Road Scholar: Visiting The Goonies House

I’m always up for a road trip, no matter how trivial. You want to drive 60 miles through central Kentucky to see a historical marker by the side of some windy rural highway (with no shoulder, natch)? Count me in. Make a hundred and thirty mile round-trip to get frozen custard and see the church where Joan of Arc allegedly heard the voice of God speaking to her, telling her to rise up against the English? Sold!

Road trips, in fact, have formed the basis of many of my closest relationships. When Mike (editor’s note: Erin’s better half) first moved to Portland, he was super excited to hear that we were only a few hours away from Astoria, Oregon, home of the house at the heart of The Goonies. When I confessed that I had never actually seen The Goonies (gasp! Truth be told, I hadn’t seen Star Wars until I was sixteen, either, and only when I had to watch it for an English class on archetypes. Yes, I was raised in a barrel…), he insisted that we rent and view it.

Another late night, chain smoking and drinking cheap bourbon, we hit upon the rather brilliant idea of taking a road trip to see the Goonies house. Not prepared to wait until morning, we hit the road at about three a.m. Did I mention that there was a massive storm brewing? (This is Oregon, mind you…) Well, there was. And we had rather inadvisedly spent the whole of the last week watching the first season of Twin Peaks, so we were already kind of on edge, thinking we saw Leland Palmer or Bob lurking around every corner. Driving through the dark, every rasp of branch or lash of rain against the car was, naturally, a sign that we were going to crash the car and have our livers eaten by a serial killer.

Highway 30 was pitch black, littered with the fallen limbs of pine trees that had cracked and been bashed to bits by gale-force winds. But, ever stubborn, we pressed on. Arriving in Astoria—and this was before GPS and iPhones and things that, you know, tell you where the fuck you are—we drove around in circles for a good hour before finding the house. The house! It was….truth be told, just a big ramshackle Victorian two-story. Nothing to write home about, I guess, save for the fact that it was the setting of that movie.

Having seen what we came to see, and quickly realizing that there was little else to do in Astoria at 4:30 in the morning, we turned the car around for the long drive back. But not before I had a chance to pee outside, next to a dumpster, behind a gas station (one that didn’t open for another three hours). Not exactly a hotbed of exciting city life, mind you.

Anyways, roadtrips? Awesome. But a bit of planning never hurt.

From the source material:

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