Oregon Coast Babies

Siletz Bay sunset, low tide
(And still in the theme of catching up on posts):

Our gorgeous February weather continued to hold, so late that month Andy and I headed back down to the Lincoln City area, originally intending to do some more kayaking.

We ended up just...playing.

Couple o' dorks

The weather was gorgeous, and the rain held off until we left, late on Sunday evening, winding our way back up Highway 6 thru Banks.

Saturday evening, with the low tide, we tried out our hand at clamming and were much more successful than in previous endeavors. Apparently Siletz Bay is filled with purple varnish clams, an invasive species from Asia, that have a high daily quota of 72 per person.

We each caught our quota in under two hours. Our maturity levels plummeted to new lows as we competed heavily about who had more clams in their buckets and raced each other with shovels and sand-flinging to find more clams.

Pepper entertained herself chasing seagulls.

All of us were positively filthy and giddy by the end of it.

(On a side note, washing 144 clams is a painstaking undertaking. The flavor of the purple varnish clam was surprisingly good- light and clean, and they made lovely clam chowder when we got them home. Tiny little boogers for so much work though).

Andy LOVES this

purple varnish clams

a gorgeous evening for clamming in Siletz Bay

We also spent some time down at the Aquarium (just because it's adorable), Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Scenic Area, and, of course, Rogue Brewing.

Yaquina Head Lighthouse


Delightful times. {GRIN}

A Superbowl Sunday kayak

(Hullo world. 

Funny, I always said I was going to be one of those people who “kept up” with their blog. Famous last words, Amanda. Not to mention a lesson in humility about how when you say you won’t be that person, you are destined to become that person.

Obviously, I am woefully behind, and, just as obviously, I am still alive. I have no excuses beyond being uninspired, and transitioning into a new job role post-injury that has left me both more appreciative of how much my body actually does and reluctant to spend yet more hours behind the computer. Bad combo.

The back injury took time to mend…and - in the grand scheme of back injuries -  wasn’t honestly all that bad. Still, it left me with a new appreciation for pain and how incapacitating back *stuff* can be- and mine was strictly related to severe muscle strain-  I didn’t even venture into the realm of spinal injury or nerve damage. So, my hat is off to all of you who suffer from chronic back pain. It's awful.)


Andy and I have been in the process of rediscovering the Oregon Coast for some time now after an extended hiatus…kayaking clearly has something to do with it, but it’s been a joy to remember what an incredible area we live in.

(My wonderful father, who lives in Ohio, and constantly teases/harasses me to move back closer to family, one time asked me, “What does Oregon have that Ohio doesn’t? [a few years later, my adorable brother asked me something similar, however, he lives in the South. Yup, family spread out all over the place.] I replied (to both questions): “Topography.” [GRIN])

Never good at sports, my Super Bowl Sunday looked something like this:

pretty little Nestucca

Kayaking. Island Life. Sunshine. Next to no one else around. Pretty much perfect.  

Andy and I decided to explore Nestucca Bay near Pacific City. It’s a fairly sheltered bay that is part of the Nestucca River flowing thru the coastal flats between the towns of Pacific City and Neskowin. Its personality is variable- pastoral in the upper reaches, flowing thru flats and pasture land, increasingly tidal and coastal towards the inlet, with quite the wind chop as Andy and I discovered soon after launch.

We’re still new to bays- as such, we exercise caution. We launched during the change in tide, so we were careful to steer clear of the mouth, which we could see in the distance, breaking white and wide and frothy- not smart for novice newbies like ourselves. No loss, however. We played in the current and chop, practicing strokes and maneuvers, and watched wary seals follow us around, poking their heads in and out of the waves.

sea glass and barnacles

We made landfall on an island. Andy crabbed. One of the wonderful aspects about dry suits is they are insulating- so I took a nap in the February sunshine on an island on the Oregon Coast in FEBRUARY. 

It was glorious.

Off the Beaten Path

Some old and some new trips that I have neglected.

Panther Creek Falls
This is one of those gems of the Pacific Northwest that takes a little while to find, a little sleuthing, a little driving down unsigned forest service roads, a little faith. It's less of a trail and more of a use path straight down, to a creek, into an amphitheater full of water. Honestly, it was mesmerizing. This is a destination, really just to see, because it's that beautiful.

I didn't really dig the frozen ground scramble in or out though. 

The stunning Panther Creek Falls

lots of ice this day

and straight up we go on frozen ground

Bennett Pass
Cavorting in the snow with a dear friend. J.B. can always be counted on for antics.

snowshoe feet selfie

Why? I don't know :)

snowman with a moss toupee

Valley of the Giants
Abort. Fail. Do your research, Amanda. This trip *took* place during a glorious January day, one where we were coming to terms with Captain's diagnosis. We threw us and the dogs in the car for a much needed day of soul therapy. My back was still injured and in the process of healing at this point, so a very short leg-stretcher was the only thing called for- Andy was going to carry all the pack weight, which just went against all my Ten Essentials instincts, but it was only supposed to be a 1.5 mile hike. Getting there is three quarters of the adventure though.

somewhere, on some road, in the coast range

always call ahead to check *if* the bridge is in

The Salmonberry
There are a number of hikes of varying length, ability and destination to choose from along the old Port of Tillamook rail line, accessed from various points deep in the Tillamook State Forest. We initially planned to make it to the Wolf Creek Trestle this day, just exploring an abandoned part of Oregon history. Andy's engineer instincts kicked in on the Big Baldwin trestle though- muttering things like "80 years old"..."Abandoned"...and "unmaintained" and doing stress force calculations out loud. We turned around, gingerly picking our way through rotten and suspended rail ties along other mini-trestles and made our way back to the car.

I was content though. This was my first hike since November post back injury. Even a simple walk in the woods felt outstanding.