Saturday, July 15, 2006

Haystack Day One!

(Yes, I took the above picture! This morning!)

Thanks to their free wireless, I’m writing this from my hotel in Tillamook. I ended up here because by the time I made my reservation, everything in Cannon Beach was full. It took me 45 minutes to drive here from Cannon Beach, but it was a beautiful drive--over Neakahnie Mountain and around Oswald West State Park--and well worth it.

Anyway, I got up this AM at 5:30, showered, waved bye-bye to Bill and Ernie, and was on the road at 6:10. Notwithstanding time lost backtracking after I pulled an Erin and accidentally took the US-26 turnoff to Tillamook instead of Cannon Beach/Seaside, I arrived in Cannon Beach at 8 am. Classes didn’t start until 9 am, and Xena (Warrior Car) and I were the first ones to arrive at the Cannon Beach Elementary School, a.k.a., Haystack!

I decided to grab my camera and take a walk on the beach before class. On the way, I walked through one corner of “downtown” Cannon Beach. There were flowers and beautiful gardens everywhere—literally every yard had flowers, and the businesses had them tucked into pots out front, or sidewalk plots. There were lots of sprays of Crocosmia luciferi…

And lots of pretty multicolored gardens, like this one full of nasturtiums and gladioli:

I found the beach access, featuring the obligatory “Tsunami Warnings.” Cannon Beach is absolutely flat—if a tsunami came along, we’d be screwed.

My first look at the ocean, as seen past a really cool whale sculpture:

And here’s Haystack Rock, one of the most photographed sights on the Oregon Coast….

Before long I had to head back for class. My class has nine people in it. Our teacher is Ellen Morris Bishop, a geologist and writer who wrote In Search of Ancient Oregon. We spent some of the time in a classroom, but most of the day down on the beach, working on observation exercises. Below is our outdoor “classroom.” Ellen Bishop is on the left.

We all did our own thing for lunch. I found an amazing seafood place and had just about the best crab melt I’ve ever had. There must have been a cup of fresh crab on it, and thick slabs of Tillamook cheese. It looked so good, I took a picture of it. And then I ate it!

We finished the day inside, with a lecture on the geological history of Oregon. I really hated that. (snort)

Before long, our class was over and I headed for Tillamook. I pulled over about a dozen times to catch all the different viewpoints. Here’s a shot looking back toward Haystack:

And a seamount, even further south….

The view toward Tillamook Head….

As you can see, it was a gorgeous day at the beach—sunny and about 70 degrees. It’s only about 8:30 pm right now, but I’m beat. I have reading to do, and then go to bed. Must be up by 6 am so as to find breakfast and get back to Cannon Beach. The class is meeting at the bottom of Haystack Rock at 9:00 am—low tide. Class goes until 4:30 or so, and then I head home!

P.S. The summer edition of the Grey School newspaper, Whispering Grey Matters, is available here! (Look for the "Summer 2006" button.)

1 comment:

Rebecca said...

Looks like you're having a great time!