|Ring around the rosy|
Finally, I convinced some of my friends and 2 of my girls to venture across the road to Ft. Stevens. My boys must be slightly jaded of the wonders of the ocean because of our trips to Hawaii, but they sure missed out that first day. They were happy to join us later. The beaches of a continent are vastly different from those of a tropical island. They seem endless. They are so massive and wide that you are suddenly and startlingly aware of the bigness of this world we live in.
Happily, the weather was warm most of the time were in Oregon. I'm told this is not a common thing. The sands felt tropical and sparkled in the sunshine. The roar of the ocean was such that you had to shout to talk to someone 15 feet away. The waves came in endless succession, rising like the tide does and surprising us with very wet jeans!
The next day, after traveling to Tillamook for various field trips, we stopped in cannon beach. We had put "Haystack Rock" into my gps navigator, and it had plunked our destination right in the ocean next to the giant rock. We ended up using a public access to the beach that was tucked in a little neighborhood! Haystack rock lives up to its namesake, and is alive with flocks of terns and puffins. The sand near it was the closest I've seen to Hawaiian sand in the Pacific Northwest...it's white and soft. The waters were filled with plankton and shrimp and Saraiah had fun catching them in her bucket. She decided to free them into the hot, dry sand when she was finished. The boys had fun taking turns burying one another, and then we were off to find a potty!
Later that night, our group decided to venture at sunset back to Shipwreck beach at Fort Stevens to enjoy the sunset on the summer solstice, which is the longest day of the year. These pictures can't even begin to convey the beauty of it combined with the sound of the waves, the laughter of children and the sweetness of witnessing hundreds of people drawn like a sunflower toward the last rays of the setting sun.
|Maia got wet as soon as we got to the beach. My friend Carol is comforting her.|
|peering out of the shipwreck|
|The grassy dunes are beautiful at shipwreck beach|
|the tiny access to haystack rock|
|me and a cold maia|
|Levi is frozen|
|carrying her bucket 'o shrimp|
|goodbye to Haystack rock|
|Sunset on the Summer Solstice|
|finding little jellyfish|
|me and a happier maia|
|because Tillamook cows belong on beaches|
|My sons and their buddies. They are crazy.|
|Saraiah and her sweet friend.|
|Isaac's buddy runs back from the water|
|these birds dove up and down behind the waves|
|the sun through the shipwreck|
|waiting for the green flash...|
|The sun has gone to bed and so must I....|