Sunday, August 30, 2009

Home at last

The last picture taken on the road to home...we were just leaving Astoria for Washington state, to catch the Coho ferry in Port Angeles. This immense bridge crosses the mouth of the Columbia River and the state line between Oregon and Washington.
 The weather had certainly turned on us as we neared the end of our journey.  There is good reason that the Pacific Northwest is so very green. :)
We arrived in the parking lot for the Coho ferry about 3 hours ahead of sailing time which was 12:45. We were told that since we didn't have a reservation (we really weren't certain what day we would be there let alone what time) and we were the 5th car without one, we might not make this sailing.  Next sailing is 5:30 PM.  Yikes.   All we could do was wait... 

While Sweetie slept in the car (he had been up very early that morning) I walked around town.  It's quite a bit cleaner and really more pleasant than I remembered it to be.  There are some great shops right down by the ferry terminal.  About 12:30 the ferry started to load, and load and load... I was beginning to lose hope.  The fellow behind us, number 6,  reported back to us that it didn't look good.  Sigh.  When you are this close to home all you want to do is keep going.  Well, luck was finally on our side.  We were the last car waived on.  Unlucky number 6...  the doors are closing.... no wait a minute... we are asked to jockey forward, back, sideways if we can.... the doors open again... there he is lucky number 6.

We are home.  It wasn't a long trip but with all the special events along the way, it was exhausting.  I have come to a couple of conclusions as well.  I am so not a road trip gal.  I resent being in my car for longer than 1 hour, I have a strong aversion to sleeping in a different bed every night and although most of the meals we had were either good or even spectacular, it's just too much, too much, too much.

While we were away, fall came.  My first photo foray out into my garden proves this.  The leaves are turning color as are the flowers on the peegee.  This peegee is not mine, I only aspire to have one such as this.  It's a very mature plant, the flowers are 8 feet off the ground.  It lives on a vacant lot just down the road from me.  I wonder if they are easy to transplant. .. ...  Would that make my little baby peegee jealous,   maybe it would it try a little harder to excel?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Oregon Du Drops, AMAZING

These have to be the most wonderous things I saw on our trip south on highway 101.  We had sped through Rockaway Beach (really fast because Sweetie was likely terrified I would want to stop and there were so many places I would  just have to visit) but I caught a glimpse of them out of the corner of my eye.  What WAS that ???

Well on the way home, sweetie wasn't so lucky was he. 
STOP THE CAR  I yelled when I realized where we were.  I wasn't going to miss this again!!!     And there in front of us hanging everywhere were the most amazing glass balls, crystal clear, sparkling in the sun.  I had no idea what they were made of ~  I just knew I wanted one.
As I salivated over all of them ( I couldn't take them all home could I?)  Cat, the wife of the artist who created them told me the story of how they came to be.  I will leave it up to you to find out....
What I can't believe is I didn't take ONE picture of them en mass.  This photo is from their web site. I was so gobsmacked as they say in England it didn't occur to me until we were quite a ways down the road. 
My very own Oregon Du Drop will be hanging from it's turquoise ribbon where I can see it every day.   And smile.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

What do bridges, trees and rocks have in common?

I really have no idea what the answer to that question is.  I just seem to have an endless facination regarding all three of them.  I take pictures of bridges and trees and every where I go I collect rocks.  Okay, so I take pictures of rocks too, what can I say. 
With the rugged coastline of Washington and Oregon comes some pretty amazing bridge structures.  Along with the beauty in Astoria (already pictured in this blog) are these three.  Sad to say, I can't remember where on the trip they were.  And I even missed a couple of them as we were zipping along, trying to keep on schedule.   I know it isn't Sweeties fault that I didn't have the camera at the ready!


This is a small collection of rocks that came home from Lincoln City Oregon with me.   I spied the largest one while we were sitting in a restaurant eating dinner. I love the egg shape of it.  Dinner was  very good and if you are ever in Lincoln City, try Kyllo's Seafood. I would make a reservation if I was to go back.  Although, it was worth the wait, and I did get a great rock too. 
The tripple stack of flat rocks are from the same beach. I had to work hard to convince Sweetie that the super flat one wasn't going to be skipped on the water, it was coming home!    After dinner we had ambled down to the beach, jumped a small creek and continued on a ways.  Sweetie doesn't walk when he's not at work, apparently he does too much of that there... 
The lava like rocks in the right of the picture are from Lincoln city as well and those were gathered on the trip south when we stopped at Cold Stone Creamery.  Thank goodness we have those in BC now :)

Friday, August 21, 2009

Day Six, The Trip Home to BC

We drove from Crescent City north along highway 101, the same route we had come.  So many little seaside towns to visit... so little time.  One of the areas that appealed to us on the way down was Bandon by the Sea.  We decided to stop there for the night and explore a bit of the area the next morning.  We found this cute little motel just a few minutes from the beach.  It was the cleanest place I have ever seen and the rates were great. 
We had yet another wonderful meal in a little seaside restaurant call The Wheelhouse (recommended by our motel owner), we did a little walk around the waterfront and called it a night!

The next morning we decided to visit the game park we had passed the previous day.  This little beauty was one of their main attractions.  She was so calm it was slightly unnerving. Her parents were sleeping in the sun (in a cage) nearby but didn't seem disturbed at all that we were so near to her.  If you want to know more about the Game Park ~ here is a link

I know that this type of place is the only way we will ever observe these animals up close; it was still heartbreaking to witness them caged.
 I did get a chuckle when Sweetie and I and a little girl were standing in front of the bear cage and he mentioned that they sounded annoyed.  He looked over at me and said "They could be over that fence in seconds if they really wanted to".   The little girl took off running... and so did I!
  I also have to mention an Art studio I visited just a few minutes north of the game farm, called the Laurel Studio & Gallery.  Absolutely gorgeous work.  Paintings of whimscal characters atop the astonishing rock formations the Oregon coast is so famous for, and amazing textile art too.  If you are going through Bandon, you have to see it.
Next stop Lincoln City, OR, that is after a quick shop through Misty Meadows Jam shop.  It's all about the jams here people!  We bought some Marionberry Jelly, Apricot Butter, cranberry mustard and BBQ rub.  Yummy

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Day Four & Five, Trip to San Fran

I can certainly think of worst places to be stuck when your car breaks down.   This is a view of the lighthouse in Crescent City, CA.  One of the gents we met while waiting at the auto shop told us that when the tide was low you could walk all the way out.  I wonder if he was pulling our leg?   Anyway, it was so beautiful ~ I took far too many pictures of it.  In a couple I captured an adventurous fellow out in a kayak.  What a great way to enjoy the water.  
We did a lot more driving around the city today, we now know all of the ways  in and out of Crescent City.  I even spent some time at the Home Depot here.  I wish I could take plants with me across the border.  So many different species than what we have available to us.  I imagine most of them would require a greenhouse to survive. 
The main beach that wraps around the city is called Pebble beach.  On our first day here you could hardly see anything it was so fogged in.  Today it was just spectacular. 
We weren't able to leave Crescent City until after 3pm so we made the difficult decision not to carry on to San Francisco.   We just didn't have enough time to do the things that we wanted to and get back to BC in time for both of us to return to work.  We know we will likely fly there this winter.  February is a great month to miss in BC....
The upshot of this episode with the car is now we can take our time heading back north and stop in all the wonderful little towns that I saw blur by in our rush to San Fran.  Rockaway Beach here we come.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Day Three, Road Trip To San Fran

I have taken so many pictures in the first two and a half days of the road trip that I have to put at least two on every post.
Now, where was I? Oh yes, we have broken down in Crescent City, California. A lovely lady at the Travel Lodge directs us to a local garage called "Two Guys". I know what you are thinking, because I was too. We manage to locate it after a couple of wrong turns and a quick stop at Starbucks... There are definitely more than two guys at this place. They do it all! The local car repair, tire repair, welding, car rental and hot tub sales. We felt we were in good hands immediately. While waiting for the verdict on the car we met a couple of real characters. One recommended a drive along Pebble Beach ~ where these pictures were taken. The fog was miraculous, the way it rolled in over the landscape. I've never seen anything like this before. I am sure the pictures won't do it justice.

So, the car.... needs a couple of sensors and they aren't stocked locally. They are coming via courier tomorrow. We decide to check into the Travel Lodge next door then rent a car from the nice woman who works with the two guys and jet off to see the Redwood forest and Paul Bunyan. Maybe we'll even drive through a tree.

Here's our little rental car driving through the redwood.  A very touristy thing to do but hey! we couldn't help ourselves.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Don't forget about Nehalem, OR

Between Manzanita and Rockaway Beach on hwy 101 is the fair city of Nehalem.  There was an odd sense of deja vu when we drove through this delightful little town.  Both sweetie and I realized that it reminded us of a small town we had visited somewhere on Maui.  It could have been the beautifully colorful buildings or the profusion of plants and glorious flowers, even the feel of it was so amazingly familiar.  I will have to go through all those pictures and find out where it was.....
We made an ever so brief stop here (this was on day two of the road trip to San Fran and we had a schedule to maintain, or so I was told over and over and over :)
There was rich, vibrant art displayed along side lovely antiques..  We could have taken a car load with us if we dared.  As it was we escaped with a lovely local print, a colorful coffee travel mug (something about a three peckered billy goat??), a colorful balloon kite for my office at work and a sample of some local fudge. Yum

Day Two, Road Trip to San Fran

Don't they say every road trip is all about the food? (Who are They?) After finding this wondrous little cafe in Gearhart, Oregon we certainly were persuaded. Breakfast on day two convinced us that all our bad luck was behind us.... just good times to come. Little did we know what was to be (I think they call that foreshadowing) 

As we sped south on Hwy 101, we came upon the awe inspiring views of the Pacific Ocean. I look at the pacific ocean every day at home ~ but this view, off the coast of Oregon is a sight to behold. The raw power of that water is beyond intimidating to those of us who walk and swim along the inside passage of Vancouver Island. The coastal communities of Rockaway Beach and Manzanita were definitely worth stopping at. We had designer ice cream at Cold Stone Creamery in Lincoln City.

That's where it all started to go wrong again. Yes, folks, the engine light on a nearly new vehicle lit up like a Christmas tree. Okay it wasn't that spectacular, but please.... nothing has ever gone wrong with this car and now, miles away from home... this happens. So, what do you do but take out your trusty manual and read. All is well, not to panic, if the vehicle is still running well, as whew, it was, just schedule a service. Let's mention right now, the thing had been serviced five days prior to this road trip. Okay, on we go.... destination Crescent City, California.
After passing though the agricultural border crossing between Oregon and California, we were just a few miles from our next motel room. 365 or so miles today (note the change from km to miles, we are in the US of A now). Pulling into Crescent City, we lose power. Sure, it's intermittent, it was sort of like a bad movie of the week ~like the cruise control had taken over. We limped into a Travel Lodge and decided to call it a night. Things always look better in the light of day. Don't they?

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Day One, Road trip to San Fran

 After a rocky start ... we left BC behind for Astoria, WA; our first overnight stop on the Road Trip To San Francisco. You know how there are signs in everyday life that make you question what you are doing. Well I can't tell you how many we had on this trip, and as it turned out, we really should have been paying more attention. Maybe it was the broken (brand new) prescription nasal spray (necessary for breathing) or maybe the dash pocket (under the newly installed sirius radio system) that fell into the wiring behind it, and yes, our passports were in it at the time; or perhaps the 2.5 hours wait at the border crossing, or even the abject amazement of the border guard who asked if we were crazy when we told him we were driving to San Francisco... these things all happened on day one.  Oh, yes and lets not forget about the GPS that wouldn't keep a charge. .. ...
We had decided to take I-5 from Vancouver to Astoria, this route had an interesting merge at Kelso we almost missed.  Anyway, Bad Decision. I-5 was a nightmare of really bad and very angry drivers.

After 750 km or so and much moaning and groaning we arrived late in the day to the beautiful seaside town of Astoria, Washington. Just behind the Safeway (with the first Starbucks we saw) ran this lovely little trolley car. It was full of people. I'm not sure where they had gotten on, or where they were going to; but it looked like they were all having fun.

One of the most remarkable things about Astoria is the bridges. I had no idea that along the coastline there were so many spectacular bridges. And yes, I took pictures of most of them! After an amazing seafood dinner at the Cannery Cafe in Astoria, we headed out to find a room for the night. Suffice it so say... not a good idea at 8:30pm on a Saturday. We drove to Seaside, the next town to the south, all booked! Yikes, we then backtracked a bit to Gearhart, a small town between Astoria and Seaside. We were lucky (really lucky) to get the last room in a little motel called the WindJammer around 11:30. More on our adventures tomorrow...

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Tiger Lily

Why is it that deer only eat the lily that you spent too much money on at the garden centre? I have a lily that grows faithfully every year but I have yet to see what the flower looks like. The deer eat them ~ just as they are about to open! I am so glad I can provide them with such a succulent morsel. So tell me .. why don't they touch the profusion of tiger lilies that my sister gave me when they overran her garden?
That my friends is one of life's little mysteries.
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Monday, August 10, 2009

Poetry in Motion?

Last Christmas I bought my niece a magnetic poetry kit. She had seen a box I had for myself that I had never opened. My problem with the kit was I had no where to compose my poetry. So when I got her one, I realized that she would have the same problem. The solution... I bought a pre-cut 14" MDF circle from Home Depot and painted it with Metal paint (not paint for metal... paint that contains metal). On top of the metal paint I put a couple of coats of chalkboard paint. While I was doing this project I decided to give the same treatment to an art canvas I had hanging around.

Now we both have a movable surface to compose poetry with our kits, and if we get really inspired we can illustrate them with chalk. You would be surprised how fast time can go by when you are looking at a bunch of words that can be strung together to make movable art!
Anyone can do this.... check it out here.  Happy composing

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Gardening in Hades?

I had almost forgotten about the blog when a friend mentioned it the other day. It started as a way to capture and record my adventures in photography as I am terrible at sorting and filing my pictures. And since I don't scrapbook (I don't even print my pictures) a blog seemed like a great idea.  However every time I think of making an entry I wonder who would be interested in my world? So in the odd chance that anyone is... ... here I go again...

This summer gardening has been quite a challenge. Most plants (the ones not nibbled to a stub by deer) have been crushed by the unrelenting heat wave we experienced in July ~ then there's the ban on watering.... It's been very difficult to keep some plants alive. But here is proof positive that one of the most common of plants can outshine anything you can buy in a specialty nursery. No water, no fertilizer, no interference from me at all and these lovelies are just flourishing. I can't seem to stop taking pictures of them..... Even as they fade away their beauty lives on.
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