Saturday, April 3, 2021

The Smell of Fresh Pines with a Dash of Salty (Hwy 101 OR)

It's starting to warm up along the coast and along with warm weather comes the sneezing season.  
Heceta Head Light House
Yep, already having bouts of allergies.  You would think between damp sea breezes and drizzling rain, that pollen would not be floating around, but something is certainly tickling my nose.
Cape Perpetua
It has slowed me down a little bit.  Most of the time, I manage to get in my ten-thousand steps, but my yoga has become sporadic due to a stuffy head and too much Claritin. 😝Blah!  I can imagine myself bending forward.....and going forward...forward....and my face plows into the mat or a cat since they often like to lie on the mat in front of me while critiquing my postures.  Hopefully, this will pass soon.
Lost Creek Beach SP
In the meantime, I'm not letting it keep me indoors with so much to see along the Oregon Coast.  We have been sightseeing three to four times a week.  I never tire of the views or taking photos.  The first set of photos are from Heceta Head Lighthouse.  A cold front came in earlier than predicted the day we visited the lighthouse.  It caught all of us off guard including a young bride and groom having a photo session on the beach.  
How she could pose in the cold wind and drizzling rain without turning blue is beyond me.  I was cold and I had on three layers.  You have to admit that they picked a very dramatic background for their photo shoot with the perfect coastal weather. 
We continued up the path to the house and the lighthouse for some spectacular views.  The old home and lighthouse are closed right now.  I'm hoping they will open by the time we are back again later this year.
What a view to wake up to every morning.
By the time we were heading back to the RV park, the rain and wind were coming in strong while we were waiting for our turn to cross through the construction area where the road had slid down the cliff.  About a month earlier, part of Hwy 101 collapsed with a drill rig and its operator.  The worker was rescued and survived the fall, but it is a little nerve-wracking when you are planning to drive a huge motorhome through that same area.  (Later:  we went through with no problems.  The construction crew is working hard rebuilding the highway while dealing with lousy weather and traffic under dangerous conditions.)
I have to tell you about our neighbor that was parked on the site across from us in Florence.  The pig's name is Neener and she weighs 200lbs.  We were hoping to see more of her, but thanks to a grumpy neighbor two sites away complaining, the family moved to a more isolated spot.  According to Neener's owner, he was trying to help her back into their fifth-wheel and you know how tall fifth-wheels are with four to five metal steps to get into the rig.  The poor girl got hurt when she slipped on the stairs while her owner was trying to lift her in.  She started squealing and apparently, the grumpy neighbor complained that she was too noisy.  Darn it!  I wanted to meet Neener!  I'm hoping we will come across them again before we go back to Sutherlin.
Our neighbor is a real pig!

On to Newport,  our site was very narrow with a big tree.  We had to walk sideways to get into our side yard.  I won't get into how we managed to get it parked there or the fun of backing the coach out when we left.  We did have plenty of privacy.
I thought Max would like the enclosed area.  He did not.  He rarely left the doorsteps.
You're not tricking me!
Dusty said he was fine with it.  All the more outdoor time for him with his humans.

Below are views from the Newport area.  A photo of the bridge from Yaquina Bay SP.  
This state park is centrally located making it easy to walk to the beach, to the lighthouse, a picnic area, to Nye Beach's downtown area to shop and eat or.....  
...walk under the bridge, past the Coast Guard Station, and into 
Coast Guard
the Historic Bayfront area to view the sea lions, shop,  and eat lunch.
We were asked if it was smelly here.  A little fishy, but not too bad since we were out in the open.  Walking past the fish warehouses has a stronger fish smell.
More repurposed trash-to-art!  This gorilla and two lions are made from tires and were sitting in front of Ripley's Believe It or Not!.  The detail was so life-like.  Just ask a dog.  One poor dog wanted nothing to do with these strange creatures standing on the sidewalk.
We visited Nye Beach several times.  One sunny day soon after the county risk had dropped to low, we weren't the only ones enjoying the outdoors while social distancing.  One young lady was doing her own whirling dervish on the beach.  We had a paraglider swooping over our heads several times.  People out walking their dogs, parents chasing down exuberant children, and one woman walking down the street with butterfly wings on her back.
We visited Yaquina Head Lighthouse during the medium-low tide.  It was starting to come back in when we got there, but we were able to check out a few tidal pools without getting wet.
We also drove the Otter Crest Loop to Cape Foulweather named by Captain Cook.  He apparently did not like the weather nor this part of the coast - no landing areas for small crafts.
The location of that one building just gives me chills.  This building sits right on the edge of a 500 ft drop.  I can't imagine being one of the builders.
They did have a great view of the coast.  Below:  at the farthest point to the right, we could barely make out the Yaquina Head Lighthouse.  It is not visible in the photo, but it is there.
Okay, the last photos are from Devils Punch Bowl near Depoe Bay.  I was able to get a photo of the opening, but I'm too short to get a good shot into the center of the punch bowl filled with water.
I did get a good photo from the side though....😊
I'm going to stop here.  I have more to show, but it is time to take the cats outside.  I might have to disturb Max from his nap.  He can soak up more sun while getting a little exercise.
On The Cutting Board
I have been spending a lot of time with my scrap bags.  I thought the best way to trim them down was to cut squares starting with 5 inches, 3.5 inches, 2 inches, and the last, and yes, the waste-not desperate size - 1.5 inches.  I'm not making too much progress with the first two larger sizes.  Most of my scraps are smaller than 3 inches.  I am making plenty of progress with the 2-inch squares. Yes!
I made a lot of progress with the 1.5-inch hexagons.  I have no idea how many are cut.  I do know that my tin box is filling up.  This will be a nice outdoor sewing project during the summer and for the next summers to come.
This is just a random idea of what I might do with the hexes as I sew them together.  
And this is the size of one finished.  Yes, this is going to be a life-long project.  I probably should have started it 15 years ago.
Hitch says not a problem.  He is more than willing to help me by turning the pile of scraps into a bed for his naptime then I don't have to worry about what to do with the rest of them. 😻
Riiiight, I'll just roll him over when he starts snoring.
Happy Quilting!

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Rugged Shores and Majestic Trees (Bullards State Park, OR)

We drove into Northern-Cal for a day visit to Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park before we left Harris Beach SP. 

We spent a couple of hours driving on a dirt road through the Redwoods.  (A mild off-road test drive for our new jeep.)😁
The best part was walking the trails among the majestic giants while listening to the wind high above us.  I had a kink in my neck the next day from spending so much time looking up and sore toes from tripping on roots.
We had some light rain, but the drops coming off the branches created some big plops on our heads.  We are getting plenty of use from our raincoats this winter.
The sun finally showed up towards the end of our walk.  I was sorry we had to go.  It was so peaceful and quiet. 
The trails were not too busy.  There were a few families and couples walking through the redwoods.  Everyone looked relaxed and happy to be outdoors.  The kids especially were excited to be outside right down to a toddler with a big smile on her face waving at us as they passed by.  So cute!

Our next stay was in  Bullards Beach State Park.  The park has trails leading from the campground to the beach area.  We found out that the one going through the woods was not a good choice with all the recent rains.  We had to navigate around a lot of swampy areas full of noisy frogs only to come to a dead-end where the dune had become a 30 ft cliff drop to the beach.  In the nearby town of Bandon, we came across Henry the Fish made from debris washed up on the beaches.  

Washed Ashore is taking plastic trash from the ocean and turning it into a learning artwork while helping to clean the ocean.  People can volunteer to help by collecting, cleaning, and prepping the plastic for the artist.  Visit the website to learn more about saving our oceans.

A close-up to show some of the debris in Henry's tail.

I blew a year's worth of dust off my camera and went crazy taking photos.  After visiting the redwoods and different beaches, I had way too many photos to look through especially after our visit to Shore Acres State Park.  Going through row after row of beach scenes took more time than I care to think about!  

No worries with the estate's garden since it was winter.  I only took...hmm...around fifty shots...oh okay...closer to a hundred.😊  I promise not to post them all!
The few winter-blooming flowers were beautiful and unique to see.

Where I really went crazy taking photos was of the waves breaking along the shore.  It was so fantastic to watch the waves and wonder what it would have been like to live here in the early 1900s.
Man in red jacket standing at one of the viewpoints.
We were standing in the same spot earlier.
Trails lead to more spectacular views along the cliffs.
As you know, I love gnarly and unique trees.  This one is a survivor refusing to let go by hanging on by its roots. 
From the other side, the tree looks like it is trying to crawl to the more solid ground while leaning towards its companions for support.  
Okay, back to all those photos I took.  I can take videos with my phone, but I haven't figured out how to transfer the phone video to my blog.  With still shots, it's hard to capture the raw energy of the waves breaking on the rocks and along the cliffs when we are standing high above them.  I decided to gather together some of the continuously photographed waves crashing and make them into a slide show.  I wish I could insert the roaring sound of the wind and waves to go with the video.  Hopefully, it will give you a visual of what we were seeing.  And if you are curious as to why the waves are so big in this location, here is a link to why Shore Acres has such Big Waves all the time.
The cats seem to be enjoying the travel days, but on this day Dusty was looking a little bummed out when he realized we were getting ready to move and did not have time to take him outside.  I can assure you that he was the first one outside as soon as we stopped and before I had unpacked.😻  By the way, that is long thick fur, not fat.  He is very fluffy!
Hitch on the other hand was more curious about what was for lunch.
While Max was happy with a good chin scratch.
On The Cutting Board
All the blocks have been assembled.  I plan to layer and quilt them later after I get the scrap bags under control.  I  would like to make another Disappearing 4-patch.  It is so quick and easy to make.
The Wonky Log Cabin is now assembled.  The fabrics in this quilt must cover more than10 years of saved scraps.  Quilting this one might prove to be more challenging with all those seams.
I sewed the A to Zzzz Snowmen blocks and
I have started embroidering along the seams.
I forgot all about my Fancy Sue blocks.  They were buried under the snowmen and log cabin blocks.  I just so happen to have the perfect pink floral fabric leftover from another quilt project.  It was just enough for the sashings and border.  
Seeing the four photos of the finished tops makes me feel a little better.  Yes!  Two bags of scraps - Gone! One storage container for quilt blocks - Empty!  Now to get back to the rest of the scrap bags...
Happy Quilting!

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