Sunday, September 25, 2011

Making Waves


“The ocean was alive with little peaks …. every swell was born in a different place, made from a specific recipe of wind, time, and water, …… each wave was unique as a fingerprint. It has its own provenance and its own destiny, clashing against its neighbors or merging with them, leaping out of the seascape or dissolving back into it.”

The Wave by Susan Casey

Last night, we received the first storm of the season.  Yesterday, I spent about a half hour standing on the south jetty at Clatsop waiting for the perfect wave.  As the tide continued to rise and the waves pummeled the jetty, I decided that this one would have to suffice.  Fall  has officially arrive and I already miss summer.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Labor Day 2011

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The lovely wife and I decided to do something exciting for Labor Day so we decided upon an impromptu visit to Cannon Beach.  We decided to brave the holiday traffic in order to enjoy clam chowder and fish and chips at an Oregon coast landmark followed by a hike along the beach.  We arrived to find the beach nearly shrouded in fog, the temperature hovering around 50 degrees, and the tourist donning jackets.  This was a sign that a hike was out of the question.  On the other hand, the fish and chips were outstanding.

Hells Canyon

During our recent vacation to rediscover the Oregon Trail, the lovely wife and I abandoned the trail several times in search of alternate adventures.  Our first such adventure was driving the 208 mile Hells Canyon Scenic Byway.  The scenic loop winds through the northeast corner of Oregon while overlooking Hells Canyon and encircling the Wallowa Mountains.  A good portion of the road is very narrow and winding but the views are incredible.  Do not plan to make this drive in the winter unless you own snowshoes.

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Hells Canyon Scenic Overlook looking east into Idaho’s Seven Devils Mountains


Hells Canyon is North America’s deepest river gorge which was carved out of volcanic lava flows by the Snake River.  The gorge is ten miles wide and at its deepest point is a staggering 7,993 feet.  The canyon is largely inaccessible by road and is best experienced while floating the Snake River in a raft. 

Once leaving the canyon’s rim area, the drive continues through the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest finally descending into the community of Joseph, OR and nearby Wallowa Lake.  When you make your visit to Wallowa Lake, be sure to ride the Wallowa Lake Tramway to the summit of Mt. Howard.  The ride to the summit takes about about twenty minutes but other than hiking, it’s the only way to reach the summit which is just over 8,000 feet in elevation.


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The photo above was take through the window of the tram.  Notice the graffiti on the plexiglass left by some young lovers.  Once you reach the summit, the views of the Eagle Cap Wilderness Area are unquestionably without equal.


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Summit of Mt. Howard looking east into the Eagle Cap Wilderness Area

Once departing northeast Oregon, we continued our trip east along Interstate 84 as we headed to Lowman, Idaho for our next adventure.  The next logical question is where in the heck is Lowman and why drive over five hours to get there?  For the answer to that question, stay tuned.