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A May Long Weekend a long ways from home


This is out ninth consecutive May Long Weekend trip.  Most of these trips involve the rental of a house (with one exception - a May Long Weekend Camping Trip), and half of them have been trips to smaller gulf Islands (Salt Spring, Pender, Mudge, Galiano, and Gabriola).  This year, we decided to heard south - far south - to Coast of Oregon.  I actually visited this area once before with my sister and while I enjoyed it, I wasn't really happy with the pictures (which is hard given how beautiful this area is).  So we packed up a smaller crew (this year we were at most seven, compared to an average year of about nine) and drove south.

Welcome to Seaside!

Family Painted StonesPath Through Stones To The Beach
We booked a house through a local service and after picking up the key, we surveyed our surroundings - a walk to the beach was in order.  The beach was only about two blocks and after so much driving, the walk was appreciated.

Helen And IOn The Beach



Sandy Ribbon Of Beach
  Two things really surprised me - first the rocky beach, and second, the low fog bank.  I was sure that there was a sandy beach here so I was quite surprised to see the rock.  (Most of the beach at seaside is in fact sand, but at the far south it is rock).  The fog bank hung around for most of our trip - I think it's the nature of warm atmosphere meets cold water.  I was quite happy to see the fog because it does often make for dramatic photos.


Helen and Stephen went down onto the sand to feel the water on their toes.  They were quickly reminded that this is the open coast and there is surprising variation in how big the waves are when they come in.  I tried hard not laugh.

Stephen With Fog Bank BehindHelen In Sunset WavesHelen Caught In Wave

The plants here are very similar to home, but they seem to be well ahead of our plants for growth.  I guess latitude really does count for something.

Beach Side Shore PinesEscaped Garden PlantLupin On The BeachBeach Pea Flowers


We found a park bench and watched the sun set.  We were lucky to have such a clear evening and the fog on the horizon made for beautiful colour.

White Crowned Sparrow At SunsetBeach Grasses At SunsetSun Coming Into Fog Bank
 

Wreck of the Peter Iredale

Photographers Approaching Wreck

The next morning we took a brief trip into Astoria to discover the farmers market is on Sunday.  On the way back, we decided to visit the wreck of the Peter Iredale.  This ship wreck is over 100 years old (It ran aground in 1906) so it's little more than a rusting frame rising out of the beach.  It was a beautiful morning so we were just happen to be out in the warm sand enjoying the sun.


Rotting FrontLooking Down HullLooking Forward

Photographers In Front Of Hull
Us photographer kind of descended on the wreck and desperately searched for a good angle to capture the strangeness of the wreck while still being grounded enough to not be a puzzle. 

Overflight By Coast Guard

Canon Beach

Tide Ridge Before Hay Stack

We went back home, met up with Rob and Jeremy (who drove down from Seattle this morning) and decided to drive down to Canon beach.  The Haystack rock is shocking to see when you come upon it, but it is strangely beautiful.   There seems to be an ever present halo of birds flying around the rock and no shortage of people walking up and down the beach.

Hay Stacks With PeopleGroup Shot On Beach
 
We took a few minutes to take some portraits.
 
Helen On BeachKat Near StackJeremy And RobMark Pointing Out Stack
 
Having been exposed to a lot of sun, we headed back to the house for a bit of a rest (and some lunch).   We walked down to the Seaside Aquarium (sadly, a faint shadow of the Vancouver Aquarium, but the "feed the seals" was popular.  Near sunset I drove back to near Canon beach to Ecola State Park for a bit of research/scouting.

  Bay With Waves Rolling InFoggy Hills Over BayWind Blown Tree

None of us brought large games (we once played Diplomacy for much of day), but we managed to find a crib board and broke out the cards. 

Past The Skunk LinePeg Race

We concluded that crib is a long range stats game (like bridge, no single round can unequivocally demonstrate the relative skill of the players), and our two rounds were insufficient to declare a winner.  Still lots of fun though!
Fifteen Two Fifteen Four

Tidepools in Ecola State Park

Beach Side Pool And Foggy Trees
I like the tide pools and our walk on Canon beach reminded me that this area is good for tide pools (not Canon beach though, as near as I can tell).  In the morning (when the tide was low), Helen, Kat and I drove to Ecola State Park to check out the tide pools.  I was blown away by the coastal trees in fog when we arrived.

Foggy Trees And Sandy BeachTrees In The Fog

After a brief walk down, we found lots of life on the rocks.  Anemones are doing really well here (which says to me few people walk here) but there was little else I could find (even the ocher stars were a long ways out).  I was still quite happy with the walk though.

Aggregating AnemonesGiant Green AnemoneLone Aggregating Anemone

Coastal Strawberry
Ecola state park is an underused location in my opinion.  It's a little hard to get to, but it has fantastical views and forests.  If I was back here again, Ecola State Park would be more of my schedule.


Astoria
 
Astoria Column
Astoria is a pretty little town that at one point was number 2 on the cities by size in Oregon.  With the decline of fish processing and local logging, the town is trying to make due with tourism and other nontraditional inputs (they were the setting for a film that shall remain nameless).  Given the history of the area, I think they are making a pretty good go of it.  The cruise ship that docks once a week seems to back that up.


Take Your Pick Of Varietal
Ever the farmers market enthusiast, we stopped by the Sunday farmers market.  In Vancouver, out farmers markets are still pretty much closed in May, but this multi-block affair is going strong.  There were lots of crafts (more than one "oyster Santa clause tree ornaments"), and very little farmers vegetables. 

Astoria Street MarketARare Choice Of Veggies

Local AsparagusLocal Clams

There was a pretty impressive food stall area (including some pretty decent Mexican food), but Helen and Kat were after the local seafood.  Yummy!


Sea lion Cave
 
Heceta Head Light House
Quite frankly, I am often not the brightest spoon in the drawer.  Oregon isn't very close to British Columbia so you know you have signed up for a long drive getting there and getting back.  So what should you avoid once you get there?  Long drives.  Me - not so smart.  Other people who have visited the coast kept commenting on the sand dunes.  Figuring that the sand dunes are in the the south and the drive down must be pretty, why not do a day's driving trip?  Short answer - the sand dunes are a lot further away than you think, and you will be sick of driving before you start your trip home.  That said, the trip south was well worth it.


Sea Lions Napping On Shore
Stephen actually found the Sea lion caves brochure and he seemed pretty set on it once he knew about it.  Once we arrived (and I could smell their bad breath), I knew Stephen was right - this was a destination worth the time.


I was a quite surprised by the birds.   Just as we arrived, I saw two large birds fly by.  Turns out they were Turkey Vultures - a bird we commonly see in the lower mainland.  Helen pointed out a colony of Brown Pelicans.  What really surprised me was the huge colony of Cormorants on the rocks across the bay.
 
Turkey Vultures Flying ByPelicansColony Of Cormorants

Rock Island In Cave
We took the elevator down to the sea cave and I was again impressed.  This facility is old, but it's very functional and the wildlife obviously comes first.  We watched the sea lions on the rocks for quite a while - it was a good time.

Sea Cave Long Exposure


Sea Lions On IslandSea Lions Lounging On Rocks
 
Sand Dunes

Helen On Sandy Dune
Again, not the brightest, I didn't actually know where the best "sand dune" experience was.  We were pushed for time when we arrived and had I consulted google earth, I would have known where to go.  I didn't, so we had to poke around a bit to find "dunes". 

Mark Overlooking Sandy Beach

Helen Walking Over Dunes
We eventually found a park entrance that let us walk down to the inland dunes.  Not huge, certainly not the devoid of life dunes you see in some parts of the world, but still pretty cool. 
 
Lupin Growing In SandLupine Flowers

We walked around the dunes and took photos of each other.  This wasn't the huge sea of dunes I wanted to see (such as when I visited India), but it was still nice to see. 

Mark Taking Photo On RidgeUs Standing On Dune
Looking Cool On DuneHelen And IOn Dune

Sadly, we were running short of time and after our brief walk about, we walked back to the car and started driving North.

Yaquina Head Lighthouse

 
Yaquina Head Lighthouse
The sun was fading, but we saw the lighthouse was still open.  We swung in to take a few pictures.  The lighthouse was nice to see, but it was the massive bird colony that really impressed me.  Very cool.

Murre ColonyOff Shore ColonyCormorants Hanging Out

And then we drove back home.  The next day we drove to Portland for a little tax free shopping (and to celebrate the strong Canadian dollar) and then we drove north back home.



Lupin On The Beach
Tags: beach, flower
Sea Lions Napping On Shore
Species: Eumetopias jubatus (northern sea lion, steller sea lion)
Tags: coast, marine mammal
Local Clams
Tags: food porn
Helen And IOn The Beach
Person: Helen, John
Beach Side Shore Pines
Tags: beach, tree
Beach Side Pool And Foggy Trees
Tags: beach, fog, tree
Path Through Stones To The Beach
Altitude: 8m (26 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: beach, trail
Overflight By Coast Guard
Helen On Beach
Person: Stephen, Helen
Off Shore Colony
Tags: bird, coast, colony
Mark Taking Photo On Ridge
Tags: sand dune
Colony Of Cormorants
Species: Phalacrocorax penicillatus (Brandt's Cormorant)
Tags: bird, colony
Jeremy And Rob
Tags: beach
Lone Aggregating Anemone
Species: Anthopleura elegantissima (Aggregating Anemone, Clonal Anemone)
Tags: tide pool
Sandy Ribbon Of Beach
Altitude: 1m (3 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: beach, fog
Helen On Sandy Dune
Person: Helen
Altitude: 12m (39 feet)
Location: Go To...
Heceta Head Light House
Tags: lighthouse
Kat Near Stack
Person: Kat
Wind Blown Tree
Altitude: 51m (167 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: sunset, trail, tree
Local Asparagus
Tags: market, produce
ARare Choice Of Veggies
Tags: market, produce
Giant Green Anemone
Species: Anthopleura xanthogrammica (giant green anemone)
Altitude: 2m (6 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: tide pool
Looking Cool On Dune
Person: Helen, Kat, Mark, Stephen
Rock Island In Cave
Species: Eumetopias jubatus (northern sea lion, steller sea lion)
Tags: cave, marine mammal
Murre Colony
Species: Uria aalge (Common Murre)
Tags: bird, colony
Astoria Column
Altitude: 193m (633 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: monument
Tide Ridge Before Hay Stack
Tags: beach, tide pool
Lupin Growing In Sand
Tags: flower, sand
Foggy Hills Over Bay
Altitude: 41m (134 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: beach, sunset, wave
Lupine Flowers
Tags: flower
Aggregating Anemones
Species: Anthopleura elegantissima (Aggregating Anemone, Clonal Anemone)
Tags: tide pool
Helen In Sunset Waves
Person: Helen
Tags: beach, sunset
Trees In The Fog
Tags: fog, tree
Mark Pointing Out Stack
Person: Mark
Tags: beach
Sea Cave Long Exposure
Tags: cave, long exposure, wave
Looking Down Hull
Altitude: 6m (19 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: beach, wreck
Beach Pea Flowers
Species: Lathyrus japonicus (beach pea)
Tags: beach, flower
Family Painted Stones
Altitude: 14m (45 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: art, beach
Astoria Street Market
Altitude: 13m (42 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: market
Hay Stacks With People
Tags: beach
White Crowned Sparrow At Sunset
Species: Zonotrichia leucophrys (White-crowned Sparrow)
Tags: bird, sunset
Us Standing On Dune
Person: Helen, John, Kat, Mark, Stephen
Looking Forward
Location: Go To...
Tags: beach, wreck
Take Your Pick Of Varietal
Tags: plant
Rotting Front
Tags: beach, wreck
Pelicans
Species: Pelecanus occidentalis (Brown Pelican)
Tags: bird
Turkey Vultures Flying By
Species: Cathartes aura (Turkey Vulture)
Tags: bird, bird in flight
Beach Grasses At Sunset
Altitude: 4m (13 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: grass, shallow depth of field, sunset
Past The Skunk Line
Person: Mark
Tags: game
Escaped Garden Plant
Tags: flower, sunset
Stephen With Fog Bank Behind
Person: Stephen
Yaquina Head Lighthouse
Altitude: 23m (75 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: lighthouse
Sea Lions Lounging On Rocks
Species: Eumetopias jubatus (northern sea lion, steller sea lion)
Tags: marine mammal, rock
Fifteen Two Fifteen Four
Tags: game, shallow depth of field
Sea Lions On Island
Species: Eumetopias jubatus (northern sea lion, steller sea lion)
Tags: marine mammal, rock
Mark Overlooking Sandy Beach
Altitude: 12m (39 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: beach
Helen Walking Over Dunes
Altitude: 11m (36 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: sand dune
Group Shot On Beach
Person: Stephen, Helen, Jeremy, John, Kat, Mark
Altitude: 4m (13 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: beach, reflection
Peg Race
Person: Stephen
Tags: game, portrait, shallow depth of field
Cormorants Hanging Out
Species: Phalacrocorax penicillatus (Brandt's Cormorant)
Tags: bird, colony
Helen And IOn Dune
Person: Helen, John
Sun Coming Into Fog Bank
Tags: beach, fog, sunset
Bay With Waves Rolling In
Altitude: 77m (252 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: beach, sunset, wave
Photographers In Front Of Hull
Person: Mark, Kat, Stephen, Helen
Altitude: 6m (19 feet)
Location: Go To...
Helen Caught In Wave
Person: Helen
Tags: beach, wave
Photographers Approaching Wreck
Person: Stephen, Helen, Kat, Mark
Foggy Trees And Sandy Beach
Tags: beach, fog, tree
Coastal Strawberry
Species: Fragaria chiloensis (beach strawberry)
Tags: plant
Tags: beach(22), sunset(8), bird(7), flower(5), tree(5), fog(5)
People: Helen(11), Stephen(8), Mark(7), Kat(6), John(4), Jeremy(1)
From: John Harvey Photo > John's Overnight Page > Seaside Oregon
From: John Harvey Photo > Blogs for 2016 to 2005 > Seaside Oregon

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Last Modified Tuesday, June 9th, 2009 at 01:31:38 Edit
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