Sunday, February 28, 2010

Day 11?

Not really of course. But it kindof felt like it! We mostly relaxed at home yesterday, but then I was telling Ron about the Travel Bug on a race to the East Coast, and he said I might as well take it out to the Gorge as I had planned today since he had work to do. So off we went!

Little cutie on the way to the car. She found these glasses and pushed them up on her head, which I thought was adorable as I wear mine like that sometimes.

Crooked glasses in motion!
I had read about a Travel Bug Hotel in Hood River, so that was our first stop to drop off our racer. And what a cool place it was!!! This cache is at the old site of the Crag Rats hut. All that remains is the chimney. It isn't even marked. Here are Akasha and Tippy checking out the ruins.
Towering to the sky.
Next stop - Tippy finds the cache!
Just a random cute shot taken at the spot.
Nice cache! Think Orion will like this Transformery looking dude.
I think I left it much better than I found it. Pretty obvious to a cacher but hopefully not as visible to others.
Really nice view of the Columbia from the park!
Akasha checks out some moss.
Next stop was on an isthmus. Akasha near the hiding spot:
She liked this one as there was a place to throw rocks in water. I think she would do this all day if she had the chance.
Lovely little spot called Thunder Island I might never have checked out if not for this. It took awhile to walk out to where the cache was as Akasha had to check out every stick along the way. But it was a lovely walk!
Tree at the end of the island.
When I realized the cache was in the rocks just to right of the tree... on the way down to the water... I almost gave up. But dang, we had come a ways to give up! And it really wasn't that bad. I just moved Akasha from flat rock to flat rock while I searched within arms reach of her. And I found it! I also was wanting to because it was supposed to have a Travel Bug called The Wet Seal inside, and it did! I forgot to get a picture of it here, but I will when I place it somewhere else.

View of the Bridge of the Gods from the point.
Tippy enjoys the view.

This tree is on the island just the other side of the bridge, and I thought it was just about the best climbing tree I had ever seen!

Right after this, I stopped under the bridge to buy fish from the Native Americans who usually sell there. I saw this other couple with some papers looking around and thought I remembered seeing on the map a puzzle or multicache series starting near this point, so I asked if they were Geocaching. They were! It was actually just a micro, which was why I hadn't noted it. When they were done, the girl offered me the paper with the clue in case I wanted to get it. Well, I went over there, and it was gone!!! I hear about these things being stolen, but whoa, how did it disappear in just those few moments? The girl even went over later to double check the exact spot. It just seems so stupid. Who would want it? Oh well.

One last stop at the edge of the property belonging to the old Hollywood Dairy. This photo looks so stark and Wintery. The spot won't be like this for long!
Another successful day, and now I think I will take a break from long drives for awhile. :)

Friday, February 26, 2010

Day 10: Fort Stevens to Home

Our last day on the road. I am ready to be home but also a little sad to have it end. I love to travel and see new things, and the geocaching has been so awesome in adding to the experience.

Take this little spot. Not sure if you can read it, but this is the only spot on the US mainland that was bombed during WWII. A shell exploded from a Japanese submarine here! And there was a lovely cache in the trees right behind it. :)
We decided to take a short visit to the Seaside Aquarium as Orion loves the seals there. He was so into looking at all the other creatures too, although he had rushed through the Newport Aquarium barely looking at anything! Interesting - wonder if it has something to do with the more intimate nature of a smaller place.

Then I got THE BIGGEST burrito I have ever seen from some drive through place on the way out of town. And I have seen some big burritos. My arm literally dropped a few inches when he handed me the bag lol. Yes, I did order the "Super" or some such name, but only because it was the only one with guacamole. And wow, not only was it big. It was GOOD. You know it must have made an impression as I haven't mentioned anything else about food on this trip. And then it became like my Pig's Trough (anybody do Farrel's as a kid?) If I was being sensible, I would have eaten like half or less and saved the rest, but no, it became some crazy obsession to eat it all. It took me hours, but I did it! :o And wasn't hungry again for quite a while haha.

Not any other photos today as it was raining all the way home. There were a couple promising sounding caches along the 26, but they all turned out to be a decent distance from the parking, and Orion didn't want to do them in the rain. I did, however, finally stop at the spring!!! There was another nice guy there filling a bunch of bottles who was more than happy to step aside while I filled my Sigg. He told me it is all he drinks. Wow, so amazing. I would love to get some big bottles and make a regular trip up there. It really isn't that far.

And then this is what I came home to in my front yard:
Another wow! There wasn't a hint of any color on this tree 10 days ago! I felt like it was welcoming us home. :) Now on to the daunting task of going through 100s of new emails!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Day 9: Hanging at Fort Stevens and a bit of Astoria

It was still a bit rainy in the morning, so I decided to head out and try to find the Native American longhouse, since Orion was really interested in seeing it AND there was a geocache there lol. I went to the area I had noted down from looking on the map, and we came up across a locked gate. I could see what looked like old military structures on the other side, and a sign that said we needed a pass - drat!

So I decided to drive around the neighborhood a bit. What an interesting area! This structure, which looks like maybe a guard house or something, is just sitting next to the street in front of somebody's house! There are little military this and thats all over the place.
Then on a fluke I decided to drive into the area where the military history museum is. Um, oh, duh. Turns out this whole huge area was what was on the other side of the fence lol! For some reason I didn't think the longhouse was on State Park land, but it is!

Tippy points the way!
Path to the house.

"What's in here...?"
Tippy finds a nice perch.
Ooooooh. Mama found the cache, and the kids spent about an hour burying their new little treasures in the dirt and refinding them. Orion liked to bury something and then mark it with an X for me to dig up. Or sometimes he would make comments like, "In a thousand years, such and such is dug up...." Think he was getting into the anthropology groove LOL.
This whole area was so cool! There is a walking tour you can go on that I would love to come back and do when the weather is a bit more reliable (is that ever in the PNW haha?) Stairs to a mystery structure....
Turned out to be the base of a command station.
Like I said, a big area! We had been to the batteries closer to the campground, so I had no idea such another place was here!
I love the way part of this building stuck out through the hill.
Another cool old structure.
And you too could picnic in the remains of what used to be a military fire station!

The weather was getting lovely, so I decided to hit what I thought would be a fast cache and then head to the beach. We got near Ground Zero, as the geocachers say, and saw that the whole area around the tree was surrounded by ground water. Luckily Orion was wearing Crocs and didn't mind going in after it.
Tippy waiting of the cache and noticing some signs of Spring.
Intrepid Boy makes it out with the find!
Gorgeous view from here - could see all the way to Astoria!
Then it was on to beach near the shipwreck. Busy kids:

We wrapped the day up with Thai food and The Fantastic Mr. Fox at a lovely old second run theater in Astoria. Nice last night of a long trip and looking forward to going home tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Day 8: Cape Lookout to Fort Stevens

We saw this fish hatchery the day before, but it was already closed when we drove in. Orion was really interested in it, like way more than anything else on the trip so far for some reason! He had even wanted to go while it was raining yesterday, and he usually doesn't want to get out of the car when it is raining for anything! There are several hatcheries out in the gorge. Will have to see if he wants to check those out too!

Chinooks! And everything done here is through volunteers!
This guy rocked. He came out and said to Orion, "Hi! You know I have been here all morning feeding these fish, and I'm TIRED. Do you think you could take over for awhile?"
Orion was thrilled to oblige and Akasha wanted to do it too.
Maybe hard to see, but about a 1,000 little fish in this picture.
But ah, the trout area.... They also had a food dispenser, but their food was about the size of small dog kibble!
I could not believe how big they were! I didn't even know trout could get this big - like 2 feet at least. Then I tried about 20 times to get a good shot of one jumping up for food and pretty much failed lol. Tiny break in the surface at the bottom right! If you look closely, you can also see one under water in the top left corner to give you the idea of the size.
It's the cheese! Tillamook of course. :) There is something about things moving around on conveyer belts that has always just tickled me. In the bottom right you see large blocks being cut into smaller ones.
Tippy at what turned out to be the only cache we found that day.
This was the first one I thought I knew what people were talking about when they said "geosenses". Right away, I noticed a little path heading up a hill, but I had to spend about 5 minutes analyzing what my GPS was telling me anyway. Sure enough, I finally decided to just pop up there, and there it was!

We got to Fort Stevens fairly early and drove around a bit. Then all of a sudden Orion started telling me he was having trouble breathing! Well, we got our keys for the yurt and decided to head to Astoria. They wouldn't see him at Urgent Care and made us go to the Emergency Room, even though he wasn't in major distress or anything. I probably would have just done a wait and see if we had been at home, but as we were yurt camping, I didn't want to take any chances. Also, Sarah has a history of asthma, so I figured we should check it out. Well, phew! Some signs of mucous, and he for sure has been eating alot of dairy on this trip, but no signs of actual wheezing. The doctor also felt it might be anxiety related. :/ Guess we will just see how it progresses.... So we found a place for fish n chips then headed back to the yurt.

This was the first yurt that had a journal! Oh my gosh, there was some stuff that was so funny, i decided to take pictures. The first two are part of the same story and go together....

LOL little bandits. I had one OPEN a cooler and take my eggs on a trip a few years ago, so I know all about them.
Are you seeing a theme yet?
This one totally made me laugh and I actually had to go look out the window as we hadn't seen much of them yet. Of course, we didn't feed them either, unlike some people...
Who gives a raccoon beer?! :( The people food is bad enough. And dog food probably isn't great either. I did think it was funny how many people named them, and the big grey one was always Rascal haha.

Another little story.
This guy has some serious talent! This is extra funny if you know how the yurts are set up, with one double bed at the bottom of the bunk and the futon can make another bed....
I liked this one too. Notice the raccoon peeking in the window. And that looks like wine bottles and candles on the table. These girls know how to yurt it up!
Tomorrow hoping for good weather to spend some time on the beach!