Driving up through Jewell on Hwy 202 to Astoria, I followed along Young’s River and entered into Young’s Bay. Many resorts from the 1920s and 30s dot the river along the highway. I’ve never entered Astoria this way before and I am so glad to have experienced this entry into one of the oldest cities in Oregon. I arrived in the part of town settled by Scandinavian immigrants. Many Finnish settlers brought their fishing techniques from their homeland and built a strong fishing empire. In the past, I’ve bought locally caught and on-site smoked salmon at Josephson’s Scandinavian Smoked Fish House. Great hiking snack, driving home snack and salad topper. In business since the 1920s, this family owned business resides in one of the oldest buildings in Astoria. Warm up by their over 100-year-old antique wood stove that made its way around the horn of South America from Scandinavia. Behind the store and under the bridge are many war memorials. Perfect to visit over Memorial Day weekend.
Just after the New Year a few years back I had arrived in Astoria at night and had a colorful, quiet and beautifully look at this historic city. I had done all the touristy things in Astoria that weekend. I took photos of the Column and the Flavel House Museum. I ate pizza and drank beer at Fort George Brewery. I toured the Bumble Cannery Museum at Pier 39 and I learned about the hazards of the Columbia River through stunning exhibits at the Columbia River Maritime Museum.
On this trip I focused on visiting places that allowed my dog, Buddy, to go with me. The trolley was closed when I visited during the winter, so I was able to ride with my Pomeranian companion on my lap.
I had seen Becky’s Shift clothing line at Passionflower Design this past winter on a First Friday Art Walk in Eugene and was dying to see her studio in Astoria. An artist’s studio is where you really get to know the artist and see what inspires them and how they get the creative process going.
Becky said she started making clothing she liked for herself. With a background in clothing design, she made clothes that fit her, and it turns out lots of folks are big fans of her designs and fabric selections. She prefers natural textiles, denim, linen and cotton.
Her studio is in the heart of downtown historic Astoria. Entering the victorian building, going up a flight of stairs you enter into a brightly lit area with skylights. Clearly this building was built before electricity. Transoms over the doors and large windows let the daylight in.
More exciting than I imagined, Becky’s studio was full of wonderful and inspirational art, antiques, notions, fabrics, and a bit of humor as well. Definitely an inspiring and comfortable place to work. She also creates her own suspenders, this allows the wearer additional customization and accurate fit with a bit of flair.
Becky recommended Buoy Beer for dinner. My waitress was wearing one of Becky’s “shifts”. Amelia was too busy to pose for me, but she let me know how much she adores Becky. I’m a dark beer fan, so ordered the Oatmeal Stout. Clam Chowder and a wonderful house salad was a perfect way to end the day. The sunset over the Columbia River was a beautiful through the large windows at Buoy.
Heading south from Astoria you can find the Wreck of Peter Iredale, the Battery Russell at Fort Stevens State Park, and Fort Clatsop. I’ve stopped there in the past, but it was getting dark, time to settle in for the evening just north of Seaside, as I needed to be in Waldport the next day to have time with my Aunt Ruth and her fabric store, Ruth’s Family Fabrics.