Today was Tuesday (July 20th, was Sonja's birthday) but we needed to get on the road early. There was no time to dawdle. We rushed through our continental breakfast
packed our bikes, turned left on Hwy 101 and headed north towards Astoria. Traffic was light and soon we saw the turnoff for the 3 Capes Loop. The road starts out straight but soon you are into the twisties. I manage to pull over for another photo opp
This road is in need of repair with frost heaves and broken asphalt
We were taking it cautiously watching out for loose gravel and sand on the sides of the road. Luckily we encountered few cars at this early hour
Soon we went over a bridge into Pacific city
This did not look like a prosperous place. There were many vacant and run down cabins. We thought that we could probably afford to purchase a place here. Perhaps if we lived in Corvallis or Albany it would be something to consider. We lived too far away. But then we went to the West side of town and saw the new development . It was a newly constructed shopping mall ready for lease and a large condominium complex just waiting for new purchasers to move in. With the depressed prices you may still be able to get in on the ground floor before prices escalate
We made our way to Oceanside where we celebrated a birthday brunch in Sonja's honour (link here)
I like Oceanside so we had a leisurely lunch here and were on our way . Sonja was in the lead and she has an affinity for lighthouses so it was no surprise to see her turn into Cape Meares
A short walk on the path from the parking lot we finally see the light house
It is perched on the top of the cliff with a commanding view of the ocean . It was getting late in the day and we still had many miles to go to reach Tumwater, WA. Now we were trying to make up for lost time but it was impossible due to heavy traffic. We stopped to consult our maps and decided to divert to R53/26/202/47 and zig zag our way to Longview on the backroads. When we reached the junction they were doing construction and had closed r53 so now we had no choice but to continue north to Astoria.
I had a friend who wanted me to stop in Astoria to pick up some smoked sturgeon at a place called Josephson's . I told him that as long as we did not have to divert too far off the beaten path, but wouldn't you know, it is located right along our route on the main street. So we had to stop
I made my way into the building while Sonja went next door to have a beverage at Josephine's
This appears to be a family run business and all the cans are neatly arranged on rows in their retail display area
There are also some tables at the rear where you can order a bowl of their famous clam chowder
I mentioned to the young person at the counter that I had never tasted smoked sturgeon before and perhaps I should purchase some for myself while I was here. You can do a google for their website and you will find that their tins are not large and cost about $17. which to me is very expensive.
Without hesitation he went and grabbed a large fillet of smoked sturgeon, cut off a sample for me to try. I mentioned that I was a blogger and would probably write about my experience here so he promptly gave me a grand tour of the factory.
(two smokers on the left)
On the other side of the room was a much larger smoker. This one can hold about a ton of fish, loaded onto trays
Right now they are between fish. I saw rolls of labels in their packing area so I believe that they also do their own canning (and labelling).
I thought that the tour had ended but then he lead the way to the rear of the building which was much older. He told me that when the business started this was "IT".
This was a large room where the fish were hung. Before refrigeration they smoked and used salt as a preservative. They would take orders from customers and hung the finished products on the other wall. The room beside used to house the workers who would live here during the "smoking" season. The hopper you see is a gravity fed sawdust burner. It would create the fire to blow into the smoking room onto planks of Birch or alder or whatever wood the customer wanted to use. The wood would burn creating the required smoke. The fish was cured using very little heat and it was left in this room for many days until they were ready.
We walked out through the shipping room and Ms "Wouldn't tell me her name" was preparing an order for shipment to California .
While I was getting this grand tour, Sonja was patiently waiting next door to have her birthday pie. I know she was famished due to the slow riding up the coast but she courteously waited for me to arrive.
(Mmmm, pie with whipping cream)
We had a great waitress and she even sang Happy birthday to Sonja. I have it recorded on video. She thought we were a couple and I kept refusing her generous offers of taking a photo of us both together. I told her I didn't want any evidence, but I don't think she comprehended what I really meant.
YIKES, I just noticed that she waited for me, but I didn't wait for her or else why does my piece have a bite in it ?
We still had a long ride to get to our booked hotel in Tumwater, probably 2-1/2 hours so we just took the fast route and spent a quiet evening watching TV. It was very gusty northbound on I-5 northward from Longview. Also the steady convoy of trucks and wind made riding difficult. Even with my heavy bike I was being thrown around within the "truck waves" . It was not relaxing. Tomorrow will find us taking the slow route back to Canada . . .
but not until we head to the Pike Place Market in Seattle to wake up (this person) . I always make it a point to see my friend Chuck
(Chuck, usually found napping at his stall at the Pike Place Market)