Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Bye-Bye Brookings

Atrivers RV Park, located on the Chetco River, was our home-base while we explored the town of Brookings.  We enjoyed sunsets, surrounding state parks and ocean viewpoints.  We also made 2 day trips to explore Redwood National and State Park.  We went to the Lady Bird Johnson Grove and the Stout Grove.  Both were beyond amazing..but if we had to pick our favorite grove, it would be the Stout Grove for it's feel as if nothing had been touched but only by the hands of Mother Nature.  Trees were left as they had fallen.  The paths wound around these stumps and it gave you the look of "pick-up-sticks" as these colossal trees had fallen and split into shreds.  You could almost hear the deafening sound of these trees as they fell, tumbling and crashing into one another.  It is almost too hard for us to comprehend that these trees are between 1300 and 2000 years old. 

The Ladybird Grove seemed more manicured and more visited.

Walking among these giants, I realize it is impossible to capture, with my camera, the immensity and size of these trees.  But try as I might..

The Stout Grove gave us the impression of a more undisturbed grove, left in it's own natural state of growth.  It also seemed less visited.

This redwood seemed to have recently fallen because there were green needles still attached to it's branches. 

And the drive leading out of the Stout Grove was as awe-inspiring as our hike in that grove. 

McVay Rock State Recreation Area, a gorgeous rocky beach, also has one of the largest redwood tree stumps you'll find on the coast.  This gem is just south of Brookings.

We've moved off the Oregon coast now and we've eased on down the road to Mt Shasta.
More Later.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Reflections of Gold Beach

Here's a very brief overview of our week in Gold Beach.  

No doubt, one highlight was our trip up the Rogue River on Jerry's Rogue River Jet Boats.  We selected the 104 mile trip and on the next to the last day they offered it.  Water levels are really low now, almost too low to even run the jet boats.

Our day began chilly and foggy. This does not stop the salmon fishermen.

You can see how low the Rogue River is now, look for the white "bath tub ring".

There were a few rapids and our jetboat driver did managed to get a little river water spray on his passengers.

The afternoon return trip was clear and bright.

No bear sightings this trip but we did see a lot of herons and 3 bald eagles.

Plus an assortment of ducks..

We also see a lot of small boats filled with folks fishing, not just Pacific Salmon but for a variety of native trout and Steelhead.

The Samuel Boardman State Scenic Corridor lives up to it's billing.  This stretch of the Oregon Coastline is stunning.  This drive begins about 5 miles south of gold Beach traveling along Highway 101.

Cape Ferrelo Viewpoint

Viewpoint coming into the coastal town of Brookings.

 Our home-base campsite was at Four Seasons RV Park, located right on the banks of the Rogue River.  It was one of the quietest, most comfortable RV parks we have stayed at on our trip down the Oregon coast.

More Later as we have eased on down the road to Brookings, Oregon.  

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Bandon's Cranberry Festival

During our stay at Cape Blanco State Park, we had planned to drive to the coastal town of Bandon for an afternoon.  What we didn't expect was to arrive during the weekend of it's 70th Annual Cranberry Festival. This section of Oregon is noted for rich, red cranberries and produces about 7% of the nation's cranberry fruit. You can see the cranberry bogs dotting the roadside along Highway 101 between Bandon and Cape Blanco.  Go to Goggle Earth and one can really get a scope of the many, many cranberry bogs in the area.  Click here to learn how the cranberries are grown and harvested.

We arrived to the town in the middle of their Cranberry Parade.  Here are a few of the highlights.
All of the floats were hand-crafted with originality.  Some of the entries were from the local businesses and some from non-profit organizations.

Even the local Fish Hatchery had an entry, complete with a salmon in a fish tank!

There were the equestrian entries..

and entries from the local dune buggy groups.

I saw folks gathering around people pushing wheel barrows.  It appeared they were reaching into the barrel and getting out some kind of treat.  Soon they came to us.

The wheel barrows were filled with painted rocks.  We were given the opportunity to pick one and we were also given one from this young lady.  It seems the rocks were painted by community members from a local church.

We missed the headliner float celebrating the town's 70th Annual Cranberry Festival..until it pulled into the ACE Hardware Store.

Now, it's time to visit the Saturday Farmer's Market and the Festival's Craft Booths.

There was even an exhibit of winning cranberry recipes.

As usual, there was an assortment of craft booths.  In this intriguing booth, the artist was making wooden spinning tops.

Of course there was a car show..

And best of all..a free, all you can drink and snack on OceanSpray Cranberry Products Booth.

The Bandon Waterfront had some interesting wooden ocean-themed sculptures..

However, it was this sculpture that really got my attention.  This is Harry the Fish.  The sculpture is made entirely of trash collected from the local beaches.  Look closely..

Cigarette lighters, plastic bottle caps, pieces of plastic coolers..

The artist even put a child's sand toy, a crab, in it's mouth!

Check out that brush used in the fish's fin..

Ah Ha!  I come across another exhibit, it's from Washed Ashore-Art To Save The Sea.
I am amazed and awed.

A sea anemone with old shoes for its anchor base got my attention too.

The folks running the exhibit point me in the direction of the museum's location, Washed Ashore-Art From The Sea.  Their door's open and I walk into incredible surroundings.  Again, I am just amazed.

I find so much to see and investigate.  Volunteers are there, anxious to share their mission. This giant sea turtle catches my attention.

Look closely..a child's sand shovel handle, rope, netting and more plastic bottle tops make up the turtle's shell.

They use a lot of Styrofoam in the exhibits too.

Here is a close-up of the lower left corner of the above "trash collage/painting".  A combination of plastic bottle bottoms, rope and aluminum cans create bubbles in the waves.

and lots of fish nets.

The gallery is full of interesting sculptures, wall art and even children's art..all made with trash from the sea.

Angela Haseltine Pozzi is the Executive Director and Lead Artist associated with Washed Ashore.  What an inspiration she seems to be for this community.  She has an art education background so her desire to inform and inspire while using the creative process sure hits home with me.

Look at this map to see how the ocean currents circulate this trash all around the globe.

Click on photo to enlarge.

There was open seating at the table and they needed volunteers this day to create "sectional trash collages" for an upcoming project..a giant whale's tail breaking the surface of the ocean. 

This is my contribution, what a thrill for me to be able to participate in this worthwhile cause.  I bored holes with the drill and assembled and wired all kinds of black trash together to make this relief collage.  It will be added, along with other "black trash relief collages" to form this massive whale's tale.  Now this was a highlight for me!

That's the Coquille River Lighthouse located on the north side of the jetty in Bandon.  We didn't get to visit it and the Interpretive Center this trip, gotta leave some things to explore for next time. Maybe I'll have that telephoto lens for my camera by then too.

More Later as we have eased on down the road to Gold Beach.