Cannon Beach, Astoria, and The Goonies

Me at Haystack Rock

It’s been a while since my last article. Sorry about that. I’ve traveling a bit, and honestly, I’ve just been busy trying to organize my life. I think I’ve finally got things worked out now, and I’m hoping that I’ll be able to post something at least once a week going forward.

A few months ago, we decided to check out Cannon Beach, Oregon, and Astoria, Oregon. Both are on Oregon’s coast, and they aren’t that far apart from each other, so it was easy to get to them on one trip.

So, in Oregon, some of the beaches have these beautiful, mysterious rock formations in the water. They’re called haystack rocks because they look like haystacks. Cannon Beach has one of the most famous of these rocks, which was featured in the 1985 movie “The Goonies”.

After leaving Cannon Beach, we headed north to Astoria, Oregon. “The Goonies” is actually set in Astoria, and a lot of the filming was done on location. Astoria is home to the Oregon Film Museum, which is housed in the old Clatsop County Jail. The jail was featured in the opening sequence of the film when Jake Fratelli breaks out, and a Jeep similar to the one that belonged to the Fratellis in the movie is parked out front. We didn’t get a chance to actually go inside the museum because it was closed by the time we got there, so we already have a reason to go back. The museum houses exhibits related to films that were made in Oregon, including The Goonies, Kindergarten Cop, Free Willy, Twilight, and National Lampoon’s Animal House. The exhibits are on display in the former jail cells. Visitors can also create their own short films.

Now, before visiting Cannon Beach and Astoria, I hadn’t watched “The Goonies” in at least a decade, probably longer. But I remember watching it all the time as a kid. It was one of those movies that I remember being a staple of my childhood. You know how, when you’re a kid, you go on all kinds of make-believe adventures in your backyard and around your neighborhood? This movie is like seeing those kinds of adventures come to life on the screen.

When we got home from Astoria, we immediately rented the Goonies. It was the first time I recall watching it as an adult. It’s definitely funny and enjoyable, but if it weren’t already part of my childhood, I probably wouldn’t be drawn to it as an adult. It’s simultaneously cheesy and great like so many great 80’s kid and teen movies are. I didn’t perceive it that way when watching as a kid, but I think a lot of my childhood favorites share this trait. It’s not something I can imagine being released in theaters today, but I could see it being right at home on the Disney Channel — except for the cursing. And some of the jokes (like the whole bit with the David statue). Okay so maybe it wouldn’t be a perfect fit for The Disney Channel, but the overall tone reminds me of movies I’ve dismissed out right for being to cheesy.

It was fun to watch the movie again. It was also weird. I don’t remember the kids looking so young. It’s also weird to know that those kids are now middle-aged. I count this weirdness among the tricks that time plays on you as you grow older.

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