off for our walk into town. Half of our mission for the walk into Astoria was to make trip number 2 to the post office. Two days on the road and already trimming down the weight we started with in our panniers!! Maybe not half, but we have most certainly sent back about 15 pounds worth of what now looks like luxury items! Extra clothes, bowls, cups, jackets, socks and just stuff! We have scaled back to the bare essentials! I am sure if you check the supplies of some of the younger kids out doing this same challenge we would still be way overloaded, but we think we have done a better and more realistic clean out. If we need it we can buy it, but if we try to carry all that we started out with we don't feel like we will make over the terrain!!
That was one obstacle! Our plans for walking into town also included a trip to the visitors center! What better place to get an honest opinion of what lay ahead than the information center!
We really found this sweet little hotel by accident. At first we thought we may have made a big mistake because we were about 3 miles out of town, but the Astoria Crest Motel is so welcoming with its kind and friendly staff and then of course there is the view! The river trail into town runs just below us so it was natural we would walk the 3.5 miles into town.
The morning started a little dreary. The low gray clouds may have been a contributing factor to my gray cloudy mood! But the walk thru some of the neighborhoods and into town was peaceful and relaxing. Mike was so patient as I creatively stopped for a photo about every 100 ft! couldn't help it, the flowers and water were just too beautiful to resist! You can see some of my photos posted above, it was so fun, so many objects of interest! All the old remnants of pylons from years gone by, now all mossy and interesting just begging to be photographed! Then the stacked rocks started appearing along the banks! I was having fun! We actually made it into town quite easily, felt good to use our legs to walk and stretch out muscles from yesterday. Just as we got to the Welcome To Astoria sign . . . The sun broke thru the clouds and it was a beautiful blue sky day! Is that a good omen?? That's how I interpreted it! Now we have 3 good signs if you count the inspirational words from the tv this morning! We can do this!
Found the post office no problem, a great historic building built in the elegant style and grace of days long gone. As soon as we slid that package across the counter and the mailing label was stuck on, we could feel that weight lift off of us! A wonderful feeling and another positive sign I think!! That makes 4 good signs!
Leaving the post office and wondering what to do next, we decided to search out the local American Legion!! Mike became a member when we were in our home town of Ottawa, thanks to the service of his father Robert in Korea. It is the greatest place to visit in any town, its there you can find the real people of the local area! So off we went and were welcomed and entertained with all sorts of local information! Real people with interesting stories to share!
We finally made it to the visitors center! It was as far as you could walk thru town before you are on your way out of town! Worth the walk, the lovely woman inside had all the answers I wanted to hear. There are so many places along the coast that even if we are only able to pedal the shortest distance we would find a place to get food and stay safely. I just need to get out there and get pedaling. Arm yourself with information, that is the best way to settle your nerves!
Missions accomplished . . .post office and visitor's center done, it was time to head home. When we left this morning we knew we could always take a taxi back to the hotel if we wanted, but the day was so blue and beautiful we decided to walk home as well. Mike was a little hungry for lunch, but me? No, I am not hungry!! That lasted for about 100 ft until we saw the BBQ sign! Isn't that what people go to the coast for? BBQ?? Well, it was just too tempting as the smokey aroma we all associate with good bbq wafted across the trail, we stopped in! What a cool little place! Pictures posted! All of the chair backs and seats were covered with old t-shirts! And the music! An original turntable with original LP's, it was a delicious lunch and fun experience!
We enjoyed the walk home, all totaled about 7 miles! Mike's phone registered 22,600 steps! And that was our day off! But we are READY! There is a picture posted of our starting point tomorrow. No option to put our feet in the water at the starting point, it is the Columbia River Maritime Museum, and the river is a long way down from the wharf! So if that is the start, then that is where we will take our picture!!
Here we go!! For real . . . The TransAmerica!!!!
Absolutely LOVE having you all along and thank you so much for all of the words of encouragement!! See you on the trail!!