Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Beach Day!

When my work schedule changed late last year, I was really bummed because it was going to make it really difficult for me to fit in the day trips and hikes that I had been able to do on the week day that I had off. I decided that I would make time once a month to take the dogs out on one of these day/hiking trips. Of course, things kept getting in the way. We were slammed at work and it was hard to find that day to take off without making it difficult for someone else or else I had do activities going on that required me taking some time off during the week. This week the stars aligned and I finally got around to taking that week day off to head out with the dogs. I was almost giddy this past weekend trying to figure out where we would go. There were so many options! I finally decided that a beach trip was much in order. It's been ages since we've been out to the coast and definitely about time! The goal for today was to head out to Seaside and just follow 101 south to Tillamook, stopping at parks along the way to explore and stretch our legs.

Our first stop was Gearhart beach, which is just two miles north of Seaside. There's lovely beach access there where you can just drive your vehicle out onto the beach. The dogs got REALLY excited as I pulled out onto the sand. I drove a little ways and then parked the truck. There wasn't another soul in sight! So I just let the tail gate down and the dogs were off!

One of Heffner's favorite things to do are run by "muggings." It's freaking adorable! He comes running straight at me and then veers before hitting me and sort of turns his head towards me like he's going to lick me on his way by. It cracks me up every time! He especially loves to do it if I crouch down. (sorry for the blurriness of some of the pictures. I'm still trying to find the right setting for action shots!)

Bess however, usually just comes trotting up to me. You have to watch out for that one though. While she's gotten a lot better, her favorite thing used to be to come running up to me, and then into me. She dumped me on my butt quite a few times those first few months. But don't worry, she usually only did then when other people were watching the scene!;o)
One of the best parts about going to the beach in the middle of the week is that really no one is around.
There were a few flocks of different birds that we saw while we were there. Those poor birds were having a heck of a time fighting against the wind. While the gulls seemed be having a splendid time just floating around, the other birds were actually trying to get somewhere and really having to work for it. Naturally, the dogs tried chasing these birds that were suddenly slower than usual.

The wind was definitely a force to be reckoned with this morning! We only lasted about a half hour out at Gearhart. The beach is so straight and there's just nothing to break up the wind along there, that the dogs and I were all getting cold and tired of the wind. I could tell that the dogs were ready to go when they raced ahead of me to the back of the truck and stood waiting for me at the tail gate. Their ears are a good measure of how the wind is consequently!

On the way back I found some lovely whole sand dollars! One good sized one and one little wee hopper!

As we were heading out of Seaside, I decided to stop into the downtown area just on the off chance that my favoritest elephant ear place was open.
Sadly, it was closed.:o( I mean really, who DOESN'T want an elephant ear first thing in the morning??? I know I do!!

One of the things that I almost never do whenever we're going to the beach is stop at the viewpoints. Usually when I'm driving out there I've got a time that I'm trying to hit a trailhead or we're meeting people. That and it feels like I've been there often enough that stopping at the veiwpoints is almost a touristy thing to do and I'm not really that. Well I decided to stop at the viewpoints along Hwy. 101 and take in the sights! Sometimes I took the dogs out of the truck and sometimes I didn't. Here's the view from the first stop we made.
Our next beach stop was Arcadia Beach! Once again, there were only a few people actually there and none with dogs. The direction that we went meandering off into actually had no people while we were there. The wind was still blowing, but thankfully not nearly as strong. The skies kept threatening rain, but luckily that held out until shortly before we got back into the truck!

After that lovely jaunt, it was back into the truck. We found another lovely view point that I got the dogs out for. During our stop there was a woman who asked if she could come up and pet the dogs. I naturally said sure. We chatted a bit and then she went to get back in her car. She thanked me and said that she actually just stopped because she wanted to say hi to the dogs.:o) I thought that was pretty neat!

And of course, no trip along the northern part of the Oregon coast is complete without a stop at the Tillamook Cheese Factory!!!

I picked up some cheese curds and salt water taffy. While I was contemplating standing in line for real food behind this ginormous family who didn't know what they wanted, but stood in line none-the-less, I decided that some Tillamook ice cream would make an excellent lunch instead! I got myself a delicous double scoop on a cone of the mountain blackberry and the huckleberry flavors. Soooooooooo good! The dogs each got a kids scoop of vanilla in a dish. Needless to say, they were QUITE pleased with their lunch! Once we finished up there it was time to take Hwy. 6 for home. I did break up that drive with a stop at one of the little campgrounds along that route. The dogs were happy to stretch their legs again, I was happy to burn off the last of their energy, and we had a nice relaxing time by the river.

And now the dogs are crashed out. I'm going to try and work some more on our finishes tonight and then I'm hitting the hay!


brooke said...

What a fun day!
Darwin misses the Oregon coast! We may need to make a trip down there again this summer!

Schwang said...

I love those running action shots. I had to even doubletake on those first photos because they looked like "small dogs".

M.T. said...

Wow, look at that endless sand! Fantastic shots!