A Gift of Good Weather

It was a weekend unplugged. We arrived back home yesterday afternoon from our camping trip at Cape Disappointment. When I said I'd blog if I had something to talk about, it never occurred to me that we'd be in an area without cell phone service. It's not unusual to go without wi-fi, but lack of cell phone service is becoming rare. No matter. It didn't spoil the weekend, and sometimes it's good to unplug and relax. Still, it left me with a lot of catching up to do blog-wise.

When we did our final packing and took off Friday it was pouring rain. Along the way, we stopped off at the Fred Meyer in Warrenton, Oregon, to pick up a few things. Actually, we stopped because we still had about 20 miles to go, and Mike was getting sleepy. Nevertheless, we needed paper plates, napkins, and pickle relish. Also while we were there, we saw this essential item that I needed badly:

Those of you who have razzed me about planting the tomato seeds in red solo cups will appreciate the necessity of this item, and it's the first shot glass purchased while traveling in our new camper. 

It was a short hop into Astoria, Oregon, from there, which is a little port city situated at the mouth of the Columbia River where it dumps into the Pacific Ocean. I'd arranged with the driver ahead of time to stop at a quilt shop before crossing the river into Washington. (Yes! A quilt shop!) I'll tell you about that in a separate post. From there, we had to cross the river using what Mike has dubbed the "tall, scary bridge." It's easy to see why.

It poured all the way to our destination, and continued pouring into the night. At times, the rain on the roof of the camper was so loud, we couldn't hear the TV. It rained all night and into Saturday morning when it stopped suddenly. Oh. My. Gosh. Don't you know we donned our rain gear as quickly as possible so that we could get outside while we had the chance. There was an icy wind, and it seemed a perfect opportunity to wear my pink pussycat hat. (Thanks, Gail!)

It was a short walk out to the beach from our campsite.

When we stepped down off the embankment onto the beach, we got our first glimpse of the lighthouse.

There were people on the beach in that direction, and so we decided to walk the other way. If you look off into the distance in the image below, you can see a jetty. I'll say more about the jetty in a minute.

We walked some distance...perhaps a mile...and as we approached that tree in the distance, we wondered if we were seeing a bird's nest or a bird sitting there.

As we came closer, two juvenile bald eagles flew up from the ground, and we realized then that the bird in the tree was an adult bald eagle.

They flew off away from us and landed in some nearby trees. We investigated the ground where they'd been, thinking they must have been feeding on something. We found only an open clam shell.

We turned around there and headed back. The dry spell continued throughout our walk, and by afternoon, the sun was shining. Our shadow selves could hardly contain their joy.

There wasn't much else to do, and so we went out for a second walk...this time, in the direction of the lighthouse.

There was a lot of driftwood on the beach. Being so close to where the Columbia River flows into the Pacific Ocean, we have an idea that this wood flows down the Columbia and out to sea where the ocean drives it back onshore.

We were treated to a pretty sunset Saturday evening.

Here's another image of the lighthouse in the light of the setting sun.

The colors didn't amount to anything more dramatic than this. Clouds far offshore kept the sun from casting its light onto the clouds higher up.

We could see that it was raining off shore, but we didn't see any more rain until we packed up to leave Monday morning.

We expected nice weather on Sunday and took the opportunity to visit the lighthouse. It was a short hike out from the parking lot where we had a nice view of the beach below.

These buildings were fenced off, and so we couldn't get very close. Also, there was not much information to say what they were. The red roofs would indicate that the Coast Guard may have used them at some point in time.

Now, they are available for vacation and event rentals.

Along the way, we read the information about the jetty. It seems the jetty caused a shift in the deposit of sand from the ocean, and a substantial amount of land was reclaimed.

If you look at "Elephant Rocks" in the foreground of the image above, you can use your imagination to see the elephant.

In the image below, you can see how the campground looked at the time the jetty was completed. 

From there, we continued on to North Head Lighthouse, which is being restored to its original appearance from when it was built in 1898.

These signs were interesting to us. We knew that lighthouse signals varied in the information they conveyed, but I hadn't thought about the "daymark" signified by the lighthouse color. This explains why lighthouses are sometimes painted with stripes and why they vary in appearance in other ways.

There is another lighthouse at the other end of the cape. In the next series of images, you can read about the lighthouse further to the south.

From there, we headed to the marina in the little town of Ilwaco, Washington.

This sign gave us a chuckle.

There was a walkway with some shops, fishing-related businesses, and galleries. With a few exceptions, they are still closed for the season, which begins around May. We sat on a bench for a while and then headed back.

Along the way, we stopped at one of the few open galleries and had a nice conversation with the artist. There, I picked up my first refrigerator magnet for the new camper...signed by the artist, no less.

As we drove away, we noticed birds nesting in the many pylons in the marina. Hard to say, but this looks a little like a woodpecker.

From there, we headed a few miles north to Long Beach, Washington. It's easy to see how it got its name. Look to the north and you see this:

Look to the south, and you see this. It is legal to drive one's vehicle out onto the sand here.

The seagulls caught my eye, and I was attempting to get some good pictures, thinking I might like to make a quilt from one of these images.

It was cold on the beach, and even the seagulls thought so.

After that, we went back to the camper and relaxed for the remainder of the day. Millicent was finished up while we were gone.

And I went back to work on Hocuspocusville. I've worked my way across the bottom now.

In two tries, I managed to draw out the pattern for the scrub jay quilt. My first try didn't work out very well, but I learned the secret is to start with large sections and then move to the small.

You can see a better shot of the detail of the bird here. The goal is to prevent "Y" seams, "X's" and plus-signs. In my first attempt, I discovered unsewable seams when I tried labeling them for their sewing order. There might still be some "Y" seams, but it appears that everything at least is sewable now.

The next stop for this is to a copy shop to be enlarged, and then I'll continue on with the process of coloring, transferring to freezer paper, adding tick marks, and then beginning to choose fabrics. I'll show you a couple of things I picked up at the quilt shop with the bird in mind.

So that just about brings you up to date on our camping trip. I'll tell you about the quilt shop separately. (That was fun!) Today is an egg pick-up day. Also, there is a mountain of laundry and grocery shopping to do. I'm hoping in all of that to get some more done on the Snips and Snails quilt. Here's where I left it on Thursday:

The bib for the overalls is sewn together now, but I discovered I'll need to sew down the legs at least part way before I can start sewing those sections together. I'll be sewing together the arm section on the right fairly soon.

So with that I'm off to get a start on my day. There's much to do to get back to what passes for normal.

15 comments from clever and witty friends:

Sarah said...

My first thought for the mystery bird was a king fisher but a quick search of your friend Mr Google proved me wrong and I can't get the Merlin Bird ID app on my phone to cooperate. Looking forward to learning what it is. Looks like you had a wonderful trip!!!

Shari said...

Sounds like you had a great trip. The photos are wonderful. Thanks for sharing.

Dorothy Finley said...

Great trip--thanks for the pics--how great to see the eagles.

gpc said...

What beautiful beaches! It's been too long since I've been on a coast. I love our Great Lakes, but there is something about that salt air that thrills me.

Glad the hat had its day in the . . . not sun, exactly, but glad it was useful. :)

Sandra W said...

Glad to see you're back and didn't blog because of cell phone issues. It was a long time between blogs and I miss my daily--what's Barbara up to today--insights and humor.
I've been thinking about the photo of Mike and the fish and wonder if you'd thought about the first day photo of Mike in the the truck. I worry that in the Mike and the fish photo that his scrunched up red jacket will make him looked kind of compressed. I know you plan to fish that but I wonder if it will be satisfactory.
I think the bluejay will be nice, but I would still put him/her on a branch.
Did the cats stay home? Are they talking to you?
Great photos BTW.

Robin in Portland Oregon said...

It IS a Belted Kingfisher. Sounds like you had a fun time.

WoolenSails said...

What an amazing place to stay and you got some gorgeous shots.
Glad the rain ended so you could get out and enjoy it and share it with us.
Love seeing the progress of your new projects, they are coming along beautifully.


Vroomans' Quilts said...

Sometimes it is good to just unplug - intentional or unintentional. Some lovely shots and looks like a great get away was had by all.

claudia said...

Sounds like a great get away! When/if I do get off to California from here, I am taking the route you came up the coast. (Thanks for the heads up on the quilt shop there before the bridge.) It will be after the bridge when I go down, so that will be a good treat for me after traversing the tall, scary bridge.
I'm glad you are home...(a little selfish here) I missed you and your posts!

Dana Gaffney said...

Those are some beautiful pictures, it all feels very peaceful.
Even when I have wi-fi I sometimes unplug, it's nice to get away from all of the "noise".

Wendy Tuma said...

What fun to see Cape Disappointment again, and you went to so many of the places we had been! It was a favorite trip of mine, so many years ago. I can imagine that unplugging was quite nice, and now you can rev up your quilting mojo and get to it! Fun!

Denise :) said...

Looks like you had a beautiful weekend, rain notwithstanding! The "college" sign CRACKED me up! Love that you're working on Hocuspocusville! And you're brother is coming along magnificently! :)

Brown Family said...

IT might have started out wet, but it looks like you had a great weekend for camping. That is a scary high bridge, especially in the rain!

Kate said...

Looks like you had a lovely trip! Hope you've gotten all caught up on chores and are back in the sewing room.

quiltzyx said...

Oh what a wonderful lot of photos from your weekend! Glad that it stopped raining & you had the chance to wander a bit. I never knew about the 'daymarks' either. Love learning new things!!