Tuesday, September 30, 2008

North Oregon coast...

After leaving Westport, we spent four days at Cape Disappointment State Park in SW Washington. Both of us came down with colds and felt really crummy, plus the weather was rainy and nasty, so no pictures were taken. The park is very nice, and under different circumstances we would have pictures to show. So, leaving there we travelled across the Columbia to Fort Stevens State Park in Oregon. It is a huge park with nearly three hundred camp sites, beaches on both the Pacific Ocean and the Columbia River, and lots of forest land. One day we took a trip into Astoria. We had lunch above the water at the Safeway (really!), and listened to the sea lions barking from up the river. So we went to check them out:

Unfortunately, our video camera was back at camp, so you don't get the noise. And was it noisy! But here are your sea lions, Deanna. Make a trip down to Astoria, and you won't be disappointed.

What is left of the wreck of the Peter Ireland ship on the shore at Fort Stevens Park is pictured below. The wreck was 102 years ago, and this rusting metal is all that is left.
Here is a shot of the wreck from way down the beach.
A brother and sister buried in the sand caught our attention.

Down the road was Fort Clapsop, which is a replica of the fort where Lewis and Clark and their party spent the winter of 1805-1806. Very interesting.
We visited Seaside, OR on a beautiful, sunny day (at least it started that way).
This is outside Cannon Beach, OR:

Then we watched the fog come in. It really looked like a waterfall down the beach.
And on our way south, we stopped at the Tillamook Cheese Factory. We thoroughly enjoyed the self-guided tour, and the delicious lunch (never too old for grilled cheese, Jackie said).

Sunday, September 28, 2008

the ocean and family again...

We left Southbeach and headed for Ocean Shores, WA to spend some time at Western Horizon Resort and transfer Dick's brother and his wife's membership into our name(thanks so much, Guy and Joan--this will really help us). A little more complicated than that but it's done now. We spent some time snooping around this area but no pictures.

One big thing Dick wanted to do was visit his sister in Westport, Wa, so off we went. We arrived at the state park in Westport set-up camp and then took a drive south to washaway beach.

Several years ago Mother Nature decided to change the shoreline, and "ate up" homes, highway, shoreline, etc. The highway had to be moved, despite the best efforts of man to save the area. This is the end of the highway (today). Yes, that's the ocean just over the edge.
Then on to Tokeland, which Dick's dad had thought would be the "next Westport". A lovely little fishing village.
This is the site of the store and motel which Dick's parents ran in Tokeland in the late '50's or early '60's. The buildings are long gone, but the concrete of the tennis court in the back is still there. We met a woman who has lived there for years and confirmed that this was indeed the site. This building sits on the site of the old store and gas pumps. Built after it all burnt to the ground.
Debbie came to visit us on Friday afternoon/evening, and we had a great walk on the beach with the dogs.
Then that night Doll (Dick's sister) with her chihuhua Cabella joined us for dinner and a fire, along with Deanna, Darin and Daisy.

Saturday morning Daisy thoroughly enjoyed Gramps' huckleberry pancakes! She tried to pick the huckleberries out at first, but them got the hang of it.
After breakfast we went for a walk on the beach, with Daisy and CC leading. Daisy saw the water and she was gone.

The Gemmers all enjoyed the beach, especially Daisy.

A future surfer? (Maybe her second cousin Adam could help?)

Later Saturday Michelle and three of her four kids joined us at Dolls'. It was Jackie's birthday, so she was thrilled to have all three of the girls come and share it with her. Can you see that everyone is having a great time?!!
A view of the Westport docks from Doll and Dave's.
Dick and his "baby sister". They really are having fun, really!

It looks like either Michelle or Deanna got a hold of Dad's camera.
Jacob,who is about to have a birthday himself.
And Michelle with Cabella. Somehow we didn't get any pictures of Maya and Macey, who were also along. For those, check Deanna's blog.

Gram and Daisy on the beach on Sunday morning. Daisy had decided to sit in the wet sand, and no one else wanted to pick her up. Gram's coat can always be washed, right?
Sunday afternoon as the Gemmers were leaving, Uncle Dave got home from a hunting trip. We were invited to a roast beef and yorkshire pudding dinner--who could refuse? So here is Dave, sharing some of the leftovers with his three dogs and Shadow, their friends' dog. Think he has their attention? (We can't believe CC wasn't there, too, as she was in the house.)
It was a wonderful time spent in Westport. Now we're off to Cape Disappointment on the south coast of Washington, then on to Oregon.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Bucket list check off, South Beach...

About 1995 we decided to take a camping trip around the Olympic Peninsula here in Washington State. We stopped at all the usual sites. While traveling south of Kalaloch we ran across a beach that we had not seen before. There was a camp host and maybe one or two campers on the bank above the beach. It was such a beautiful place where you could just walk from the car down a small bank over the drift wood and be on the ocean beach. Take a left or right and you could walk for miles. We left but vowed that some day we would return and camp there. I guess if we had a "bucket list" this would be one of the destinations on it.

Our latest ventures took us again around the Olympic Peninsula and while camping at Forks we took a ride in the truck trying to find that beach that we had found years ago. Well we found it and the next day hooked up the 5th wheel and headed south to see if we could get a spot and check off that item on our list.

As it turned out, just before we arrived a large bus (motor home) had just pulled out and we got one of the best spots at the top of the bank and spitting distance from the Pacific Ocean.

We set up camp (no power or water), put up the flag and settled in for a wonderful 3 days of camping. In the distance is a low fog bank that would come and go from day to day.

The tide is out but this is a view from the front door of our 5th wheel on a clear day. A lawn chair for both of us and also one for CC. We had a table, fire pit and a bottle of wine, what more could you ask for.
As the sun set to the west it got a little cool but who could go inside with a view like this.
Someone had built a fort out of the driftwood in front of us and hoisted a small American flag. Pretty cool if you ask me as I can remember doing the same thing as a kid. Yes I can remember back that far. Well, some times I can.
The tide came up to the rocks so when it was out we took long walks on the beach. We cut CC loose and she just ran and ran. She was in hog heaven. That's our rig at the top of the bank one of the times that the fog was pushed in on us.

I would never miss an opportunity to get some pictures of various things on the beach. Like the wind blown sand.
Or the piles of drift wood all along the upper reaches of the beach.
Or the sun trying to push away the fog from the trees at the top of the beach.

It's time to head back home up the hill to find something hot to drink or maybe a fire and a tall cold one. I hope someday to get back to South Beach and spend some more time there. I was a little saddened to find out that it was being closed for the season on the 15th of this month. Maybe next year, or the year after.
I will leave you with another unique picture of a garage that we found. I don't think this one has been driven for awhile or any baskets have been made in the moss-covered hoop above the door.
That's all for now so hope you enjoyed another item checked off of our bucket list.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Do we dare? & Hoh, Hoh, Hoh...

What do you think? Should we go slow or fast across the bridge? Can we make it if we got a running start? We did get out of the truck and took a closer look before we decided...

Not this one, not today. I could not resist these pictures at La Push on the Makah Indian reservation.
We hiked the Hoh national rain forest one day and found lots of moss because of it's near 200" of rain each year. We lucked out and it was warm and sunny. Well it was sunny when you finally hiked out of the woods. Lots of big trees and lots of growth everywhere.

This is actually a fallen tree with moss hanging over a clear creek. The dark green is a growth that is under water. If you look close you can see the blue sky reflecting on the water in a few small spots.
More of the same as this was pretty typical of most of the area. The walk was called "Wall of Mosses" for a reason.

You've seen one you've seen them all...
On the river bank while leaving the forest we stopped to view the bull elk near the river. Had the wrong lens on the camera but I think you can see it in the middle.
Stay tuned here for the best camping site in the world, that is if you can stand more pictures of the Pacific Ocean. Coming soon...

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Still working our way around the Olympic Peninsula

We drove to Neah Bay and walked out to the NW corner of the US, overlooking Tatoosh Island. The 3/4 mile walk out was difficult, especially with CC running ahead. Here are a couple of views from that trip. Unfortunately, the fog was thick and we didn't see the island. Still a beautiful part of the country.

This is a second view of the island off Salt Creek Co. Park; the first is in the fog on our previous post. A little different look.
Also at Salt Creek, when the tide was out, five deer on the beach in the morning. These same deer plus all there cousins had been in our campground every day while we were there.
Then we moved to Forks, WA. From there drove down to La Push and walked out to Second Beach. An interesting hike through the forest, then over the logs once we reached the beach. But very worth the effort. We met a very nice young man from Switzerland who was setting up his camera to get just the right picture at sunset. (One he'd seen in Seattle selling for $3000.)
Because he was having to wait several hours, we wished him luck and went on our way. Just about lost Dick on the way back over the logs when he took a tumble and dropped out of sight. He was okay except for his bruised body and pride. Here is a picture of Jackie, the tree hugger, on a trail in the Olympic National Park. If I remember right it's a huge spruce tree.
Then on to Ruby Beach another short hike down to the ocean and where the river flows into it.
Dick posed in the hole in the rock. Had a hard time getting up to it from the back side but was able to finally make it and kept my feet dry:
And more Ruby Beach:
We have many more beautiful pictures taken since our last post, so we'll save some of them for next time. We have so enjoyed our time on the Olympic Peninsula, and are not done yet.