Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Future Past

A historic mural in Port Angeles, Washington...
The Kalakala depicted on a Port Angeles mural...
This mural on a wall in downtown Port Angeles pays tribute to the Kalakala, a ferry that operated in nearby Puget Sound starting in 1935.

According to Wikipedia, as a result of its unique art deco design:
" She became the second most photographed object in the world, following the Eiffel Tower." 
Unfortunately, that design also meant the vessel wasn't particularly efficient as a ferry. The Kalakala was retired after 32 years. 

After its de-commissioning, the vessel passed through the hands of a number of owners who had hopes of refurbishing it for its nostalgic value. Unfortunately, nothing came of these plans and the ship was eventually scrapped.

And, those kids and the dog in front of the mural? Actually, they are part of the mural, painted on in such a way to create a trompe-l'oeil.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Crater Lake

Smoke obscures Crater Lake in Oregon...
Smoke obscures the finer details at Crater Lake, OR.
Crater Lake is the remains of a long-vanished volcano that erupted 7700 years ago. The caldera of the volcano collapsed creating a huge crater that filled in with water over the millennia.

Crater Lake is the deepest fresh water lake in the United States at 1940 feet... slightly more than a third of a mile.

Wizard Island in the lake was formed by subsequent 'mini' eruptions that created a smaller summit higher than the level of the water.

The lake is also known for its extreme blue colour and clarity. Unfortunately, the smoke from a nearby forest fire didn't allow us to see this for ourselves.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Sunset over Oregon

The sun sets over the Oregon coastline.
The sun sinks below the horizon at Cape Kiwanda, Oregon.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Where's there's smoke...

A massive cloud of smoke rises from one of many wildfires in Oregon.
Rising smoke from a massive wildfire in Oregon...
Our original travel itinerary for Oregon changed drastically as a result of the record-setting wildfires that were burning throughout the state.

This ominous mushroom cloud was from a fresh fire that closed a main highway and forced us to detour to get to the northeast quadrant of the state as planned. On the return trip, we had to abandon our plans to visit the central portion of the state.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Cape Kiwanda

The massive sand dune at Cape Kiwanda, Oregon...
The sand dune at Cape Kiwanda...
Further down Oregon's coast from Cannon Beach is the equally beautiful Cape Kiwanda. It's another mecca for surfers. And not just for surfers on the water either.

At one end of the beach is a massive sand dune. How high is it? Check out the photo above… see that barely visible spot of colour about half way up the dune? That's a person.

For $20 you can rent a sand surfer and surf the dune. Sadly, no lifts will take you to the top. You have to hike up on your own and the shifting sand turns it into a serious workout for your calves.

My wife and I struggled -- without much success -- to master carving with our boards. Otherwise, there are just two speeds… stopped and balls-to-the-wall straight down the slope.

Two critical things to know about sand surfing:

i. Wiping out on sand hurts; and

ii. Wiping out on sand will leave you scraping sand out of your eyes, ears and nose for days.

View from the top of the dune at Cape Kiwanda...
The view from the top of the dune...

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Seen at Sombrio...

A dog greets his friend coming off a day of surfing...
At the end of a day of surfing,
it's nice to come home to a friend.
Sombrio Beach on Vancouver Island, BC is popular with surfers, although it's generally not for beginning surfers.

A dog anxiously awaits his master's safe return from the water...

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Tillamook Rock

Tillamook Rock off the Oregon coast...
Tillamook Rock... a story of the macabre...
Tillamook Rock Lighthouse is visible from the main beach at Cannon Beach. It's located on a rock outcropping about 1.2 miles offshore.

It's de-commissioned now, but it has a macabre history. One of the initial surveyors of the rock in the late 1880s was swept away by a wave. His body was never recovered.

The construction of the lighthouse was plagued with bad luck. Shortly before it was completed a ship sank off the rock after coming too close in thick fog. Sixteen men were killed.

After completion it was significantly damaged by rough weather over the years. The ghosts of two former lighthouse keepers are said to haunt the lighthouse.

Creepy, eh? Well, it gets better.

After it was de-commissioned, it was bought by a private company that turned it into a columbarium, a place where the ashes of the dead are interred in urns. The ashes of about thirty people are still interred there.

Why is some Hollywood studio not all over this already?

Friday, September 11, 2015

Sunrise over Oregon

An early morning surfer meditates on the day's conditions...
Contemplation on an Oregon beach..
An early morning surfer at Cape Kiwanda beach takes a break to meditate on the waves...

At Cannon Beach, a couple enjoy some together time over fishing poles...

Early morning fishing...

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

The Goonies 'R' Good Enough

Somebody was nostalgic for The Goonies...
Nostalgia on an Oregon beach...
That's what Cyndi Lauper sang in 1985. Large parts of this quirky adventure movie were filmed in and around Cannon Beach and Astoria, Oregon and clearly inspired someone recently near Cannon Beach.

Haystack Rock near Cannon Beach, Oregon...
Haystack Rock attracts the beach visitors..
Cannon Beach' main beach is dominated by Haystack Rock, said to be the 3rd largest intertidal structure in the world. (What does 'intertidal' mean? I'll leave it to readers to discover that for themselves...)

During the summer, Cannon Beach' population triples as tourists and locals alike are drawn to the sand and dramatic surf of the waterfront. In 2013, National Geographic labelled it as one of the world's 100 most beautiful places.

Oregon's award-winning beaches...
One of Oregon's world-class beaches...


Monday, September 7, 2015

Sea Stack: 2

A sea stack off Cape Kiwanda, Oregon...
Oregon sea stack
Here's an example of another sea stack... this dramatic formation can be found off Cape Kiwanda in Oregon.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Sea stack

BC sea stack...

Sea stacks are coastal rock formations formed through erosion. This particular one is found near Port Renfrew, BC...

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Sometimes you can't see...

... the trees for the forest.

Trees near Port Renfrew on Vancouver Island...

Recently near Port Renfrew to the west of Victoria, I was struck by the abstract pattern created by alternating bands of trees and sunlight.