Victoria, WA is just across the river from Portland, Oregon so it was about an hour long drive from our campsite at Milo McIver State Park. We met Debra and John Bauman at their eldest son’s basketball game. Bonnie was very excited to visit Debra because they hadn’t actually seen each other in over 30 years. They had been best buds for a few years in junior high and high school. John is a successful chiropractor who grew up in the Victoria area. Debra is very busy raising three very active children (10, 13, 15) and works with John in their medical practice. They live in a very nice modern style home in a great neighborhood that sat on top of a hill with a fantastic view of the Columbia River below. We really loved the modern design of their home and enjoyed a tour which included an awesome upstairs theater room that was equipped with a huge projection TV screen. Here is a link to Bauman Chiropractic if you are ever in need of medical care while in Portland, OR or Victoria, WA…https://www.baumanchiro.com/
Bonnie and Debra talked for hours and caught up on old times while John and I got acquainted. Debra cooked up a delicious fried fish dinner and asked if we would like to go out for dinner in downtown Portland later in the week. Portland is a city full of young professionals who like to eat and drink out a lot so good restaurants are always packed. We only caught a glimpse of the city on our way to dinner and decided that another trip to visit this great city would be planned in the future. I was really glad that Debra made us a reservation in advance.
We spent the next week traveling between the Bauman family home and Columbia River Gorge area (as described in our last blog post). Bonnie also got to see Debra’s mother, Barbara, and her sister Thandiwe who she also had not seen in 30 plus years. The Bauman’s were consummate hosts and invited us to park our Airstream in front of their house during our last night in the area. John even moved his big Dodge RAM 2500 truck to make room for our truck and trailer (thanks again). Here are a few photos of the wonderful Bauman family…
We left our friends in Victoria and stopped at two Harvest Host sites – Laurel Ridge Winery & Tillamook Country Store – as we headed northwest towards Astoria. Bonnie and I enjoyed several excellent Oregon wines when staying at Laurel Ridge Winery. As a matter of fact, all of the wines we sampled at this small Willamette Valley winery were some of the best we had tasted so far. We met the owner’s daughter, Kira Teppola, who was delightful and warmly welcomed us for an overnight stay at her family’s winery. Here is a link to Laurel Ridge’s wine club if you are interested in ordering some excellent wines: https://laurelridgewinery.com/wine-club/ .
Our next overnight stop was at a country store in Tillamook which is a small town famous for its large dairy cooperative that produces some excellent regional cheeses. We wanted to do a tour of the dairy cooperative but it wasn’t going to be open long enough by the time we arrived in town and found an overnight parking spot. Instead, we spent the afternoon sampling cheese spreads, drinking wine, and ate our way through the country store until it was time to retire for the night. Here are some pics from Laurel Ridge Winery and Tillamook….
Finally, we arrived at Astoria which is the oldest city in the state of Oregon and was the first American settlement west of the Rocky Mountains. The city is a deep water port located on the south shore of the Columbia River where it meets the Pacific Ocean. It was founded in 1811 as a fur trading post by wealthy investor, John Jacob Astor, who saw a great business opportunity there. Bonnie and I wandered around the waterfront in Astoria, ate at a brewery, visited a museum, and climbed a tower called the Astoria Column. The column was built in 1926 by the Great Northern Railway and Vincent Astor, great-grandson of John Jacob Astor, in commemoration of the city’s role in the Astor family business. The column resembles a lighthouse that is decorated with historical artwork and provides an incredible view of the Columbia river once you climb 164 steps to the top. Check out these photos from our stop in Astoria…
We decided to camp at nearby Fort Stevens State Park and enjoyed this scenic place on our way to another Habitat for Humanity build in Port Townsend, WA. Fort Stevens was once a primary harbor defense installation, and American soldiers served there from the Civil War to World War II. Today, Fort Stevens is a 4,300-acre state park which offers a lot of recreational activities such as camping, beach-combing, freshwater lake swimming, hiking, and wildlife viewing along with concrete bunkers and big guns from the military fort. The park recently opened a new disc golf course and we decided to give it a try. Neither us were very good at disc golf but I can see the attraction to this sport. This particular course meandered along the Columbia River with great views. The sport is challenging and gets you walking outdoors in nature.
On the recommendation of many people in the area we did take a day trip down the coast to beautiful Cannon Beach, OR. This is a small and quaint seaside village with a gorgeous beach and lots of shops and restaurants. Fort Stevens Park also provides affordable public access to a beautiful wide beach that hosts a very old shipwreck. The ghost-like Peter Iredale ran aground on Clatsop Spit sandbar, south of the Columbia River channel, on October 25, 1906. This shipwreck is considered one of the most accessible and long-lasting in the world. Here are some awesome pics from our stay at Fort Stevens…
Our next stop was Port Townsend, WA where we volunteered for another Habitat for Humanity home build project….
I love your adventures!! Thanks for taking us along.
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Paige – thanks for following along with us. Bonnie and I hope you are doing well.
GREAT PHOTOS. Happy that you enjoyed. HUGS Carole
Very Scenic brother…glad you and Bonnie had a safe Journey..nice seeing you and siblings in Florida…you two take care..Love, Brian.
I love these areas, as well, and also blog on NW trips. I enjoyed your post!