Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Farewell Rockaway, Goodbye August

 While we have been back from our little Oregon Coast vacation for a few days now, there are a few more pics to post.

We enjoyed several short walks on the beach, about a mile each, but enough to enjoy the sand, the surf, and our Twin Rocks. 

Sunsets, which we could enjoy from the porch of the cabin,  were nice too.

Even after a rainy afternoon the clouds parted enough for the sun to say "Good day".

Our cabin sits right beside the railroad tracks along Highway 101. During the summer the tourist train runs between Garibaldi and Rockaway. Sometimes the engine is an old diesel, but sometimes it is an older steam engine. If we are around we like to catch a glimpse of it. 

As it approaches the street crossing, it blows its whistle, but then I have to get out of the cabin and through the trail through the bushes. I am not very fast these days.

Well, that might have been close enough anyway. As you can see, it is right there! And I still got to wave at some of the passengers. 

Our time at the beach came to an end, but we still had more to do.

Saturday we drove inland, over the mountains and through the forests, to Vernonia, Oregon, where my late sister Ilene and her family lived. Ilene had for years hosted the family picnic, and this time her sons took on the job in her memory. 

There was lots of good food, lots of good visiting, and or course the kids played. 

I'm still working off this plate of dessert, but who can pass up lemon trifle, chocolate cake, peach cobbler, and wild black berry cobbler. Not me. 
The park is in a lovely setting and I enjoyed the greenness of the river.
Here we all are. There are a few missing, and of course we missed those we lost in the last year and a half, but it was a good day for reuniting.

And now, it is August 31st. I just payed the bills, I have done my Physical Therapy, I walked my mile and a quarter, and I am ready to go have lunch. There will be home grown tomatoes. 

Good bye August, hello September.  Be safe everyone, and keep good thoughts for all those kids and staff going back to school. 

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Cape Meares

 We are back home from our little vacation at the Rockaway Beach cabin.  We had a good five days, filled with scenic driving, beach walking (limited), and local exploring, ending with a family picnic in Vernonia before arriving back home Saturday evening. We had a good trip and are happy to be home. I am especially happy to have my desktop computer for posting on my blog. My iPhone sufficed, but navigating on a small screen was tedious and often frustrating. But, Hey, I did it! I should also say that I was able to read your posts, but often my comments would not post on my phone, so please know I was there. :-)

We didn't wander far from Rockaway, but one place I always love to go when I am at the cabin is Cape Meares. It is a special place for several reasons.

One of those reasons is the short trail to the BIG SPRUCE.  This trail leads through the primordial forest land of the cape headland to a majestic championship tree. The other trees here are wonderful too. 

Here on the cape, right off the ocean, the trees are spruce, but a window through the treetops shows a glimpse of the extensive spruce and Douglas Fir forests that cover the Coast Range hillsides. 

The trail is narrow and up and down but with little elevation gain. Tree roots often present toe grabbers, so for mobility challenged people like me, caution is required. When I said I wanted to go see "my tree". Tom said "Are you sure?", but yes, I needed to try. My new motto has become While I can, I will.

The trail is lined with sword fern, deer fern, salal, and other abundant greenery common on the forest floor of the Pacific rain forests. 
Dead trees feed younger ones and as the old logs rot away, fun root shapes can be the result. 
And here we are, the Big Spruce, a state champion in a state where there are many monumental specimens. Estimated at about 800 years old, it is a survivor. It stands144 feet tall even with a broken top, is 48 feet in circumference, and 15.5 feet in diameter. 

I love coming here to visit my old friend. 
I made it here, and I made it back, and we were off to explore the other wonderful things about Cape Meares, the views and the light house.

It's an easy walk through the tree tunnel to the lighthouse, with side views to the coves on either side of the cape. 

The light house is not open now, but we had a fun conversation with a docent we met along the trail. He was a man about our age and we swapped stories and learned a few things we didn't know. 

We had other brief conversations with people we met along our wanderings. I like to ask people where they are from, and most were from out of state. We like sharing the glories of nature in the Pacific Northwest with visitors, and I am feel so fortunate to be able to claim these places as my own. 

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Nehalem Bay Browsing

 We expected the morning to be rainy or at least drizzly, and so we planned to go out to breakfast and then exploring long Nehalem Bay. However the weather was dry and quite mild, but we followed our plans anyway.

After a big, yummy breakfast at the sunrise Café in Rockaway Beach, a breakfast that involved bacon and eggs and hashbrowns and omelettes and pancakes, we drove north of the coast to Nehalem Bay and the town of Wheeler. However since the antique mall wasn’t open yet, we drove a little farther to the Nehalem Bay Winery. 

 We bought a special bottle of blackberry wine.

Then we drove back down to Wheeler and enjoyed the view of Nehalem Bay before spending some fun time browsing in the Wheeler antique Mall.

We’re having a slow, easy paced little vacation here at the Oregon Coast. All is good. I’ll try to catch up with your posts as I can. I only have my iPhone with me.

It’s very tricky using blogger on an iPhone, and things don’t always go where you want them to, but I think it’s pretty much OK, so I am going to hit publish.

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

The Mighty Columbia

 To get to our cabin on the Oregon coast we cross the Columbia river at Longview and then follow it out to the coast at Astoria. Astoria is located at the mouth of the Columbia, where  freighters, in from the sea are met by the bar pilots to get them across the bar and into the river and then river pilots to take them up river to Portland. It’s always a very interesting place to spend a little time. 

(if this is a little wonky it’s because I posted it on my iPhone)

The Astor Column up on the hill.

Old wharf pilings from the fish cannery days.
Incoming ship waiting for the River pilot.
The River pilot station.
Old pilings
Ships waiting either to sail up River or out to sea.