Monday, July 26, 2010

Oregon Vacation days 6 – 8. End Of the Vacation.


To read about days 1–3 click here.

To read about days 4-5 click here.

Day 6: Tuesday

Day six we, well I am ashamed to admit this but we went antiquing. It started innocently enough! I wanted to find an antique bottle opener because Landis’s mom still has one and the simple old device works wonders! so much better than all the various piece of crap bottle openers I have purchased and received over the years!

Anyway, the entire coastal area we visited had TONS of antique stores so I thought I could find one here. I didn’t really realize that I was committing the gayest of gay stereotypes until the day was over. Yes world, My boyfriend and I went antiquing along the coast. OMG I think I am going to be sick.

I did find my bottle opener. And got it for a steal in my opinion considering the cheapest bottle opener I have purchased was like 6 bucks and it SUCKED! My fabulous antique was only 2 bucks woot.

DSC_0965 Landis found a wonderful gift for his mother a magazine that was published just before her birth. How cute is that? And then I found an Ansel Adams book for a good price. I also found another out of print book that my mother had when I was a teen and I seem to have lost at that time. So I was happy to be able to replace it for her.

After a day full of shopping we returned to the hotel and found the family was ready to head out to Devil’s Punchbowl so we decided to tag along again.

Day 7: Wednesday

The following morning we found that low tide was rather late and decided to go explore some tide pools. BTW I think they need to reconsider their tide systems. Apparently they are 2 low tides and 2 high tides a day. But really I think it should be Low tide, semi low tide, high tide, and semi high tide. hehe but I am anal like that.

Anyway, we returned to the nearest tide pools: Devils Punch bowl and proceeded to explore.

 DSC_0242 DSC_0246 Devil’s Punchbowl from the bottomDSC_0253 Starfish inside the punchbowl.DSC_0303 Low tide is kind of freaky.

DSC_0304 Sea Anemone CrackDSC_0306 Clam Rock. That’s right all those little things are clams… or muscles… but I think clams.

DSC_0317 DSC_0318 DSC_0323  DSC_0325 More random texture shots. I guess the beaches inspired me.

After our morning of exploring the tide pools we had to prepare to leave the hotel. I don’t know about you, but this is even more stressful for me than leaving the house for a trip. If you leave something home, it will be there when you get back, but if you leave something in a hotel room… not so much. Anyway, after that we had to kill some time before meeting Landis’s sister in McMinnville. So we did our final gift shop runs, I bought my rather expensive set of hand tuned wind chimes. SO worth it. They sound amazing!


Then did the old highway 101 loop again.

 DSC_0336  I have decided I like this better when it is more gloomy.

We still had a lot more time to kill so we pushed up north as even if we made it all the way to Tillamook, there was still a direct route to McMinnville from there. We stopped at Neskowin Beach to have lunch. This is actually a rather pretty beach.

DSC_0360 DSC_0368 I guess this is called Proposal Rock.

We had killed enough time to finally start heading towards McMinnville. On the way out we noticed a sign for Drift Creek Covered Bridge so we decided to go for it. After we turned off, we recalled Drift Creek let out clear back by where we stayed. Uh oh! Luckily this was not a long detour as will soon be explained.

DSC_0384 DSC_0386

This covered bridge was originally over Drift Creek. After reading the little paper that was located inside, and suffering though a terrible overtly religious story (let me save you the agony) This was the oldest covered bridge in Oregon (not verified) and was scheduled to be torn down. Crazy fanatic woman is rather distraught by the news of this and tries to stop it. (I actually would have too personally) but fails over and over. Here's where it gets crazy, then god speaks to her and tells her to measure her own bridge in front of her house. Miraculously it is the same size and shape! So she manages to convince them to let her move it there. Almost bankrupt her, then broke up the family, More religious crap, it finally happens and is reconstructed on her private driveway. All in the name of god! No lady, I think your own wishes to have your name go down in history is painfully clear. But I do thank you for saving a piece of history. Now let me give you some advice. Shorten your rag, remove all the crazy personal life crap, and the god business and you have a great story about how the state didn’t care about destroying a piece of history and you stepped up and worked very hard to save it, and then go on to have it recognized by the historical society. Good job! You saved the history, your name goes down in history, you helped preserve it for future generations,  and you don’t sound like a nutter. haha k end rant. hehe.

We then made it to McMinnville and met up with Jill and Susie. I love every single relative of Landis's I have met. They all have that good ole fashion Southern hospitality that is so rare to come by anymore. They decided to take us out to eat at this wonderful little restaurant on top of the tallest building in McMinnville a 6 story hotel. hehe. But the food was great, the beer was better, and the company was best. I took a few photos while up here, but none of them speak to me. DSC_0389   That is except this random outhouse on top of a roof… seriously, WTF?

They then decided to take us on a small tour of their town. So we walked around downtown McMinnville. DSC_0401 I found the local Stone Mason haunt.

I have decided that this little town is to Portland as Logan is to Salt lake. Cute college town that is an hour or so from the big city. I could totally live here I decided.

We then stayed up way too late drinking Ginger Infused vodka, strait up. It’s actually quite delish. Considering I am not a vodka fan, I cannot believe I sipped strait up vodka. YUM!

Day 8: Thursday

The next morning as we drove back, going back and forth as to whether or not we wanted to suffer through Portland again to see the Japanese Gardens. We finally agree that we are both obviously interested in it enough that if we don’t, we will regret it. I am so so stinking happy we did. At $10.50 a person it was well worth seeing what has been credited as being the most authentic Japanese Gardens outside of Japan.

IMG00277 Another sign that made me giggle. Only in our litigious America.

The first thing we visited was the view of downtown Portland with Mt. Hood in the background. I am not sure if this was done on purpose or was just a happy little side effect, but I LOVE how the most authentic Japanese gardens in the US happens to have a view of a Volcano very similar to Japan.

DSC_0406 (2) DSC_0429 I love these trees!DSC_0434 DSC_0446DSC_0513DSC_0516 The lighting this time of day made this waterfall very hard to capture, but, like the entire area I am sure it is absolutely breathtaking in the early hours.DSC_0462 DSC_0469 Biggest Zen Garden I have personally seen.DSC_0472 Gorgeous!

DSC_0480  DSC_0481 DSC_0500  Obviously I rather liked the random stair cases hehe.


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From there we patiently made our way through Portland and decided to give the Multnomah Falls area another chance.

DSC_0547 DSC_0559 DSC_0564DSC_0565 This is Wahkeena Falls. I had PERFECT lighting. I am really proud of these shots!


DSC_0580 DSC_0587 DSC_0599 DSC_0605 This is Horsetail Falls. While offering some creative shots, it too had the sun behind it so was hard to photograph.

It was starting to get late, and while I really wanted to go back to Multnomah Falls we had planned on driving strait through to home, only 14 hours away. So we left this rather beautiful area and headed towards home.

DSC_0613  Also part of my Drive By Photography this is a parallel forest. I SOOOO bad wanted to go running around in it, but I don’t think the owners would like that. Sigh, they are awfully cool though! and would make for some great photography!

Anyway, 14 hours later we made it home. LONG LONG drive, and I don’t think I will ever do that again. 6-8 hours is about the maximum amount of time I can handle sitting in a car. oi.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Oregon Coast Vacation Days 4-5


To read days 1-3 click here.

Warning: Long post. Apparently these were rather adventurous days!

Day 4: Sunday

Day 4 started as the previous day did, I walked out to the edge of the cliffs and enjoyed my morning coffee and smoke in front of the ocean. I tell you what, there is absolutely no better way to start the day. Well, there is one way, if a whale should happen to swim by. Unfortunately I did not bring the camera out with me this time, but it was still nice to watch.

DSC_0379 Here is a better picture showing the wall of fog out in the distance. Even if we have sun the fog is never far off!

Today was actually very pretty! It was nice and sunny all day! so we thought we’d fit in a hike! But first we stopped by the Whale Observatory in Depoe Bay. It’s a cute little museum that offers great views of the bay, and is good for whale watching.

The hike we really wanted to do was closed for construction so unfortunately we couldn’t do it. Sad face. So we drove around Devils Lake, and then, while looking for a backup hike, we found the Old Highway 101 loop. So we took a scenic drive instead.


These purple flowers are everywhere up here! I think they are very pretty so I had to get a close-up of one.

DSC_0403 View of the pretty forest.

The little visitors guide the hotel provided us did not make it easy to find the hikes. The only one we found was closed, the rest we could not locate so we gave up and went back to the coast.


Siletz Bay

DSC_0412 This sign made us laugh really hard. I know it is a serious subject about tsunami’s but that imagery is hilarious!

 DSC_0445  DSC_0474  DSC_0487 DSC_0494 More seals. It was fun watching this younger seal try to climb up on the rock with the adults. He tried several times falling back in each time until he finally made it up. So cute!

DSC_0581 Devils Punchbowl

We then decided to go to the Oregon Coast Aquarium. ($15.45 a person!)

DSC_0636 You can’t see em, but there are piranha in this tank.

DSC_0638 HUGE turtle!DSC_0640 HUGE crab! these things are about the size of oh… a large pitbull. Not counting their legs.

DSC_0646 Jellies!!!

DSC_0657 Swimming Seal! This guy was rather playful. He kept swimming up to the glass, do a summersault then swim off again.


Landis being eaten by a shark hehe.DSC_0669 Shark Tube! This was the entire reason I decided to spend the money on the aquarium the walk through tubes! I thought they went into the bay, but no they are just large aquariums. This is a lot better than the Salt Lake aquarium! The only thing Salt Lake has over this one is the Ray petting tank.DSC_0686 This just makes me sad. Humans suck. (if you can’t read the little sign it reads: “This trash was picked up on South Beach in only 2 hours.”)

From the aquarium we decided to visit Yaquina Bay lighthouse. It was closed but I managed to snap a few shots anyway.

DSC_0690 Yaquina Bay Lighthouse. This one is actually free to visit as well.

DSC_0707 This is cape Foul Weather I believe. Towards the top you can see Devil’s Punchbowl.

After that we made it back to the hotel and enjoyed the foggiest night of all. It was so foggy everything was wet, including myself if I stayed out too long. It was kind of like really light rain, you know when its just misting, but different. It wasn’t coming down, it was just everywhere. Really cool experience.

Day Five: Monday

DSC_0727 Here is the bay in front of the hotel room. I like that I caught a large wave crashing into the cliff.

Today we decided to spend the 7 bucks (a car load) to see Yaquina Head lighthouse. Happily there are quite a few things to see and do in the area so it was worth the money to see it. Not to mention you can actually climb up this one.

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DSC_0738  DSC_0741 DSC_0749DSC_0750 This last one would have made a better shot if I got people to move their hands, but I really had one thing on my mind. DOWN. I am deathly afraid of heights, and even though this stair case had landings every story and wasn’t just a spiral up, I was having a small panic attack the entire time. Odie of course being the fearless fool he is was goofing around and delaying my reaching stable earth so I screamed at him “F***ING MOVE!!!” only to hear it echo back at me from both up and down. Oops. Sorry kiddies.

Upon reaching solid ground again, refraining from kissing it that is, we walked around and checked out all the birds gathered on the rocks up here. Loud things.

DSC_0776 I rather like this shot.

DSC_0809 DSC_0802 DSC_0822 We then hiked down to Cobble Beach. This is by far the coolest beach ever! There is no sand, it is all cobble stones. The most amazing part of this beach is as the waves came in and out not only did you hear the standard ocean sound, but it was accompanied by the sound of rocks being moved up and down. There really is no way to describe this unique noise but I tell you, if I could I would build a house right on this beach and sleep soundly for the rest of my life.

DSC_0832 If look closely towards the center you can see the cute little seal poking his head out of the water.DSC_0848 I love this shot of me. (very rare indeed. I take pictures, I don’t typically like pictures taken of me.)

DSC_0865 You can see the water draining through the cobble stones.

DSC_0880 I don’t normally do texture shots but this beach inspired me.

DSC_0882 Again, not my typical subject but inspired. Yaquina Head is a definite must do if you are in the area.

DSC_0892 These are artificial tide pools they built in a former quarry. I love that they managed to restore what would normally be an eyesore in a very pretty area. What's cool, is what was not anticipated that the ocean currents changed and filled the area with sand, and then a family of seals moved in. I would say the restoration project was a success!


From Yaquina Head we had lunch then parted ways with the family. We wanted to go down and see the Sea lion Caves.

DSC_0903 Pretty rock formationDSC_0906 Sea lions a plenty

To actually get into the cave it is $12.00 a person. I think its worth it, being the largest sea cavern in the US. You then take a scary elevator down 20 stories into the cliff wall. It lets you out into a cave where they have a few exhibits and then ultimately to the sea lion cavern. I was slightly disappointed as I thought it was going to be a big ol cave system, and well it wasn’t but it was really cool.

DSC_0922DSC_0951 In the caves.

DSC_0936 On the other end of the caves you can walk up what appears to be a lava chute to get a view of Heceta Head lighthouse.

 DSC_0994 Heceta Head Lighthouse. According to the little guide I got this lighthouse only costs $3.00 a vehicle. We didn’t go explore the area though so I don’t know for sure.

After the sea lion caves we decided to continue south towards Florence. On the way there we passed a turn out for Darlingtonia St. Scenic park. Why not we decide. So we drive down a long road that went around this creepy lake.DSC_0005 Don’t get me wrong its a very pretty lake but it was so quiet I was just getting a scary Jason, Friday the 13th vibe. I kept hearing that che che che che ah ah ah ah. Anyway, after seeing a deer and her 2 fawn we didn’t really see anything else and the road turned to gravel. I guess the lake is the scenic thing? Either that or we didn’t drive far enough either way we turned around. At this point we decided to go back to the hotel rather than continue on to Florence. We ultimately decided all the coastal cities are the same and we’d rather see nature.

DSC_0019 On the way back we passed Cook’s Chasm. I learned there is a sea spout here of course the tide wasn’t high enough for it to do anything, but I was excited that I had finally found one! This area offered a small trail so we hiked it.

DSC_0035 There were a bunch of tide pools in the area within the lava rocks. Rather cool.DSC_0052 Another fun creepy trail.

DSC_0061 Also in this trail system was Devils Churn. This is really cool the way the waves crash through the crevice is amazing! It really reminded me of Dragon’s Mouth Hotspring in Yellowstone. Just the violent churning of water in a rocky chamber. What I found rather interesting was you can walk right up to the chasm. There are no safety fences or anything. I kind of joked that that will change when some dummy falls in. Sadly though, you know that is not far from the truth.DSC_0089 Here is the tip of the Churn. Supposedly during high tide the water will gush out pretty high here.

DSC_0110 We decided to pull over at Seal Rock and the beach there. I am very glad we did. This is a cool area consisting of 2 beaches with a ring of rocks that extends out into the ocean. Between the beaches lies the largest, I am guessing seal rock itself. I absolutely LOVE this beach. It is very photogenic.

DSC_0116   DSC_0148 DSC_0129 My brother informed me a day or 2 before this that this was where they filmed the last scene of Goonies. You know where the ship comes out from behind the rocks. Being a few years since I have seen the movie I was totally there. I even imagined seeing the pirate ship coming out from behind those rocks. However, after doing a little research I found this was not the case. That scene was filmed in California. Some of Goonies was however filmed in Oregon, and after my research I really wish I had visited Cannon City while I was up north by Seaside as that beach looks amazing. Sigh. Next year. Next year.DSC_0166DSC_0169DSC_0187 There were also tide pools at this beach.

DSC_0201 Another random texture shotDSC_0204 The view of the other beach that I never did figure out how to get to.

Seal Rock Stitch (2)

Panoramic of the southern beach.

After we climbed back up to the top I noticed a sign I really wish I had read on the way in. Apparently the beach I just wandered all over is an extremely dangerous beach. Prone to rip tides, sudden changes in water level, falling debris, etc etc. Well, glad we made it back safely!

After that we made it back to the hotel room and had quite the exact opposite night than the night before. It was the clearest it had been the entire trip. I just marveled at all the stars I could see, not to mention the milky way! Also, my life is now complete as I finally not only recognized the Scorpio constellation, but I could see every single star that is encompassed by it. YAY!

Wow, that was a busy two days! Stay tuned for what I hope to be the finale of the trip. :)