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Oregon

Day 286 – Rogue-Umpqua Scenic Byway (Part 3)

Day 286 – Rogue-Umpqua Scenic Byway, September 28, 2011

I made a quick stop at Oregon’s largest Ponderosa Pine in LaPine Recreation Area.  It is approximately 500 years old and stands 162 feet high with a diameter of 8.6 feet.  From here, I headed south to Crater Lake.

Back in May when I drove the Rogue-Umpqua Scenic Byway, the
snow was falling and several feet of snow lined the roadway.  The two lane road to Crater Lake was only
snow plowed the width of one and a half lanes, so I decided to visit the park
upon my return home.  This time the
weather was glorious:  not a cloud in the
sky, temperatures in the high sixties, and a light breeze that had no effect on
the Crater Lake’s glassy surface.

Mt. Mazama erupted 7,700 years ago and after its discharge
of pumice and ash, the mountain collapsed forming a caldera which filled with
water over time.  The result is Crater
Lake, six miles wide and more than 1,900 feet deep.  The intense, sapphire blue lake lies
encircled by green forests.  Even a few
patches of snow remained near its surface.

The lake is considered sacred by the Klamath Indians who refused to acknowledge its existence to outsiders.  Not surprisingly, many Indian legends are associated with the lake including gazing at the waters was thought to be fatal.  An outsider searching for gold, John Wesley Hillman, finally discovered the lake in 1853 and named it “deep blue lake”.  Over the years, the name changed, but the 1869 name, Crater Lake, stuck and in 1902, Crater Lake became the nation’s sixth national park.

I sort of wish I made it to the lake when the cliffs were
covered in snow to compare the difference.
Today, it was hard to believe there could be any snow.  I stopped at countless overlooks and each
view seemed more beautiful than the last.
The crater walls reflected on the lake’s mirrored surface as I chatted
with a couple from New Jersey.  They were
traveling for ten weeks and had visited Glacier as well as Oregon’s coast
around the same time.  They suggested
that I visit Mount St. Helen’s National Monument.  I missed it this trip, but thinking about it, I
bet it is very interesting given the eruption was so recent.

After driving the circle around the lake, I turned southeast
toward Redding, CA.  The last time I
stayed in Redding, I awoke to the circus coming to town near the convention
center where I was parked.  This time, I
parked at the Wal-Mart despite the posted signs “No RV Parking” and I found
several fellow campers.  I asked a long
haired, blond man whose dog ran across the parking lot if he had camped here
before, as I didn’t want to get set up just to be chased out.

He replied, “Oh, yes ma’am.
It’s pretty quiet.”  As he pointed
off to the right, he said,  “that guy lives here.”  I felt like I was joining a small little
community.  I would have been more
social, but my head was pounding while I was trying to adjust from 25 degrees
this morning to 90 degrees this early evening.
Tomorrow, I plan on visiting Lassen National Park which was completely
closed in May due to snow.  Being from
Texas, it’s hard for me to think of May as winter and September as summer.  But that is what it is like here…ETB

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Oregon

Day 285 – Cascades Lakes Highway

Day 285 – Cascade Lakes Highway, September 27, 2011

The skies were clear in Bend when I headed west into the
Deschutes National Forest via the Cascade Lakes Highway.  Once I got into the mountains; however, it
was a different story:  overcast and
misty.  I can only imagine the beauty of
Sparks Lake in the sunlight.  I rounded
the bend and came across a golden prairie, perfectly flat like a parking lot,
situated in between the evergreen covered mountains.  It was such a stark contrast that it was
simply remarkable despite the poor weather.
At first, I didn’t even see the lake, only a narrow stream which wound
through the meadow.  In fact, when I
stopped to snap a photo, a placard claimed the Ray Atkeson, a professional
photographer, felt this was the most stunning landscape in Oregon.

From Sparks Lake we moved a bit further to Devils Lake which
normally presents visitors with an eerie optical illusion.  Its crystal clear waters and shallow white
pumice bottom makes it seem as if boats are floating in midair.  Today, I couldn’t see the bottom, but its
waters changed from brown to emerald green to aqua from one end of the lake to
the other.  This area has historic
significance due to the inhabitance of Indians for the past 10,000 years as well as a
rock from this area was taken to the moon by astronaut James Irwin.

Our drive continued past more lakes including Elk Lake, Lava
Lake, and Little Lava Lake.  We found an
old guard station as well as a few deer hiding out under the bushes.  Once we turned south toward Crane Prairie
Reservoir, the skies cleared for Petey and me to take a walk at Osprey Point.

The information sign claimed Osprey stayed around the area
until early October, but in late September, I didn’t see signs of any.  While the birds weren’t diving into the water
for fish, their primary source of food, the chipmunks were actively scurrying
around with nuts preparing for the winter.
Upon return from our stroll through the woods to the open grasslands we
visited the grave of William Quinn, a 25 year old pioneer who died when accidentally
being shot during a hunt.

From here, we turned east toward Newberry National Volcanic
Monument.  The line of trees edging the
highway looked as if someone had driven by with a blow torch and burned the
center of them.  They must have survived
a fire at some point in their lifetime with their base and tops green.

Newberry National Volcanic Monument is home to Newberry
Crater.  Now dormant, this huge,
partially collapsed volcano has formed a five-mile-wide caldera.  Inside the caldera are a 100 foot waterfall,
two lakes, and an obsidian lava flow.  We
took the walk to Paulina Falls first and enjoyed the view from both above and
below the falls.

Next we followed a very rough road four miles up to Paulina
Peak, the highest point on the rim at 7,985 feet.  The
summit provided a 360 degree view of the surrounding landscape which was
absolutely magnificent despite the ferocious wind.

We bounced back down the road and continued to the Big
Obsidian Flow, Oregon’s youngest lava flow aging 1,300 years old.  A mile loop led me through the piles of
pumice and obsidian.  The surface of this
lava flow cooled before the atoms had time to organize into crystal thus the
flow is essentially glass as it contains 73% silica just as in a window.  The flow is about 150 feet high and covers
1.1 square mile or 400 soccer fields.  At times I felt like I was walking on the moon.
Obsidian is so sharp, it has been used as a scalpel and the incisions
cut by the obsidian healed better than those made by the steel scalpel.  Perhaps I should have had the branch cut out
of my leg with obsidian!

From here, we found a campsite at LaPine State Recreation
Area in order to take advantage of the shower facilities.  Tomorrow I plan on revisiting Crater Lake
since snow stopped me in May.  ETB

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Oregon

Day 284 – Mount Hood – Columbia River Gorge Loop (Part 4)

Day 284 – Mount Hood – Columbia River Gorge Loop, September 26, 2011

We awoke to another dreary day which kept me from any hikes
first thing in the morning.  Just along
the highway, we made our first stop at the reconstructed Barlow Road Tollgate.  Opened by Sam Barlow in 1846, this passageway was the first toll road on the Oregon Trail.
Prior to the opening, pioneers had to convert their covered wagons into
rafts and ride the rapids of the Columbia River.  Travelers paid 25 cents to pass through the
gate and meeting the toll man was even a social occasion as they hadn’t seen
anyone for miles.

After visiting the tollgate, we turned off the highway to
follow a road to the north that climbs six miles past a handful of waterfalls
to Timberline Lodge for a close up view of Mount Hood.  The lodge was built during the Great
Depression.

From the lodge, we returned to the highway and continued
east through the forested mountains to Trillium Lake.  The drizzle had subsided, so Petey and I
strolled around the lake’s edge while a few folks tried their luck at
fishing.  On a sunny day, Oregon’s
highest peak (Mount Hood) reflects in its waters.  Today was a different story.  The cloud covered Mount Hood wasn’t distinguishable
in the lake’s rippling surface.

After our short walk, we turned south toward Bend.  Within ten miles, we had gone from the lush,
fern covered forest to golden prairies peppered with lava rock as the cool,
damp air turned warm.  We reached Bend
after a 100 mile drive and stopped at Lava Lands where we spiraled up a road
that wrapped around Lava Butte, a cinder cone standing 500 feet above sea level.  The windy summit offered superb views of the
surrounding desert and cinder cones.

I wandered around the summit for a few minutes before taking
cover from the whipping wind and headed toward Benham Falls, four miles
south.  Petey and I took a lovely walk
across a bridge and along the Deschutes River though we never found the
falls.  We did, however, find a river
ruler at the trailhead.  The cableway,
installed in 1905, measured the river’s flow.

A little further south we found Lava Cast Forest.  The lava cast forest was formed over 6,000 years
ago when Newberry Volcano erupted.
Pahoehoe lava flowed into the forest and as it cooled and encased the trees in
stone.  Holes known as tree molds are
left in the lava.  New shrubs and trees
are now trying to take hold in this lava covered area.

From the lava forest, we retraced our  tracks back to Bend to watch the ugly
Cowboy/Redskin football game at a bar conveniently located across from a
Wal-Mart!  ETB

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Oregon

Day 283 – Mount Hood – Columbia River Gorge Loop (Part 3)

Day 283 – Mount Hood – Columbia River Gorge Loop, September 25, 2011

Yesterday’s rest day got a little interesting around
4pm.  I ran to the grocery store which
was next to the vet that Petey needed to visit for another urinary tract
infection.  As I was walking across the
parking lot with two plastic grocery bags and a pot of mums for Casey, I
witnessed two guys chasing another guy holding a canvas basket about the size
of a laundry basket in both hands as he sprinted out of the parking lot.  The chasers yelled, “Stop” and “Security”.  A burglary was unfolding in front of me.  I was somewhat helpless with my hands full
and an injured leg, but I noticed a beat up maroon car, which had briefly
squealed its wheels, pull out and drive toward the suspect.  I thought, “Oh good, the long, strawberry
blond haired, blue eyed guy was going to help catch the burglar, but he turned
out to be driving the getaway car!  All I
could do was give the two chasers his description as I heard them speaking with
the 911 operator.  The burglar had stolen
$150 worth of merchandise from a beauty supply store, including Crest Whitening
Strips!  I guess he was a shoplifter with
a getaway vehicle whose license plate wasn’t covered as was therefore turned into
the police.  Hopefully the Portland
police are better detectives than the ones in Dallas who couldn’t find the
burglars that stole my shingles despite having the license plates and VIN numbers
to the vans they used to steel things from my home construction site!

So after a nice dinner with the family and breakfast the
next day, I slowly set out toward Mount Hood.
It was a rainy Sunday, and I have become a fair weather hiker as of
late.  I know if I lived in Oregon, I
wouldn’t have that option if I ever wanted to do something outside, but I’m on
the home stretch, I think I’ve hiked for 300 days in a row.  In addition, I had a bit of a headache, so instead
of hiking, I drove through Sandy, stopped at Wildwood Recreation Area briefly,
and then found a campground in Mount Hood National Forest where I parked
VANilla and after a nap, read a book.  It’s
an old book, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.  I also couldn’t resist snapping a photo of a
fellow camper’s site.  The person put up
a hammock and tied a coconut bar and a purple lei to a post outlining the parking
space.  Until tomorrow…ETB

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Oregon

Day 280 – Mount Hood – Columbia River Gorge Loop (Part 2)

Day 280 – Mount Hood – Columbia River Gorge Loop, September
22, 2011

Another great day in the gorge!  Our morning started out at the sturgeon fish
hatchery.  I was expecting to take a walk to
some sort of tank; see a giant, prehistoric looking fish; and then leave…a
fifteen minute stop or so.  I spent an
entire hour there!  One area was historic
and included several old white buildings, one which operated as an egg
incubator house.  The hatchery incubates
15 million eggs to the eyed stage.

The hatchery purchases half a million pounds of feed to
nourish 10 million fish annually.  Fish
is the main ingredient in the food which also includes proteins, fats and
carbohydrates.  Fish may be tracked in a
variety of ways, but Oregon hatchery fish are tagged with a coded wire in their
snout and have their adipose fin clipped.

This particular fish hatchery raised salmon, steelhead, and
sturgeon.  Sturgeon, between five to
seven feet and 120 – 150 pounds, hovered in the shaded ponds.  Sturgeon this big are around 25 years
old.  Females do not spawn until they are
over six feet and have reached at least 20 years of age.  Male spawn once they have reached four feet
and twelve years.  One pond included an
underwater viewing area where we could watch the tough skinned fish with rows
of bony plates called scutes feel their way along the bottom with help from
four barbells which projected from their snouts.

Ducks also seemed to enjoy the fish ponds.  They flew from one pond to the next and
sometimes seemed to fight for their territory or companion as they played their
own version of duck, duck, goose while swimming in circles pecking at one
another.  Occasionally, they raised up on
their tail, fanning their wings and quacking up a storm while others simply
rested on the rock wall between the pond and the flower gardens.

The salmon area wasn’t quite as tranquil as the sturgeon and
steelhead ponds.  They swam into a maze
like cage area and smashed against wood planks from which the water was flowing
trying to follow the “current” upstream.

After visiting the hatchery, we stopped at Ainsworth State
Park for a hike up the lush hillside to walk behind a waterfall.  The trailhead started at the base of
Horsetail Falls which was visible from the historic highway.  In fact, many visitors parked in the roadside
lot for a quick view of the narrow falls which cascaded over a mossy rock into
a blue pool of water.  Petey and I took
the somewhat steep, rocky path which switched back and forth up the hillside of
ferns and lush underbrush.  With some
frequency at the beginning of our walk, we passed by slugs and objects that
looked like dog pooh covered in white fuzz.
There were so many of these objects with approximately the same amount
of fuzz, it had to be something else.  In
addition, a few frogs hid in the greenery on the trail’s edge.

Eventually we made the half mile jaunt to the upper falls,
known as Ponytail Falls, which couldn’t be seen from the roadway.  We walked behind the falls as it shot over
the rocky shelf into the pool before continuing down the hill.

From these falls, we made a quick stop at Oneonta Gorge
covered in an array of lichen.  I had
hoped to take a trail farther into the gorge, but the only one I found was
rather over grown and being in poison oak country, I opted against trouncing
through the brush.  Instead, we went on
to visit a few more waterfalls, the most
popular being Multnomah Falls.  We found
one of the last parking spots in an enormous lot across from a visitor’s
center, gift shop, and bistro!  It was a
little too commercialized for me as people were in the way of my photos!  No, actually it was a very pretty, two-tiered
fall that I could barely fit into my camera lens as it plunged 620 feet over
the sheer cliff.  A lovely stone bridge
crossed its path at the midway point to provide glorious views.

Our next waterfall stop was called Kahweena Falls.  From the highway it looked a like a creek
rolling down the hillside, but after a short walk up the path, we came to
another bridge where the falls tumbled over a mossy edge and sprayed the bridge
and surrounding area which proved challenging to get a photo without water
dots!

We took a break from waterfalls and made our last stop of
the day at the Vista House, an observatory perched on Crown Point, 700 feet
above sea level.  The construction of the
sandstone, temple-shaped building began in December of 1916, six months after
the highway was completed.  The insides
are of marble and the roof is made of matte-glazed green tile.  Needless to say, the location alone offers
tremendous views of the gorge and it is home to a geocache.  Unfortunately, someone was sitting by the
hide, so I had to log a “did not find”, but in retrospect, I think it was
another cacher.  Oh well!

View from Ponytail Falls

All in all, we enjoyed another sunny, breezeless day in
Oregon; a rare treat!  In fact, I’d go
out on a limb and say it was hot in the balmy mid-eighties.  I’m certain my Texas friends and family would
have been wearing a sweater.  I ended the
day at Casey’s again…my third time in a week.
Little did she know she was signing up to house a patient.  I’m so indebted to her!  She called her friend Sharon, an ER nurse,
who removed my stitches and steri-stripped my wound.  I’m SO glad she was able to do it as it
appears to need a little more help healing, and she suggested I rest a
day.  I suppose that is what I’ll be
doing tomorrow.  ETB

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Oregon, Washington

Day 279 – Columbia River Road (Part 2) and Mount Hood – Columbia River Gorge Loop

Day 279 – Columbia River Road and Mount Hood – Columbia River Gorge Loop, September 21, 2011

Another wonderful day in the Pacific Northwest!  After a quick snapshot of Mount Adams, I took
a short jaunt west from Trout Lake to explore an ice cave.  I expected to be taken on a guided tour, but
instead found myself alone in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest.  Beneath the evergreens by a picnic area is
the entrance to a lava tube.  The cold air
from the winter is trapped inside the cave forming an ice pool with stalagmite
ice crystals poking upward from the floor.
Based on the information board map drawing there are two ice
pools, a natural bridge, a crystal grotto, a crack room, and a few pits.   I only
explored the first ten feet of the 400 foot cave as I was alone and had no
intention of falling on ice and sharp lava in the dark!  I also followed a path above ground which led
to the crack room and the pits.  Had I
had the proper equipment and a partner, I would have liked to see the crystal
grotto.  I bet it would be fantastic
especially closer to winter time.  The
weak beam on my flashlight just barely illuminated the area from a distance,
but neither my eyes nor my camera were successful in focusing on much!

From the ice caves, we continued slightly further west into
the forest where we found a natural bridge which looked like it was formed when
a lava tube collapsed.  Bushes whose
leaves were beginning to turn red with the fall weather blanketed the ravine as
Douglas firs, red alders, and hemlocks reached to the sky in the surrounding
forest.

Late morning, Petey and I finally left the forest and headed
back toward the river’s edge.  As we
followed along Highway 14, the moist forest climate turned arid upon reaching barren,
golden hills.  Amid these hills, is a
French-style chateau which houses the Maryhill Museum of Art.  The chateau, constructed of concrete, was the
inspiration of turn-of-the-century capitalist Sam Hill.  Paintings by Rodin and other European masters
can be found inside while a variety of sculptures can be found on the shaded,
manicured grounds where peacocks strut.

In addition we stopped at a few roadside viewpoints
including one near Celilo Falls, a sacred Indian fishing area, which now lies
beneath the dammed river.  Indians
accepted $26 million in 1957 in exchange for allowing the Dalles Dam to flood
and silence the falls.

Just a few miles east of the museum, we visited Stonehenge,
a concrete replica of the original, which Hill built as a memorial to
Washingtonians who fought in World War I.
Hill’s Stonehenge was the first monument in our nation to honor military
personnel.  It is said that the Quaker
pacifist began constructing the monument which was completed in 1929 after
visiting England during the 1914-18 conflict and was told it had been used for
human sacrifices to pagan gods.  Today,
the sacrifice legend is generally discredited, and it is believed Stonehenge was
a device used by stone-age astronomers to measure time and mark seasons.

After visiting the monument, we crossed the Columbia River
to follow its southern banks back toward the west in northern Oregon.    After
passing through The Dalles, I maneuvered VANilla along the historic Columbia
River Highway which switched back and forth up Oregon’s hills.  Ornate guard rails lined the winding
road:  some of painted white wood and
some of chiseled stone decorated with arches.
We enjoyed a lovely view from the Rowena Overlook on a still, calm
day.  It would have been tough to guess
that the Columbia River Gorge is one of the best windsurfing places in the
nation today.

We finished the day at a town campground along the river in
Cascade Locks.  I was pleased to happen
upon the quaint, sixteen spot area with free showers until I realized it would
be a noisy night.  I was camped about
twenty yards from active train tracks!
Still, it was a nice place to find.
ETB

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Oregon

Day 277 – Oregon Coast Highway (Part 3)

Day 277 – Oregon Coast Highway, September 19, 2011

I found a campsite last night at Fort Stevens State Park
which didn’t make my scenic drives book.
The campgrounds were enormous:
550 sites.  It was like a small city.  Before I left the park this morning, I
enjoyed some of the sites; the first being the wreck of the Peter Iredale.  There is nothing special about the wreck of
the Peter Iredale.  It was simply a ship
that had sailed 28 days from Mexico that was bound for Portland to pick up some
cargo.  Strong winds and rough seas
forced it onto the shore where a portion of the ship remains today and has
become a popular tourist attraction and hence its fame.

Just inland from the beach is Coffenbury Lake.  The tranquil lake, nestled in the trees, is
stocked with trout and a popular fishing location for campers.  Petey and I took a short walk along its shore
before turning north to Astoria.

Astoria, a bustling seaport, is located where John Jacob
Astor’s fur-trading company established a post that became the first permanent
European settlement in the Pacific Northwest.
At first I was slightly disappointed, but then I drove to the top of
Coxcomb Hill to visit the Astoria Column.
I’m not sure what I expected; but the Column 125 feet high and constructed
of concrete was remarkable.  It is one of
12 historical markers erected in the early 1900s between Minnesota and Oregon.  The markers were a pet projected of Ralph
Budd, president of the Great Northern Railroad.
His goal was to salute explorers and early settlers for their contributions.  John Jacob Astor’s grandson and the railroad
financed the cost of the Column and the thirty acre site.  The city prepared the land and access
road.

The Column was dedicated in 1926 and cost just over $27,000
to construct.  It includes a 164 step
staircase which was replaced in 2008 for $600,000!  A frieze, over 500 feet long, of 22
significant events that occurred in the region wraps around the exterior of the
Column.  The Italian Renaissance art form
used to decorate the Column is called sgraffito which combines paint and
plaster carvings.  Italian immigrant
artist, Attilo Pusterla depicted scenes such as Indians greeting explorers, the
Lewis and Clark expedition reaching the Pacific, and the arrival of the
railroad with over 200 brown figures.

The views from Coxcomb Hill which rises 600 feet above the
Columbia River were breathtaking.  To the
north a barge approached the Astoria Bridge that connects Washington to Oregon
as fog enshrouded the southern coast of Washington.  To the south rivers snaked through the lush
green hillsides while low clouds hung above the evergreens.  I’m certain the views from the top of the
Column, from which visitors may also throw a small wooden glider off the
balcony and see where it lands, would have also been spectacular except that a
cloud blew in and blanketed the area.

Before leaving and turning south toward Fort Clatsop
National Monument, I grabbed a cache hidden to the side of a nearby trail and
also logged the Column as a virtual cache.
I was just pleasantly surprised by the whole experience.  Fort Clatsop National Monument marks the
location where Lewis and Clark with their crew wintered upon reaching the
Pacific Ocean.  I visited the rebuilt
fort and followed a path to Netul Landing where the expedition came ashore
after its journey along the Columbia River.
Along the way I stepped over a slug and spotted a bald eagle!

In addition, the path led me past remnants of the logging
industry.  Poles or pilings, logs from 80
year old Douglas fir trees, are 60 feet in length and are embedded 20 feet into
the river bottom.  The rows of piling
were used during log sorting and raft making processes.

From Fort Clatsop National Memorial, we continued south
along the coast to Cannon Beach where a 235 foot tall Haystack Rock towers
above.   The bullet shaped monolith is
one of the most photographed sights on the coast…naturally I snapped a few
photos myself.

After a morning outside on a windy, yet glorious day, I
reached Tillamook and took a self-guided tour of the cheese factory.  Forty pound cheese blocks ride conveyor belts
to cutters where the cheese is sliced into two pound loaves.  Workers peel a thin layer of cheese off the
top and sides of the block which gets dumped into a container for
shredding.  Thereafter, the two pound
loaves are sorted.  If the cheese loaf is
over two pounds it is shaved.  If it
weighs less than two pounds a thin layer of cheese is added.  The loaves are then packed and sent to the
warehouse to age.

The factory includes eight vats of milk.  Each vat holds 53,000 pounds of milk.  It takes ten pounds of milk to make one pound
of cheese.  On average, each vat makes
three batches of cheese per day.  Over
1.7 million pounds of milk arrive at the plant every day and approximately 167,000
pounds of cheese are processed daily.

There are 120 dairy farms in Tillamook County with around
28,000 cows.  The average herd size is
150-200 cows.  For every milking cow, the
farm generally has a young cow as well.
It costs $1,500 to $2,000 each year to feed a milking cow and half that
for a non-producer.  The average yearly gross
income per cow is $3,500.  A cow can
drink a bathtub full of water per day.
It takes two gallons of water to produce one gallon of milk, and a cow
can produce six to eight gallons of milk a day (100 glasses).  There are approximately 350 squirts of milk
in a gallon!

After the self-guided tour I sampled a variety of the cheeses.  Tillamook is best known for its medium cheddar, though the line at the ice cream counter made it seem like ice cream was their specialty.

Back on the coast, I stopped at Cape Meares State Park
located at the northern part of Three Capes Scenic Loop.  Cape Meares is home to a hundred year old
light-house which offers magnificent views of the rock coast and the Octopus
Tree.  The Sitka spruce, which can be
reached by taking a short trail through the forest, has no central trunk, but instead
six limbs which extend horizontally from the base as much as 16 feet before
turning upward.  It is 105 feet tall and
between 250-300 years old.  It is unknown
whether forces of nature shaped the tree or if Native Americans played a part
in its formation.

I tried visiting the second cape along the loop road, Cape
Lookout, but after a handful of detours, I threw in the towel and moved onto
Cape Kiwanda State Park.  The park is
known for its red and yellow sandstone cliffs.
Photographers enjoy capturing the colors on SD cards while hang-gliding
enthusiasts enjoy launching off its dunes.
I have to admit I was disappointed in the cliffs.  I must have arrived too late in the day, as
it was a bit shadowy, but the crashing waves were a joy for the countless
surfers.  The enormous rock guarding the
harbor with the sun shining through a small opening was somewhat cool, however.

Continuing south on Highway 101, I reached Lincoln City,
home to the shortest river in the world.
D River flows 120 feet from Devils Lake into the Pacific Ocean.  After a quick visit, we moved on to Depoe
Bay, the world’s smallest navigable harbor, only six acres.

We followed the coast all the way to Newport before turning
inland and traveling through the wine country on our way back to Portland.  It was a long, yet wonderful day!  ETB

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Oregon

Day 276 – A Day in Portland

Day 276 – A Day in Portland, September 18, 2011

So I spent Saturday evening and the majority of Sunday with
Casey, Ross, and their two wonderful children, Griffin and Claudia.  The connection, as usual, is from the horse
show days.  Casey competed in jumpers
while I rode hunters.  Casey’s husband
Ross owns his own software development company with another partner and enjoys
cooking (more about dinner in a minute).
Griffin is a SMART fifth grader who likes Lego Robots and recently
required an emergency room visit for stitches after a bicycle accident.  Claudia, a bundle of energy, is a first
grader who plays tennis and enjoys showing off the latest fashion.  Three non-matching, colorful socks, one tied
around the knee, was my personal favorite.

For dinner Ross prepared a mouth watering meal;  flavorful steak on the grill, a medley of
vegetables from their garden, a tomato and mozzarella salad, potatoes, and
stuffed mushrooms.  Needless to say, I was
in heaven!

This morning we went to a trendy breakfast restaurant.  The restaurant opened at 9 a.m. and a line of
folks wrapped around the corner waiting to be seated.  Arriving around 8:40, we met Sean and his
boys TJ and Jared, and the eight of us managed to be included in the first
seating, though outside on the patio which fortunately had a roof which covered
us from the stop and start drizzle.  The
brunch menu was full of delights.  Each
time the server carried plates to other tables we all turned our heads and
stared the food down.  The fried chicken
waffle seemed to be a popular choice.
Three fried chicken breasts stabbed with a knife topped a large, puffy
waffle.  I think it could have fed three.

Our table ended up with a few orders of praline bacon, sweet
potato fritters with powdered sugar and cinnamon, waffles, French toast, eggs Benedict,
a three mushroom scramble, and eggs and brisket hash.  The portions were enormous.  I gorged myself and could only finish half my
plate!

After breakfast we were going to wander around the
waterfront, but between the Race for the Cure 5K event and the dreary weather,
we opted for a walk around the neighborhood park with the dogs; Petey, Henry
and Bella.  While the dogs took a nap, we
broke out Settlers of Catan (awesome game) and tried watching the Cowboy
game.  Interestingly, the Fox station in
Oregon played an English Premier League Futbol match between Chelsea and
Manchester United!?!  It was fine with me
because I like soccer too, but really???
I was surprised to see soccer took place of the afternoon NFC game.  Lucky for me, I had a friend who updated me
on the football score…sounded like a nailbiter!

In the late afternoon, Griffin’s Lego Robot Team came over to
work out the programming for their robots based on fourteen tasks their robots
will have to complete in competition.  I
checked out the board and then headed for the coast in a fog and drizzle.  The weather is supposed to clear up tomorrow
just in time for me to enjoy a day on the northwest coast of Oregon before
returning to Portland for another awesome shower and a bed on my way to visit
the Columbia River Gorge.  It sure is
tough to leave civilization and good company these days…looking forward to
returning to Portland tomorrow night!  Upon looking for a campground for the evening, I did finally see some Roosevelt Elk.  I had to take the picture through the windshield.
ETB

www.notablenotecards.com, www.etsy.com/shop/nichenotecards