8/8/20

Just Beachy

We had such a nice little getaway to the beach this past week. It was well worth the effort involved in  getting ready to go. The weather was very nice, although it rained Wednesday night. By morning, it cleared, and our Thursday was lovely too. I have lots of pictures to show you, so get comfy, and we'll get going.

Originally, we’d planned to have dinner at a restaurant we like in Cannon Beach, EVOO. I’ve written about EVOO before. But then we got nervous about the small indoor environment. The food is delicious. The show is wonderful. But, I wouldn’t say it’s good enough to literally die for. So, yeah. Change of plans. We had reservations at a KOA, but then a spot opened up at one of the state campgrounds, so lucky us! We way prefer the state campgrounds to the KOA’s.

On our way to the campground, we passed through the town of Seaside. This couple was kind enough to pose for their picture in front of the chair. (Somebody else was taking their picture. We were just driving by.) Anyway...I hope they aren’t having an affair because they’re documented on this blog now. Busted!
Passing through Seaside, we saw four eagles’ nests. One had an eagle in it.
The kitties are easy-going travelers these days. Smitty was happy to be back in the fifth wheel with its window seats.
Sadie likes her quiet evenings on the bed. 
Right away after we arrived, I baked a little cherry pie for two from the cherry pie filling I canned last week. It was so yummy. Check out that pie art.
The next morning, we headed out to a platform at the South Jetty.
Before we go any further, let me warn you of the many ways you could die out here today.
There are no tsunamis in the forecast, but I should warn you just the same.
In the event of a tsunami, here’s the way out of town.
Oh yes, and in these COVID-19 times, there’s always the possibility you’ll contract the virus, so stand back.
Here’s a little map of the state park. You can see how it’s located on a sort of spit of land on the Oregon coast. You can see we are located in the upper left hand corner. Our campsite is closer to center. I put a little green dot where we parked the RV for our three-night stay.
So here’s the story of the jetty. It re-routed the river in a way more suitable for human needs.
We’re gonna walk up these stairs...please put on your masks, and no backtalk!
They’re doing some work on the jetty. I’m not sure what, but we saw some trucks hauling HUGE boulders. There was an enormous piece of heavy equipment they were using to pick up the boulders, only it appeared to be malfunctioning. Don’t you know the Resident Engineer was itching to get involved in the repairs.
We noticed one intrepid surfer. Even in summer, our ocean water is very cold. Wetsuits are required attire.
Back in the truck, we headed out to a spot closer to the mouth of the river where Mike could fly his drone. Along the way, we saw this bull elk just standing in the middle of the road. Cars and heavy equipment passed by. He was completely nonplussed.
Out on the beach, I zoomed way in for this picture of the Cape Disappointment lighthouse on the opposite side of the river in Washington.
Also, I took pictures of every blooming thing. Here are some thistles.
Here, I zoomed in again for a shot of this pelican in fight.
And some more blooming things. I don’t know what these are.
They were growing straight out of the sand, against all odds.
When we headed back, the elk was still there. We wondered if he was a young bull, maybe recently kicked out of his herd. Possibly, he was disoriented, but he didn’t seem alarmed.
From there, we drove into Astoria. You can see the tall, scary bridge off in the distance. Some people call this the Astoria-Megler Bridge, but we know the real truth, don't we?
As you get closer it gets taller and scarier. It crosses the Columbia River where it dumps into the Pacific Ocean, connecting Washington and Oregon. We had a couple of things scoped out to do in Astoria.
We first took a short hike out to see a huge old Sitka Spruce tree, known as the Cathedral Tree.
I really liked this sign on the gate where the trailhead began. Kind of reminds me of petroglyphs.
Please observe the rules.
Along the way, we saw thimbleberries, or rubus parviflorus, if you must know their snotty botanical name. These are edible. They’re a lot like a raspberry, but with smaller lobes and tiny little seeds...definitely off Mike’s diet. 
Also, Salal berries, aka gaultheria shallon. These too are edible. They use them a lot in their cooking at EVOO, mentioned above.
Here's a picture from a previous post showing just one way they might be used in cooking:
The trail wasn’t long, but it took us up a steep hill to this little stairway...
across a short boardwalk...
and the root structure from the tree provided the final steps up to the tree itself.
I couldn’t do much better than a silhouette of the tree's height.
Below, its roots formed this little room.
Heading back down the trail, another old tree was marked as 225 years old when it fell. As I understand it, there was a big wind storm that blew through this area in 2015. We could see evidence of the destruction all through the forest, but the Cathedral Tree remains standing, adding to its legendary status.
From there, we had a lunch of fish and chips at this place I’d read about online. Think of a food cart, but now put it in a boat, and you have Bowpicker’s Fish & Chips.
We ordered one full order (five pieces) to split, and an extra order of “chips.” So yummy. We’d already eaten two pieces when I thought to take a picture.
It was a lovely day by this time, and so we drove up to the Astoria Column. It's a tall structure, similar to a lighthouse without the light. You can read its history right here. It is covered in a mural depicting the history of the area. I've taken pictures of it before, but not for a long time. You can see some pictures of the art work right here. We really just wanted to see the view from there. We used to be able to drive up to it for free. Now they wanted to knick us $5 to park, which wasn't exorbitant, but we didn't want to pay out of protest. Nevertheless, as we drove around the loop parking lot getting ourselves turned around, I took a couple of shots of the view out the window. In this next image, you can see another view of the "tall, scary bridge." Across on the other side is the State of Washington. 
Ocean-going ships line up here to await the assistance of a "bar pilot" boat to take them up the Columbia River to interior ports in Oregon and Washington.
On the other side of the parking lot, we could see the community of Warrenton, Oregon, and Youngs River, a tributary of the Columbia.
Before heading back to the RV, we picked up some fresh oysters and clams for our dinner that night. Upon arrival, we found Smitty curled up all comfy on the Shop Hop quilt. I'd been working on the quilt binding, but Smitty thought it was finished enough for napping.
Oh yes, and that fresh seafood? We whomped up a batch of Oysters Rockaway and some Fettucine Alle Vongole for that night's dinner. This was in lieu of our dinner to EVOO. Not a bad substitute. 
It rained that night, but the next day dawned with sunshine and warm temperatures. We've visited the Wreck of the Peter Iredale many times, but it's always worth a drive out to see it again.
You can read more about its history at the link I've given you back there...and it's worth clicking and reading about it.
These days, it's mostly buried in sand, and each time we see it, it seems a little smaller.
We warned our shadow selves not to go near the water, but would they listen? No. Of course not. Now they have wet feet.
The beach is pretty clean here...by that, I mean there aren't many shells or other beach flotsam. But there are lots of seagulls.
I like their feet prints.
There were lots of crab shells and crab parts lying on the beach. We wondered if some vessel had dumped its load of shelled crab shells at sea, and we were seeing the evidence.
Also, various bivalves. This is what remains of a Pacific razor clam.
You can drive your car on the beach at certain places in Oregon. When Mike and I moved to Oregon from Phoenix in October of 1978, we found a place to live, and then beat cleets to the beach so we could drive out on the sand. This was the limit line:
Looking in the other direction there were lots of tracks and vehicles off in the distance. It's easy enough to get stuck out here, so choose your path wisely.
There were lots of bits of sand dollars. This was the most intact one I could find.
When we returned to the truck, this van was parked directly across from us. The blue tag would indicate he's staying in the campground, but ya gotta wonder about all those little yellow duckies, don't you?
Back at the RV, we got Smitty out for a walk.
His bravery meter was running low, and so the walk was short...much of it spent under these ferns.
As I've mentioned before, I have a shot glass collection. I pick up refrigerator magnets and shot glasses whenever I can, and we usually have a couple of shots of tequila when we're camping. My collection is probably about 60 shot glasses at this point. We reach into the cabinet (they're stored in egg cartons), and pull them out at random for a quick little blast from the past. This trip's selections were:
Mike would probably love it if I took the shot glass collection into the house, which would free up some cabinet space in the RV, but where's the fun in that? He just puts up and shuts up. Smart man.

We took a little walk around the RV park on our last night there. One of our fellow campers had a sense of humor.
Across from the RV was this stand of Sitka spruce trees. The whole campground is located in a Sitka spruce forest.
Their bark is so interesting to me...kind of like alligator skin.
The walk was short, and so we decided to take one last drive out to the beach. This is the location known as "Area A." We were there at a nice time of day, and the beach grass glowed golden.
Our shadow selves wisely avoided the water this time around.
These sandpipers caught my attention. I tried getting closer, but they flew away.
Mike noticed the clouds reflecting in the water on the beach.
The cliffs were all covered in beach grass, but I noticed these Queen Anne's Lace growing kind of randomly.
Day is done. We head for home tomorrow...which is actually yesterday, at this point.
I was a stitching fool while we were there. I've made my way around three corners, and I'm heading down the home stretch with approximately one side of the quilt left to stitch.
Also, I'm nearly finished with the Appalachian Memories quilt block, and so I'll probably have that one finished to show tomorrow.

Back home, the giant sunflower is nearly opened.
The center sunflower of this shorter guy is beginning to fade, but all those buds I showed you recently are picking up the slack.
The corn tassles are starting to appear.
And the green beans have grown all the way to the tops of their poles. There are lots of itty bitty beans too.
Checking the greenhouse, I have lots of green tomatoes, but none showing any signs of ripening yet. I might need to start cutting the flowers off to encourage them to put their energy into ripening.
Also, another sunflower is blooming in the herb garden. Somehow the squirrels left two behind here, and I'm enjoying them now.

And that brings you (and me) up to date. I've already unpacked the trailer, and today is going to be a slow-stitching day. I'd love to finish off the Appalachian Memories quilt block, and for sure, I'm going to finish the quilt binding. 

How have y'all been while I've been away? Staying healthy, I hope.

13 comments from clever and witty friends:

QUILTING IS BLISSFUL, DI said...

Well some of us was missing reading your daily posts and seeing the fur babies and such!!!
Glad to see and read and see all your photos from a nice trip that had--
luv, di

Darla H said...

What a fun shorty trip! Thank you for sharing your experiences, your great photos, your meals, the cats and your humor.
That's the kind d of trip my husband and I like.

Frog Quilter said...

Love reading about your trip. Interesting pictures and commentary lol.

Nancy said...

You took me down memory lane today. You showed many of my haunts from my teenage years when my Uncle had a charter boat out of Warrenton. My folks would go out with him and my cousins and I would go to Ft Stevens and surrounding area and play all day. As a bonus, the south jetty was the scene of the destruction of my Uncles boat when his engine died while crossing the bar coming into port. The coast guard got all his clients off and were attempting to tow him away from the jetty but the tow rope kept snapping. The tide was high and rough. The boat was lifted on a wave and dropped onto the jetty breaking apart. My Uncle was bruised but walked away with no broken bones but because boat insurance was so expensive the boat was not insured and it took years to save up enough for a new one.
I have been thinking a lot about my Uncle these last few months, his day job was as a Portland Police Officer. I keep wondering what he would think about all the protests and the violence that has been happening recently. I know we have had protests in Portland in the 60’s but they where nothing like what is happening now. BTW, having a police officer in the family was always good for getting me out of jury duty every time Multnomah county called me for service.

MissPat said...

Welcome home. I've been following your photos on IG, but it's nice to read the back story of your travels. Pretty sunflowers. I'e given up trying to grow them as the deer, rabbits, squirrels and chipmunks always win.
Pat

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Welcome home - and to such gorgeous sunflowers lifting their faces. Looks like you had a nice time.

Joan G said...

So happy to hear you had such a nice trip! Really enjoy seeing all of your photos. Believe it or not, those yellow rubber ducks are a “thing”. There are “Duck” stores all over the world - we even saw one in Rome during our visit last year. Speaking of which, so glad that trip of a lifetime was last year and not this year, as it would’ve never happened. Love your sunflowers! We only have two left after mass critter destruction. I have been working on finishing up a few quilt tops and am participating in the Spellbound Mystery Halloween quilt along. My first time working with wool appliqué - quite a lot of fun!

piecefulwendy said...

It's good to see your post back in my inbox, and what fun to read about your trip. Brings back memories of our visit to Astoria, which was fairly short, and we missed all the fun places you visited. I do recall the bridge though - still one of my favorites! I didn't recognize Smitty in that window shot - it almost makes him look brown/ginger! That meal looks so good, but I'll pass on the tequila! Welcome home!

Lyndsey said...

A very interesting post that I enjoyed reading very much. It's kind of quiet when you're away and there's no post to read with my morning tea.

Carol- Beads and Birds said...

Great post full of wonderful pics and commentary. Here I am again, doing my travels through your blog. I fear we are acquiring too many animals to do much more than day trip travel.
xx, Carol

Catherine said...

Welcome home! Great to have you back on the blog, glad you had fun and good to see that Smitty has already given the 'blog hop quilt' a test drive for comfort and quality control.

Magpie's Mumblings said...

Looks like you had a great time! I enjoyed seeing the pelican in flight (we don't have those in our area) and the rubber duck windshield was great fun. Wonder at the story behind that!

QuiltGranma said...

So WHAT is you name for the Astoria Bridge and why? Was the Cathedral tree too small to pose in? I love the fabric you have on the back of your Shop Hop quilt, I bought some of that years ago at Pacific Fabrics and Crafts, and used it for a border on a houses quilt.