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Published: October 9th 2013
October 6, 2013 – Waldport, OR, USA
Today we wake to a clear, perfect blue sky and again realize just how lucky we are. As we arrived after dark, I went to bed last night looking forward to waking this morning in anticipation of just what kind of view we had. It was not disappointing. In fact it’s rather amazing. We are surrounded by our own personal sand dunes, in which we all spent hours this morning playing in, sliding down them in plastic discs, running up barefoot (excellent aerobic exercise!) and generally enjoying the unseasonably warm weather. It’s warm to hot in the sun and the sea, roughly 100 meters away from the house (give or take depending on the tide!), is cold but bearable. Not that I propose swimming; this is the northern Pacific Ocean after all, but it is good for a paddle and the sand is soft and fine under our feet.
It might be sunny now but the area has obviously had some storms lately. The guy at the sand buggy place mentioned it yesterday, as it had affected the dunes apparently, not that we noticed, but here in this house we
can see it.
From the front, the house is clearly 2 stories high but from the back (beach side) it looks like a bungalow. The steps from the deck stop after the first one and the window at the back of the downstairs den is completely blocked out by sand! We’re not snowed in, we’re sanded in! It’s going to be such a fantastic place for a week but I’m not sure I would want to own this place. There’s sand everywhere! In the key locks, inside the window frames, the garage door frame, etc. We don’t mind but I dare say the general maintenance on a house like this could be a handful. And you’d definitely want to keep your car in a garage long term! But then maybe I’m just jealous. To live year round right on a beach like this would be rather wonderful.
It’s going to be hard to drag ourselves away from the house today. After lunch the boys discover two fantastic kites in the garage (one a 3D star, the other a bi-plane) and there’s more than enough wind to make flying easy. It’s hard to know where to point
the camera; at the colourful dancing kites soaring above the creamy, grass topped sand dunes against a clear, cerulean blue sky, or the expression of concentration and delight on two boys’ faces as they struggle to hold onto kite strings dipping and darting randomly towards the sky and sand. So the camera fires off constantly. There will be many to upload and sort through tonight!
We finally do manage to get out for a while at least. We check out potential crab catching areas for later on in the week, have a quick wander around Waldport (it doesn’t take long – it’s a pretty small place) and drive into attractive Yachats south of here and beyond to Devil’s Churn and the Spouting Horn, various ways in which the ocean provides entertainment as it displays it’s strength and power.
We’re keen to return to our little haven on the beach, play in the dunes, toss Frisbees and simply enjoy the view as the sun goes down.
October 7, 2013
Birthday!!! And what a way to spend it! It rained a lot last night but on the plus side it
dampened down the sand, smoothed all the dunes and made for a lovely sky as the cloud cleared in patches revealing a warm sun.
Matthew opened pressies and chatted with family on skype then we headed outside to enjoy our own bit of the beach and the dunes. We ran all along the beach north and south; it seems to go on forever. To the left of our house, overlooking the estuary back into Waldport, is where the pelicans hang out. We’ve watched them fly over in big flocks but to see them strutting around on the beach is pretty impressive. They’re big birds!
We got the kites out again together with the Frisbee and rugby ball and had great fun messing around on the beach and getting plenty of exercise (to help combat the birthday chocolate brownie cake Sam made!) A little later we did manage to drag ourselves away briefly and drove up the coast about 20 minutes to Newport where we explored the “historic” fishing harbour and tried out the crab nets.
Sam has read up about crab fishing; how to, where to and a variety of “do’s and don’ts”. These include catching only
older Dungeness male crabs of a certain length, but how we’re supposed to tell the difference between a girl crab and a boy crab from just a photo I really don’t know!
And in addition to the variety of crab catching devices in the garage for our use there’s also a crab cooker if we actually catch something that we’re allowed to keep and Sam has even looked up how to cook it as well! He informs us the best thing to use as bait is chicken so we come armed with a few chicken legs.
However I can’t say we were successful on the whole crab catching thing.
We catch nothing - although frankly it’s much easier this way. For a start we had, horror of horrors, neglected to bring a ruler with us and I certainly didn’t relish the prospect of having to kill one (of which, not surprisingly, there are a variety of ways to do so, none of which seem remotely humane to me).
But to make up for a lack of crab we did get to see the noisy residents of the town. The distinctive bark of the California Seal Lion
could be heard a mile away. Just like Pier 39 in San Francisco a bunch of floats just under the jetty were home to a dozen or so of these sleek guys. Except this time we’re even closer and they smell really bad!! Still, they’re cute enough to overcome the smell and very entertaining.
Then it’s back to the house for more fun in the dunes, eating cake and even making a fire on the beach to toast marshmallows as the fiery sun dropped into the sea. A rather wonderful way to (nearly) end Matthew’s birthday. When the sand is just too chilly for our bare toes and we start to run out of driftwood for the fire we retreat inside, eat pizza and mozzarella sticks (Matthew’s choice for a birthday meal) while watching one of his birthday presents “Hoodwinked Too” (bringing back memories of our West Coast Vancouver Island holiday a few years ago when we watched the first “Hoodwinked”). My youngest boy is now 10 and I go to bed feeling a whole lot older than I did yesterday!!
October 8, 2013
Today it’s a bit rainy but that provides a
wonderful opportunity to chill out in this great house, get a bit of work done, play Monopoly (the Vancouver edition) that we gave Matthew for his birthday and eat lots of things we shouldn’t.
We do get out onto the sand plenty of times knowing if we get wet we can come back to the warmth and cosiness of our beach house and change.
I make sure to get a little run in along the sea (it’s good to run barefoot and god knows I’ve let my running slip since we’ve been away!) and we all play a little Frisbee. It’s a very good day.
P.S. Regarding the photos let me just say, apologies for there being so many - there were loads, I loved them all and finally couldn't narrow it down anymore! Secondly, apart from the sea lions, these were all taken on the beach right outside our beach house!
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