Are we almost to Oysterville?

Oct 3, 2010 | 2 comments

Astoria to Megler, c. 1950

     It’s a very funny thing, but absolutely true – it’s not as far from Oysterville to anywhere else as it is from anywhere else to Oysterville.  Take Long Beach, for instance.  Long Beach, Washington, that is.  MapQuest says it is 15.92 miles from Oysterville and 15.92 miles back again.  Yet, I’d be rich if I had a nickel for every time someone has said to me, “I have a book (or a recipe or an old photograph) for you.  Pick it up next time you are down this way.  It’s so far for me to drive up there.”
     The assumption is, of course, that we Oysterville folks who live practically at the ends of the earth HAVE to travel south do almost anything.  And, of course, there is no sensible reason for anyone else to go “all the way” to Oysterville.
     But the reality is that both my car and I are aging and I try to leave the confines of the village as little as possible.  We limit our shopping expeditions across the river and seldom go farther than Jack’s in Ocean Park for the things we need.  (Contrary to Jack’s slogan, they do have practically everything.)  We have few reasons to actually go into Long Beach, any more than our friends have reason to come to Oysterville – except to see us, of course.
     I also know for a fact that it takes less time to go south than to come north.  I have known that from childhood when we would come from California in the summers to be with my grandparents in Oysterville.  I drove my folks crazy with my mantra: “Are we almost to Oysterville?”  The trip was interminable.  On the other hand, when we headed home I never asked if we were almost to Alameda or, later, almost to San Rafael. We seemed to get there in half the time.  That was true when we came on the train, when we took the ferry, and even after the war was over and we had a reliable car.  I used to wonder if it was because going south was all downhill and we could go faster.
     On the plus side, I know it’s the true friend who calls and says, “Let’s have lunch at your end next week.”  Bless them!    


  1. Stephanie Frieze

    Your post makes me smile for a couple of reasons, Sydney. When I was a child, I, too, thought that traveling south went faster for the same reason. Look at the globe for corn sake!

    My other reason to smile is that I am always contriving a reason to come up your way. First of all, my mother spent her childhood summers in Ocean Park and her parents did not buy their summer home in Seaview until she was a teenager. Because she loves the north end I have been known to drive her up there to shop at Jack’s (why would anyone need to go elsewhere?) and Oakies just so she gets a ride. Moreover, I love the drive. We generally go up one way and back the other especially during high tourist season. The trip up Sandridge is so pleasant. What more could someone desire than a beautiful little trip with some place as pleasant as Oysterville at the end of the line? I’ll hunt around for an excuse to come up any time!

  2. Joanne Rideout

    Thanks for a wonderful post. I love Oysterville and the Peninsula in general, and it doesn’t take much of an excuse to get me to go there! It reminds me of where I grew up, on the east end of Long Island in NY. That wonderful beachy feel, with some forest and a bay thrown in for good measure.


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