Saturday, September 29, 2012


This will be my last post in this series...thanks to everyone who has been following along! My latest "Artist Adventure" (which began the first week of September) was a wonderful time exploring a little corner of this beautiful country of ours.  Special thanks to my daughter, Courtney, for feeding the cats while I was gone!

Okay...let's get this going with a visit to RUBY BEACH just about 27 miles south of Forks, WA.  I chose to see the Northwest coastline because of all the giant rocks...I was not disappointed. When you take the winding trail to the beach, the path opens out to a creek that empties into the ocean.
To get a sense of scale of these giant rocks, look for the couple walking in front of the pointy spire below left.
Here's another "set-the-timer-and-run-strike-a-pose" pic...
The shape of the big rock below reminds me a bit of "Jabba The Hut" getting a tan.  Love all the "needles" and "stacks" rock formations.
Here are a couple of views of the same big tree-topped rock...from far and near.

Once I had moved on from RUBY BEACH, I drove south to my next "base camp" for the last three days of my trip...CANNON BEACH, OR.  While I was there, a couple of good friends, Josh and Monica Holtsclaw, drove over from PORTLAND, OR to spend the day with me.  But not just ANY day...we turned it into a  GOONIES DAY!!!    "HEY YOU GUYS!!!"

Josh is an EXTREME fan of the 1985 Spielberg movie "THE GOONIES", and my family loves that film, too.  When Josh and Monica arrived, I asked if he was excited for us to go see all the locations filmed there, and in ASTORIA, OR...his reply: "I've got Goon Bumps!!"

So we started off at HAYSTACK ROCK, one of the major features during the titles at the beginning of the movie. This is where the evil Fratelli Family, being chased by the cops, swerve the get-away car into a big race that happens on the beach.
This view below is from Lookout Point at ECOLA STATE PARK, where the Goonies kids use a medallion to help locate the hidden treasure of pirate "One-Eyed Willie".
This empty field below is the location of the Fratelli's old restaurant, which has a secret underground passageway which leads to the treasure.  As you can see...the building was removed after filming.
The next pics are in ASTORIA, about 30 miles north.  Here's the famous "GOONIES HOUSE' where Mikey and his brother lived.  The sign is at the bottom of the driveway.
Below is the jail where the film begins with a break-out of one of the Fratellis, and the ensuing Police chase.  The window on the lower left is in the bowling alley where "Chunk" spills his strawberry milkshake while watching the cars speed by.  The museum, lower right, is seen very briefly as the kids ride by on their bikes and wave at Mikey's dad who is on the porch.  So much fun hanging out with Josh and Monica!!

Since it was raining on my last day,  I drove to the AIR MUSEUM at nearby TILLAMOOK.  On my way there, I was following behind these two great-looking old cars.  There were lots more of these beauties on the road that weekend for some car show in the area.  Wish I could have found them.
The AIR MUSEUM is a massive structure that can be seen from a great distance. So impressive!!
Here are a few of the old planes there...many are still in working order and are flown for air-shows.
If you look closely at the image below left, you can see the ladder that weaves through all of the wooden rafters.  Too bad for the person who has to climb it to change a light-bulb in there!  I snapped a couple of pics of the old photos from the World War II era, when the Blimp Hanger was being built.

Now I'll wrap things up with a few images from CANNON BEACH.  The changing weather made for some interesting variations of mood and color.  Here are three shots of HAYSTACK ROCK...a sunset in the fog on my first night there...another sunset the following evening...and a beautiful sunny morning.
My last day there, before leaving to catch my plane in PORTLAND,  I got up very early to walk on part of the beach I had not explored.  Below is ECOLA CREEK, near the lodge where I stayed, which empties out into the ocean.
I pretty much had the beach to myself...the sun was just coming up over the hills...a glorious morning.
Once I had walked as far as I could go, there was a very steep trail that wound it's way up to the top of a rocky ridge.  I was pondering whether to take the gamble on the muddy path. Just then, I had a brief moment where I thought of my late Dad, while in his prime. I grinned and said, "Yeah, Mr. Shorty would climb that!" And off I went up the hill.  On the way down, about 20 feet from the sandy beach...I slipped and landed right on my rear in the mud!  (Thanks, Dad!)
As I made my way back to the lodge, these darker rain clouds began to move in...glad I got up early!
This last image is another of ECOLA CREEK, looking back towards HAYSTACK ROCK.  As you can imagine, it was hard to leave...but it was time to head home.

Saturday, September 22, 2012


Thanks for returning to my travelogue!  This post is actually the second half of my previous entry about FORKS, WA.  I'll be showing you SECOND BEACH.

I wasn't sure I would make the effort to go to SECOND BEACH, after seeing all the FOG that covered everything that morning at RIALTO BEACH.  But as I'm driving back to nearby LA PUSH (part of the Quileute Indian Reservation)...the edge of the fog-bank was ending right in front of me...BLUE SKIES ahead!

The trek to SECOND BEACH is a bit of a walk...3/4 of a mile up and down a steep trail.  But it was one of the best parts about the experience!  As you can see in the photo below, the fog actually made the rich green forests even more magical, as the particles were lit up by the sun-light.  (And a side-note to the "Twilight" fans...this is supposed to be the area that Jacob Black and the Quileute tribe's shape-shifting wolves would meet!)

As you get near the beach, the trail gets very steep...and the muddy "steps" aren't much help.  Below left is the top view...then the same part of the trail looking back up the hill.

Once I was on the beach, the fog was, again, thick as pea soup...and there were the same giant, dead tree trunks everywhere.

About an hour after I sat down to begin to draw the huge rock below (see the sketch in Part 1 of this series), something wonderful began to happen right before my eyes! I started noticing details in the distance as the fog was burning off...HUGE rocks appearing, that I didn't even know were right in front of me!  It was SO cool to see!  For the next hour or so, I'd sketch a little, run around with my camera...sketch more.  Before long, the sun was brightly shining on the beach!

I didn't have much time to enjoy the sunlight, as it was now at the end of a very long day.  Many photographers began to arrive to get photos of the setting sun.  I decided that I would stick around and do the same.

This last photo is a true "Twilight Moment"!  The fading sunset gave just barely enough illumination for me to see the path, on my walk through the woods to get back to my rental car.  I had not brought a flashlight, so occasionally I would use my camera's flash to see a bit farther up the trail.  I had taken a few photos along the way, and later that night was reviewing them back in my motel room.

I noticed something white in the upper corner of one of the shots...when I zoomed was a BAT flying over my head!!!  (Yep...still in vampire territory!!)

That's it for this on the list:  RUBY BEACH!

Sunday, September 16, 2012


Okay all you "Twi-hards"...I now arrive at FORKS, WA! While I am not a fan of the vampire/werewolf "TWILIGHT" book/movie daughters are.  I didn't take very many photos of the small logging town, as most of my time was spent on the rocky coastline nearby.  I do have a few pics, though.  I love the sign below on the's loaded with unintentional irony. (A town full of vampires...of COURSE you would need to have a blood drive!)
This is a favorite photo-op location at the Chamber of Commerce building.  Below are "Bella's Trucks".  (Well...a facsimile thereof.)

Before I headed out for my first morning of exploring, I had breakfast at the cafe across from my motel.  There was this really cool hand-made wooden toy created by prisoners at a near-by facility, with programs to help them re-enter society.
Also at the Chamber of Commerce building were these wonderful rusted-out pieces of logging equipment.  (Might have to do some sketching from these photos later!)

Now I'll show you more photos of nearby RIALTO BEACH.  (I did a gnarly tree sketch there...see Pt. 1 of this blog series.)  I was excited to try out my brand new sandals that I bought for beach walking.  It did not take long before I discovered an unfortunate detail about the terrain.  The holes in the sandals were the PERFECT size for letting in the small rocks that covered the beach.  Very frustrating!!!  So after I finished sketching, I went back to the car and put on my tennis shoes.
I was amazed by all the giant trees that cover the beach...they reminded me of the prehistoric bones of dinosaurs...or maybe even DRAGONS!
So many of the trees were bare and twisted...nothing like I see back in Kansas!
ELLEN CREEK empties out onto the beach...the gray foggy mist gives this "tree graveyard" an eerie feeling.  The perfect stillness of the creek contrasted with the crashing waves on the other side of the rocks.
I like this little "triad" of roots many interesting shapes and textures.
If you stand on top of one of the fallen giants near the shore's edge, and look towards the surrounding forest, you can see that life abounds.

I decided to take the mile-and-a-half walk down the beach to visit "Hole In The Wall" rock.  Along the way, you begin to see several gigantic rocks ("needles") towering in the hazy distance.
Almost there!  You can just begin to see "The Hole" ahead...on the left side of the large mound in the center of this photo.
I managed to arrive just before the tide got too high for me to climb out to the natural tunnel in the rock.  The high tides also create danger for a walk along the beach, as those mighty trees can be shifted around by the water.  The bottom photo is the view from the other side of the tunnel.
The pic below left shows the view just as you come through the hole.  There is a trail near the tallest tree in the distance, that goes up and over the rocky ridge...for those who aren't paying attention to high tide and get stuck!  I wanted to see the view from up there, so I climbed through the dense underbrush, grabbing vines to pull myself up...ridiculous, but fun.  The pic on the right shows the view from the top of the ridge...and the 1.5 mile trek back!
Here's a composite of several photos of the can see the hole at the bottom of the rock-ridge.
All tuckered-out...but happy!
Next chapter...SECOND BEACH!