Sunday, March 23, 2008

How's the weather in Astoria today?

In a word, rainy. In two words, rain and wind. Not so much wind, actually, but more than enough rain to make up for it. It started raining last October, and it hasn't stopped. My new bike, which I love riding along the River Walk, has spent most of the winter propped against the bookshelf, unmoving. I like rain. It's one of the reasons I moved here. I appreciate sun more than ever, but I guess one has to like the rain to stay. In a typical year, we get about 70 inches. This year is supposed to rival 1996 (when I wasn't here) and Astoria got about 110 inches. I took the photo this morning along the trolley tracks that run along the river walk between Marine Drive and the Columbia River. The seed pods and grass look like Spring, and it's a soggy one, to be sure. The residents have mostly had their fill of water.

More Spring colors, also along the trolly tracks, looking across Marine Drive to the back of several businesses, including The Bent Needle, which does embroidery on clothing, caps, etc. To the right are apartments, newly refurbished, I'm told, and downstairs a pet store (which may have recently closed, I'll have to check, because people come into our shop [aka The Animal Store] where we sell stuffed animals, plastic animals, animal gifts, etc., asking for dog food and cat collars; we've been directing them down one block, so I'd better see if they're still open).

One of the stuffed (plush toy) vultures in Tapir and Friends looks a little sad in the dim light. He seems to enjoy his perch overall, where he can keep an eye on the River Walk. The trolley tracks run just beyond, and in fact you can see the small shelter on the left, which is one of the trolley stops. For one dollar you can ride the trolley the length of the River Walk and back. What a deal. The trolley is old and tarted up, the conductors are volunteers who explain the fascinating history of Astoria and its waterfront. Some even direct people to come into our store. The River Walk itself is beyond the chain fence. The big expanse of pavement is the parking lot for the River Pilot building. Not much is happening on the river today since it's Sunday, and Easter to boot. So the lot is empty. I'll have to show the scene again on a sunny day. It's a different world.

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