One of our favorite beaches near Lincoln City, Oregon
We visited (thoroughly, not just driving through) 39 state parks, 20 scenic byways, and 8 viewpoints while walking 128 miles of trails, swimming in 5 lakes and 7 rivers, and visiting four lighthouses. We brought our microscope to study lake and ocean water, and read 27 books on ocean, wetland, and lake systems. Oh, and toured two dams on the way home. WHEW. So, those are the numbers.
In short, we stayed long enough for my teens to reminisce about spending the day at home doing chores. (Ok, maybe not that long.)
On the boardwalk in Florence, Oregon. We always wander through here to get ice cream, eat at Mo's watch the fishing boats and go to the Farmer's Market.
Last year we went clamming and practically had to be rescued by the Coast Guard AND didn't catch any clams. This time was much more fun! We made some delicious clam chowder, steamed clams, and clam fritters. YUM.
Gaper clams can grow up to ten pounds so these are just babies. Also, they come with a tiny crab. No kidding. It's very odd. If you care to see, here's a picture of one open, and where the tiny pea crab lives. Inside a gaper clam
My kids can all swim but I'm nervous about lake water, so we kept the lifejackets on the little guys.
We did a lot of canoeing.
Especially towing little brothers out to the middle of the lake
... and leaving him there. All in good fun, of course!
During the middle of the day we'd explore the byways and parks. In the evening we'd come home to swim, clean up, and sit around the fire (usually examining our blisters).
Driftwood makes the best kindling...
Most beaches popular with tourists are the long stretches of white sand. This year we made an effort to travel far and wide. Sometimes to rocky and unusual places.
The tide pools were teaming with crabs, anemones, mussels, and limpets, etc.
And this one has a clover. It was a gift for the anemone from my six year old.
The second week we moved to Neskowin, North of Lincoln City, home to Proposal Rock.
A beautiful forested area, the smell of the cedar and the pine permeates the air.
The Sitka forests of Neskowin are some of the oldest in the nation, with many 500-800 year old trees.
My brother flew in from Michigan with his girlfriend, Janet. They were such good sports to hang out with six kids on vacation!
We goofed around and ate a lot of food. He's a climber so I had to tell myself "no one is going to die" many times as he took older kids to climb rocky outcroppings and search for caves in the cliffs. I sat on the beach and sang LALALALALALA to myself as the tide came in.
We visited The Devil's Churn, Devil's Lake, The Devil's Punchbowl, Thor's Well, Cook's Chasm and the Spouting Well. We saw a lot of shooting water and thought the devil was getting a little too much press. Lol
After hiking to the top of Heceta Head to visit the lighthouse, we found blackberries.
All in all, I think we all learned a lot of history, got a better idea of the different geological areas of the Oregon coast, and have a greater appreciation of our state park system.
But getting out into nature was the best part of our trip. Exploring, hiking, spotting bald eagles, learning, listening, getting a real feel for the different regions. (This is heading home, along the Columbia river. We're still four hours from home, and you can tell by the trees and wildflowers. We live in a very dry area and by this time of summer, it's just wheat and dust.)
Oh, we also crossed the Bridge of the Gods, which spans the Columbia River. As you cross, you enter Washington (not unusual, we do that almost every day, living on the border) but then we turned around and crossed it again. We don't usually cross the state line twice in five minutes and a hundred feet above the water!
So, now that I'm back to work, I have a lot of wonderful memories to look back on....
Especially this one. :)
Wishing everyone a wonderful week! Is anyone at RWA? I keep seeing pictures of delicious food! I'll have a great recipe for you all next week. Here's a preview picture...
Just kidding. That's some kind of freaky, parasitic eel that lives off sharks and was stuck to the viewing wall at Bonnevile Dam.
Here's a chocolate chocolate pound cake with ganache topping! Until next time!