Author of ‘Destination Astoria’ to speak

Brian Ratty, author of “Destination Astoria: Odyssey to the Pacific.” will discuss his book at 7 p.m. Aug. 28 in the Seaside Public Library, 1131 Broadway.

Book sales and signings also are planned.

The work of historical fiction begins in 1809, as ruthless businessman John Jacob Astor schemes to send an overland expedition to the mouth of the Columbia River. The story focuses on one young fur trapper, Dutch Blackwell, who joins that enterprise.

From Boston, Dutch travels cross-country with his dog and horses to meet up with Astor’s brigade in St. Louis. Along the trail, he encounters Mountain Jack, a seasoned frontiersman, and the two men forsake the Astorians and cross the continent together. During their tormented passage, the men face death from starvation, dehydration, searing heat and Indians both hateful and helpful.

Crossing the uncharted wilderness becomes the ultimate test of their tenacity.

“Destination Astoria” also includes recipes about trail food consumed crossing the continent, including sourdough biscuits, buffalo jerky, pig knuckle stew and pickled salmon.

Ratty is a retired media executive and graduate of Brooks Institute of Photography. He and his wife, Tess, live on the North Oregon coast, where he writes about and photographs the region.

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