Winding Down: Ocean Beach, WA to Portland, OR

As you might have gathered from earlier posts, the end of our trip and the beginning of our news lives here in Oakland kind of blurred together into a rush of driving and activity. Today we are updating from Berkeley, CA, where we are staying with my family for a few days as we move into our under-construction home over in Maxwell Park (which hopefully will have a toilet by the end of the week!).

However, despite the fact that we are here, the Subaru is strangely empty, and all kinds of new things are coming at us, we would still like to follow through with the story of our drive.

I left off last time at the end of our hike in the Olympics and the drive we took from there to Ocean Park, WA. Due to the fact that we started our journey in the evening, stopped to eat a belated dinner in a sleepy roadside restaurant, and were fatigued from the day’s 18-mile hike, this particular drive was a challenging one. It was also longer than we had hoped it would be, which has been the case with more or less every stretch of highway since we arrived in the west.

In the end we reached Andy’s beach house in the wee-hours, after a somewhat creepy drive through the dark and coastal fog. It was approaching midnight when we realized it was Friday the 13th, that we were alone on a winding road, and in reality had no idea where we were headed. Oh, how the sleepy imagination can run wild.

Fortunately, no mishaps were in store for us, and after a very well deserved shower each, we felt into a deep sleep until the morning. We got up, began the process of washing our pile of hike-soiled clothing, and headed into the town for some groceries and a look around Ocean Park. Unfortunately, our stay was limited to the morning. With the calendar staring us in the face and all of Oregon still on our map, we decided to carry on with no further ado. Andy arrived as we were packing and suggested we check out the Saturday market in Ilwaco, a port town at the base of the peninsula. Here are some photographs to tell the tale:





From there, we happily passed over into Oregon, debating as we drove whether to go due south along the coast or head to Portland and take the faster but less beautiful Interstate 5. A phone call from family friends Michael and Celina Russell, in Portland, and the prospect of Sunday drivers on the coast made the decision for us and we cut across to Portland that afternoon.

Up next, a weekend of eating, biking, and playing hearts with Michael and Celina!

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Still Life Archive Sequim WA

Canon 5D 1000 F4_24-105mm


Ten Pin_Sequim WA
-AD

Canon 5D 640 F11_24-105mm


Andys Big House_Sequim WA
-AD

Canon 5D 400 F4_24-105mm


Friendly Frog__Sequim WA
-AD

Canon 5D Auto_24-105mm


In-House Lanes_Sequim WA
-AD

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Map update for 8/20/2010 Arriving at our home in Oakland

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Beaches, Mountains and Rain Forests

Before starting this trip we decided, without hesitation, to invest in an annual National Parks Pass. Named the “America the Beautiful Pass”, this card is worth its $80 value in park entrance fees after you visit more than around 4 or 5 parks during the year that it is active.

Since late June we have merrily waved our pass and driven for free through the pay stations of Shenandoah, The Great Smokies, Bandelier, The Great Sand Dunes, The Grand Tetons, and Craters of the Moon National Parks. Now, after touching down back in Washington State, we were dead set on visiting Olympic National Park, a place I have yearned to get to know since my last visit to the area.

The Olympics dominate Washington’s Northwest region and the preserved land area is a large one. Within its boundaries live some of the largest and oldest trees in the world, as well as some immaculate mountains and an array of unique flora and fauna. The park, which is bordered by various Indian Reservations and a smattering of tiny towns on its North and West sides, also includes the longest stretch of preserved coastline on the Pacific. Many opt to hike along these beaches, which remain untouched by development.

Of course, we wanted to see it all. After arriving back to the Baritelle’s lovely home from Canada, we shared a final meal with Lynn, John, and Andy, and went to sleep prepared to leave the following day. In the morning, we decided to stop in and visit Andy’s home before hitting the road. Check out a few photographs of his incredible abode over in Still Life!

That afternoon, we set out driving west and stopped at one of the park’s visitor centers to get a sense of how best to use our time in the Olympics. We decided to drive to the coast for the night, camp there and visit the beach, and then take a short hike on one of the beach trails before heading into the Hoh Rainforest (yes, there is a temperate rainforest in the park) and hiking in to the prominent Mount Olympus.

Here are a few photos from the Mora Camp area as well as the nearby Beach 2. Adam was thrilled by the tide pools, which were teeming with ocean life:

Adam Drinking Tea

Scarlett Drinking Tea


Big Drift Wood


Half Dome

Canon 5D 640 F4_24-105mm


Canon 5D 80 F4_24-105mm

We made it to the rainforest trailhead at around 2pm, stopping on the way in the town where Twilight is filmed and also to do some wildlife viewing:

Twilight bus


3 Shot HDR Canon 5D F4_70-200mm

With ample sunlight left in the day, we started an easy nine-mile hike to a Ranger’s Station and camp area along the Hoh river. It was a good thing this first section of the hike was easy going, because the scenery demanded the majority of our attention:


Waterfall


3 Shot HDR Canon 5D F5.6_24-105mm

At the campgrounds we cooked up our dinner, diligently hung our bear bags, and enjoyed one of our first proper campfires of the trip under a blanket of stars.


Playing with Fire

The next day we would climb to the Blue Glacier of Mount Olympus, 9 miles and 4000 vertical feet to our east.

We left the rainforest behind as we climbed, momentarily forgetting we had been in the company of the 3rd, 4th, and 5th largest species of trees and their accompanying ferns and mosses just a few hours before. The climb steepened with every mile and eventually we came upon an area of serious trail erosion, gingerly crossing into the Glacier Meadows camp using these precarious ladders:


In the Meadows we set up my trusty Half Dome (which, to its credit, has protected us from the elements in four countries and dozens of states!) and, finished with our hike, decided to take another little hike up to the glacier. Pristine beauty ensued as we climbed through fields of alpine wildflowers, glacier streams, snow meadows and finally up a rocky ridge in the center of the mountain’s domain.

Glacier Meadows


3 Shot HDR Canon 5D F5.6_24-105mm

If anyone were ever to doubt that the earth itself is a living being then they are overdue for a visit to the mountains. Glaciers, in particular, are so full of life that they seem to breathe as the ocean does. While Adam took photographs I nestled in amongst the rocks and listened to the mountains. The glacier, in constant movement under the heat of the summer sun, made sounds that reminded me of the tide we had watched come in over the beach the previous morning.

Canon 5D 1250 F6.3_24-105mm


3 Shot HDR Canon 5D F4_24-105mm

In the time that we sat there, watching clouds swirl around the summits of Olympus, we witnessed a cascade of melting snow fall from a bank on the face of the mountain. The sound reverberated through the canyon and under the ice, the glacier seemed to roar all the louder. We reminded ourselves that this is the source of our drinking water (as it feeds the river we had followed to reach the mountain) and gave thanks that it remains pure.

Canon 5D 5000 F5.6_24-105mm

After a time, we came to terms with our lack of mountaineering gear (the summits would have to wait for another trip) and began the decent back to camp. Just across the second snowfield we saw some mountain goats approaching us on the path. On the way up we had seen one, hugging the wall of the canyon, but now a whole family was on their way up the ridge. I sat down so as to not disturb their progress and watched in awe as the largest goat I have ever seen came straight at me. Later we would learn from the ranger than their salt deprived diet drives this curiousity, as they have learned to acquire this scarce but vital resource from hikers hanging socks and other every day items.

Can you find all the goats?

Back in camp and hungry from climbing, we feasted on lentils and chickpeas (more about this later) and then fell into a cozy sleep as the temperatures dropped. The next day we rose and packed quickly, readying ourselves for the 18.5 mile return trip to the Subaru.

By a late “tea time” we would make it back to the parking lot, becoming suddenly aware of our stench and mussed appearance when we joined a crowd of tourists near the visitors center. Changing out of our damp hiking clothes, we found a picnic table where we drank mate and ate all of our remaining food with gusto. Andy Baritelle had suggested we check out his beach house on Washington’s southernmost peninsula, so we decided to try and catch a second wind and make the drive that night.

3 Shot HDR Canon 5D F4_24-105mm

Oh, what a drive it turned out to be.

Up next, a very, very brief visit to Ocean Park, WA.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Still Life Archive Washington and British Columbia

3 Shot HDR Canon 5D F4_24-105mm


The Forest_Vancouver Island BC
-AD

3 Shot HDR Canon 5D F4_24-105mm


Healthy Moss_Vancouver Island BC
-AD

Canon 5D 1000 F4_24-105mm


One Dollar_Vancouver Island BC
-AD

Canon 5D 800 F4_24-105mm


Clawprints_Vancouver Island BC
-AD

Canon 5D 800 F4_24-105mm


Starfish_Vancouver Island BC
-AD

Canon 5D 800 F8_24-105mm


Bald Eagle_Vancouver Island BC
-AD

3 Shot HDR Canon 5D F4_24-105mm


Crowded Rock_Vancouver Island BC
-AD

Canon 5D 6400 F4_24-105mm


Lilly pond_Vancouver Island BC
-AD

3 Shot HDR Canon 5D F4_24-105mm


The Beach_Vancouver Island BC
-AD

Canon 5D 800 F4_24-105mm


I am surrounded by English People!_Vancouver Island BC
-AD

Canon 5D 800 F4_24-105mm


Amazing Meals_Vancouver Island BC
-AD

Canon 5D Auto_24-105mm


Just a big child playing with bikes_Vancouver Island BC
-Roy Trillia

Canon 5D 4000 F 6.3_24-105mm


Tea Time Gossip_Vancouver Island BC
-AD

3 Shot HDR Canon 5D F4_24-105mm


The Deck_Vancouver Island BC
-AD

Canon 5D 3200 F 4_24-105mm


Flight notes_ Nanaimo BC
-AD

Canon 5D 2000 F 8_24-105mm


The thinker_Sequim WA
-AD

Canon 5D 1000 F 4_24-105mm


Deb_Sequim WA
-AD

Canon 5D 1000 F 2.8_70-200mm


Radishes_Sequim WA
-AD

Canon 5D 1000 F 2.8_70-200mm


Carrots_Sequim WA
-AD

Canon 5D 1000 F 2.8_70-200mm


Berries_Sequim WA
-AD

Canon 5D 3200 F 4_24-105mm


Lavender_Sequim WA
-AD

Canon 5D 1000 F 4_24-105mm


Freshly Made_Sequim WA
-AD

Canon 5D 800 F 2.8_50mm


Dungeness Valley_Sequim WA
-AD

Canon 5D 200 F 2.8_50mm


Glass Art_Sequim WA
-AD

Canon 5D 400 F4_24-105mm


Ben Franklin_Sequim WA
-AD

Canon 5D 2000 F4_24-105mm


Walla Walla_kingston Ferry WA
-AD

Canon 5D 1000 F4_24-105mm


No. 3_Kingston Ferry WA
-AD

Canon 5D 640 F5.6_24-105mm


Peppers_Yakima WA
-AD

Canon 5D 4000 F4_24-105mm


Big Produce_Yakima WA
-AD

3 Shot HDR Canon 5D F4_24-105mm


Day moon_ Roadside WA
-AD

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Qualicum Beach, Vancouver Island, B.C

We are still catching up with news and pictures, thanks for reading!!

After a short flight over the water and across the Canadian border we touched down safely in the Qualicum Beach airport on Vancouver Island. This time our welcome was from Paul and Jill Connor, a dynamic English turned Canadian couple who have teamed up with my parents for many flying adventures. This was my first opportunity to meet Paul and Jill and also Adam and I’s first trip to Vancouver Island, B.C. We were instantly charmed by our hosts and thrilled by the spectacular location of their home on the island’s Northeastern coast.

A wonderful weekend ensued and we felt more relaxed than we had in weeks. Between cups and cups of English tea and Jill’s wonderful cooking we feasted like kings, breaking from eating only to recreate and socialize. Walks on the beach, practice on the slack line, some intense mountain biking (Paul and Adam teamed up for that one) and a kayak trip to a nearby pub for a drink helped us stay hungry and also gave us a chance to get to know Qualicum Beach and all of the life that still resides there.



3 Shot HDR Canon 5D F4_24-105mm




Each day the tide recedes away from a wide, rocky beach, revealing an array of shells, crabs, starfish, and ocean flora that I recognized from the long lost tide pools of my childhood in Mendocino. Less heavily traveled than the California or Massachusetts coastlines, this beach is still home to a bustling ecosystem and Adam and I spent hours marveling at the creatures that each day appear for a few hours while the ocean is away at low tide.

3 Shot HDR Canon 5D F4_24-105mm

3 Shot HDR Canon 5D F4_24-105mm


3 Shot HDR Canon 5D F4_24-105mm


3 Shot HDR Canon 5D F4_24-105mm

We even saw one of the strangely phallic “gooey ducks”, which aggressively squirted water at me when I came across its resting place. Limited to around fifteen days of harvest opportunity a year, those that hold permits to “fish” for these creatures are now part of a multi-million dollar industry. Though considered a delicacy (and valued at around $30/pound) having seen one of these creatures in its natural state I am uncertain I would be drawn to consume it. As Jill put it (saving me from having to say it myself), “they look like willies”.

Geoduck


I wanted to take a moment to write about some friends of mine that live in Vancouver Island’s big city of Victoria. Last year I met Emma, Nadine, and Hilary on a bus in Northern Argentina and they were quick to befriend me as a fellow traveler. We formed “Team Canada” and continued on together into Bolivia, separating only out of necessity on the border of Peru several weeks later. These ladies, like Orion who we wrote about back in Colorado, deeply impacted my travels for the better and became fast friends. I was fortunate enough to reconnect with Hilary twice, in Buenos Aires and in Boston and had hoped to visit the whole team while I was in their area. In the face of limited time on the island and uncertain weather for our return flight to Washington (we ended up leaving much in the same way that we had arrived – all of a sudden), I failed to make the trip down the island to Victoria. Please forgive me Team Canada, you have been in my thoughts all summer!!!

I write this because it was at this time, marked by much deliberating, that Adam and I really began to see our trip, once stretching unimaginably long before us, coming to a rapid close. Just as we had ended up rushing to arrive in Washington on time, we were now in a hurry to continue our journey south to California. We swore to return to Vancouver Island (and also to British Columbia mainland, where other wonderful friends reside) on our next adventure.

Up next – our return to Washington and a last hurrah in the Olympics!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Still Life Archive Idaho

3 shot HDR Canon 5D F4_24-105mm


The Lake_Redfish Lake ID
-AD

Canon 5D 1000 F5.6_24-105mm


Breakfast_Redfish Lake ID
-AD

Canon 5D 16 F4_24-105mm


Sunrise_Ketchum ID
-AD

Canon 5D 20s F8_24-105mm


The Milky Way_Ketchum ID
-AD

Canon 5D 640 F4_24-105mm


Sawtooth National Forest_ Ketchum ID
-AD

Canon 5D 4000 F4_24-105mm


Plants Find a Way_Craters of the Moon ID
-AD

Canon 5D 4000 F4_24-105mm


Lava Flow_Craters of the Moon ID
-AD

Canon 5D 4000 F4_24-105mm


Leave No Trace_Craters of the Moon ID
-AD

Canon 5D 4000 F4_24-105mm


Still Life in Lava__Craters of the Moon ID
-AD

3 shot HDR Canon 5D F4_24-105mm


Lava Cup_Craters of the Moon ID
-AD

Canon 5D 8000 F4_24-105mm


Big Butte_Roadside ID
-AD

Canon 5D 3200 F2.8_70-200mm


Victor Trap_Victor ID
-AD

3 shot HDR Canon 5D F4_24-105mm


Healthy Hoop House_Victor ID
-AD

Canon 5D 2000 F2.8_70-200mm


Happy cattle at Cosmic Apple Farms_Victor ID
-AD

3 Shot HDR Canon 5D F4_24-105mm


Sunflower_Victor ID
-AD

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized