04 December 2006

Astoria the Divine

sunset at low tide
Originally uploaded by Katherine H.
Now, if the students I worked with this past weekend heard me use such an adjective in conjuction with their small town, they'd no doubt be perplexed and perhaps even roll their eyes. I know. I grew up in an even smaller town further up the river, and you never think your hometown is anything special. That is, until you return years later and see it in another light.

I arrived in Astoria on Friday afternoon just in time to catch an inspiring sunset across Youngs Bay. When the area isn't shrouded in fog, you can truly see some amazing vistas.

That night I conducted training for ten Alumni Teen Leaders, high school students I initially met as new leaders last year. It's fun to reconnect with them and see how they're growing in confidence and individuality. It's an aspect of my work that is really gratifying, and makes the long days and sterile hotel rooms more bearable.

So yes, the sunsets were stunning, but the truly divine part? The discovery of possibly the best rocky road brownie in Oregon. As you crest the top of the hill and turn onto Niagara Avenue, you'll pass a small store called the Peter Pan Market. Neither the name nor the storefront will beckon to you, but if you pass on by you'll also miss the perfect blend of cake-like brownie speckled with walnuts, chocolate chips, and marzipan beneath a thin layer of chocolate frosting. Mmm...it's a good thing I pass through Astoria only once or twice a year.

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