Astoria in the winter
Where the Columbia river meets the ocean there's a charming old town called Astoria. If I had taken pictures of the hilly streets and victorian houses you might recognize it from the movie The Goonies. Anyway, my brother just bought a house there so my family all met up on a beautiful clear day to admire the house, view, town, and colorful cargo ships going in and out of town.
Atop a hill nearby is a landmark, The Astoria Column, built in 1926 with historic pictures wrapping around the entire 125 feet. The exciting appeal of the column is that you can climb 164 steps to the top for a "spectacular" view.
I decided to ignore my fear of heights and climb up to the top with everyone else, and as our group got higher, one after the other had to make their way back down (just a tip, don't look down) but eventually everyone made it all the way up. I almost didn't make it too, but the closer I got the more of a waste I figured it would be if I didn't finish.
But the end was sooooo not worth it.
Getting up to the top there is about a three foot ledge to stand on, and thin metal rails. So I open the door the the top, my knees go out from under me at the sight of the non solid ground, I'm trying to cling to the slick round wall going "Ohmygodohmygodohmygod" and laughing hysterically because thats what I do in such such situations, while tourists are leaning casually over the railing staring at me like I'm crazy. Unfortunately no one snapped a picture, because it was pretty funny, and I was there for about a total of ten seconds, but I did buy a button for my cousin Ruth and I that says we made it ;)
The town still contains buildings from the early part of the 20th century, without the sort of icky modern renovations that took place in other parts of the states. The Sears and J.C. Pennys buildings still have original signs and structure, and even new shops have old fashioned charm. It's so neat to walk around and feel like your in a time capsule :)