Postcards from the Oregon Coast

Highway 101 on the Oregon Coast: wild and rugged beaches, capes and bluffs, sea stacks where nesting birds make their homes, ancient volcanic rock with fanciful shapes and names, strewn along offshore, all preserved and available to the public thanks to Oregon’s early conservationists. Sprinkled along the way are charming towns, fishing villages, and lighthouses shining as beacons; what’s not to like?

We were happy to be able to explore the Oregon Coast this week for the umpteenth time, for we are neighbors to the north in Washington, and this is the one place Oregon has us beat.  (True. Seattle beats Portland.  Rainier beats Hood.  We share the Columbia.  Oregon wins for best coast.)

Here’s a sampling of what we enjoyed.

We headed south from Astoria at the mouth of the Columbia River, which dates back to the 1805 Lewis and Clark expedition.

Further down we had lunch at Cape Kiwanda in Pacific City.

We always stop and shop in the tiny town of Wheeler…

and in Old Town Florence.

We had to stop by the largest coastal sand dunes in North America, the Oregon Dunes which run from Florence to Coos Bay. (That’s not us on the bikes but we wish it was.)

We went as far south as Bandon on this trip and marveled at the rock formations offshore.  Face Rock gazes heavenward.

The wind was blowing with gale force in Bandon and we loved watching the powerful waves crash into the rocks and jetties where a lighthouse stood nearby.

Now I will leave you with the sun setting on the Pacific Ocean from the balcony at our hotel in Lincoln City, where it just so happens we stayed on our honeymoon almost 35 years ago.

Postcards from the Oregon Coast. We will be back.

Susanne

Scenes from the Oregon Coast

I woke up this morning in Florence on the Oregon Coast, arguably one of the most beautiful and accessible coastlines in America, if not the world. The past few days were overcast but the amazing sunrise over the Siuslaw River heralded a change in weather for the remaining days of our trip.

Next up were the Oregon Dunes which run from Florence to Coos Bay along the central coast.  We stopped to admire the mountains of ancient golden sand and breathe in the fresh ocean air scented with forest.

And now onward to Bandon under sunny skies.  I will share more pictures of the beautiful Pacific coast beaches in the next post.  Until then here is a picture of Cannon Beach from a few days ago just before it was swallowed up in clouds.

The dog (not ours) didn’t seem to mind.

Susanne

Still Brothers

This is Tiger and today is human Father’s Day.  Even though I don’t know where my father is, and I am not a father, still I am a big brother to Benji.  I think it is important to remember what we have instead of being sad about what we don’t have. Sometimes I complain about Benji but he is playful and full of vigor and reminds me how wonderful youth is. I am doing my best to mentor the little boy and I think he is coming along. I am pleased.

This is Benji and someday I want to be just like Tiger.  He is very smart and patient with me and even though he is bigger he doesn’t beat me up when I sometimes jump on him.  Also he has two good ears.

We are brothers.

~Tiger and Benji

Soos Creek Botanical Garden

After the rain showers this week,  I visited the lovely Soos Creek Botanical Garden today.  It was a rather spontaneous decision, made while drinking my latte at the Starbucks next to the gym where I was supposedly headed next.  But the rain had stopped.  Fresh air and a walk would be better than the treadmill, wouldn’t it?  Of course it would!   And I’d only been to the Soos Creek Garden once before, even though it’s only a thirty minute drive down the road. Time for another visit.

A few volunteers were the only ones I saw as I walked through the Carlmas Long Borders promenade, the centerpiece of the garden.  The grass was still wet and the flowers fresh with raindrops from the day before.  Beautiful color exploded on each side.

Afterwards I wandered on paths through native woods, including a cedar grove and alder grove, and made my way down to the creek.

I headed back up to where I started, to the top of the expansive lawn where the Schaefer Pond Garden was peaceful and serene.

Soos Creek Botanical Garden is 22 acres of garden and woodlands, exactly the size of the Tiffany Park Woods that are currently being destroyed in my neighborhood. I guess it’s some consolation to know I can visit the lovely Botanical Garden for a safe and scenic walk in the woods.

Before leaving, I bought some plants, dropping my money in the donation box, and went home to find a place for them in my yard.

Much better than the gym I have to admit.

~  Susanne

Snoqualmie Close Up

We took a day trip yesterday to one of our favorite local attractions: Snoqualmie Falls.

Up the road we found the river flowing deep and wide, silently through the little town of Carnation.

We stopped at Tolt MacDonald Park where the foot bridge is the best place to watch the river flow and also frames the farmland and Cascade Mountains nearby.

~  Susanne

The Woodpecker

Today they arrived behind our house and I stood watching as the claw gripped the tree where it was thick and full of life and the saw ate through its girth and the claw hoisted it upward into the air and downward where it smashed to the ground where others lay and while I was watching I saw the bird land on the tree nearby and maybe I only imagined the panic of the small and fragile red-headed woodpecker as he climbed upward hoping this one would not come down, but I don’t think so.

~ Susanne

Urban Logging

After years of wrangling and delays, the logging of the Tiffany Park Woods is underway. It was only last week that I took this picture after being awakened by the chain saws.

This is the same location today.

The woods are no match for the heavy equipment assembled against them. I am over it. There’s still a long way to go, but I’m pleased to see many trees around the perimeter still standing. I wonder if the select few marvel that they were chosen while those on the ash heap wonder what they did wrong.

I assume all the displaced animals have been welcomed to new homes. Refugees of sorts. It will be interesting to watch as houses go up.

Progress I guess.

~ Susanne