Photography: My Shot – Canyonlands Wooden Shoe Arch

The southwest is truly a spectacular part of the United States. That is not to say other states, sections, etc. do not have beauiful areas as well, but the southwest has been blessed with an abundance natural wonders.

Utah, for example, has their Mighty Five:

  • Canyonlands National Park
  • Capitol Reef National Park
  • Arches National Park.
  • Bryce Canyon National Park
  • Zion National Park

I am glad to report that we have been to all of the above and we yearn to return to several of them to see more of what they have to offer. We hiked Zion two times and want to return at least once more. For those who love nature, hiking, etc. it is hard to overestimate the amount of wonder that can be found in all of the parks listed above.

As a side trip to visiting Arches National Park, we took a day to go to Canyonlands National Park’s Needles District. The day was stormy with periods of rain, but as long as it is safe, we hike rain or shine.

One site we saw was the Wooden Shoe Arch. I only had my 8 MP Canon point-and-shoot, but as they say: “The best camera is the one you have with you.” I took the picture below and I think it captures the beauty of the area.


Stormy Canyonlands Wooden Shoe Arch

You may have to look carefully to see the “shoe.” It is the formation in the distance on the right. The heel and front of the shoe are separated by a space. The cloudy day makes it hard to discern so I put an arrow above the shoe in the picture below.


Stormy Canyonlands Wooden Shoe Arch

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Metadata

File Name: 8968_cl_woodenshoe_arch.JPG
Capture time: 3:02:01 PM
Capture date: September 11, 2012
Exposure: 1/200 sec @ f/5.5
Focal Length: 23.2mm
ISO: 200
Camera: Canon PowerShot AS590 IS
Lens: 4.3-215mm

Edited in Lightroom

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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2017 – JBRish.com



Adventures in Oregon: Pacific City, Neskowin & Lincoln City

After leaving Cape Lookout State Park, we were eager to see more of the beautiful and very different (for us) Oregon coast. Our next stop was Pacific City and environs. We realized very soon into our adventures that every city, town, hamlet, etc. is very proud of their section of the Oregon coast with their variety of natural rock formations and distinct features.

This is why we encountered two very different Haystack Rocks. They both resemble haystacks, but are very different in appearance. Here is the second Haystack that we encountered in Pacific City.


Haystack Rock, Pacific City - from a distance
Haystack Rock, Pacific City – from a distance

It is hard to appreciate at a distance so here is a closer view.


Haystack Rock, Pacific City - a closer view
Haystack Rock, Pacific City – a closer view

The relatively nice day brought many people to the shore for a variety of activities including surf casting.


A surf caster adjusting his rig<
A surf caster adjusting his rig

After a stroll along the beach, we decided to take advantage of whatever sunshine we had so we headed for the Nestucca Bay National Wildlife Refuge. We are fond of preserves and refuges and the descriptions we read were enticing.

We realized that this area was being revitalized and was very nicely presented. Unfortunately, this was probably not the best time of the year to appreciate the refuge as most wildflowers were dead or waning.

I guess the wooly bear caterpillar should have given us a clue.


A wooly bear caterpillar
A wooly bear caterpillar hinting at the cooler weather coming

Nevertheless, we embarked on the walk up the main path. Here is a view of Haystack Rock from one of the highest points in the park.


Haystack Rock from a high point at the refuge
Haystack Rock seen from a high point at the refuge

We also appreciated the “fun” side shown by the custodians of the refuge.


Bee crossing sign - fun!
Bee crossing sign – fun!

With no animals, not very many flowers to see, the sky becoming overcast and cooler temperatures developing, we left the refuge. Once again we decided to head on down the road to see another one of the touted sites nearby; Proposal Rock. There was a large parking area near the beach access with a unique and colorful wooden sign.


A Native American-style Colorful Fish Sign
A Native American-style Colorful Fish Sign

A short walk toward the back of a nearby hotel, led us to the beach where Proposal Rock is located. There was an active volleyball game being played as you can see in the area between the gap toward the right of the photograph.


Proposal Rock in Neskowin
Proposal Rock in Neskowin

We had one more stop earmarked for this day so we headed back to our car and reviewed the map for the best route toward Lincoln City. Once in town, and after securing our room for the evening, we headed for Roads End State Park. One of the area “residents” seemed to be standing watch over the parking lot inspecting new arrivals while making sure to heed the sign.


A segull sitting atop a sign to 'stand back'
A segull sitting atop a sign to ‘stand back’

Although the day was not very sunny, this beach was abuzz. There were college groups playing a variety of sports which we stopped to watch at various points. Many of the activities were new to us.

We proceeded with our customary routine of exploring by walking up and down the beach looking with interest at the various items we found in the sand and admiring energetic pups running through the surf.

This long rope-like piece of vegetation (below) is Bull Whip Kelp. These plants were very long perhaps twenty feet or more. It was amazing to see how thick and firm they were and how many pieces were strewn across the sand.


Bull Whip Kelp
A large piece of Bull Whip Kelp

Nature has an interesting way of offering gifts to those who are observant. Whle walking along the beach, we discovered the pieces of a Dungeness crab. Although the crab was very dead and well-eaten, all the major parts where present. I only had to move them slightly to arrange them in their relative natural order.


Remains of a complete Dungeness crab
Remains of a complete Dungeness crab

We had seen enough beaches this day and it was time to remove the sand from our shoes so we headed “home.”


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Read previous posts about our adventures hiking and exploring in Oregon:

Exploring Astoria, Oregon – Part 1

Exploring Astoria, Oregon – Part 2

Exploring Astoria, Oregon – Part 3

Adventures in Oregon: Warrenton to Seaside

Adventures in Oregon: Hiking at Indian Beach

Adventures in Oregon: Views from Ecola Point

Adventures in Oregon: Movin’ On Down the Road

Adventures in Oregon: Garibaldi’s Graces and Pier

Adventures in Oregon: Tillamook – Cape Meares Lighthouse

Adventures in Oregon: Adventures in Oregon: Cape Lookout, South Trail

 

Read more Hiking and Exploration posts HERE


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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2018 – JBRish.com



Vide-Ohs: Dust in the Blood (Hiking the Grand Canyon)

JBRish readers know that one thing we enjoy and write about on this blog is hiking and exploring natural places. We appreciate all forms of wildlife and types of terrain, but the mountains and canyons have a special pull on our adventurous spirit.

The Grand Canyon is indeed one of earth’s treasures and it is a shame that mankind has tried to take advantage of its bounty by harvesting natural resources and obliterating some of the pristine beauty.

Below is just one photograph I took on our visit to the North Rim. It was taken with a very simple point-and-shoot camera with only 8 megapixels of resolution when most of today’s cameras start at twice that number and many go to three or four times that and beyond.


North rim of the Grand Canyon near the Lodge

Even with the limited ability of the camera and the photographer, I think you will agree that this is a pretty, colorful picture taken near “the Lodge” at the north rim of the Grand Canyon.

I am also sharing the trailer to the movie Dust in the Blood detailing the journey of filmmaker/photographer Pete McBride and writer Kevin Fedark as they try to hike the 750 mile length of the Grand Canyon.

Dust in the Blood – Trailer from Pete McBride on Vimeo.

From the Vimeo web page hosting the trailer:

In 2016 filmmaker/photographer Pete McBride and writer Kevin Fedarko set out on a 750-mile journey on foot through the entire length of the Grand Canyon. From the outset, the challenge was far more than they bargained for. More people have stood on the moon than have completed a continuous through hike of the Canyon. McBride and Fedarko took a sectional approach, achieving a feat that many adventurers have taken decades to complete. Others have lost their lives trying. But their quest was more than just an endurance test – it was also a way to draw attention to the unprecedented threats facing one of our most revered landscapes.

Throughout their passage, McBride and Fedarko encountered an astonishingly diverse and powerful landscape, rich in history, that is now facing perhaps the gravest crisis in the 98-year history of the Grand Canyon National Park.

Directed by Pete McBride and produced by the award-winning team at Insignia Films, THE CANYON is a story of extreme physical hardship that stretches the bonds of friendship and a meditation on the timeless beauty of this sacred place. It is an urgent warning about the environmental dangers that are placing one of America’s greatest monuments in peril and a cautionary tale for our complex relationship with the natural world.

 

More Vide – Ohs

To See additional Interesting Videos, click HERE


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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2018 – JBRish.com



Photography – My Shot: Enchanted Forest, Tillamook, OR


Enchanting patch of forest

A beautiful scene along the South Trail of Cape Lookout near Tillamook, OR

The majesty of the forest has always had a special place in my heart. I feel a kinship with the plants and trees which are so vital to our ecosystem and therefore our lives. The picture above was taken during our hike along the South Trail of Cape Lookout which is part of Cape Lookout State Park near Tillamook, OR.

As you can tell, the mist was clearing, but still hanging in the air. This tree had an intricate web of roots which enhanced its character even if it made footing a bit tricky. I was taken in by the wonderful colors of brown and greens. This was an enchanted setting.

 

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Metadata

File Name: DSC_2002.NEF
Capture time: 9:12:35 AM
Capture date: September 9 2017
Exposure: 1/60 sec @ f/13
Focal Length: 25mm
ISO: 720
Camera: Nikon D3300
Lens: 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6mm

Edited in Lightroom

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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2018 – JBRish.com



Photography: As Shot – Stormy Mendocino Headlands


Stormy Ocean - Mendocino Headlands

There is something about a stormy sea that attracts me. Knowing that I am standing on terra firma looking at the churning water and feeling the building strength of the impending storm carries a thrill with it. On such a day we were drawn to the edge of the ocean in Mendocino Headlands State Park. There were only a few adventurers at the water’s edge this morning.

The grey skies could not hide the beauty of the scene. The browns of the beach and rocks against the bluish grey water and sky created a very pleasing panorama.

Read more about Mendocino Headlands State Park – Click HERE

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Metadata

File Name: IMG_1636.CR2
Capture time: 9:51:17 AM
Capture date: September 24, 2014
Exposure: 1/250 sec @ f/4.0
Focal Length: 4.3mm
ISO: 100
Camera: Canon PowerShot SX50 HS
Lens: 4.3-215mm

Edited in Lightroom

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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2017 – JBRish.com



Adventures in Oregon: Garibaldi’s Graces and Pier

Wheeler was a fun stop. We enjoy small towns with their the local, small-shop milieu which generally offers homey, welcoming touches.

Another stop we targeted was an unusual rock formation in Garibaldi, OR known as The Three Graces which are millions of years old.


The Three Graces with blue skies!
The Three Graces with blue skies!

Here is a description:

The Three Graces

Nestled near the shore in the channel leading from Garibaldi to the North Jetty and the Pacific Ocean is a picturesque rock formation known as the Three Graces. The rocks are a favorite of birds and photographers and, at their base, they feature tide pools and excellent beach combing. http://visitgaribaldi.com/three-graces/

As you can see, the weather was very variable, but this helped create some dramatic views of The Graces


A wider view of the graces and vicinity
A wider view of the graces and vicinity

It was a short, but sometimes challenging walk down to the shore where the tide pools collect during low tide. The rocky coastline makes the footing a bit tricky and when wet, perhaps not good for those without the appropriate footwear and good balance.


The shoreline was quite rocky and footing difficult
The shoreline was quite rocky and footing difficult.

Interestingly enough there was another fascinating rock near the Three Graces that was itself quite interesting. I tried to find a name for it, but was unable to determine any label, but if you visit you are sure to see it.


Another just interesting rock formation nearby
A neighbor to the three graces was just as interesting!

I particularly enjoyed the window at the base which enabled a peek into the distance.


See the distant shore via nature's window
See the distant shore via nature’s window.

Perhaps the best place to park if visiting the formation is about a half mile or so north along the railroad tracks which were also quite scenic.


A bend in the railroad tracks
What’s behind the bend?


Stonework for the elevated roadway
Nice stonework in the roadway wall.

Once we saw the Three Graces from as many angles as the weather and footing would encourage, we headed to the village of Garibaldi. We weren’t too sure what we would discover, but it proved to be a good find.

Most of our time was spent on and around the Garibaldi pier which was charming and had a number of attendees “fishing” for Dungeness crabs.


Garibaldi's pier beckons fishermen.
Garibaldi’s pier beckons fishermen.

“At over 700 feet in length, Garibaldi’s Pier’s End pier is the longest in Oregon. It is located across U.S. Highway 101 from the historical Coast Guard Headquarters building. Near its end is a building that served as a boathouse for the Coast Guard from 1934 until the early 1960s. The Port of Garibaldi took ownership of the pier as part of a land swap with the federal government in the late 1970s. Although the building is under private lease, the pier itself is open free to the public for a wide range of recreational fishing opportunities, including crabbing, bottom fishing for sturgeon and other species, and salmon fishing. A stairway provides public access to the clam beds below. There are several turnout locations for setting up chairs while tending your crab pots or fishing lines. The pier is open from dawn to dusk. To access Pier’s End, take 12th Street from U.S. Highway 101 and turn right on Bay Lane. There is parking near the entrance to the pier.” – http://visitgaribaldi.com/piers-end/

The shoreline was dotted with some boating-related industries and every now and again, a few small fishing boats would pass by.


A boat with anglers heading home.
A boat with anglers heading home.

The cormorants seemed to be taking the day in stride as they took time to dry their feathers on adjacent pylons.


Cormorants are also hoping for some fish.
Cormorants are also hoping for some fish.

As we were leaving, I couldn’t resist just one more photograph. Here it is rendered in a near black and white version which captures the mood of that day.


Beautiful picture of the Garibaldi Pier
A favorite photograph of the Garibaldi pier taken as we were ready to leave.


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Read previous posts about our adventures hiking and exploring in Oregon:

Exploring Astoria, Oregon – Part 1

Exploring Astoria, Oregon – Part 2

Exploring Astoria, Oregon – Part 3

Adventures in Oregon: Warrenton to Seaside

Adventures in Oregon: Hiking at Indian Beach

Adventures in Oregon: Views from Ecola Point

Adventures in Oregon: Movin’ On Down the Road

 

Read more Hiking and Exploration posts HERE


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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2017 – JBRish.com



Adventures in Oregon: Movin’ On Down the Road

 

After taking in many of the sites at Ecoloa Point we headed a bit further down the road to catch Haystack Rock from the other side. Cannon Beach was our next stop. Once we arrived at the beach, the sun began to break through and we could see the iconic landmark in a distance.


Distant view of Haystack Rock from Cannon Beach
Distant view of Haystack Rock from Cannon Beach

I needed to capture more of a portrait worthy of such a noted “celebrity” although the photographer part of my personality insisted on including some of the environment to complete the composition.


A closer view of Haystack Rock from Cannon Beach
A closer view of Haystack Rock from Cannon Beach

Even the seagulls seemed to appreciate the temporary change in the weather.


Local birds were enjoying the cooler, more damp weather
Local birds were enjoying the cooler, more damp weather

We weren’t in the mood for stopping in all the shops and/or dealing with the crowds on this variable weather day so we were quickly on the move again and soon arrived at Nehalem Bay State Park. We had the parking pass so we decided to take a walk around.

There were quite a few people launching their water crafts mostly in the hunt for crabs.


Foggy weather does not deter the fish or crabs
Fishing is good in bad weather too and so is crabbing!

Beach combing is always interesting and I was amazed at what we found. This fish was obviously enjoyed by something and yet, the remains were anatomically beautiful in their own right.


Even in death, the remains of this fish were colorful and interesting
An interesting, colorful picture of fish bones on the beach

Another photo reveals the loss of a pair of feathers by a visiting bird or perhaps the remnants of something more sinister. Neverthelss, I thought their arrangement in the sand was curious.


Its amazing what we found on the beach  - bird feathers
Bird feathers lay in symmetry as we wandered along the beach

As the weather began to become stormy once again, we decided to pack up and continue to travel on. While my wife visited a nearby quilt shop, I walked down to the pier in Wheeler, OR. This fellow looked on as though he wanted to be on that boat with the other fishermen.


A wistful onlooker at the Wheeler, OR pier
A wistful onlooker at the Wheeler, OR pier

We were intrigued by the varied terrain and adventures we were having along the Oregon coast and appreciated its oceanside charm when compared to our desert neighborhood. We were anxiously anticipating our next stop…


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Read previous posts about our adventures hiking and exploring in Oregon:

Exploring Astoria, Oregon – Part 1

Exploring Astoria, Oregon – Part 2

Exploring Astoria, Oregon – Part 3

Adventures in Oregon: Warrenton to Seaside

Adventures in Oregon: Hiking at Indian Beach

Adventures in Oregon: Views from Ecola Point

 

Read more Hiking and Exploration posts HERE


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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2017 – JBRish.com



Haystack Rock, Cannon Beach, fish skeleton, seagul, weather, Wheeler, Oregon, fishermen,

Adventures in Oregon: Warrenton to Seaside

 

After a couple of days of adventures in and around Astoria, OR, we were heading south toward Seaside. We had our itinerary planned and were excited to begin the day’s exploits.


Map route from Astoria, OR to Seaside
Map route from Astoria, OR to Seaside

Living in the desert of Arizona we don’t often have a chance to visit shore towns and see nautical sights and the idea tha we could get a close up view of an actual shipwreck could not be resisted. The British vessel, the Peter Iredale, ran aground on October 25, 1906 on its way to the Columbia River and was abandoned near Fort Stevens in Warrenton. As you can see in the photo below, people can walk right up to the remainder of the wreck when the tide is low.


People can get very close to the remnants of the Peter Iredale
People can get very close to the remnants of the Peter Iredale

The hulk was quite impressive when considering it has been windswept and bathed in salt water for more than a century.


Remnants of the ship wreck draw visitors to the beach
The ship’s carcass remains after more than 100 years

Although this day didn’t provide the best weather, when the sun poked through visitors could appreciate the form and structure of the ship along with a stark beauty created by the rust tones against the blue-grey seascape.


Beauty amid the wreckage
Beauty amid the wreckage

At times, the crowds would grow as photographers and dog walkers visited the water’s edge to take in the sight. We soon moved to other areas of Fort Stevens State Park to continue our explorations.


A viewing platfrom along a jetty or breakwall at Fort Stevens Park
A viewing platfrom along a jetty or breakwall at Fort Stevens Park

I never appreciated how much the west coast had prepared for invasion during WW II. Certainly Fort Stevens provided plenty of proof. This (below) was one of turrets that can be easily seen among the many other fortified batteries.


Defensive gun turret along America's western coast
Defensive gun turret along America’s western coast

After hiking one of the major trails through Fort Stevens and gaining an understanding of the military preparations there, we made our way to another planned stop, the Necanicum Estuary near Seaside. I was hopeful that we could spot a bird or two that I would be able to mark off my birding list and indeed we did pass some birdwatchers eyeing a Cedar Waxwing. Much to our surprise, it wasn’t birds that caught our attention…


Roosevelt Elk along coastal Oregon
Roosevelt Elk along coastal Oregon

… there was a herd of elk. They were quite numerous. One doe found us interesting, but not enough to stop eating.


An elk doe eats as she watches us walk along the path
An elk doe eats as she watches us walk along the path

We found ourselves in an unusual and unexpected situation as the hiking path we used to get to the bay was soon surrounded by the herd. A few males, which can weigh nearly a half a ton, were not happy that we were among their harem. We carefully made our way to the shoreline. There were some does there as well, but only a few.


Elk along the shore
Elk along the shore

Another doe nearby looked on as we approached the beach.


Another doe watched as we walked to the beach
Another doe watched as we walked to the beach

We were able to circle around to find a clear way back to the parking area and were glad to arrive safely at the car to head to our evening’s accommodations.

 

More information about the Peter Iredale shipwereck

Learn more about the elk at Gerhart’s preserve

Read more about the Necanicum Estuary in Seaside


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Read previous posts about our adventures hiking and exploring in Oregon:

Exploring Astoria, Oregon – Part 1

Exploring Astoria, Oregon – Part 2

Exploring Astoria, Oregon – Part 3

 

Read more Hiking and Exploration posts HERE


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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2017 – JBRish.com



Exploring Astoria, Oregon – Part 3

We planned two days for our stay in Astoria, OR and as our visit to this river town was coming to an end, we wished we had planned a bit more time to further examine the nooks and crannies of this historic area.


Exterior of the Flavel House Museum
Exterior of the Flavel House Museum

One of the attractions of Astoria is the interesting architecture to be found in different parts of town. The notable Flavel House and Mueseum is a restored Victorian mansion that offers a self-guided tour with exhibits of period decor and Queen Anne era trappings,.

Read More about the Flavel House HERE.


Victorian features of the Flavel House Museum
Victorian features of the Flavel House Museum

Among the other noted buildings is the restored Liberty Theater, part of the Astor Building, showing its Italian Renaissance facade. The theater now serves as a premier showcase for a variety of arts including films, performing arts and student productions.

Read more about the restoration HERE.


Exterior facade of the Liberty Theater
Exterior facade of the Liberty Theater

The star of the town, however, is the Columbia River and a stroll along the waterfront properties will provide many opportunities for exploration and appreciation. This mural on the side of one of the larger riverside buildings was quite entertaining especially because we are fond of cats; dogs too!


Astoria riverside building mural as art
Mural by Jo Brown behind the Sears Store via

The remnants of once bustling piers hint at the extent to which Astoria was a waterfront mecca at one time.


Remnants of once bustling pier
Remnants of once bustling pier

We read about a couple of restaurants in town that provide glass windows in their floors to show diners the seals that come to rest under the pier. One such eatery was the Buoy Beer Company. We had fish and chips which were quite good and took a look at their lone slumberer which may be hard to discern.


Sea Lion visualized through window in restaurant floor
alt=”Sea Lion visualized through window in restaurant floor”

If you had trouble visualizing the sea lion, here are some highlighted details:


Sea Lion visualized through window in restaurant floor
Sea Lion visualized through window in restaurant floor – notations

While we were dining, we were able to watch the boats…


Boats busy studying and working along the Columbia River
Boats busy studying and working along the Columbia River

and ships go sailing by.


Ships moving up and down the Columbia River
Ships moving up and down the Columbia River

One could probably create a picture essay of just the interesting and historic-inspired trash cans found along the streets of this former fishing village.


Artistic trash can depicts a historic scene
Artistic trash can depicts a historic scene

Although the weather was not ideal and the northern fires left the skies darkened, this picturesque area of Oregon provided a wonderful start to our exploration of the coastline


Picturesque riverside scene
picturesque riverside scene


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Read previous posts about our adventures hiking and exploring in Oregon:

Exploring Astoria, Oregon – Part 1

Exploring Astoria, Oregon – Part 2

 

Read more Hiking and Exploration posts HERE


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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2017 – JBRish.com



Exploring Astoria, Oregon – Part 1


Map route from Portland to Astoria, OR
Map route from Portland to Astoria, OR – Green

As part of our “hike while you still can” regimen, my wife and I decided to schedule a hiking vacation along the coast of Oregon and then on to Crater Lake for September, 2017. Even before we landed at Portland International Airport, we could smell fire in the airplane. We knew it wasn’t the Boeing, but the fires breaking out all over Oregon which tainted the air.

We retrieved our luggage and made a beeline for the car rental counter. After dusting the ash off of our suitcases and getting the trunk of the car packed, we headed toward the Oregon coast and the town of Astoria.

Astoria is a river town sharing space along the Columbia River and it has the requisite trappings of a riverside town. Our hotel was just yards from a shipyard with a number of ships and boats in a variety of conditions. The sun was setting and I was tired, but I couldn’t resist the photographic opportunities. I took my Fuji X-T2 and snapped just two pictures.


Shipyard along the Columbia River, Astoria Oregon
Shipyard along the Columbia River

A better image of the boat above appears in my previous post Fuji X T-2: The Magic of Beginnings. We enjoy walking around towns and discovering the variety of shops and sights. As we explored the streets the next day, the reminders that this was a fishing and river town were abundant.


Salmon-themed trash can - Astoria, Oregon
Salmon-themed trash can

The antique shops, cafes and other stores proudly adorned their windows with sailing memorabilia and accessories. There were a number of “general” decorative touches along the sidewalks as well.


Bicycle planter along 12th Street - Astoria, Oregon
Bicycle planter along 12th Street

Our first major stop was the Garden of Surging Waves. This was a small, inner city park celebrating Astoria’s Chinese heritage dating back to the days of John Jacob Astor. Interestingly, “The Chinese written characters for the words ‘surging wave’ are also used to express hardship and struggle — experiences shared by many of America’s early immigrant groups.” *

* Read more about the Garden of Surging Waves and HERE.

We entered the garden, part of Astoria’s Heritage Square project, through the Moon Gate which appeared to be the main entrance although there are a number of entryways. The ironwork was bold and attractive.


Traditional Moon Gate entrance to the Garden of Surging Waves - Astoria, Oregon
Traditional Moon Gate entrance to the Garden of Surging Waves

The ironwork not only serves as an entry, but also a story screen. There are a multitude of quotes and phrases related to the experience of the Chinese families and workers who helped to build the town of Astoria.

One touching quote appearing in the picture below, across two vertical sections, reads:

“Grandma said that Dad was so sick on the boat from China that he would have been fed to the fish if he had died. Now a seafood lab is named after him for the fish feed that he and his team developed.”


Part of a story screen near the entrance to the Garden of Surging Waves - Astoria, Oregon
Part of a story screen near the entrance to the Garden of Surging Waves”

There are granite columns carved with traditional dragon, Chinese cloud and ocean wave symbols.


Traditional dragon columns of the central pavilion at the Garden of Surging Waves - Astoria, Oregon
Traditional dragon columns of the central pavilion at the Garden of Surging Waves

The columns hold a series of wooden beams which in turn serve to frame a colorful stained glass crown-like structure. Although the day was grey, the sun did try to poke through as we stood in the open air pavilion.


Circular glass artwork at the central pavilion at the Garden of Surging Waves - Astoria, Oregon
Traditional dragon columns of the central pavilion

Further investigation led us to a large cast bronze lantern in the style of an incense burner which depicts characters in a story about a mythical dragon and a wise monkey. You can read about the statue and myth HERE. This was our last stop in the garden before we headed for 11th St. and more discoveries.


Cast bronze lantern in the style of an incense burner at the Garden of Surging Waves - Astoria, Oregon
Cast bronze lantern in the style of an incense burner

This was just a small portion of our day exploring Astoria. JBRish.com will soon have more stories about Astoria and other adventures in Oregon.

 

Read more Hiking and Exploration posts HERE


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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2017