September 8th, 2008 – by: TessaHill
9.8.08 Fort Stevens and Astoria- Lazy Daze (LD) NW Gathering
I cannot begin to tell you how much fun we had with our Lazy Daze friends at the gathering this weekend! We had planned to stay for 2 nights, but ended up returning for a 4th night after a day of exploring nearby Astoria and the Lewis & Clark National Historical Park (NHP) at Fort Clatsop.
They were the most fun, warm, accepting, welcoming, entertaining, interesting bunch of folks! We had SUCH a great time. It felt almost like a spiritual experience.
Or like when you leave summer camp and you’ve had a terrific time with wonderful memories, and you hate to go, but you know that you must- Just a really, really special time.
I must tell you about the great people there: Bill & Bess, Al and Anna, Don and Dorothy, etc, etc, but I will probably fail to mention so many terrific people that I’ll just leave it with the matching-initial couples. I’m hoping to get a directory so I can keep up with everyone. I could go on, but I will force myself to stop out of sympathy for those not lucky enough to be there. J
What’s interesting is how much the kids enjoyed themselves.
They had a great time talking to everyone- I think they were happy to communicate with someone other than me! They also enjoyed Wynn, a 15-year-old son of some fun LD friends. Of course, everyone there was really nice and made them feel very welcome, so they just soaked up all that attention. I’m really proud of them for communicating well with people of all ages. They also rode bikes all over the park and lavished attention on all the beautiful dogs that travel along.
Lewis & Clark National Historic Park
It is impossible for me to leave an LD gathering to explore when there are so many fascinating people at hand, so at long last we bid everyone goodbye and headed onward, planning to explore the local attractions before motoring south.
At the Lewis & Clark NHP http://www.nps.gov/lewi/ we enjoyed the extensive exhibits, a ranger talk about Sacagawea’s son and his life, a walk-through of the fort http://www.
nps.gov/lewi/planyourvisit/fortclatsop.htm and two movies. One of the movies was told from the most interesting view of the Clatsop Native Americans. Lewis and Clark would possibly have died had the tribe not provided L&C with food that winter at the Fort (on their land). The whole park was very well done. We bought several books from their bookstore to increase our knowledge of both the L&C Expedition and the Oregon Trail.
Fort Clatsop ranger
Then we explored Astoria, which is a historic town on the Columbia River. They say it is “the oldest American community west of the Mississippi” http://oregoncoast.ca/astoria/shipwreck.html Wow- that’s pretty old! The very tall “Astoria Column” on the hilltop was beautiful, but we unfortunately couldn’t climb it due to long-term renovation on the stairs. We did enjoy the interpretive boards, the 360-degree view, and a short hike through thick forests.
Ciao and the Astoria Column
The roads in Astoria look like San Francisco with the steep hills. It is a busy, small city and we traversed it several times, admiring their beautiful Victorian buildings, including the Flavel House, a gorgeous example of such architecture http://www.oldoregon.com/visitor-info/entry/flavel-house-museum/ . It is hard to drive the steep hills, take pictures, and navigate simultaneously, so I found our afternoon to be successful, yet a bit stressful.
We were so tired by the end of our day that we rejoined the Lazy Daze friends at Fort Stevens. We’d bid farewell to them that morning when we left, but knew they were staying another night. We were fortunate to get our exact site back for the night and were happy to spend a little more time with our remaining friends!
Happy Birthday to Dad today! Hope you had a Super-Dee-Dooper Day!