Thursday, April 11, 2013

Tillamook to Astoria

Bridge from Astoria, Oregon, to Washington
“Padres!” exclaims a twentysomething outside the Wet Dog Cafe and Brewery, which overlooks the Columbia River. It appears promising, but our schedule calls for the briefest of stays in Astoria and keeps us from conducting a proper investigation.

“Right on,” I reply. I am wearing a blue Padres shirt with Trevor Hoffman's name and number 51 on the back. As we walk past the young, excited bar patron, he notices the back of my shirt.

“Hoffman!” he cries. “That's old school.”

He then mimics an exaggerated version of Hoffman's delivery that looks more like Juan Marichal with the high leg kick. But he's excited, and it's rare to find Padres fans outside of San Diego (or even, if we are to be honest, in San Diego), so I smile and give him the thumbs-up.

Then his friend drives up and he gets excited about that. He's not excited to see me in a Hoffman jersey, he's excited about everything. There are worse ways to go through life.

Sandra and I stroll along the river and pop into a used bookstore. It's hot and muggy here, at least compared to where we've been.

Repairs on the bridge connecting Oregon to Washington force us to stop and wait 5 minutes. This is an inconvenience to locals but allows us to savor a spectacular view and me to snap a photo from the driver's seat.

The bridge, formally known as the Astoria-Megler Bridge, spans 4 miles across the Columbia River and is the longest continuous truss bridge in North America. Construction began in November 1962 and was completed in August 1966. The bridge has appeared in movies such as Short Circuit, Kindergarten Cop, and Goonies, which probably isn't sufficient reason to see any of those, but there you go.

And here we go, headed into Washington, searching for Nirvana.

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