Being Homeless in Astoria, Oregon is not Easy


I find that if you want to car camp in Astoria, you are going to have a hard time. The choices on places to comfortably camp are quite narrow. It’s a very compact city that seems to push people into parking on the street more than the parking lot. Furthermore, Portland also seemed to force me into parking on the sides of streets as well, so it might be an Oregon thing.

The parking lots down at the bottom of the mountain and at the city center are not options to park. They have signs pointing to be Reserved for other people. They all threaten to tow your vehicle at your expense. Even the nautical museum says that anyone caught in their parking lot when it’s closed will have to leave or get towed at your expense.

I checked the hospital and they are aggressive about parking. Everywhere at the city center is aggressive against parking. You can always park on the side street, but that isn’t exactly desirable. I don’t care for cars and people going by me when I’m trying to relax in my car.

The best option looks towards either taking advantage of the more isolated spots on top of the mountain or parking in the next city over in Warrenton. There isn’t a comfortable spot to park and sleep in Astoria.

Besides struggling to find a place to park, I don’t know what I’m doing here. The Internet access is virtually dead. The library physically pulls the WiFi plug when they are closed. I never seen a library do that before. They already throttled Internet speeds, so that video will take longer to load. But that wasn’t enough. They have to unplug it every day too.

The city looks very different. It is built on a steeper mountain than Port Angeles, WA. The houses are taller and more narrow. The parking lots are smaller and more constricted. This is a city that tried to tackle urban sprawl problems head on.

You won’t find a mall here or any big box store. It’s composed of more small shops. Plus it holds strong to nostalgic things like an old video arcade business. There is an old video store that sells or rents DvDs. Somehow, these businesses are still able to hold on a little bit longer.

The city almost seems like a social experiment in trying to slow down technological progress. It’s like they are holding onto the Goonies era as long as they can. You really get the feeling here that the city has not advanced since the 1980s. It might be that the Goonies are what attracts the tourists and that is fine for the city leaders. No other city gets the distinction of being the Goonies capital.

It must be expensive to maintain the old tall homes here. I see that when construction workers to repair work on a home, they usually need to bring a lift to get them to the 4th floor. The special equipment for buildings is a unique part of the contractor work done in the city.

The sea lions are so loud, over half the city can here them. There is an amazing echo that can be broadcast from the water and up the mountain. It’s almost as if the water below is the stage and the people on the mountain are in the audience. The big passing ships are always a spectacle to behold.

I find it interesting how the ships move through Hammond nonstop, but in Astoria many of them will sit in the water unmoving, sometimes for days.

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