Tag Archives: Ocean Shores

A Goonies Pilgrimage

Goonies Pilgramage
Astoria-Megler Bridge

I am a HUGE Goonies fan.  The Goonies was filmed in 1985 in Astoria, Oregon and opened in 1986 when I was ten years old.  I don’t remember the first time I ever saw it but my brother and I watched Goonies so many times we could (and still can) recite it word for word.  So when we started planning our trip to Ocean Shores for my birthday, I decided the time had come for a Goonies Pilgrimage.  Ocean Shores is only a couple of hours from Astoria.  If it didn’t rain.  If it did we were going to head east in search of some sun and save the trip to Astoria for another time.

Thankfully the day of our departure from Ocean Shores dawned bright and clear so we took the sceanic route known as the “Cranberry Coast Route” or SR-105.  We rode by old cranberry bogs, oyster canneries and through several communities perched right on the edge of the Pacific.  We absorbed as much of the blissful sun as we could.  At Raymond we followed the signs for Astoria and US 101 south past more oyster canneries and miles of protected estuaries on the Wilapa River.  A short trip on SR-401 brought us down to the great Columbia River.

View Ocean Shores to Astoria in a larger map

I have written about my history nerdiness before, it’s hard to contain!  I work in a HBC fur trade post.  So the history of the Pacific Northwest is particularly interesting to me.  The sight of the Columbia River, the main artery for the fur trade in (what is now) north-central BC until the Oregon Boundary Treaty of 1846, makes my heart flutter.  Astoria, then called Fort George, was the point of entry into the New Caledonia district (Now British Columbia, Washington and Oregon) for the British-owned Hudson Bay Co.  I had underestimated the sheer size of the Columbia.  I was impressed and awed.  Riding toward the bridge across the river, we also passed by the 1806 Lewis and Clark Expedition camps, Station Camp and Dismal Nitch.  History-nerdiness aside, we were headed into the homeland of the Goonies!  We crossed the 6.5 km long, Astoria-Megler Bridge, and entered Oregon and Astoria.

The first thing I did was find a loo.  Then the second thing I did was to find the local tourist office and just exactly where all these Goonie landmarks were and how to get there.  Since it was getting late in the afternoon we also decided we had better find where we would be staying for the night.  (By chance the B&B I booked just happened to be the one Sean Austin’s Dad stayed in when they were filming the movie.)  So, map in hand we went off in search of some historical Goonie landmarks.  (Keep scrolling down.)

Do you have an all time favorite movie?  Do you love it so much you would go on a pilgrimage?  Leave me a comment below or drop me a line and stay tuned for more on Astoria.


Cheers, A&J

July 4th

A few weeks ago J and I were in the midst of our July 4th Week bike trip.  Every year, since we moved, we have gone down to the States for July 4th.  It’s not just for the fireworks, well ya, really it is.  But it’s also my birthday!  I wouldn’t get fireworks for my birthday otherwise.  So anyway, a few weeks ago we were sitting on the beach in Ocean Shores WA, cooking our dinner around a fire on the sand.  Well I lied, J & I went and had seafood at the restaurant in the hotel!  We roasted our GIANT marshmallows over the fire and and waited for the show to begin.


Twilighted Again?

Sail Boats, Port Townsend, WA
Sail Boats, Port Townsend, WA

When we had borded the ferry to Port Townsend a couple of days before, we had expected the skies to clear up.  The forecast said so!  (Ya don’t even go there.)  So we ended up riding the last five miles to our first night accommodation in Forks WA, in the rain.  The reason why we chose to return to Forks (read about our first ill-fated encounter with Forks here) was that it was a half-way point between our place and our July 4th destination.  The weather was supposed to be nice!  We were going to take our time and explore the beaches and stuff on the way!  You know what happens with us and those bloody “best laid plans”.  So, as I said, we spent our first soggy evening of our trip, in Forks.

This time I had made reservations at The Pacific Inn Motel as we wanted to avoid a repeat of what happened last year.  When we rolled in, the first thing the kind lady behind the desk did, was grab us a couple of rags so we could dry our faces.  She changed our room to a ground floor so we could park the bikes right outside and after we were all checked in, handed us another stack of clean rags so we could dry our bikes off in the morning.  All without me having to ask for any of it!  The rooms are spotless, newly renovated, relatively inexpensive and definitely biker friendly.  If you are a Twilight fan, you can stay in one of their Twilight themed rooms.  (That option is making me nauseous just thinking about it.) The big plus for me was the motel even has free wi-fi.  A rarity, in our experience, in the US.  My pet peeve is that I have this lovely smart phone with GPS and all sorts of bells and whistles but it’s not smart enough to not cost me a fortune in the US.  Sorry, I guess that was a bit of a rant.

There are several restaurant options within walking distance all offering the standard small-town fare.  We went to the one closest to the hotel and can’t really say it was good or bad.  Just average.  So now it was about 7:00 and we wanted to find a grocery store to pick up some water and snacks before going back to the hotel for a hot shower.  But, in typical small town fashion, the streets had practically been rolled up.  The only thing that was open was the gas station, two or three blocks away, on the north end of town.  So we bought a ridiculous amount of junk food and walked back to the hotel.

The next morning as we prepared to depart in a downpour, the lovely cleaning ladies gave me a couple of big plastic bags to wrap my stuff in (my saddlebags aren’t water tight and I hadn’t expected it to be that wet!) and offered to leave our room to the very last so we could wait out the storm, past our check out time if needed.  Like I said, very biker friendly. But a quick check of the weather confirmed that the rain wasn’t going to let up any time soon.  So we thanked them for their kindness, and set off down the road.  We rode past all those lovely beaches that looked so lovely because of the sun but looked pretty dismal in the rain.  Past a couple of enticing signs to places unseen I had noticed on the last trip but because of impending pitch-blackness, had to pass up. (Maybe we are ment to do this part of the Olympic Peninsula in, god forbid, a car??) So when we finally arrived, out of the teeth of a torrential downpour, a broken/repaired saddlebag bracket and really cold fingers, we were more than ready for the blue skies of Ocean Shores Washington.

Stay tuned for our next installment, July 4th.

Any sights you recommend on this stretch of US 101?  Leave a comment below, or drop us a line.

View Twilighted Again? in a larger map

The Tale of the Broken Bracket


Between 4th and 5th beach, Olympic National Park, WA

Picture swimming; on dry land.  Well maybe not so dry, but this is what we were getting ourselves into on the second day of our July 4th Week bike trip.  (For those of you just joining us, J & I were on our way to Ocean Shores, WA to spend the 4th with his American family and celebrate my birthday.)  But, on the bright side, we didn’t have to work so hard to stay hydrated, that was happening by osmosis.  Since the hydration by osmosis was getting to be a little much, we stopped at an internet cafe in Amanda Park.  Ever heard of it?  Neither had we and I dare say the rest of Washington hasn’t either.  It’s funny though, we always seem to end up in the right place at the right time.

As I said, it was pouring so we sloshed our way into the Quinault Internet Cafe, in this little town nobody has heard of and ordered a couple of searing hot coffees.  Well, I did.  J had coke.  The Quinault Internet Cafe is located on the left, going southbound on Hwy 101 at Amanda Park on the end of Quinault Lake, just past the Quinault School.  They have free wi-fi as long as you order something and the locals are very helpful to motorcyclists in need.  (They even turned up the heat for us)  When I inquired about which way would be the best to reach Ocean Shores, a local lady offered up several suggestions, a map and a bit of local history (okay A LOT of local history, she was quite talkative, but I regret I did not get her name).

Once we had our orders placed for lunch he goes outside to “get some fresh air” and notices my saddle bag is sitting kind of funny.  One of those potholes that I couldn’t quite see in the rain, jolted everything just enough to reek havoc.  The bracket that holds my saddle bag in place had snapped.  I couldn’t continue with it broken.  So we had to come up with a way to make a temporary fix to get us to Ocean Shores.  We would deal with it there; once we were warm and dry.  Just as J was digging out some bungee cords, he meets a guy who knows a guy that has a shop we can use to fix the bracket.

Gary was the guy who owned the shop and Steven was the guy who took us there.  While J was fixing (I was taking pictures) and Steven was finding tools, he was also telling us Quinault Lake was a nice place to hang out and invited us to come back for a beer one day.  We just might take him up on his offer.

They cut a piece of steel to bridge the break, drilled a couple of holes, added a couple of bolts and it was as good as new again.  This whole operation taking about 45 minutes.  Not bad for the middle of nowhere on a rainy Tuesday afternoon.

Stay tuned for the next instalment of our adventure: Twilighted Again?

Want to read more?  Check out Hello 90,000 Kilometeres!

PS. Steven from Quinault Lake, if you are reading this, drop us a line so we have your email.


View The Tale of the Broken Bracket in a larger map