Friday, June 23, 2017

Slowing Down

June 14-21, 2017
Garibaldi, Oregon

For us, the best part of staying in one spot is the opportunity to slow down and just be. Not having to choose one day trip over another, spending lazy days at home, not caring about a few days of rain, getting to know an area much better, all of these are why we stopped here for three weeks. The cool temps and gorgeous views make it even better!

When the tide is out, we are entertained by folks pulling out bait shrimp and raking for clams. When it's in, we're treated to the water lapping on the rocks and the occasional seal who manages to always duck under when I get my camera out. 

It's a much different view when the tide's out.

Everyone has these shrimp-sucker-uppers for collecting salmon bait.

On the other side of the pier, kids dig for clams.

Returning to shore as the tide moves back in.
Some of the most beautiful places we see are while searching for a good fishing spot. Although there are several rivers and creeks in the area, steep banks with thick brush, and private land, make for very limited access. While it means less fishing, it does make for fun exploring.

There are few places to pull over for photos, but I do manage to catch this pretty girl wading along the river bank.
On a drizzly Wednesday afternoon we find a nice spot all to ourselves along the Kilchis River. Bill catches half a dozen small trout while Tessa and I take the trail upriver. We navigate roots and rocks and fallen trees to find some pretty views and interesting treasures.

Looks more like a tropical island than a northwest forest.

The water is so clear!

Looks like a good diving rock until you see the other large rock below the surface.

Fluffy trail blazer.

Fabulous forest fungi.

This old trunk has such wonderful textures.

He doesn't move a hair as long as we stand here. We keep going so he can finish eating. And breathe.
These colors really pop along the trail.

Several riffles provide wonderful background music for our hike.
Thursday's rain and strong winds keep us inside, and unfortunately take out our satellite. Because those are the kind of days when you just want to stay inside and watch TV......

Not too wet for these two. With an average of 89 inches of rain per year, I'm sure locals don't let a little precipitation keep them indoors.
Unsuccessful in our search for someone to repair the satellite (we aren't get-up-on-the-roof people, especially in the wind), Friday we take a rainy drive up the coast. 

Nehalem, and Nehalem Bay, and Nehalem River (limited creativity here) are all very quiet. We want to come back and explore a couple more places that Laurel (see previous post) recommends, when the sun come out.

Nehalem River in the rain.

We can't help but laugh at the green sign. 

North of Manzanita we turn around at the view point.

The coast is a very different place in the rain. Still beautiful.
The clouds hang around all weekend, with intermittent rain and wind. We grab some fish and chips and chowder, with a couple brews, on the harbor for Father's Day.

Monday we head inland under partially cloudy skies, but it quickly clears and the temps increase. We actually turn on Piper's AC while exploring the forests and small towns (87 degrees!). 

As much as we love the water in Tillamook, these are the views we fell in love with.

A fresh crop of giant marshmallows.
Much of this area between Hwy 101 and Interstate 5 is owned by timber companies. The patchwork of green in the mountains is from cuttings and re-plantings done in different years. The newly cut areas are devastating - we can't understand why so much cut timber is left behind or how the cutting at the top of a range doesn't cause mass erosion.

The areas that were re-planted in the last three years are thick with new trees and shrubs and hundreds of colorful Foxglove. 

In eight years the new trees will be 10 feet tall. Today it is a very different "forest".
Turning at a sign for Saddle Mountain State Natural Area, we find a narrow, steep forest road. It's paved (mostly) and barely room for two cars to pass - which we have to navigate 13 times as others are coming down. There are more cars on this little road than we saw in 50 miles of Hwy 53. 

We have no idea what to expect but the "just a full parking lot and a restroom" is less than we're hoping for.  With a bit of exploring we find the trailhead (nope), and a beautiful picnic area. Everyone is on the trail, and we have this area to ourselves. As is often the case in these "let's go see" stops, we find delightful surprises.

For our enjoyment and safety we choose to stay "down here". 
Saddle Mountain is one of the highest points in northwest Oregon at 3,287

30x zoom, zero elevation gain.
Moss-dotted Aspens make for a very different looking forest.

Nice turtle tattoo on this cut log.

So many layers.

Babbling brook.
Multiple mosses.
On our return south we stop at a viewpoint near the tiny town of Banks, with no information. Until I see a guy photographing "out there", I only see a pretty forest view. Oh! Mount Hood in the distance - nice :-)

Lovely forest.
Beautiful view of Mt Hood, 100 miles away.

Still lots of snow.
We hang out in our beautiful spot by the bay the next couple days, run some errands, and get our satellite fixed. Bill finds a place that works on farm equipment and satellite dishes (love!). Richard calls when he's unable to meet the scheduled time, then spends two hours replacing the damaged wire and screws. For $60 we're more than happy to have service back!

Tessa and I enjoy morning walks along the bay, through part of town, and back on the harbor. There are lots of beautiful flowers along the way.

A favorite for big black bees.

Pretty bright yellow at the harbor.
Blowing in the bright sun, these grasses look like spun gold.

Pretty succulents along the bay.
Thursday we check out more forest and fishing, and learn about the historic Tillamook Burn. Next time.


  1. The Washington coast is not nearly as accessible as Oregon's, but offers such amazing rewards in the cliffs and sea stacks.

    1. Very true Jeff. Like the river access, the beaches are often "just out of reach". I sure that's part of the reason they're still so beautiful!

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks Janna :-)))) It's fun to capture some of what we're seeing.

  3. Even with the fog the coast is beautiful. Just be sure to bring cool weather clothes when you leave for the day :-) We were one of the "tourists" in shorts and flip flops one time when we left hot Sacramento for SF :-) But it looks like wet days are few so that's good!

    1. Good advice! I was in a sweatshirt when we went inland and that 87 degrees when we got to Banks was not pleasant :-(

  4. I love your method of getting to the summit of Saddle Mountain:) I am still laughing!! Sometimes staying "down here" is the smartest thing. Of course, those items listed on the sign are what attract us...masochistic at times we are, I guess:) Lunch with a View needs to be at the highest point John thinks. It is nice to see that you are enjoying all the greenery of this part of the country as much as we are. The wildflowers are just amazing. So nice to FINALLY see a fluffy dog photo even if it is the wrong end:) It could have been a mountain goat for all we know!! Some of us only read for dog photos!! Haha! Isn't it fascinating how the mountains just pop out! Mt. Baker was gorgeous yesterday with not a cloud around.

    1. Oh yes, I pictured you in front of that sign saying "Goody, goody, goody!" Tessa is flattered to be thought a mountain goat :-)) I do love this corner of the country!!

  5. There is just soooooo much to love about Oregon! If it weren't so wet (West) or so cold (East) we'd live here!

    Love your 30x zero elevation gain...You crack me up!

    1. :-))))))

      We really love Tillamook - but it is gets the most rain on the coast so we know we couldn't do it year 'round.

  6. Nice photo's. Love Oregon!!!

  7. Definitely a fun post – the Cemetery/Recycling sign and 30X zero elevation gain had me laughing out loud. I too love the slowed down version of Full Timing. We may be stretching it this summer with or jello plan for 3 months in Acadia National Park. Although there are other parks where I’m sure I could also spend 3 months. Love your alliteration on the fungi and your pictures of them, the tropical island, fluffy dog and not so diving rock. What a beautiful area. We’ve been having views like those where you turned around. Fog and more fog but still beautiful unless it’s a socked in see nothing (SISN). Clear cuts make me cry. How can the erosion not be massive? Love the way you notice the little things. Turtle tattoo! Gorgeous grasses! For me that’s what it’s all about. Not goal attained or even the view.

    1. I am so looking forward to seeing your 3 months way over there!! We were sad to miss Maine, but knew we didn't want to rush through.

      The clear cut is at the tops is just crazy, but it looks they've been doing it for years without mud slides.

  8. Even with rain and fog the Oregon coast is something so special, and the many shades of green and diversity make the damp worth it. Hope there's no confusion about the cemetery and recycling center. ;)

    1. Keeping the development away from the beach has kept is so beautiful - we love it.

      We had many suggestions for that cemetery and recycling combination :-))

  9. Oh hilarious!!! Of course you noticed (and photographed, and blogged) the Cemetery/Recycling sign in Nehalem. Hey, at least they make it easy in Nehalem to remember the name of the bay and river! :-) I appreciate that you've settled in for a while so that you can show us all the places we didn't get to. The Kilchis River looks amazing! On our list. And thanks for zoom hiking Saddle Mountain for us. :-)) We're with you on slowing down...I'd love to spend at least a couple of weeks in every little town along the Oregon Coast.

    1. I was going to look up the school and see if their team is called the Nehalems!!

      We may spend the whole summer here in 2018 - until we get to the Olypen and say the same thing :-)))

  10. I love those old twisted trees. It is good at times to stop and just enjoy where we are for a while. Oregon's coast is another world.

    1. One of my favorite things is to find interesting old trees on the trails :-)

  11. You sure did the coast right. There is a lot to say about staying a while and getting a chance to just "be" without the running and the sightseeing.

    1. It's been a blissful time in a special place.