June 30, 2012

6/28/12 - Lewis & Clark NHP

Lewis and Clark National Historical Park is located where Meriwether Lewis, William Clark and the Corps of Discovery spent the soggy winter of 1805-06.  Capt. Clark wrote that during the 106 days the Lewis and Clark Expedition wintered at Fort Clatsop in 1806 it rained all but 12 days and they saw the sun 6 times!!! 

(Welcome to the Pacific Northwest, guys!)

The original fort decayed in the wet climate but they built a replica of it so you can see how they lived.  Clark drew a floor plan of it on the cover of his journal, so it's pretty accurate.  Actually, this is the second replica fort.  They built one in 1955 that lasted for 50 years, then someone didn't completely douse a fire after a demonstration and it burned down.  (Oops!) 

I'll bet they installed a fire detection system this time around...

An interpreter gave an interesting talk about the medicines they used.  I thought it would be lots of herbal medicines they learned from Sacajawea and friends, but they took a lot with them.  They were big on blood-letting in the early 19th century, laudanum (that's opium, folks!), and lots of purging (both ends).  One way archaeologists can identify their campsites is by checking out their latrines which are loaded with mercury.  In spite of it all, most of them came back home.
They built a salt works in what is now Seaside, and there's a reconstructed site there.  (This was before it became a cute little resort town, I suppose.)  They made enough salt for the trip home.
Click on the link to see more pictures:     Lewis and Clark NHP

(PS. We discovered a great place to eat in Astoria!  It's called "The Bowpicker", and it's in an old converted fishing boat. The only thing they sell is fish and chips--but not just ordinary fish.  They use albacore tuna, and it's absolutely the best fish and chips we've ever eaten!)

June on the Oregon Coast

Crossing the dunes to the beach at Oregon Dunes NRA
There are a lot of parks along the Oregon coast where there are either spectacular views or beaches (or both!)  I scheduled us to stay at parks along the coast for a little over a month.   You'd think that someone who'd lived around Puget Sound for as long as I have would have picked some month besides June.  (I will admit that it didn't rain every single day...)

Lost Creek State Park

Eagle on bluff at Ona Beach SP

Rocks at low tide at Ona Beach
Japanese tsunami dock washed ashore at Agate Beach SP
Tidepool around rock
View form Cape Perpetua viewpoint

Seal Rock

Yaquina Bay Bridge
Arcadia Beach

Stagecoach Road at Hug Point

Churning waves at Devil's Churn

Haystack Rock at Cannon Beach

I took lots more pictures! If you'd like to check some of them out, click on any of the links below.
Lost Creek State Park                                    Agate Beach State Park
Ona Beach State Park                                   Cape Perpetua Scenic Area
Seal Rock State Park                                     Yaquina Bay State Park
Arcadia Beach State Park                              Hug Point State Park
Cannon Beach                                

June 12, 2012

6/2/12 - Oregon Caves NM

Time for another cave tour—this time at the Oregon Caves National Monument in (guess where?!) southern Oregon.  The tour is only half a mile, but it takes 90 minutes. 

The Visitors Center is in the 1924 Chalet, and the Chateau was built in the early 1930s.

This cave is different from most caves because it’s a marble cave, not limestone.  Marble's prettier--whoever heard of anyone wanting limestone flooring, but wouldn't this be nice? 
A river runs through it.  It’s called the “Caves River” inside, but it’s name changes to something else outside.  I think that’s where they got the idea of changing street names at intersections which, incidentally, drives me nuts!!!
Our tour guide guided us through the caves, pointing out the standard stalactites, stalagmites, soda straws, columns, draperies and a bunch of other stuff I forgot already. 

Oh, wait!  I think there's flowstone too!
There are places that are pretty low. I've been thinking that George should start wearing his bicycle helmet in caves. He always manages to conk his head someplace.  
I really liked the story about the Ghost Room.  Apparently one of the early tour guides was a practical jokester--and he did all sorts of scary ghosty stories and pranks in this section of the cave.   We saw it from the top, then went down into it.  From above it does look a little spooky.

And here we both are at the cave exit.
On a ratings scale 1-10, with Mammoth at 2 and Carlsbad at 9, I suppose I'd give this one about 6. 
There are more pictures at this link.  Oregon Caves NM