21 July 2015

Between Bay + Ocean: Bayocean Peninsula County Park

Bay view from Bayocean Dike Road past the gate. If you look really hard
you can see the historic smokestack located in Garibaldi. Clicking on the photo makes it larger.

 I've written about Bayocean before and the role that the north jetty at Barview played in its demise. Well this last weekend, on a "nice" sunny,  HOT day we took a trip out there--to this lovely spot located between bay and ocean

After getting on the wrong road and ending up in Netarts, we put my phone's navigation software and GPS to work and found the somewhat elusive Bayocean Road. Yippee! (If you are gaining elevation, you are NOT on the right road. We saw no signs pointing us the right direction.)
Memaloose Point area
  The bay was beautiful--despite the fact that it was not, as usual, the "golden" hour...
oh well you can't have everything, right? :)
the natives were also lovely and added to our enjoyment of the approximately 5 mile drive out to the peninsula. One small segment even reminded me of the Hood Canal of Washington state and its small homes along the water!
View of the Bayocean Dike Road from the parking area. The lower road runs along Tillamook Bay and carries traffic towards the parking area; the higher road passes by Lake Cape Meares and carries traffic back to Bayocean Road.
The dike road (Bayocean Dike Road) was a piece of cake...as usual I fretted over NOTHING imagining a road with steep drop-offs into the lake and bay from a very narrow dike. That's what you get when you have the wrong perspective on something:)
With furry white one in tow we headed out -- at first -- on road that runs along the bay, but hubby quickly decided we should reroute to the beach. A visit to the townsite's original location would have to wait for now...sigh (bay pic at the top of this post is from this area).
Returning to the parking lot, we found the sandy trail and headed westward...
Looking southward from the trail
The scenery on the way was lovely! Scotchbroom (some which still had a few blooms on it), trees, grasses---loved it! But what wasn't so lovely was the sand on the trail was blazing HOT (and I do mean BLAZING)...sheer agony as I couldn't walk barefoot and the sand kept working its way under the soles of my feet because I had worn, not knowing, flip flops. OUCH, agony, pain.
But we persevered, extremely thankful for the grass at the sides of the trail and all shady spots. Talking to a couple fellow trekkers we gained hope that the trip was well worth it and then...

 one last hill to climb and we would be there.
Much cooler sand on the beach. Ahhhh. Lovely on the footsies!
 Beautiful view towards the Cape Meares area
(the community and headland)
Some buildings from Bayocean were moved to the town there...
Beautiful views to the north too
(Barview area, jetties and more)
The ocean (west of course)--always lovely
Eastward view towards the dunes and center of the spit. .
Was Aimee happy and was it worth it?
Oh YES...despite getting a friction blister. At least I no longer have the splinter, I had picked up earlier in the week, thanks to DH "doctoring" before we left to Bayocean:)
And the hike that seemed to be SO long?
Well, per the measuring tool on the most wonderful Google maps...
yep, it was about 1/3 mile one way.
But now I have another problem.
I have to convince my wonderful hubby to make a return visit :)
The Bayocean link above will take you to a prior post where I've listed some great websites on Bayocean and its fascinating, though sad, history.
Another excellent website I found recently is here:
(some of his posts have really given me a new perspective on Bayocean and its actual location)
Since this post was so photo heavy, I'll include some pictures of Cape Meares Lake at a different time. Heading south on Bayocean Dike Road it's to your right--
it was formed when they built the dike to reconnect the Bayocean spit which had, temporarily become an island in the 1950s due to winter storms and beach erosion caused by building (and later extension) of just the north jetty.
PDF map of Tillamook County -- will give you a perspective on where
the different locations mentioned are.
Once on the peninsula you can have quite the hike if you are up to it...

14 July 2015

Return to Kilchis Point

It was over a year ago that we first walked some of the trail system at the Kilchis Point Reserve.
When I recently found out they had made some more improvements to the trail that leads to the wonderful Tillamook Bay, I knew we had to revisit ---
so I said au revoir to my current mission of decluttering
and we (being the Farmer Boy, the furry one and I) took off for a day along the bay.
The flowers were beautiful...
The trails were fabulous--
paver bricks on the trailhead loop,
compacted gravel on the other trails
and wooden bridges over the creeks--some of which looked pretty dry to us.
We really, really need a soaking rain right now.  
The forest and woodlands were a Celtic gal's delight with green everywhere!
Got to LOVE that color...
especially with many areas looking more like late summer right now.
Woodland canopy--nice!
Sweet birdsong included for free!
Many educational interpretive signs to read along all the trails...
And about a mile later...
A view of Tillamook Bay from the new, incredibly fragrant cedar gazebo!
with an ADA ramp nonetheless
(sorry about the overexposed bay in the background. I'll have to research how to fix that).
Of course, there was NO way I was going to stop at the gazebo--
no matter how fragrant it was.
Down to the bay,
the beautiful bay...
muddy sandals, pretty views!
Oh to see this lovely place at sunrise or sunset when the light is golden and wonderful.
Undisturbed, peaceful, natural.  
No wonder I often daydream about being in my pioneer ancestor's shoes...
to see large areas like this, to live in an area like this.
Pure paradise.
I can hardly wait till their next update--
I am REALLY excited about it:)
Well it's time to eat the marionberries my DH picked for me.
Yep, turned out we had a few left and they're all mine :)
Thank you hubby!

I leave you with this picture of a Kilchis Point Reserve resident.
Neat huh?
Hope you enjoyed our trip to the bay...
time for berries!

08 July 2015

"M" is For..


Aimee has a new mission this summer
and that is to find and remove all excess clutter in her house,
along with any hidden (and visible) dust bunnies, grime and cobwebs.

One of her latest "weapons"?
A modified version of the "konmari" method
I first learned about this method on Helen of Norway's great blog--

Another "weapon" has been this site...
SO much of what I am reading on this site rings true...
having so much stuff makes me feel weighed down.

So far, I've hunted down and cleaned clothes that have been
hiding out in two armoires and in various storage bins for quite a few years now
OK, seven years now (when I quit my last job).

Most of them are clean now (blech--dust bunnies)...
Those with obvious tears, buttons missing, fading, etc., etc. I just threw away.
The others are in plastic bags ready to be sorted...

And now for a few other M's in my life before I resume my mission...
M is for...
many multicolored koi and their goofy sweet looking mouths.

M is also for my Man who decided to see his koi up close and personal on Daddy's Day this year.
He was feeding the fish when I took these pictures:)
Sometimes in the summer when it's hot he takes a swim in our koi pond.
It's definitely big enough and has multiple filters to keep it clean.

M is also for..

Around here Mmm comes in many colors .
blue blueberries,
yellow raspberries,
green gooseberries,
dark blackish red marionberries.
I repeat.
Perhaps I should make a fruit cobbler?
TOO late. The heat has dried up many berries.
Oh well...
maybe next year.

Well it's time to get back to my mission...
Wish me luck!

Blessings, Aimee

20 June 2015

That's History: Once Upon A Time

Once upon a time there was a pretty white church with a steeple on top.
In time, the Baptist church members would build another one, then add on to the new church
 and this historic building would be moved to the city's park where it would be preserved for the generations to come.
And that's where I found it on one of my multiple family history research trips to Gresham,
where some of  my Oregon Trail pioneers settled and where their house,
though extensively remodeled, still stands today.
What stories this church told those who paused to listen ---
tales of sermons, worship songs and prayers,
joyous weddings,
sad funerals...
about families and individuals living in community with one another through good times and bad.
Stories of life.
Can you hear them?

Alas, these church walls can no longer speak to us or to anyone.
You see, about a year after this picture was taken, an arsonist silenced them --
No more pretty white church in the park.
No more stories.
Sad, how a violent act of one or two can affect a community for a very long time.
Can affect the many generations that follow who come to connect and remember their family's past.
I've seen it happen with this church,
 and in a cemetery my son and I once photographed years ago as a RAOGK volunteer.
Vandalism,  arson, destruction.
Truly selfish, senseless and loveless acts.
But, as I type this, my mind is on another historical church miles away from here.
A selfish, hateful act took its sad toll there this past week...
not on a building, but on the people who gathered there
 for peaceful prayer and study.
Sad. Incredibly sad.
Prayers for those touched by this senseless and cruel act of violence
that God will ease the aching of their hurting hearts.
May God bring some good from this evil.
Prayers also for the young man who took so very much from so very many.
May he someday find forgiveness and saving grace from the One who freely offers it.
Kyrie eleison.
Dona nobis pacem.
Blessings, Aimee
Bethel Baptist Church, photo taken with my old camera in 2003
(found a beautiful pdf article on the church, but am no longer able to access it.)
(article, written by a descendant of Peter Engles who helped build the church. Has another
photo of the church, without the steeple--not sure when this was taken. Also has some very neat historical photos of the family.)
RAOGK=random acts of genealogical kindness. Their website is here:
Next: a happier post. Peace.

09 June 2015

Answering The Call Of The Cove

This past weekend brought two lovelies into my life--
the first was a predicted negative low tide in several places;
the second was a certain lovely Small One who came to spend the weekend.
With that winning combination, it was a given we'd be exploring tidepools somewhere...
and, after some research I knew just which beach.
It was a beach from my childhood.
A beach with a pretty little creek that flows into the sea,
a lovely little cove and tidepools!
And as luck would have it, we arrived to some very lovely fog which made it all the more magical!
With high temperatures forecasted for the valley,
and this being a popular state park, I expected crowds.
Surprisingly, the parking lot was nearly empty.
My thanks to the following for the lovely almost empty parking lot:
the Goonie Festival (Astoria)
and the Rose Festival (Portland),
the forecast of lovely fog,
those who love to sleep in on the weekends
the wonderful timing for the negative low tide.
Thank YOU, thank you all!
The north part of the beach was a different world--
a lovely rocky world with...

colorful agates and assorted pebbles

and sea life.
I loved it a lot...
even after I slipped on a rock right into a tidepool I still loved it!
Even with an ankle that's still a bit sore and a scrapped up face,
I STILL loved it!
And I will...

I WILL be back.
After all, my camera survived the fall:)

Oregon Coast Trail Guide for the area (pdf file)
Fogarty Creek State Park (state park info)
About tide tables
All about tidepools (species, safety and more)
The tide was forecast to be -1.2 when we went. LOVE those negative low tides!

04 June 2015

That's History: A Certain Burger Family + The House That is No More

Yep, I recall those days.
The days of the Burger Family.
May 2012
Cold frosty glass mugs filled with yummy root beer...
Hot burgers of varying sizes with familiar names...
Yep, I remember.
Do you?
Found this bit of history on a drive through Hillsboro some years ago
(as opposed to a drive-thru...) LOL
Kind of makes me hungry for a baby burger, a float and maybe, just maybe, some French fries.
Good thing the Farmer Boy is asleep and I hate driving at night.
Oh well...
Another memory from the past some  might be familiar with is this building found on Highway 47...
 for years it has stood (well more or less stood) near Forest Grove.
We always looked for it and I think my parents had an ongoing joke that it
would be their retirement home someday.
It probably was quite nice in its time
(I have a thing for old houses).
A fairly well known landmark,
over time wind, storms, rain, age and more took its toll. 
You could see its days were numbered...
Then, very early this year,
when traveling through the area,
 I noticed something was very, very wrong!
Oh, oh.
Sadly I didn't get a photo then...
but next trip through I snapped several.
I shall miss her.
The area just doesn't seem the same.
BTW, because I always, always just HAVE to know
this was the Heesacker house and
you can find a couple of interesting articles on its history on Oregon Live.
The first is from July 2013 and the second is from autumn of 2014 shortly after she collapsed.
 Well that's all on history for the blog tonight.
Now it's time to work on my family history.

01 June 2015

Of Heritage Celebrations, A Very Special Iris Garden + Going Home

Recently, one of my ancestral clans--the Macfie clan--observed a special day, and I, of course,  
decided it was a great excuse to have a bit of a celebration and try out some new recipes too.
As usual, I did tons of planning--
even if there was just going to be the two of us---
and then REAL life interfered and I postponed everything for a day.  
But the following day, a Thursday, REAL life actually allowed me to make 
a version of traditional Scottish Shepherd's Pie
(albeit a somewhat easier version) AND dinner was only a little late that evening.

Of course, I also took the time to dig out my one and only Scottish tartan
 (stored safely away from any and all wool loving moths) to use as a table runner...
I guess I should pause right now,
for all you tartan experts out there,
and for any Macfie clan descendants too,
and say that this is NOT the correct tartan for the Macfies...
in my somewhat weak defense,
I am descended from quite a few clans (probably 6 or 7) AND
I figured my honorable ancestors, of the Macfie clan, would be OK with me using a different tartan as they did intermarry with the Macfarlane clan--as well as other clans--here in the New World.
(Besides I have both Macfie and Macfarland blood in me from those lovely matches AND I was trying to be thrifty and not buy everything at the Scottish shop a few years ago. LOL)
Shall we continue?
Yes? OK.
Too full from lamb, mashed potatoes, mushrooms and carrots,
I held off on the shortbread part of the dessert till the next day...
and, even if it wasn't homemade, it was pretty tasty stuff!
(I ask you, how can the lovely combination of raspberries, butter,
white chocolate
 and other yummy ingredients be anything but good?)
Finally, I hope to finish off my very own Scottish celebration by making some cranachan this week.
(Cranachan is a traditional dessert made of toasted oats, whipped cream, raspberries and honey)
I have been wanting to try some since a couple of years ago when
Jackie at Homestead Wannabes posted about it.
Here's the link to her recipe:
Who knows? Maybe real life will allow me to make my own shortbread this week too.
Jackie has made her OWN haggis also --
now that is just super amazing:)
Well enough of the celebrating and on to flowers!
For awhile now, I had been wanting to visit a
particular iris garden, but it never worked out.
Until this year that is.

Besides their countless varieties of irises
(so frilly and some nicely fragrant), the gardens were filled with...

a HUGE variety of other flowers...
and a very adorable bunny I ALMOST got a picture of:)

They had two large display gardens --
and a lovely woodland in between.
There was also a pond, a garden shop (closed when we were there)
 and fields filled with even more irises!
Clematis, roses, columbines (always a favorite of mine!), peonies,
poppies, tall rhododendrons and so much more--I can't
even list the wide variety of plants we saw there.
LOVED it:) 
Lots of green grass in between the landscaped beds,
a "hidden" garden feel,
shady AND sunny areas were all BIG pluses too!

It truly was one of the most peaceful places I have been to--
a place, filled with many Adirondack benches and chairs which seemed to say "Stay and sit awhile".
I will definitely try to make it back there next year!
Oh, oh.
Definitely well PAST bedtime here...
guess the "going home" part of this post will have to wait for another day
Happy June 1st to you!
A recipe for Shepherd's Pie
(I had to substitute and change some things because it was THAT type of day--
note to self: allow more time when trying a recipe for the first time).
Garden/flower photos:
All taken this spring at Schreiner's Iris Garden in the Salem area.
Here is a link to them: http://www.schreinersgardens.com/
Yes, this is another one of THOSE early morning posts as I totally
expect REAL LIFE to interfere with internet time today so am doing it now...
thanks for AGAIN choosing to forgive any and all mistakes :)

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