Atop Astoria during her Bicentennial

Astoria ColumnOf course it only happens once, so Bicentennials should be big deals. Hopefully it was for Astoria, Oregon. Yes, it’s been going on all year and now we’re just getting around to telling you about it – or, maybe you knew. Here’s the story:

We were spending a few days at the Oregon Coast earlier this year and decided to stop by Astoria. There’s a lot to see in Astoria, the earliest permanent settlement west of the Rocky Mountains. Our favorite spot is the Astoria Column.

Here’s a 360° view from the top:

Before ascending the 164 internal steps to the top, we noticed a couple of balsa wood airplanes at the base. (They sell these at the gift shop.) They were in pretty good shape, except one was missing its vertical stabilizer. No worries. Once atop the column, I took a post card and snipped a little off, plus a bit for a wedge. Here’s the postcard (the original plus the cut up one):

Astoria Postcard - obverse Astoria Postcard - reverse

The end result was our little intrepid flyer:

Our intrepid flyer

Of course the proof of the pudding is in the flying, to mix metaphors, so we had to try it out. Of course it flew like a little champion – for 24 seconds:

Here’s the funny part: we had resumed our gawking at the beautiful scenery and frankly weren’t in any hurry to take those 164 steps back down. As luck would have it, more tourists arrived at the top – including a woman who had found our little flyer and brought it up with her! I showed her the postcard from which I had cut the stabilizer and she was gracious enough to offer it back. Its second voyage was every bit as successful as its first. But wait – there’s more.

When we finally got back to the ground, guess what we found just in front of the entrance, waiting for us? Of course, our little flyer. This time we took it home for a souvenir – and the postcards naturally. All so we could (eventually) write this little post for your entertainment pleasure.

Remember, Dear Reader, perhaps you weren’t able to climb the Astoria Column during Astoria’s Bicentennial and perhaps you can’t always fly a plane, but you can always fly your flag!

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