Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Oregon Coast, part 1

I'm going to break up my trip to Oregon into a few different blog posts and I want to warn you now that most, if not all, are going to be very picture heavy.  I'm going to start with my days at the coast.  I landed at the Portland Airport just before 1pm local time on Saturday, May 9th.  I spent the afternoon and evening with my mom and dad.  Sunday, I went for a 10 mile run around my small hometown.  Monday, I got up, did a 5 mile run and then loaded up the car and made the drive up to my best friend, Patricia's house.  This was May 11th.  Her birthday.  Whenever I ask what she might want for a present, she ALWAYS says she just wants me to visit.  While I know this is her true and most honest answer and that I would say the exact same thing if she asked me the same question, it's a little frustrating.  Haha.  I found a few nice things to get her: a pretty necklace and some Scooby Doo items (she LOVES Scooby Doo!).

My first day there, Patricia and I went and picked up her daughter, my "niece," Michaela and her fiance, Paxton.  We went to the Cove at the south end of Seaside, OR to see the thousands of valella that had washed up on the beach.  Valella is a type of jellyfish.  They float on the surface of the ocean and have a little sail that catches the wind to propel them along.  They travel in huge colonies and if seen from above, resemble an oil spill because of their purpley-blue coloration.  There had been a huge change in the wind and so thousands and thousands of them had washed up on the beach.  It smelled pretty bad.  To me, the dead valella looked like super thinly sliced red onions.
the dead valella
seagulls on a dead tree
same seagulls, different angle
a bird's skull, probably a seagull
driving up to the Cove
dead valella on the rocks

Then we dropped Paxton off because he wasn't feeling well and us girls went to the Seaside Aquarium.
harbor seals

you can buy little cut up fish for $1 to feed the seals with.  they
"beg" for more fish by slapping the water

this is a lobster molt, not a dead lobster

this fish is called the "tsunami fish" because it traveled over 4000
miles, sheltered by a Japanese fishing boat during the 2011 tsunami
and then crossed the Pacific ocean and wound up on our coast.

this snail is laying eggs

I "think" these are squid eggs, but I can't remember

a large shrimp, sorry it's hard to see

this is Victor, he was a 25+ lb lobster.  he died after he was
stolen from the Seaside Aquarium, but his dead body was
returned and they preserved him for display

Tuesday, Patricia and I did some local shopping in Seaside.  I didn't buy anything, but I did find this really cute stuffed crab that looks really sad.
We also ate a couple things.  While no Voodoo Doughnuts, we went into a local doughnut shop/coffee shop.  Patricia got a chocolate iced cake doughnut and I got the Butterfinger doughnut.
Later in our shopping trip (that we bought nothing during...ha!), we stopped for lunch.  I got the salmon burger and it was pretty yummy!
Also on Monday, we stopped at Bell Bouy, a local shop to buy fresh seafood and they have a little restaurant attached as well.  I wanted to get some salmon jerky to try and her husband recommended we go to Bell Bouy.  They had 4 different types of salmon jerky: regular, regular with cracked pepper, teriyaki, and teriyaki with cracked pepper.  I'm highly partial to cracked pepper jerky, so I got one piece each of the cracked pepper varieties.
I think I'm going to have to invest in a food dehydrator just so I can make my own salmon jerky now.  This stuff was seriously amazing.  (I bought an entire pound of it when I left Seaside Thursday morning!!!).

Wednedsay morning, Patricia had to do some work (her and her husband own their own mobile detailing business, so while she can take time off to spend with me, sometimes she has to help him do a job), which was fine because I wanted to go and do my first ever beach run!!!  I decided that 4 miles was a good distance since I had never run on sand before and therefore didn't really know what to expect.  I ran in the sand that had been under water when the tide was high earlier in the morning, so it was fairly easy to run on.  The portion of the beach where I ran was barely over 2 miles wide, so once down and back on the beach was the 4 miles I had wanted to do.  Something amazing happened on this run...I SAW A BALD EAGLE!!!!  I've been in the same vicinity as a bald eagle multiple times when I was younger, but I have never been this close to one.  I was seriously less than 50 feet away from this majestic creature.

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