Happy New Year

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Happy New Year!

We’re starting 2014 the same place we started 2013 – at the beach. We’ve spent a lot of time at the Oregon coast this past year, and I have to say it’s one of my favorite spots. If you’ve been reading this blog for some time you may have noticed the shift from lots of different adventures to ones that are more coast centric. We spend most of our weekends exploring the north coast of Oregon and the Long Beach Peninsula of Washington. There’s so much to see and do!

We did something this week we’ve never done before – clamming for razor clams. We bought the necessary license, purchased the gear, watched the YouTube videos, and waited for the negative tide to head out to clam. We stomped around looking for a show (that’s how you know where the razor clams are), but only got one clam. It didn’t look like those around us were having much luck, either. Maybe everyone was as inexperienced as we were.

Clamming on the Oregon coast
Clamming on the Oregon coast

We’re looking forward to lots of adventures in 2014. We hope you’ll stick around to see what we’re up to.

Wyatt’s Gardening at Our House Again

Our gardening friend, Wyatt, and his people were busy at our house again making our yard beautiful, maintenance free, and dog friendly. You may remember Wyatt from the time he transformed our back yard from a mud pit to a backyard oasis or the time he helped update our front yard. This time Wyatt and his people were hard at work at our beach getaway planting plants that will do well in the coastal climate, moving plants around, and making the yard a fun place to hang out when we’re not walking on the beach.

Wyatt's all ready to get to work
Wyatt’s all ready to get to work
He had lots of work to do.
He had lots of work to do.
After - much better
After – much better

Doesn’t it look a lot more inviting? They worked their magic in the back yard, too.

No grass to take care of
No grass to take care of
Lots of places for a dog to hang out
Lots of places for Kendall to hang out

A day of hard work must be followed by some play time on the beach. Wyatt and his sister, Stanzie, headed down to the beach for a nice run.

Time for some fun!
Time for some fun!

After a day of gardening and running on the beach Wyatt hung out by the fireplace

Time for a nap
Time for a nap

Wyatt’s always up to something fun. Stop by his blog to check out his latest adventures. If you live in the Portland area, maybe Wyatt and his people can help transform your yard, too.

Last Summer Day 2013

Kendall and I made it down to the coast for the very last weekend of summer 2013. It was a rainy weekend, but we woke up Saturday to some beautiful light. I grabbed the bike, loaded Kendall in the trailer, and we headed out to get some beautiful pictures.

Early Saturday morning
Early Saturday morning
Looking north
Looking north
Looking out at Tillamook Head
Looking out at Tillamook Head
Kendall in her trailer
Kendall in her trailer

We’re sure going to miss summer at the coast. We just had one of the rainiest and windiest weekends I’ve ever experienced there. Each new season brings its own adventures. The summer of 2013 sure was a fun one for us.

 

 

 

 

Speeders

They say the best camera you can have is the one you have with you. While antiquing on the Oregon coast over the weekend we ran into something we’ve never seen before – Railroad Motorcars, or speeders as they’re sometimes called. The only camera I had with me was the one on my phone, so here are some so-so pictures of some really cute rail cars.

A collection of railroad motorcars
A collection of railroad motorcars

These cute railcars are owned by individuals who get together for excursions on the rails. These were originally used to inspect the rails for defects. They replaced the hand pumped maintenance cars from years ago. Recently, they’ve been replaced by Hy-Rail vehicles, the pickup trucks you see running on the rails.

Even though they only reach a top speed of 30 mph, they were called speeders because they traveled so much faster than the hand pump cars that preceded them.

They're the perfect size for a Cavalier.
They’re the perfect size for a Cavalier.

Motorcar owners belong to clubs that obtain permission to use the rails for excursions that range from one day to over a week across the US and Canada. You can see a full list of excursions on the NARCOA web site.

A variety of speeders
A variety of speeders

The speeders were were big enough for a couple of people. Some were hard-sided while others had canvas around the back and sides.

One of the canvas ones
One of the canvas ones
I wonder if that dog fits inside
I wonder if that dog fits inside

This was a nice surprise encounter on an otherwise rainy day on the Oregon coast.

Visiting the Astoria Column

No trip to the Oregon coast is complete without a visit to the Astoria Column in Astoria, OR. It sits high upon a hill and stands 125 ft tall. You can climb the 164 steps to the top for sweeping views of the Columbia River, the Astoria-Megler bridge, the Coast Range mountains, and the Pacific ocean.

 

The Astoria Column
The Astoria Column

 

There’s artwork that winds all the way from the base of the column to the top telling the history from before the white people arrived in the area to the arrival of the railroad in Astoria. You can read all about the scenes that stretch out to 500 ft of art if unwound on the Astoria Column web site.

A closer look at the art on the Column
A closer look at the art on the Column

Kendall and I didn’t climb to the top, but we did send the camera up. Here we are from way up top.

The view from up top
The view from up top
The Astoria-Megler bridge from Oregon to Washington
The Astoria-Megler bridge from Oregon to Washington
The Columbia River
The Columbia River
Looking out over Young's Bay
Looking out over Young’s Bay

We found this cutie waiting patiently for his people to come down from the column.

Patiently waiting
Patiently waiting

As if climbing to the top of the column wasn’t enough fun, you can purchase balsa wood gliders in the gift shop and fly them off the top of the column. We saw some with some pretty long flights and others that dive-bombed to the ground.

Having fun at the Astoria Column
Can we go home yet?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whale Watching at the Oregon Coast

We spent some time at Ecola State Park¬†on the Oregon coast doing some whale watching. Every year, about this time, the grey whales make their way past the Oregon coast on their migration to Mexico. If we’re lucky, we get to catch a glimpse of these beautiful mammals as they pass by.

We packed a picnic and headed out to do some whale watching. Our first stop at the Ecola Point viewpoint yielded lots of people but no whale sightings. We headed down to Indian Beach where we procured a picnic table with an awesome view, and we waited. And waited. Until we saw a blow on the horizon. We spotted a few whales traveling south together and were able to track them south until they were out of view. I happened to have the binoculars pointed in the right direction at the right time and saw a tail come out of the water. What a treat. We saw a couple of other blows not long after the first set, but that was it for the day.

 Whale watching at Indian Beach
Whale watching at Indian Beach
Another gorgeous day at the Oregon coast
Another gorgeous day at the Oregon coast
Looking south from Ecola Point
Looking south from Ecola Point

 

 

Seaside Holiday Lights Parade

Last Friday the rains subsided just in time for the Seaside Holiday Lights Parade through downtown Seaside, OR. We went prepared with our rain pants, boots, and rain jackets and never got wet! We left Kendall at the house since it had been raining so hard, and we weren’t sure how she’d do with the sirens in the parade.

Here are some of the highlights.

The trash truck was all decked out with lights.
More of the trash truck
The 4-H club float
Santa!