The Celica cuts through the early morning mists that shroud Lewis & Clark National Park’s towering pines as I drift in and out of sleep. Besides me, my girlfriend taps along with the tune of Paolo Nutini’s Candy and takes in the chill fall air.
Despite being half asleep on account of our early morning start and a filling breakfast of amazing Noah’s Bagels with a jalapeno shmear, I’m also excited like a kid on Christmas morning. Just an hour from now I’ll be standing in beautiful Astoria, home of the legendary Goonies.
If you’re not a product of the 80s you might not recall Stephen Spielberg’s delightfully dark children’s film about buried pirate treasure, evil real estate developers, and a lovable mongoloid by the name of Sloth. Some of my earliest memories are of watching the funny and sometimes scary 80s classic, and the opportunity to explore the town in which it was filmed was too good to refuse when I was only an hour away in Portland.
There is no official Goonies tour, but I’d done a little research and managed to piece something together for our little day trip.
And as our car pushed on down the winding and damp roads, I was reminded of the scene in which Mikey’s brother, Brant was thrown off of the road while attempting to ride a pink bike…
The Goonies House
The first stop on our Goonies tour was also the most important – a chance to stop by the house where the infamous Truffle Shuffle was danced.
Despite it being midweek for our trip, we weren’t alone in fighting for a parking spot on the surprisingly crowded suburban street. We passed a handful of smiling tourists on our way towards our destination. Clearly we weren’t alone in our pilgrimage.
Located at 368 38th street, the legendary Goonies House lays at the head of a steep driveway where a sign welcomes all Goonies who wish to come by and pay a visit.
The house is owned and used as residence these days, so unfortunately you can’t go inside to check it out, but you’re still able to stand out front and pose for photos as long as you respect the owner’s privacy.
The place doesn’t look quite the same as it did in the movies, obviously. The elaborate gate opening mechanism isn’t there and the front drive isn’t the same one down which the Goonies ride in search of pirate treasure. But there’s a kind of magic standing in the spot where one of your childhood favorites was filmed.
Data’s house is located nearby at 370 38th street if you want to check that out too.
The County Jail
Our next port of call was the county jail from which the Fratellis escape during the film’s opening sequence. I found myself humming the memorable Goonies theme song as my Goonies tour rolled on.
The jail, no longer used to house prisoners, is located at 732 Duane Street. Again, you’re not able to go inside, but you can still pose out front in the same space where a circle of fire allowed Mama Fratelli to bust her kid out of jail. Pretty cool.
It doesn’t play a huge part in the movie, but I also took the time to swing by the museum where Mikey’s Dad works in the movie. It features for all of a second in a scene where the Goonies ride through town, but it’s located nearby at 441 8th street and is actually a museum in its own right by the name of George Flavell House Museum.
We opted not to fork out to venture inside due to our tight budgets, but you can find out more about the museum by checking out its website (linked above).
The last location that I’d hoped to hit on my tour was Haystack Rock – which plays a pretty crucial role in the movie but is actually located some miles distant at Cannon Beach.
It’s only about a 35 minute drive, but our day couldn’t be all about my Goonies tour – we were off to Seaside to have a wee bit of clam chowder and saltwater taffy.
Relationships are all about compromise.
It’s something special to make a pilgrimage to a site that holds some kind of significance to your childhood self. Whether you’re heading to Forks because you’re obsessed with Twilight or you want to do the Seinfeld tour in New York – we all get a kick out of walking on ground that we associate with a younger, happier, or better time in our lives.
A Goonies tour is a fun day trip out of Portland and it’s also a good excuse to explore beautiful Astoria. I’ll have to share more of my trip there with you in a future entry.