Thursday, November 14, 2013

Even More Blue, and Beyond Perfect Blue

While this blog was hiding under a rock, I went twice to the outer coast. Was trying out doing it as an overnight trip with motel, instead of a daytrip, to get around my energy problem. It works.

Trip #1: So it took me 5 hours to get out of the house on October 13, then finally I'm rolling determinedly toward Rialto Beach and three miles short of the beach

guess what


Rialto Beach is in the PARK. At not one single moment in the five days that I had been planning this did it cross my mind that the #shutdown I had been following obsessively had SHUT DOWN MY PARK.

Easy enough to re-direct. First Beach is on the Quileute Rez, under tribal control (not the Park). So I went to La Push. Very warm. Very quiet ocean. I put on my water shoes for a little while. Not THAT warm. Put back on the boots and socks. Read for a while.

Quileute Needles, October 13, 2013. (Click for larger image.)
Wet feet, October 13, 2013. (Click for larger image.)

Sat in the car on the point overlooking First Beach. Tide coming in, ever so peaceably. Just a few pelicans cruised out towards James Island. Still reading. As IJ reminded me, I can read anywhere. Have often used that fact to get me on the road to Rialto in the past. Wouldn't I rather read to the sound of waves? Yes of course I would.

Hadn't been able to get a reservation in the motel in La Push, so eventually I adjourned to the Pacific Inn Motel in Forks. Supper in the diner. Later I wanted a snack and wandered on down the street looking for the convenience store I thought was there. [Not; that was a floating bit of crosswired memory: in Socorro, NM, the same configuration: motel and diner on the west side of a street in a town at convenient run-away distance from home and near someplace beautiful that I really wanted to be. No little convenience store a block or two down-highway from the Pacific Inn in Forks...]

In the morning, back out to La Push, to First Beach. It was even more blue, and just as peaceable. Watched the tribal fishermen working their nets in the river mouth for a long time. Then wandered home.

Even More Blue, October 14, 2013 (Click for larger image.)
Working in the quiet. October 14, 2013 (Click for larger image.)

As pictures go, very much always-the-same-place. First Beach always looks like First Beach. But each occasion is its own self. Today's shirt-pocket full of small smooth pebbles are different from all the others, have their own parking place on the desk. Today's photos of the Quileute Needles are not the same as last fall's or next month's, even when they are the same.

Trip #2: For October 27 I did have a reservation in La Push: second floor, ocean view, thank you very much. The weather was beyond perfect blue. I myself wasn't feeling too crisp, but off I went to Rialto Beach. All I really wanted to do was read my book so I wandered not very far to the south from the parking lot, and sat by a log, and read.

Rialto Beach, October 27, 2013 (Click for larger image.)
Beyond Perfect Blue, Rialto Beach, October 27, 2013 (Click for larger image.)

When it got cold sitting there, even in the sun, I drove around to La Push and checked into the Thunderbird. Room 112. Upstairs. Opened the curtains. Opened the sliding door to the little deck outside the room. I had a bed, a couch, a kitchenette, books to read, a deck, and the entire Pacific Ocean. And I thought I might just move in permanently. Never leave. It's been a long time since I had such an upsweep of delight.

There was not much swell, through the night with the windows closed I could hear only the occasional larger waves. Thump-boom-swoosh reaching in through the glass. In the morning, a soft and subtle sunrise, a perfect blue horizon. The sunlight arrived on the sea stacks and on James Island.

October 28, 2013. Before sunrise, James Island. (Click for larger image.)

Still not feeling very well, I just hung around sipping coffee and looking out the windows until checkout time, watching the waves break peaceably on the shore of First Beach.

Sunlight and waves, First Beach. (Click for larger image.)

Then I headed home without even going down to the beach, while I still had as much fresh energy and focus as there is available on a zombie day. Do you see? I can go be at the ocean even when I don't really feel well. This is epic.

Thanks to Olympic National Park, for Rialto Beach, and to the Quileute tribe for room 112.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Twice to Portland

While this blog was hiding under a rock, I had two trips to Portland for the monthly medical adventure. The October 6/7 trip was an Angel Flight magic carpet ride. Multo thanks to southbound pilot Norman Rittenhouse, and northbound pilot Paul Danis, and to the whole AngelFlight organization.

Port Angeles airport was fogged in all morning, so Mr. Rittenhouse suggested we fly out of Sequim Valley Airport (adding another airport to my collection of "little airports everywhere") and on down to Hillsboro. We parked at Premier Jet Fuel, and the nice fellow behind the desk in the FBO office offered me a ride down to the lightrail station, I didn't even have to make the 15-minute walk. Lightrail, streetcar, into the motel...

October 6, 2013. Sequim Valley Airport in a bubble of sunshine. Olympic Mountains on the skyline. (Click for larger image.)
In the Piper Cherokee. (Click for larger image.)
Arrival at Hillsboro (Click for larger image.)
Heading downtown on the Max Blue Line in Sunday afternoon quiet. October 7, 2013 (Click for larger image.)

In the morning: streetcar to OHSU, appointment with Big Medicine, taxicab back out to Hillsboro (time was tight), and flight back to Sequim Valley Airport with Paul Danis.We flew IFR (instrument flight rules) almost all the way, in and out of clouds, hugging the eastern margin of the Olympics. Angled down through the ceiling and there we were. Whee.

Kind of beautiful out, Hillsboro Airport, October 7, 2013 (Click for larger image.)
In the Piper Comanche (Click for larger image.)
Mountaintops appear for a moment. (Click for larger image.)
Back at Sequim. (Click for larger image.)
It was getting late. He flew away immediately. (Click for larger image.)

Thank you to Angel Flight and to my pilots, for helping make the monthly trek to Portland (and my continuing participation in the clinical trial) possible.

KF came up from Marin County for the November 3/4 trip. It was just glorious to have a friend to talk to for four days. Southbound on November 3rd, we entertained ourselves with portraits of the HammaHamma River's pair of rainbow arch bridges. KF got better pictures but I can't find them right this minute. After settling in to the motel, we took the streetcar to Powell's, spent money on a pile of books, supper in the noodle shop I fancy when making my pilgrimage to the cathedral of books, streetcar back. In the morning, November 4, the medical business (somewhat complicated this time, and a good thing I had a second pair of ears along, it had been a hard month). Then before we hit the road, a joyride to the top of the tram, which KF had heard about. Then zip for home. Explored a new exit for bathroom and food break along I-5. Once again blew past Falls View Campground along Hood Canal; one of these trips I will remember to stop and see what the Big Quilcene River looks like falling out of the mountains there.

Thanks to KF too, for making the clinical trial journey a do-able thing. I really can't do this alone.

South Hamma Hamma bridges, along Hood Canal, November 3, 2013. (Click for larger image.)
Thanks to OHSU for the free ride on the Portland Aerial Tram :-) November 4, 2013 (Click for larger image.)

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Among the Things I Didn't Do This Summer and Fall

Didn't fill the freezer with blackberries picked from the streetside bushes around the corner.

Didn't get up the Sol Duc River to watch the coho salmon jumping at Salmon Cascades.

Didn't go out to Obstruction Point, so didn't see any marmots.

No blackberries in 2013. No salmon in 2013. No marmots in 2013. And damn near no blogging. Um, in that case who am I and why am I here??

August 26, 2013. Rialto Beach. Photo by JL. She's good, isn't she? (Click for larger image.)

For Rialto Beach, thankyou Olympic National Park.

Shout-out to @JudeCallirgos whose recent blog post reminded me to try again to keep a record and communicate. No blog --> no memory. This beach-bunny blog doesn't have much to do with what's really going on in my life right now, but that's not the problem. I just don't much wanna talk except in 140-character bursts. I don't even wanna take pictures.