Monday, August 30, 2010

summer vacation

Five days after I finished teaching, we were on the road again from Southern CA  to Oregon and Washington.  In the morning, Caitlyn had her last gymnastics class, and we journeyed to the Compton's high desert home for a few days stay with Grandma & Grandpa.  From there we drove north to our favorite overnight stop at the Gaia Eco-Hotel in Anderson, CA (just S. of Redding - see post here).  I love to stay in eco-luxury for, like, $80.  Awesome.

Here's Caitlyn doing a dance for joy after 1,200 miles in the car!!!  We arrive in Netarts, OR - on the coast just west of Tillamook (cheese lovers unite!) 
We hit the road for the trails about as quick as we can.  Later our friend's, Jen & Josh (newly relocated from Arizona) take a long walk in the lovely, gray-zy weather.
What we call 'rock beach' is one of our favorite hangout spots.  We go at lowtide to hunt for sealife and agates.
 I say a hike's not a real hike unless there's an element of danger in there somewhere.  Here's Caitlyn jumping over the "rushing river" to the sea so we can hike down the beach.
We found these amazing barnacles and green and pink sponges.
Caitlyn got her first hand at scrambling as we climbed out amongst the rocks & tidepools.
After a few days of relaxation on the homefront at Netarts Bay, we drove up to Washington state and took the ferry to the San Juan Islands.  Caitlyn did a good job at the wheel.

Once on Orcas island, we drove to Moran State Park, where we camped for 3 nights and 4 days.
We didn't see the family staying in the tent in the background at the site near ours, until late at night.  They were a couple from Seattle, Ian & Christina, with a 5-yr old Caitlyn (1/2 yr. older than ours).  They invited us over for Smores, and we made plans to hike around Cascade Lake, since it was there last day there.
The hike was green and gorgeous - the weather was sunny and perfect.
The girls were intrepid young explorers.
The lake was beautiful, but we didn't want the fun to end too soon, so we kept on the trail.
 
After a quick map check we decided to take the hike up to Cascade Falls.
 
 
Lovely!  And not far from a good place to stop for a lunchie trail snack.
 
Sunny fields of foxgloves and thistles on the way back.  Tallest foxgloves I've ever seen!
It was a good day with a new friend - they were both great hikers!
The next day we drove to Mt. Constitution to visit the tower.  Impressive looking!
Our last full day at camp, Caitlyn made one more friend - Mila from NY.  We had a relaxing visit to the lake for a swim and some reading.  There was a gorgeous bald eagle flying and roosting!  It makes sense that we forgot the camera :)  
There were also a few incidents with a midnight camp robber - oh deer!  Before you know it, we were back on the ferry heading to the Oregon coast again.
This time Grandma & Grandpa were staying at Netarts, so we had a few days stay together.
Just a few family shots when we went out to dinner in Oceanside at Roseanna's.
(Someone got a full haircut and shave for the vacation!  Made the trip much cooler)
We had a few days to get our gear in order, and then we were off for another 3 nights and 4 days of backpacking in Oregon at Mt. Hood National Forest up to Buck Lake.
The arrival was wonderful - we were carrying all the camp gear and 4 days worth of food!
But we resisted the temptation to set up camp right near the trail, and took off around the lake.
 It was worth it for this GI-normous, secluded spot on the far side with the best view, a 'private' beach and warm, morning sun.
The water is cool, crystal clear, and turquoise blue.  I was so sweaty and could not resist the urge to take a quickie dip :)
The next day we took a hike around the lake - the trail got really tedious and very scrambly, so it was definitely a hike in my book.  
 I couldn't believe I was seeing fall colors on the trees on that side of the lake!
It's always hard to say goodbye, but we had to be back in Portland for the weekend to visit with my brother and his family.  We were consoled with a yummy visit for ales and meat sandwiches at Rogue Brewery.

On this vacation I read Ender's Game, Red Mars, two John Constantine/HellBlazer graphic novels, a Martha Stewart Living magazine, and 2 papercrafting magazines.  The adults listened to Brisinger (Eragon series), unabridged on CD, and the whole family enjoyed listening to tapes of The Adventures of Squirrel Nutkin, and good ol' down-home Uncle Remus stories.

1 comment:

Katie {choc0holic} said...

Oh my nostalgia! I grew up in the NW and have been to most of those sites. Oh how I miss tidepooling! Thanks for bringing back some memories! Oh, Tillamook cheese...yum!