I intended to wake up at 7 AM and get an early start. It didn’t happen. I was beat from the 90+ mile day to Aberdeen, so I slept in until 9:30 AM. It wasn’t too smart considering I had another 90+ mile day to Seaside, OR. Plus, I was going to check out all filming locations for The Goonies in the town of Astoria. That would kill two hours at least.
I left Stephen’s without saying goodbye to him. It felt weird, but he insisted. I got on the bike and decided to take the shortest way possible to Astoria. That meant going partially inland and hitting more hills.
lip zit popper
I walked into the McDonald’s and made my way into the restroom. Every single person in the place stared at me. I didn’t understand. I thought cyclists in that area were a common sight. I felt like a freak show. I was filling up my third water bottle when a tall, lanky teenager walks up to the mirror and gets up really close to the mirror. I didn’t look. I knew what he was doing, and he was doing it blatantly. He was popping zits right beside me.
I was grossed out, so I tried to get out of there as quick as possible. All of a sudden, I heard a meek voice say to me, “I hate the zits that are right on your lip.”
“Oh, yeah…” I responded, not knowing if he was intentionally trying to gross me out or making conversation.
“Yeah, but I like popping them. It feels really good,” he said.
“Thanks for sharing that information,” I told him. I realized he was trying to make conversation. Really weird kid. He kept going on about it. This was perhaps one of the worst conversation pieces of the entire trip. I would rather talk about crapping in the woods without a modern toilet. Zits and pus really gross me out…especially doing it in a restaurant…and popping them right next to me.
His little brother walked up, and both of them started talking to me. They were curious about my trip. I wanted to leave, but they held me at bay with their kid questions. “Do you know where ‘blah blah blah’ is?” one of them would ask. Meanwhile, everyone in the restaurant was eavesdropping on our conversation, which also made me very uneasy.
I used the trick I learned from my European friends in New Mexico. “OK….,” I said as I backed away.
I sat outside in the heat at one of the picnic tables and ate three bagels covered with Nutella. I wanted $1 menu sandwiches, but I didn’t want to cave in every time I saw fast-food. I would quickly go broke if I did that the entire trip.
crappy coastal highway
I was excited to cycle the Washington coast for about 20 miles. It would be a nice change of pace from the previous 35 miles.
It wasn’t. I couldn’t even see the damn coast, and I had a pretty strong crosswind. I angrily cycled up and down….up and down….up and down. My knees were starting to hurt, and I was drenched in sweat. The Washington coast was bullshit, and I questioned whether this route was worth it. It went on and on like this for a few hours.
I had to keep my eyes on the prize, and that prize was Astoria, the primary setting of The Goonies. To lift my spirits, I drew a picture of Sloth and his famous line ’Heyyy Youuu Guyyys’. Drivers loved it. I actually got stopped a few times just so people could take a picture of the sign. One guy named Ryan stopped in the middle of the highway and parked his car just to take a picture. He started snapping pictures, and I said to him, “Uh, there’s a few cars coming at 60 mph behind you.”
I cycled up to Dismal Point to get a few pictures of the massive bridge I would have to cycle to get to Astoria. It was pretty intimidating, and it would be the longest bridge I have cycled.
I was admiring the view. I couldn’t believe I was looking at the ‘goon docks’. A gentleman by the name of Roy Western walked up and said, “Your sign?”
“Yep, that’s my sign,” I said laughing. I knew he had no clue what the hell it meant. I had a picture of a retarded looking guy on the board. Who knew what Roy thought of me.
We got to talking about my trip and the coast. He was pretty taken in by my story, but in the back of my head, I was thinking, “Damn…I’m way behind schedule.” Whatever. I’ll make it to my destination. I’ll just take a few minutes of my time and enjoy talking to him.
And that I did. I walked to his car and gave him my blog address, and he gave me his business card. I really enjoy when people tell me that my trip is inspiring. That alone reminds me that I should revere every minute of the trip. The good and the bad.
I went into the restroom to fill up my water bottles. Hot bathroom water poured into them. Great. I walked back out to my bike and plopped them into the cages. As I turned around, Roy was walking up. I greeted him again, and he said to me, “You were a little too quick for me, but I wanted to give you this.” It was a wad of cash.
“What!? No no. I can’t accept that,” I said, blown away by his hospitality to a total stranger.
“No. I want you to have it,” he said. I couldn’t believe it. It was a huge high for me. I had already felt pretty good just from talking to him, but this was icing on the cake. I let him know how much it meant to me and said goodbye once more. He walked back to his car, and I got back on the bicycle. I looked down at the wad and unfolded it. $40. Holy shit. Unreal.
I think back to that moment and I am still touched. Very cool. Thanks Roy.
goonies never say die
I cycled across the bridge into Astoria. It was a monster, but people gave me room on the incredibly small shoulder. Most of the drivers were laughing and pointing at my sign, and a good chunk of them looked back and waved. The end of the bridge treated me with a huge incline.
Astoria was covered in a thick fog. It was just as I had pictured it. I made my way to the county jail where one of the Fertelli brothers escaped in the first few minutes of the movie.
And here’s a shot of me at the museum where Mikey’s Dad worked.
Finally, it was time for the crown jewel of film locations: the Goonies’ house. After going up a few ridiculously steep hills, I was pointed in the right direction of the house by a citizen of Astoria. After a few more hills, I made it to 368 38th Street. This sign welcomed me.
I was worried the owners of the house would not want visitors walking up to the property and taking pictures. The sign brought a smile to my face along with a huge sigh of relief. I had cycled long and hard to get here.
I celebrated by doing Chunk’s truffle shuffle in front of Mikey’s house.
I also did a few handstand shots, one of which resulted in me falling down and rolling down the driveway 10 feet. Stupid. I felt like Chunk.
I also stomped and pouted in Data’s driveway. This was where Brandon stole Data’s sister’s pink girly bike to catch up to the Goonies.
Just above me was the “window” that Data flew out of to get into Mikey’s house on a zipline. That scene was filmed from another house in Astoria.
I saw one of the tenants of the house climb outside one of the upstairs windows. I thanked them and made my way down the driveway. I ran into a few more Goonies fans who took a picture of my bike board.
racing the sun…again
I made my way back through town and to another huge bridge. Josh, another Astoria citizen, cycled up behind me and yelled, “Heyyyy youuuuu guyyyyys!” I turned around and he asked me if I was about to cycle the bridge. We got to talking, and he said he was thinking about cycling into traffic.
I told him I would be scared as shit. Riding against traffic has been statistically proven to be much more hazardous. I told him good luck, and he took off.
In the middle of the bridge, he hopped off his bike and ran into the middle of the road. What the hell was he doing?! A car was flying straight at him, and I was yelling, “No no no no!” No one heard me of course. Josh was throwing a dead sea otter off the road into the ocean. The car slammed on brakes. I wasn’t sure if rescuing road kill was worth becoming road kill.
I was pushing hard along the Oregon coast to get to Becky’s house. Highway 101 in Oregon was a huge departure from the Highway 101 in Washington. I could actually see and hear the ocean. Another 20 miles and I finally pulled up to Becky’s house.
As soon as I cycled up to the house, Becky offered me salad and pizza. I started talking to her about couch surfing. Her daughter had used it in Europe and told her parents it would be a good idea for them to sign up. I asked Becky how her son felt about it, since he still lived there. “You know, he’s really uncomfortable with it and doesn’t like it. It surprises me that he’s so conservative,” she said.
I soon found out how much he doesn’t like it. Her son Matthew walked into the kitchen. “And this is my son Matthew,” she said. Matthew nodded at me and walked by. No handshake. No verbal confirmation. He walked right by me to the washing machine.
Piercing, awkward silence filled the room. It was bad energy. I didn’t like it. “Hey Matthew…My name’s Ryan,” I said. He looked at me and nodded. No ‘nice to meet you’ or ‘where are you from’. He was incredibly cold to me, and I knew Becky noticed. I felt unwelcome and wanted to leave the room. He walked by again and left us in silence.
Becky had a lot of work to do before the market the next day. She made pretty amazing clay barrettes, but she didn’t seem to be confident in her work. I looked at a lot of her stuff, and she was obviously a very skilled craftsman. She told me that her barrettes were a tough sell in Astoria, home to Oregon’s second-largest farmers’ market. I guess barrettes weren’t in fashion.