Friday, July 13, 2007

Finding the cool

It's been so hot in Portland this week that I was especially looking forward to our STASH group meeting at Gale's house in Astoria, over on the Oregon Coast. Gale moved from Portland to Astoria a couple years ago, but she drives to Portland for our monthly meetings and we try to get to her house at least once a year. Gerrie, Reva and Linda rode with me and we had a nice two hour trip over the mountains. The temperature went from 82 in Portland when we left to 62 in Astoria. Gale's house sits on the side of a hill looking out over Young's Bay. The view was cloudy and cool as we caught up with Gale, discussed this month's chapter of Twyla Tharp's book The Creative Habit and showed what we have all been working on.

Gale had prepared a beautiful lunch of baked Filo pastry with spinach, sundried tomatoes and goat cheese alongside a fresh green salad with walnuts and dried cranberries. Ice cream and hot fudge finished the meal! Yum. As Reva noted, two scoops of Tillamook ice cream is now the official STASH dessert.

Before we left Astoria we drove up to the Astoria column. Gerrie had never been to Astoria and Linda had never been up to the column.
The city of Astoria is very historic. Astoria is the oldest American settlement west of the Rockies and is located at the end of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. It was named for John Jacob Astor and for years the column was called the "Astor Column". I'm not sure when they started calling it the Astoria column. The scraffito decoration on the outside of the column illustrates the history of the area, starting with the discovery of the Columbia River. It sits on a hill looking out over spectacular scenery.

The long bridge crosses the Columbia River at Astoria to Washington state on the other side. Just beyond the bridge the Columbia empties into the Pacific Ocean.

This bronze relief shows the lay of the land and what you are seeing from the hill.
It was obviously placed there before the eruption of Mt. St. Helens in 1980, as it shows the mountain at it's original elevation of 9,671 feet. It now looks like this and is only 8,365 feet high.

We headed back over the mountains and watched the temperature climb as we approached Portland. Fortunately it has cooled off nicely overnight and is quite comfortable here today.


  1. Thank you, thank you, thank you! When I was 7, we lived in Astoria. In fact, down the slope from the Astoria Column. Can you still climb up to the top? I remember those stairs as scary. I loved Astoria and Oregon: it was a wonderful place as a child. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

  2. Ah, what a wonderful way to beat the heat.

  3. I didn't even know the tower was there! Next time we head that way, I will look for sure. As for Mt. St. Helens..I have the web cam bookmarked, I check it every day, I figure my patience will pay out and I will see it erupt anytime within the next 100,000 years!