Saturday, June 23, 2012

Oregon Coast at Summer Solstice

Ring around the rosy
Our co-op does a trip somewhere fun and educational at the end of each school year.  This year we all camped right across from Fort Stevens, a former military base that protected the harbor at the mouth of the Columbia river.  We arrived late in the afternoon to our campground, so we didn't get to see the ocean that day.  By the end of the second day after touring downtown Astoria, I was going insane not being able to see it!  I mean, Lewis and Clark crossed the entire continent to be able to see it, and we were a five minute drive away!

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'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

sand angel

goodbye to Haystack rock
Sunset on the Summer Solstice

finding little jellyfish
total bliss

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....


  1. Beautiful pictures, as always! You are such a talented lady! Thanks for sharing, Angie!

  2. What wonderful photos, Angie! Sounds like a geat way toe nd a school year.


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