Category Archives: travel

Left Coast and Redwoods – Finale

After a lovely night’s rest and breakfast at our BnB in Brookings, we headed down to the Harris Beach State Park there and spent some time just walking around. ¬†Here’s a few photos from the park.

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J’s charismatic windswept look ūüôā

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Peek-a-Boo!

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Impressive Rocks!

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After getting our fill of the the wonderful ocean scenery and basically having the park to ourselves, we headed back out on the highway to our next stop, Pistol River State Scenic Viewpoint. ¬†From the map, it looked like it might be an interesting spot and lo and behold, when we got to it we were pleasantly surprised to see that it had dunes. ¬†Now this might not seem like a big deal to a lot of people but J had never seen dunes before and she was ecstatic!! ¬†She’d always wanted to see dunes but somehow, had never had the good fortune to run across any on the beaches she had been to. ¬†So, of course, we wandered in amongst the dunes for a while and spent some time on the beach just enjoying watching waves.

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Yup, them’re dunes alright. ¬†With windswept dune grass.

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Wave Watching

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Again, we were the only ones there! ¬†I guess there’s some benefits, especially to a landscape photographer like I am, to go off season in crappy weather. ¬†No one around to get in the way of the scenery except my favourite model ūüôā

Back in the car and up the road a piece to another pullout where I took this pic looking North.

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Our next was for lunch at the Redfish in Port Orford.

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The Redfish (J’s hair in bottom right)

Lovely lunch with some great views there too.

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Having achieved a pleasant state of satiety, we meandered back to the car and headed on up the road again to what was our penultimate¬†stop along the way, Cape Blanco State Park. Cape Blanco is the Westernmost point in Oregon and the contingual United States, and contains the Southernmost Lighthouse in Oregon. ¬†All fine reasons to stop there! What they don’t tell you about is the strength of the wind there! ¬†WhoooBoy….! ¬†J was afeared to leave the car. ¬†I got out and took a bunch of photos; hey that’s what I do, and I jumped straight up to land about foot back of where I launched myself from. ¬†There was a guy in a convertible with the top down and all the windows up just enjoying the views and eating a sandwich. ¬†Said he often comes to enjoy the scenery and wind.

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From here we headed up to Bandon where we stopped at the renowned¬†Face Rock Creamery to pick up some cheese and have a heavenly ice cream ūüôā ¬†We never actually visited the Face Rock but there’s lots of pics on the web of it.

From here, it was head up to Reedsport to pick up Rt 38 back to I-5.  Rt 38 turned out to be a lovely road along the river and through the hills.  Did I mention that we saw sheep in Oregon.  And Elk.  Lots of both!

Once we got to I-5, we headed up to Portland to stay with a friend of J’s that’s she’s known forever. ¬†Had a pizza dinner, conversation, crashed and were on the road again the next morning. ¬†Our last stop was a food court in the Alderwood Mall because I decided to get the pack after all!

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Yum! Indian Food!

And then back home. ¬†Boy, were we glad to be back home in our own bed that night. ¬†We had a great trip and loved all the crazy ups and downs and beautiful places and trees we saw but there’s nothing like coming home after a trip to your own bed! ¬†And on that note, I’ll say amen and leave you all in peace until I decide to write about something else.

Rich 

Continuity

Many years ago, I somehow obtained an interesting African Violet plant.  If I remember correctly, I got it while I was still an undergraduate student at SUNY ESF in the early 1970s.  I was into house plants at the time and I was struck by this particular plant because unlike all the other African Violets I had seen, this one had leaves with wavy edges.  So it made it into my plant collection.

My Mom was also taken with it so I gave her a couple of leaves which she rooted. Over the years, I remember seeing it from time to time when I would visit my parents but it eventually faded from my memory.

Fast forward to 2015. ¬†I’m helping my Mom clean out her house sometime after my Dad passed away and she points to an African Violet she has and says “Do you remember this African Violet that you gave me all those years ago” or something like that. ¬†“Well, this is the same plant” ¬†I was flabbergasted and elated at the same time.

“Really,” I said. ¬†“Oh, I have to have one again.” ¬†Now it has been years since I did much with house plants. ¬†Oh, I had the occasional one, and I had balcony plants on my condos and I have a great rubber tree plant that I’ve had for years but my partner, J, is into plants in a big way and I just knew she’d love it.

Well, I live in British Columbia, Canada and Mom¬†lives in Greenville, North Carolina so we hatched a plan. ¬†The next time she came to visit family on the West Coast, she would bring a couple of leaves and I would get them back to my home in BC. ¬†And that’s what we did. ¬†We had a family wedding in Portland, Oregon and Mom brought a few leaves in her luggage. ¬†She had put them in a plastic ziploc bag wrapped in moist paper towels to keep them from drying out.

As we had driven down to Portland from Vancouver, BC, it was no problem to get the leaves back across the border and into our home.

I put them in water, they successfully rooted and I planted them in small pots.  I gave one plant to one of our good friends who also loves plants and just waited for the other plants to grow.  And grow they did.

A couple of days ago, we were in a dollar store and saw some great pots and I thought, perfect for the violets. Yesterday, I transplanted them and one of them had already started to flower. ¬†That was one of the things I also liked about these African Violets. ¬†They liked to flower over and over and over….

And so the circle is now completed and continues.  I was able to subdivide the original plants from the 2 leaves into 4 new ones and will keep passing them along to family and friends.

Enjoy.

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Rich

Left Coast and Redwoods Trip – Part 2

Day 3

We spent a wonderful morning with our friends in Roseburg Рactually in the countryside between Sutherlin and Roseburg Рand they gave us a whole host of suggestions of things to see and do as we travelled down to the redwoods in California and when we headed back home via another section of the Oregon coast.

We made our way back to¬†I5 where we headed on down to Grant’s Pass. ¬†We wanted to take a coffee break so we got off the highway and just started heading through town. ¬†As soon as we drove by the Bluestone Cafe, I knew we had found our coffee stop!

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The Bluestone Cafe in Grant’s Pass

As the food looked really good, too, we ordered a couple of sandwiches to take on the road with us. ¬†Good decision¬†so we thought until we opened the bags a bit later. ¬†Much to our surprise, although the receipt indicated we got what we ordered and paid for, what was inside was a completely different order! ¬†And as I’m a pescavore and both sandwiches had meat, I pretty much had to make do with a bit of bread and some granola bars for lunch. ¬†Even so, everyone makes mistakes and I’d still give¬†top ratings for this place!! The bevvies were perfect ūüôā

From Grant’s Pass, we picked up Highway 199, which is also called the Redwood Highway. ¬†One of the places our friends had recommended we stop at was Jedidiah Smith Redwoods State Park. ¬†So we did. ¬†It comes up about 45 minutes or so¬†after you cross into California. We spent about an hour there just walking a little loop and having our first experience amongst the big trees. ¬†Here’s some big tree¬†photos from the park.

There were also¬†scads of white trilliums in bloom on the forest floor and I’m still striving for a¬†perfect spring trillium shot. ¬†I take a bunch every year. ¬†Here’s a few of this year’s contenders¬†from the park. ¬†Coast D3-7Coast D3-6Coast D3-5

There was also a lovely bright red mushroom which cried out to be photographed.

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Maybe Hygrophorus coccineus also known as Scarlet Waxy Cap.

And here’s one of the giants¬†just hanging out in the forest. ¬†No trail to it. ¬†I just enjoyed seeing it so nicely ensconced in all the other foliage and shrubbery. ¬†Coast D3-9

So, back into the car and on down the highway. ¬†We stopped at a pull off somewhere’s down the road from¬†Crescent City for a bit of a beach break.Coast D3-10Coast pano D3-12Coast pano D3-1

From here,¬†we headed down to our ultimate destination, the Humboldt Redwoods State Park and the Avenue of the Giants in Phillipsville, where we had booked what we thought was a nice AirBnB cottage. ¬†Hoo boy were we surprised when it turned out to be a pretty down and out motel. ¬†It’s amazing how good you can make something look if you take pictures of it from a certain angle in just the right light.

By the time we rolled in around 8 PM or so, it was too late to do anything about it so we made the best of it.  We headed to the Riverwood Inn, a restaurant/bar across the street from the motel and had a pretty good Mexican dinner so it was not a complete disaster.

Then we rolled into bed and made plans for spending the next day gawking at the big trees.

Well, I think that’s enough for now. ¬†I’ll finish this trip report with¬†the next installment.

Happy Ramblings,

Rich

Left Coast and Redwoods Trip – Part 1

Day 1

J had never seen the large redwoods and I hadn’t seen them for over 50 years ¬†and being tree lovers, we decided it was time to remedy that deficiency. ¬†She was on spring break so we planned a little holiday to drive from our home outside of Vancouver, BC ¬†down the Washington and Oregon coasts to Northern California and the Humboldt Redwood State Park, home to some of the largest and oldest of these trees.

We also had friends and relatives that we wanted to visit along the way so it looked like a win-win no matter how we set it up!

We left town after a relaxed breakfast¬†and the first stop was at REI in Bellingham to look at some packs for J and I. ¬†I’ve been a longtime member of REI and often shop there for outdoor gear when I’m traveling to Seattle. ¬†We tried on a bunch of packs and I sorta liked one of the Gregory daypacks but decided not to buy it right then. ¬†J also tried out several backpacks¬†and nothing struck her fancy and demanded to be purchased so we headed on down the road.

Our next stop was in Fairhaven to have lunch at the Colophon Cafe, one of my longtime favourite eating places that J had never been to.  We enjoyed a great lunch and the plan was to head down the Chuckanut Drive but as we turned onto it, there was a sign that said road closed in 5 miles.  We drove a bit of it anyway, got a couple of views, turned around after about 3 miles and headed back onto interstate highway, I5.

The next plan was to head over to the Northern tip of Whidbey Island via La Conner.  We turned too soon and ended up taking what turned out to be an unintended tour of downtown La Conner and were rewarded by our mistake with a viewing on one of the fields we passed of the largest conglomeration of snow geese that either of us had ever seen.  After quickly driving around La Conner, we turned around and stopped briefly for J to take a pic of all the geese.  There were thousands and the field looked like it was just covered in white birds.

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J’s photo of all the snow geese. ¬†There were thousands!!

Back on track, we headed over to Fidalgo and Whidbey Islands where we drove the highway down Whidbey Island to pick up the Clinton-Mukilteo ferry back to the mainland.  You disembark about 25 miles North of Seattle, where we were headed to spend the first night with my daughter and son-in-law at their place.

Got to Seattle in the middle of rush hour and after getting off I5, we managed to get to their apartment at a reasonable hour.  They live just a few blocks from the famous Seattle Space Needle, which is a nice place to view the city from if you have the time.

Spent some time with them and their friends at a game night.  Then back to the apartment for winding down and calling it a day.

Day 2

After a nice breakfast, we headed down to the Seattle ferry port where we boarded the 11:10 AM Sealth to Bremerton. Coming into Bremerton was quite the scene as we passed a huge Naval Battleship in the port.  Bremerton is a US Naval port and has many such ships.  Once we disembarked, we headed West on Route 3 to eventually merge with Highway 101, our main route down the coast for the rest of the trip.

Day 2 was fairly uneventful at first until we realized the distance we had to go to get to friends we were staying with in Roseburg, Oregon. ¬†Oops, boy were we in for a long day! Well, that’s what happens when you don’t sit down and plan carefully. ¬†This was kind of a spur of the moment trip and we resisted planning.

So we stopped at a few viewpoints and then headed inland to pick up I5 again at Salem so we could get to our friends before midnight!! ¬†Original plan was to arrive at a late dinner time, LOL! ¬†Boy did we mess that one up. ¬†Let’s just say dinner was VERY late! Here’s a shot from one of the view points and another I took from the car while driving!

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A beautiful coastal view from one of the pullovers
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A pic of the mountains and fields taken while driving

And that was Day 2’s scenic memories. ¬†J has lots of photos of the bridge and causeway going from Washington into Oregon but better for memories than blogging ūüėČ

Stay tuned for Days 3 & 4.

Rich