31 August 2006

Cape Blanco and a Sunset

The 24th of August Bill and I drove down to Port Orford to visit the Cape Blanco Lighthouse. When we went there last year the visitor center and the road to the lighthouse were both closed for the season. This year we drove all the way out to the lighthouse, saw the visitor’s center and took pictures of the lighthouse close up. The only reason we didn’t take the tour is that I had strained my calf muscle on the New Carissa hike and it still hurt like hell. We do intend to return to Port Orford and the Cape Blanco Lighthouse before their season ends on October 31, hopefully we’ll make it and be able to take the tour.

It was windy of course but always a beautiful view. We walked around the lighthouse grounds for a bit and then took off. We got back into town later in the afternoon and decided to check out one of our favorite haunts for beach combing. It was approaching sunset and the tide was out and Bill had the opportunity to snap a couple of really beautiful sunset pictures. We tried to do some beachcombing but with the sun setting and casting shadows everywhere it was really hard. Instead we mostly just enjoyed the sunset. With the sun setting it made the algae that washed up a few day before look really green. Ok, so it’s always really green, but in the setting sun it looked like it was glowing. This picture doesn’t really do it justice, but it’s close.

I know this a pretty short blog, but I have several more coming so don’t worry. Our next blog will be about our Cape Perpetua adventure.


29 August 2006

New Carissa

August 23rd, 2006 brought Bill and I to a long walk to see something that meant more to us than just a shipwreck. The New Carissa ran aground on the 4th of February in 1999. Bill heard of this while still on the east coast, ten days later he wrecked his car (totaled) in Burns, OR. He was on his way here to be with his kids and ultimately get full-custody of them. I had moved to Oregon about a week or so before the New Carissa wrecked to start a new chapter in my life and go back to school. Three weeks after Bill moved to Oregon we met and started our life together listening to the saga that was the New Carissa on the news.

Now let me tell you about the hike to see this hunk of metal. When we were here last Fall we tried to find the Carissa. Unfortunately for us we were not aware that it’s really only visible at certain parts of the year due to several really good reasons I’m sure. Anyway, last year we spent the better part of a day trying to find this thing, including Bill scaling sand dunes, if you’ve never scaled a sand dune, don’t laugh; it’s really hard work. This year we were determined again to find this ship that wrecked the year we both moved to Oregon and met each other. We drove out to Horse Fall Dunes, parked in the lot at the end, walked out to the beach, turned left and immediately saw it way off on the horizon. Bill said by his guesstimations (none of the maps tell you exactly where it is or exactly where you are) it was about 6 miles from Horse Fall. Let me just add that all the images in this blog are from right on top of the ship. We didn’t take any pictures from where we started because it would have looked like a dust speck on the picture.

Ok, so we start walking. How many of you out there have walked 6 miles in sand, come on, raise your hands. I had also never walked 6 miles in sand, and lucky me, it was 6 miles out and 6 miles back. That’s right 12 miles in sand. The tide was mostly in when we started our trip out to the Carissa, so the first half of the walk was in soft sand, the walk back was a little better, we could mostly stay in the wet sand since the tide had gone out. Did I mention it took us over 3 hours roundtrip, have I mentioned that 3 hours was walking in sand? Just checking.

About 3 miles into our 12 mile hike I strained my left calf. I don’t know how or why this happened. I just know that about 3 miles into it my calf really started to hurt. Awesome! Here’s me at the Carissa trying not to let my calf muscle cramp. Actually I was walking over puddles of water, but I had to keep moving. I knew if I stopped it would cramp and I’d be screwed, 6 miles from the truck.

It was really cool to finally see the New Carissa, a ship that has come to mean more to Bill and I than just a hunk of crap stuck in the sand. For better or for worse Bill and I were shipwrecked, as it were, in Oregon and we found each other and have been building and rebuilding our lives together ever since. So seeing the Carissa for Bill and I was a bit of pilgrimage, but I’ll tell you, I’m never walking to it again. NEVER!!

So you might be thinking to yourself, why is she posting so many pictures of a hunk of metal in the sand? I’ll tell you why, because I walked 12 miles in the sand with a sprained calf muscle. The 6 miles on the way back the fog rolled in and it was cold, bone chilling cold. The kind of wet-cold that your muscles have to work to stay warm even though you’re essentially working out. So, since I suffered through all that to see the Carissa, by god, everyone I know will see the Carissa!

Stay tuned for my blog with the Cape Blanco lighthouse in it. Adventure abounds.


27 August 2006

Charleston Seafood Festival

Fish head, fish heads, roly-poly fish heads. Bill and I went to check out the Charleston Seafood Festival on the 20th. The festival itself was pretty lame. They had a total of about 5 booths, none of which had seafood. They did however have beer, hotdogs, and scones, so I guess that covers the ‘festival’ part. And I suppose since they had a kiddy pool with fish in it and they hosted this on the pier that covers the seafood part, I guess. We spent about 5 minutes at the actual festival then went and walked the marina and took pictures of the boats and stuff. The fish heads are the results of this gentleman who was cleaning part of the Tuna catch that his boat was selling straight off the boat. I had no clue Bill had taken this picture until I was flipping through them and found my self eye to eye with them. The fisherman was attracting a lot of attention from the local wildlife looking for a free lunch. It was a lot of fun to watch the seals and sea lions just hang out and wait for the fisherman to through a bit over the railing. Then to watch all the birds try to scavenge that bit before the sea lion got to it. This guy in particular was the big dog. No other seals would go close enough to steal his lunch, this guy was huge!

After watching the feeding frenzy for a bit we continued on and walked the docks of the marina looking at all the different boats. Bill got some really nice shots of the marina. There were so many seagulls is almost impossible to take pictures without them in it. Not that we wanted shots without the birds, I think they really make the shot.

Bill also took the time to snap some shots of the seagulls for me, I think they are pretty. It’s fun to see how many different varieties there are just in this small part of the country. The birds where so curious about Bill they just kept turning their heads to watch him, I think they were waiting for him to drop some food. We were after all, at this point, standing on the little pier with the cleaning tables. So maybe they weren’t so curious about Bill, but about why he didn’t have food.

Another common site for this area are blue herons, snowy egrets, and pelicans. We don’t currently have any shots of the herons or egrets, but this guy was enjoying a swim and some flight time in the harbor. The pictures don’t show it very well, but he was absolutely huge. We got to watch him take off and land a couple of different times. We got shots of one take off, but he wasn’t close enough for them to really turn out very well, even with us shooting in a relatively large format. It was really something to see.

We had a good time that day, but it had nothing to do with the seafood festival. We’ve been having a good time on the Southern Oregon Coast. It’s been a bit chilly out here especially when the fog rolls in, but that’s ok. I just had to dig out my sweaters and jeans. I’ll be posting more soon about our trip to see the New Carissa, the trip out to Cape Blanco, and To Cape Perpetua. This will all be posted in the next week or so as I have time to go through the pictures we took.


07 August 2006

I'm a Slacker

Wow, I’m such a slacker. We got the guys off and back into Portland safely, and then we packed up and moved on the 26th of July. We were intending to stay in Missoula for a week and just unwind and break up the drive. Upon arrival in Missoula we decided we didn’t care to stay there, not for any particular reason other than it just didn’t feel right, so we pushed on to Spokane. We blew right past our exit in Spokane because of a car fire and decided that we didn’t want to bother turning around, so onto Portland. For anyone who’s curious, from where we were at in Montana to Portland is a long drive. Not like we aren’t used to those, but still.

We got into Portland at about 11pm on the night of the 26th and stayed for one week. This week was spent primarily running errands and trying to play catch up. We had some stuff o get out of the guys dorm room that we had shipped to them, had stuff to put in the storage unit, etc,etc. At the end of that week we moved to the Oregon Coast.

We didn’t think that we were going to get down here at all since the place we wanted to stay was booked solid for Labor Day Weekend, which Bill and I both forgot all about. But we called around to some other places and found one that had room for us.

So here we are now, on the Oregon Coast. It’s foggy and cold this morning, quite the contrast from the sun and 90 degree weather we had in Montana. The highs here have been in the low to mid 60s….bbbbrrrrrrr…chilly. I had to get out my jeans and sweatshirts.

Well, that’s about it for right now. We don’t know what our plans for the next few months are as far as were we are planning to stay. We’ll be figuring that out this next week.