Last day in Pacific City - for now

A dory is a flat-bottomed boat, with sides and bottom planked lengthwise and with no keel structure other than the bottom planking
— John Gardner

We spent our last day in Pacific City watching the surfers and Dory boats at Cape Kiwanda. I had left early in the morning to head to the beach by myself. A short half mile down the road I stopped for a coffee and a Marionberry muffin for Bob for later and arrived at the beach to see 11 boat trailers lined up on the shore, a good sign I thought that someone would be landing at a later point during the morning. The Dory boats land and take off from the shoreline and while we had spent time at the museum reading up on their history, I had yet to see them in action. I planned on staying until I did.

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It was the “super” low tide of the day so I wandered over to the tide-pools and explored around for awhile, keeping a keen eye out to sea just in case any of the boats returned. It was about an hour later that I noticed the beach was filling up quickly with surfers. When I had arrived there were maybe two or three in the water. Now there were twenty or so and the “drive on” beach was starting to look like a parking lot. Just as I turned to walk back towards the Jeep I spotted a Dory coming in at full speed towards shore. There is only a small area of the shoreline where they land, not far from where all the surfers were gathering. Full throttle the boat hit the shore and skidded up onto the beach, one person jumping out to grab and hold onto the boat while another ran to get the truck/trailer to pull the boat out of the water. It was a THRILL to watch!

I stopped and watched as they got the boat pulled out and their catch stored, 45 Dungeness crabs and 12 Ling cod. Chatted a bit with the owner of the boat and he told me he was going back out later in the day with another group if the weather held out.

 
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As I walked back to the Jeep I watched as more and more surfers were arriving to check out the waves. Calling out to each other and pointing at the breaks coming in - you could tell that they were excited to see some good surf. I decided to call Bob and see if he wanted to come down and watch with me. Sometimes I am not sure if the enjoyment of watching others in Mother Ocean outranks the sadness of not being in the water himself. Bob spent many years surfing the waves in Florida, South Carolina and Hawaii and I know he misses it. But I let him make that call, and he decided to join me. Ran back to camp and grabbed him and we came back and set up on the beach with our chairs and of course the muffin I had purchased earlier. Over the course of the next few hours we watched the surf, got to see another boat land and the same one from the early morning take off. It was a great way to enjoy our last day in Pacific City. This area has so much to offer. Hiking, rock hounding, beach-combing and beautiful scenery. I know we will return.

Milky Way hopeful

Scouting Milky Way locations for the next super clear night. The end of another beautiful day. Thanks Bob 💚

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Back to Oregon

After a beautiful month in Washington we are back in Pacific City at Cape Kiwanda. We love the area here on the Three Cape Scenic Loop. Just a short 15 minute drive and we are back on the trail at Cape Lookout. A steady two miles down a steep switchback trail filled with old growth Sitka spruce takes us to a beautiful calm and deserted beach. Agate hunting and relaxing. The climb out is always a challenge, but is getting easier each time. We will only be here a short time this trip and then it is on south to Florence for a month or so. The coast of Oregon is quickly moving to the top of our favorites list.

Garden Envy

I don’t have my own garden anymore, unless you count the basil, rosemary, succulents and pothos that are happy and growing in the front window when we are parked. I miss it, a lot. I am finding myself lost in others’ gardens this year. It is inspiring and lovely all on its own. Wonderful conversations have begun when a fellow gardener finds me photographing their plots of beauty.

Ocean City, WA

Ocean City sits on the coast of Washington about mid-way between the borders of Oregon and Canada. We choose this location for the proximity to Olympic National Park, and our stay here will have been three weeks when we leave next Monday. We are lucky to have arrived in this part of the country during their official “summer”, August/September. As you can imagine, rain forests do not thrive where there isn’t an abundance of moisture. Marine layers aside, we have been lucky that our first big rain day since we arrived over two weeks ago is today. Perfect opportunity to throw some dinner in the crock pot, bake some cookies for Bob and get the blog caught up a little.

Our campsite overlooks a large field and we watch for the family of deer that appear every few days. A short walk down a narrow trail over the dunes takes us to the beach. Expansive and hard packed, at low tide Bob has been able to enjoy many miles on his bike, and I have thoroughly enjoyed my meditative solitary walks. Bald eagles land at the shores edge and broken sand dollars and tons of dead crabs are scattered in the sand.

After a few visits up to ONP we are glad that we planned for so much time here. It takes about an hour to get to the southern most part of the park so we have done a few day trips. The entrance road to the Hoh Rainforest however is almost two and a half hours away, and we knew there were a few long hikes that we wanted to do. We decided to spend a few days away from the motorhome at the Rainforest Hostel that is very close to the park, a great experience we won’t soon forget.

Wild blackberries are EVERYWHERE! Many hours have been spent picking and eating these juicy morsels. We have about 10 quarts in the freezer now, and hopefully will add to them before we leave next week. As Bob says, “We can get meat and things anywhere, but when will we have this opportunity for fresh picked berries?” I agree, and our plans are to have some left in the freezer when we get to the kids this Fall. Hmmmm, that’s going to be a tough one.

Our Friends and Family Tour has continued also with a wonderful visit from Rose, who we haven’t seen for a few years. She had moved from Fallon up to the Northern Peninsula of Washington back in 2016. Just coming off of a four day back country 20+ mile hike towards Enchanted Valley, the end point was not far from us here in Ocean City. Brought tears to my eyes when she was getting ready to leave. Not only because I will miss her smile, and it was so great to see her and catch up with her life, but that Bob took the moment to sincerely thank her for all the hours she helped us build our business at the nursery. I hope she always remembers those words, because I know for him to have opened up his heart to say them - he meant every word. Right now we are having a great visit with Ged, our friend from Kamloops, that we visited a few years ago at his home in British Columbia. About the best thing about this last three years is the opportunity to continue to re-connect with friends and family that we see so rarely.

So by the time I am finish today I hope to have a few posts caught up, thank you for joining us on the journey.

Jimmy & The Rainforest Hostel

We stepped out of our comfort zone a little bit in order to spend a few days up in the Hoh. After deciding that the drive was to far to allow us to do the long hikes we were planning, we thought we would just get a motel up near Forks for a couple nights. About 12 miles from the entrance to the park it seemed like the perfect solution. Well the location was great, but the pricing per night was not. Still benefiting from the Twilight phenomenon, the town was not only mostly booked, but the few available rooms we found were 125.00 - 175.00 a night!!! for a Motel 6 style room. Did a little more research and I found the Rainforest Hostel. Checked out the reviews on Yelp, and the majority of them were good, so I gave the number a call to see if I could book us a spot.

We have never stayed in a hostel in all our travels. Not knowing exactly what to expect, other than the owner- Jimmy - had told me on the phone when I reserved that we would need to plan on some morning chores. He also told me a few times “Did you check out our website to see what we are about?” I told him I hadn’t, but I would before we arrived. After I got off the phone I loaded up his website and toured through the pages.

Jimmy opened the Rainforest Hostel about thirty years ago. When we arrived late in the afternoon after a beautiful hike at the Hoh he greeted us and led us into the living room of his home./hostel. We sat through “The Talk” that he gives to every person staying there. It consisted of 3 parts, most all words in favor of Bernie Sanders. But what we took away from it was a “Be kind to all you encounter”. Well, we pretty much feel that way too - so even though we don’t play by maybe the same political book as he does, it was an interesting talk. He then led us out to our “room”. Because we were a couple, we weren’t in the house where most of the rooms were filled with bunkbeds. Our “room” turned out to be a 1960’s era travel trailer surrounded by ferns and trees and parked under a covered carport. Bob and I both kind of gave each other “the look” when he walked us outside, but when we stepped inside it was clean and warm and all we really were in search of was a dry place to lay our heads for the night. It fit that bill. And did I mention it was $10.00 per person/ per night with 15 minutes of chores each morning required.

The next morning we got up and Bob got our coffee going on the jet-boil and put our chairs out. We carry pretty much everything with us in the Jeep that we need for camping, we just hadn’t wanted to sleep in the tent this trip. About an half hour later Jimmy came out and sat and talked with us for awhile then we got our "chore list” choices. Bob choose wood stacking and I pruned a little in the greenhouse.

Over the next two days we spent quite a bit of time with Jimmy. Learned his 76 year history, and shared ours. Bob and he had a lot more in common than we would have thought that first night we met. I will leave you with this haiku that he placed on his website. And would we stay here again, yep.

Everyone who stays will be given a “Bernie Sanders” sticker if you want one.

For Bernie:
all streams lead
meet rising tide
sea change!
by Jimmy Conomos

Rocklickers

Rock-licker
-n-
A person such as rockhound, lapidary, bonehead or mineral collector that licks rocks to bring out the color potential within the rough stone. Wetting a rock shows what the stone might look like once polished.
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Well we finally did it. We broke down and bought a rock tumbler to carry around with us in the motorhome. Bob has been known to exaggerate occasionally…….but I don’t think he is very far off when he says we are carrying an extra couple hundred lbs. around the country - of ROCKS! We have found a new hobby that we both enjoy. Where else can you get great outdoor time in search of natures wonders? From petrified wood in Arizona to agates on the beaches of Oregon, we are finding so many treasures in every state. The first batch is in the tumbler and I can’t wait to see what they look like without us licking them :}