30 March 2008


Spring is certainly taking it's own good time getting here. We are still in Oregon waiting for winter to end in Montana. Here in Oregon it has been tough to get any outside time between rain drops.

We did find a small break in the weather and drove down to Eel Lake and Winchester Bay. Eel lake is a pretty lake and there is a very nice hiking trail that goes for about three miles along and above the shore. We did see some signs of spring, some flowers beginning to bloom and creature activity.

There were a number of Canada Geese winging in and out. They look so cool when they skid on the water to land. There were a few other wild things out and about. That slug for example.

But, the very most coolest thing we saw was this steelhead. Eel lake has a fish ladder for steelhead and salmon. Just as we arrived at the ladder this huge, and I mean huge, steelhead tried to leap straight up the dam instead of using the ladder. Boy, if only mom had been camera ready what a photo that would have been! Needless to say this guy's ambitions were a bit too much for him and he fell back into the stream. We never saw him try it again.

After Eel we drove up to Winchester Bay. This is another little harbor with fishing boats and such. It was not as interesting as some we have visited but it was nice. I asked mom which harbor village on this trip she liked best. She said she would have to go with Ilwaco. Ilwaco you may recall is just across the Columbia River in Washington.

That pretty much sums up this day. I'm gettin kinda anxious to get home to Montana. I hope the weather clears soon!

©Kinsey Barnard Photography

25 March 2008


We decided a drive in weather was more fun than a day stuck in Clementine so we piled into Shadow and headed north on 101. It was really raining and blowing and we could barely see a thing. But, when in doubt keep on going. Before we knew it we were all the way up in Newport.

Since mom had not seen the aquarium when we were here in November she decided to give it a go. Unfortunately, it was the weekend and the place was crowded with people. They have a number of outdoor exhibits but it was raining so hard everyone was crowded inside.

The good news is mom didn't spend as much time as she might have and I didn't have to get stuck in the car as long as I might have.

When we were here in November both of us decided that Yaquina Head was one of our most favorites places so we headed back up there. As luck would have it, there was a break in the weather and we got to walk around and enjoy the place one more time.

If you ever get by this way you really don't want to miss Yaquina Head. It is really very special. At least we think so. And Newport is a must stop on any coastal road trip.

The drive back to Florence was rainy and blustery but we didn't care because we had a great little trip. Just goes to show. When you think things look bleak if you will just venture on you will find some gems to make it all worthwhile.

©Kinsey Barnard Photography

21 March 2008


Look what my mom has gone and done now! She has plastered my picture all over Clementine. This IS embarrassing! Although, I am kind of handsome if do say so myself. :)

She's even going to start a world wide club. She's had stickers of the logo made up and is going to send them to friends and patrons all around the globe. Her idea is that people will automatically know they have something in common every time they see the sticker where ever they may be. What they will have in common is goodwill towards others and an abiding love and respect for nature.

Geez, if things weren't bad enough already with people wanting to pet me everywhere we go. Can you imagine it? My own mother has gone paparazzi on me!!!!!

©Kinsey Barnard Photography

15 March 2008


On the day that we left Charleston we got up early to return to Empire Lakes. We had been told by a fisherman that Wood Ducks are to be seen at these lakes. Mom is dying to photograph one so we thought we'd give it a go.

You will notice from the collection of photos that we failed in our primary mission. We never saw a Wood Duck. It was, however, a glorious morning. We walked around for a couple of hours. A couple too short for me. As you can see we did see some beautiful waterfowl, Canada Geese, Seagulls, and Mallards. Just not the Wood Ducks.

We returned to Clementine to pack up and head for Florence. It was a lovely day for a drive even if it was a short one.

©Kinsey Barnard Photography

12 March 2008


Ok, so we headed back to Shore Acres. You remember, the place they don't even let dogs out of the car! Being the loyal, patient dog that I am I kept Shadow company.

As you can see from the photos mom got all fascinated with rock and sand formations that she found along the bluffs.

When she was finally done we headed for the South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve. Now there's a mouthful!

When we got there we decided to skip the Interpretive Center and head straight for the trailhead. As it turned out that wasn't such a smart idea. At the trailhead there was a holder for maps but there weren't any. We aren't the type to be intimidated by being map less or clueless, so away we went.

The trail meanders down a kind of dark little rain forested valley with a pretty creek running alongside the trail. Again, as you can see for yourself, mom got fascinated, this time by these big yellow blooms called Skunk Cabbage. After taking a bunch of pictures we continued on down to the slough.

The trails started going every which away. We came to a big deck about 20 feet off the ground that overlooked the slough. I saw a squirrel on a tree trunk beside the deck. Not realizing what I was doing I made a leap for the rail and the squirrel, about the time I realized there was nothing but thin air where I was headed mom grabbed me and pulled me back from the brink. I would have hung myself for sure. We both nearly had heart attacks. Remember the old saying "Look before you leap"? Well, I'm a believer now!

We continued wandering, having no idea where we were going. Mom said that surely we would find a sign that directed us to the Interpretive Center but we never found one. Eventually, we decided to try and retrace our steps. Mom said not to worry as they would come looking for us at closing if we hadn't found our way back by then. They'd see Shadow and come looking for us. We found our way back, thank goodness, and headed over to the Center where we found out it was closed until Tuesday. This was Sunday!

If you're in Coos Bay and like to walk trails we can recommend this place. We also recommend you pick up a map before you wander off! :)

©Kinsey Barnard Photography

07 March 2008


Whilst we were driving around we discovered this really cool place called Empire Lakes. It is a park that is right in the middle of Coos Bay. It is really beautiful. The paths, for the most part, are asphalt so just about anyone can enjoy it. Rather than bore you with my drivel I'll just let mom's do the talking for me today. Enjoy!

©Kinsey Barnard Photography

04 March 2008


We have departed California and are now in a little fishing village called Charleston. It was raining cats and frogs when we arrived.

The drive up was pretty uneventful. Mom didn't get us into any trouble. She still refuses to take instructions from Heddy, that's the lady in the GPS. Heddy told us to take Beaver Hill Rd but mom refused. She thought it would be better to go on in to Coos Bay and then over to Charleston. Heddy really cops an attitude when you don't do what she says. In a very exasperated tone of voice she says "Repositioning!" Turned out mom was right. Those GPS things send you on the shortest route but have no sensitivity to the type of vehicle you are driving. For an RV towing a car Beaver Hill was not the best route.

Charelston is yet another quaint fishing village but it's clear fishing is a dying industry. The boats and the docks are falling apart just like Crescent City. Tourism seems to be their only hope. But, they are still great places to take pictures.

We went on out to Shore Acres Park which is beautiful. Course, I have to take mom's word on that because they don't even allow dogs out of the car at that place. There is a beautiful garden there but it's too early for much to be in bloom. I think all she saw were a couple of daffodils.

Later in the day we went to Sunset Bay for the sunset. And there actually was a pretty darned nice one.

©Kinsey Barnard Photography