Seaside Day 8: Fort to Sea Hike

Day’s Verse:
Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves.
1 Peter 2:16

Yesterday Ian and I did our most ambitious hike yet: the Fort to Sea, from Sunset Beach to Fort Clatsop and back. I call it a hike, but in places it was much more of a stroll, a walk, a perambulation, or a tromp. Here we are at the start, feeling fresh and frisky.
Fort to Sea: Start

We started by walking through a wind-ravaged clearing, crossed an amazingly elaborate pedestrian bridge:
Fort to Sea: Bridge

…and then spent a couple miles weaving through cow pastures, literally:
Fort to Sea: Cow Guard

Then, after tunneling under Highway 101, we transitioned into a some more woods and farmland.
Fort to Sea: Farmland

Good thing some genius invented trail mix. Ian carried the trail mix baggies in his jacket pockets because we didn’t have a backpack and I had used all the extra space in my camera bag with 2 PB&Js and 2 apples. I also carried a water bottle strapped to the back of my camera bag (the tripod holder, when empty, fits a Nalgene perfectly!), and Ian hand-carried another Nalgene. Next time, we’re bringing a proper backpack.
Fort to Sea: Trail Mix

After the farmland, we entered woods, but the trail remained well-maintained and graveled almost the whole way. Almost immediately we found a nice pit toilet and signs: 3 miles to Ft. Clatsop; 3 miles to Sunset Beach. Halfway there, and they gave us a potty break! Then we followed a meandering stream along the side of a valley, eventually climbing to the top of the valley for an overlook.
Fort to Sea: Overlook

The overlook was about 2.5 miles from the ocean, but it looks very far away. We gazed out for a while, ate trail mix, and moved on. The trail changed to a wide graveled road that led us almost all the way down to the road. We cross the road, meandered for about 1/4 mile (just long enough for us to wonder whether we really were near the visitor’s center), and voila!
Fort to Sea: Ft. Clatsop Visitor's Center
When we went inside, one of the rangers asked if we had a national forest pass. We were confused: Why would we need a pass? We’d just walked here from somewhere else, didn’t plan on doing anything on national forest land, and intended to turn around and walk back. Once the ranger understood our plan, she agreed we didn’t need a pass after all, but she said she hoped we’d come back and see the fort some time. So now I’ve been by Fort Clatsop twice and never seen it yet.

We used the visitor center’s facilities (aahhh, water to wash your hands!), ate lunch, and did the whole hike again — backwards! Actually, we took a the Alder Creek Loop up to the outlook, but after that it was all the same, and we didn’t walk backwards at all. too risky. Instead we walked normally and talked about number theory and different types of elves in Middle Earth. The cows had moved and were standing around one of the pass-throughs, which made us nervous. They kept eyeing us suspiciously, like they thought we’d come to steal their hay or something. We crept through carefully, only getting partly covered in 1:1 cow poop:mud goo. My boots need a good cleaning.

Here we are after 12.25 miles and 4 hours, back where we started:
Fort to Sea: End (Ian)

Fort to Sea: End (Katie)

Overall we agreed the Fort to Sea trail was a really excellent one. It had lots of different landscapes, from pastures — which you saw up close! — to lots of different types of forest to water meadow to regular meadow. Enough landmarks appeared along the way to keep it interesting, too. First you walk 2 miles and get to the Highway 101 underpass; then another mile and you get to the halfway bathrooms; another 1.5 miles takes you to the overlook, etc. It felt less like 6 miles each way than only a mile or mile and half to the next interesting point. Also, it was quite flat compared to the Tillamook Head hike, sticking closely to valleys and not needlessly hurtling over high points just for the heck of it. That made it a fairly easy 12 miles, coming in at just under 4 hours, excluding stops. I’m pretty sure we’ll be doing that hike again.

Make Up Your Own Story!

Day’s Verse:
Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.
James 3:13

Here are the pictures, in chronological order. Make up a story to go with them!

Picture 1:
Cannon Beach-Seaside Walk: Beginning

Picture 2:
A Seal!

Picture 3:
Looking back towards Cannon Beach

Picture 4:
Ian and the big root ball

Picture 5 and Picture 6 (simultaneous):
Cannon Beach-Seaside Walk: End (Ian)

Cannon Beach-Seaside Walk: End (Katie)

For those who just want the answer, here it is. Continue reading “Make Up Your Own Story!”

Quick Seaside Update

Day’s Verse:
In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
James 2:17

Here we are in Seaside! The weather has held so far, giving us sun and rain showers intermittently. If we’re really on the ball we can dash outside when it’s sunny, walk around for an hour, and get home just as the pouring rain starts.

We spent the last couple days doing Seaside things, taking walks, reading indoors when it rained, and revisiting Ian’s nostalgic spots. If you’re curious where we’ve walked, check the Activities sidebar and click on any of the activities for a map and more details.

Today we got up to sun, and I felt ambitious, so I rode my bike to Fort Stevens — not a particularly challenging ride, only a little over 20 miles (in my head I now think of that as half a day’s commute) and fairly flat. The challenges weren’t terrain related: The route I’d chosen took me on non-roads, as happens sometimes when you blindly trust Google maps; the air pressure in my tires was alarmingly low, I forgot to bring a pump, and the bike shop didn’t open for an hour and a half, longer than I wanted to wait; and, although the thermometer said 40°F outside, as I rode through Gearhart I noticed ice around the edges of the puddles. Then, too, the intermittent heavy rain started up, making me glad I’d worn booties but sad I’d not worn warmer pants. I was quite cold by the time I got to Fort Stevens and (eventually) met up with Ian, who’d driven there. After I changed clothes and had a snack, I felt perky again, so we looked at the South Jetty and then checked out the wreck of the Peter Iredale a bit further on. Here’s the jetty, and an “at arm’s length” self portrait of us:

South Jetty Fort Stevens

Ian & Katie Seaside 2010

Also, we stopped at the now-open bike shop and bought a pump and some lube, both of which will reside in Seaside permanently.

The rest of the day looks like it’ll go down about like the previous days: Calm, relaxing, and literary. Thank you, Fergusons, for making it possible!

Off to See the Wizard

Day’s Verse:
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
James 5:16

…the wonderful Wizard of Seaside.

That just doesn’t have the same ring, somehow. In any case, Ian and I leave this morning for a little vacation to his parents’ vacation home in Seaside, Oregon. We’ll be there through next Sunday, so expect little in the way of updates for the next week or so.

Fortunately for us, the weather turned very warm yesterday a little before noon, and by this morning the snow has entirely melted. That makes the prospect of an all-day drive to the Oregon coast much more enjoyable. The forecast for Seaside: highs in the 40s and rain. I’m bringing my bike; Ian’s bringing a laptop. We should be all set.

Vacation: Day 2

Day’s Verse:
Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. Their teaching will spread like gangrene.
2 Timothy 2:16-17

I don’t have any good pictures from yesterday, but I worked quite hard all day.

Now that I’ve written this post, I realize it’s a list of what I did. Kind of boring. But yesterday was a day of getting things done, and I honestly didn’t think too much. Well, I heard a spot on NPR — between all the pledge pleas — from philosopher Peter Singer talking about how people in wealthy countries should give more of their income away. He likened it to seeing a child fall into a pond and saying “But I have my expensive shoes on!” Of course any decent person would say, “Shoes be darned, a child’s life is worth more than shoes!” and rescue the kid. He alleges that children are “falling into a pond” every day — starving to death, drinking dirty water, dying of treatable diseases — and we are essentially standing at the side of the pond wringing our hands and tossing little floaty toys (the kind that says “Not to be used as a flotation device” all over) in for the kid to grab. Singer created a website where you can enter your income and it tells you the amount he thinks you should morally donate to help children in 3rd World countries. It’s a percentage of income, and tends to look like an awfully big percentage to most folks. In general I haven’t bought most of Singer’s philosophies, but in this particular one, Jesus’ actions clearly indicate that Christians should be taking the kind of sacrificial stand that Singer is advocating.

Now, for those bizarrely interested in my life’s details, the list. Continue reading “Vacation: Day 2”

At Long Last, Crater Lake Pictures

Day’s Verse:
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13:13

Part of Lithia Park in Ashland, Oregon.
Lithia Park

First view of Crater Lake.
Crater Lake: First View

Obligatory picture of us, commemorating our trip.
Ian & Katie at Crater Lake

Looking south (I think) across Crater Lake.
Crater Lake facing South

We hiked down the Cleetwood Trail to the lake level.
Crater Lake: Lake Level

Ian even looked happy when we reached the bottom. That changed on the way back up.
Ian at Crater Lake

There were some really staggering panoramas of the landscape around Crater Lake, too.
Panorama on Drive Home

Drive Home

Drive Home 1

On the drive home, we stopped at a scenic overlook where the Rogue River had carved out a canyon in the volcanic rock.
Rogue River Waterfall

Rogue River Canyon

The next day we hiked up and all over the top of Lower Table Rock. Things both big (landscapes) and small (flowers) captivated us.
Ian At Lower Table Rock

California Condor

Lower Table Rock View

Lupine

Lower Table Rock Grassland

Firework Flowers

I took a ton of HDR-ready pictures but haven’t had the time to combine them yet. In the meantime, I hope you enjoyed the pictures from our trip. And don’t complain there weren’t any of Ashland or the plays — no pictures allowed in the theaters, and Ashland was nice but not particularly photographic. The end!

Happy Thought

Day’s Verse:
Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
1 Cor. 13:12

This year I agonized over what to do for Ian’s birthday (which, for the record, was January 25th). Our living situation means that we really don’t want to accumulate more stuff, since we’d immediately just have to try to find somewhere to store it. Actually, as a quick aside, it’s kind of nice to not accumulate possessions as much. I’m really good with that. That said, buying Ian some thing didn’t sit well with me.

Then I went to my AmeriCorps training and met Kit, another intern who has worked for years with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. We talked about it on and off over the course of the 10 training days, and by the end I had decided what to give Ian for his birthday: A week in Ashland seeing plays.

This works because we actually really enjoy attending plays. Ian’s a theatrical guy, as many of you know, and when we lived near Boston, we would take a trip in to the city every 6 months or so to see some play or other. On top of that, Ian’s parents are long-time supporters of Taproot Theater, and seeing Taproot’s Christmas play is a Ferguson family tradition.

Despite all the theatricality in Ian’s personality, though, he’d never been to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. I contacted Kit for some advice on what we should do, and this last weekend Ian and I finalized our plan. It includes 5 plays, one day trip to Crater Lake, and a guaranteed visit to an ice cream place highly recommended by Kit. We’re camping at a nearby KOA campground and planning biking as a primary means of transportation around Ashland.

This is the happy thought that gets me airborne these days.