From the late afternoon yesterday while at Chili Acres, I snapped this of my daughter, Jessica Aldridge. On occasion she can look just beautiful. She should always wear such wonderful smiles as she did here.
We landed in Portland last night, grabbed a room and slept through the anticipation of what awaited us in the morning. After breakfast at Kenny & Zukes Deli, it was time to worship at the shrine of books – Powell’s. Now with a new book each and a box being sent home by the helpful folks at Powell’s, Caroline has another stop that has become a de rigeuer mandate: visit a local yarn store. This one is called KnitPurl and is one of the few places to find Loft yarns – she chooses four skeins, I take three that suggest they’d make for a nice new cap. Another stop for some food and gear and finally we are driving south, aiming for the Oregon coast. For 70 miles we slog down the freeway, not our favorite thing to do on vacation, but an occasional necessary evil. At exit 228 we are turning off in the direction of Newport – on the ocean. Four hours later we arrive in Port Orford.
On the Oregon coast we find a gray and dreary day, but don’t confuse dreary with dreadful. These solemn quiet days are a welcome respite from our sun-everyday existence in the desert. While muted tones make for less than perfectly dynamic travel photos, they give us reason to snuggle into warm clothes and enjoy some solitude.
I’ve said it before and would hope it needn’t be said again, but I suppose I must: it seems a day doesn’t go by that the sun doesn’t part the sky to smile its kindly rays upon our happiness. We swoon in delight at the beauty and take inventory once more of our incredible luck.
Normally we stop here to walk up the railroad tracks to a rock feature in the water that has appeared before on my blog, but today the crossing itself is the center of attention. Oh how I love these pleasant little surprises.
The view from Umpqua Lighthouse State Park overlooking the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. We’re still driving south and can’t help but pull over to take in some of our favorite views.
Not quite all the way from our perspective, but certainly double rainbow.
Hoping that we’d arrived with plenty of time, we race down to the fishing dock and find the restaurant we wanted to eat at will be open to 8:00 pm. Great, back into the car and hurry the six miles we still need to travel in order to check into our campsite at Humbug Mountain. It’s dark, but it’s not raining! With our tent set up and sleeping bags tossed in, it’s once again time to jump back into the car, but this will be the last rushing around on this trip.
Here we are at Griff’s On The Dock. For years we’ve wanted to eat here, but have never managed to arrive during business hours. It’s not that we know anything special about the place, it’s just a matter of being in love with the location and the building. Many a time Caroline and I have sat on this dock and watched the ocean churn with the most ferocious waves and hammering winds. We can sit in the car next to the stone wall dry and cozy, armed with hot coffee, and stare out at the sea forever, and have done just that. Tonight though, little is to be seen under the dark overcast sky and anyway, our stomachs are yearning to be fed.
Dinner starts with a bowl of steamers before moving onto the ling cod special. After yumming over that, we got yummier with a shared slice of marionberry pie served a’la mode. As we are finishing, the last customer for the night comes in. Interested in what we might recommend, we suggest he try the special. Stating he’s a fisherman and is looking for something yummy, we offer our assurance that this is indeed a good choice. Turns out he was up from Los Angeles and hoping to get some serious fishing in before the worst of the anticipated storm sets in. The talk continues with gusto as we learn he fishes out of Yakutat, Alaska – the same place we exited our summer rafting trip of the Alsek River. Small world.
It seems ages ago that we came back from Hawaii. Finally the first images are making it on the web. We are working on writing the stories and designing the format, but meanwhile here is a link if you would like to take a peek
Later today I will post my first entry to my new blog HappyBumbleBee. This new site will focus on vegetarian, vegan, raw, organic, healthy foods and meal preperation from the perspective of a dyed-in-the-wool meatatarian. Because my wife Caroline is a vegetarian, I only prepare veg meals at home – for the carnivorous experience I go on the hunt at restaurants.
At first I was averse to the idea of eating carrots and sprouts, therefore it has taken quite a while of cooking organic, veggie, healthy meals at home to arrange my perspective to allow me to enjoy good vegetarian cooking. I have had to branch into many an ethnic cookbook and be open minded enough to try different veggie meals and restaurants in order to experience the breadth and scope of what vegetarian and vegan cooking can be and recently how great RAW foods can be.
While remaining omnivorous I have come to hold with a certain disdain the need for people to cling to the idea that the labels of vegetarian, vegan, raw, ovo-lacto vegetarian, etc., are lifestyles to be held in near religious esteem, instead of being more inclusive and recognizing that it is better that society adopt more healthy life choices that include a variety of these things. Thus it is with this idea of helping us meatatarians better understand and enjoy the world of those leaf-eaters that I am launching HappyBumbleBee.
The server hosting my site went toast on March 25th leaving a void where my site had once been. Even today this is but a test as we prepare to bring the content nearly lost, back online.
Over the next week I should be able to repost the photos, comments, and words along with a few thoughts from the past few weeks while the blog was absent. A few travel stories were unfortunately not retrievable.