Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Memories of the Oregon Coast

For years Dave and I have talked about taking the kids to the Oregon Coast, camping all along the way. So past winter I talked to my parents about the possibility of them going with us. In April we booked our campsites, 10 days...a different camp each day. Sounds like fun I thought to myself!

As the days got closer, the stress started to build. Work was finally picking up, which meant long hours in the studio, Dave was scheduled to be out of town the week prior, kids were home and wanting to be entertained... is this all really worth it?? Do we really have time to be gone for 10 whole days?

Thankfully, the week we were to leave Dave was able to take an extra day off to help get the camper ready while I focused on getting the food ready. Lots of cooking and freezing dinners. Mom, dad and my niece arrived late on Thursday night. We were ready to leave town by 10:30-ish the next morning. It always feels a bit strange once we are actually in the car, camper in tow, and pulling onto the interstate. It feels a bit like a mental tug-o-war.  Did I forget to pack the emergency kit? Yes, it is in the camper. Did I forget to email such-and-such client? Yes, you told them last week you were going to be gone. Did I get the alarm clock? Yeeesss.... it is in your bag. Not until I am a good 20 miles away does my mind settle down enough to start enjoying the ride.

Friday ~ August 6th
Our first destination: 365 miles down I-84 to the Dalles in Oregon. As we traveled closer to the Columbia river the wind started picking up, then hundreds and hundreds of windmills started appearing on the landscape. The Columbia was rippling with waves and the windsurfers were taking advantage of wind and waves. We had planned on stopping at some of the large dams that are located on the Columbia, but we arrived a bit too late for a tour. Dad was disappointed, thankfully we were camping in-between two different dams so we were able to stop at the second one the next morning.

We stayed at the Memaloose State Park camp ground next to the Columbia River. My first entry into my Visual Journal .... while hunkered down behind a rock to get relief from the wind, I was sitting in Oregon while drawing Washington on the other side of the Columbia River.

Saturday ~ August 7th
The next morning we visited the Boniville Lock & Dam and the fish hatchery. Both places are quite interesting. As I mentioned my dad loves seeing dams (must be the engineering aspect) and Dave works for Idaho Power, so the two of them had lots to see. At the fish hatchery, we enjoyed the sturgeons...they acted a lot like pets. Coming up out of the water to look at you and entertaining (showing off) to all those that watched from the window down below.

Next we traveled down the Old Highway 30 to see the Multonmal Falls. Unfortunately it was a Saturday and the parking was terrible, definitely no room to park a truck and we moved on down the road.

The old HWY-30 was originally built for the Model -T cars so it is a bit narrow, but the view along the way is gorgeous. I'd love to travel it during the fall months when the trees are changing colors!

We did stop at the Vista Home overlooking the Columbia. While everyone walked over to see the sites, I stayed behind and sketched from a top the camper. In total we drove about 90 miles to our next campsite, the Milo McIver State Park.

Sunday ~ August 8th
We stayed right next to the beach at Nehalem Bay. It was very windy that evening, but that didn't stop us from running over the sand dune to the beach. Hailey sat in a chair and painted her very first Plein Air painting in watercolor. (I still have sand in my traveling water color kit to prove it.) I was very proud of her.

WE fell asleep to the sound of the wave crashing onto the was heavenly. The next morning I woke bright and early to a calm and peaceful beach at low tide. I found a huge full sand dollar. I was very excited. Alex saw one down in a tide pool that he couldn't reach. So I rolled up my sleeves and pants and reached down to grab it...I emerged a moment later unsuccessful and my entire left side dripping wet. I didn't realize that you sink very quickly in wet sand...Yikes.

Monday ~ August, 9th
It was foggy and overcast the whole time. We stayed just above Newport at Beverly Beach. The trees at the camp ground were really amazing...wish I would have had the time to draw them.

Instead Dave and I took the kids to the Devil's Punchbowl tidepool. Then ended up buying them hot chocolates...Alex made us all laugh with his chocolate evidence. He had no clue that the ring on his face was there.

Tuesday ~ August 10th
We stayed just above Newport on Monday and just below on Tuesday. So we had plenty of time to see the sights. We went to the Yaquina Head Lighthouse and the Aquarium. So much fun! However, I think all the kids really enjoyed the quick trip Monday evening to Ripley's Believe It or Not shop the most... It was a bit crazy, creepy, and weird...just perfect entertainment for three youngsters!

That evening we were greeted by an amazing sandcastle on Beachside. I spoke to the gentleman that made it. He had spent all day on it! Apparently he makes a different one on each beach he stays at. I only drew the top portion in my visual journal.

Hailey, Alex, Mickenly and I all heading to the water in the fog.

The next morning Dave and I found a large crab buried in the sand. So I took it back to camp and cooked it... Oh my goodness, it was the best crab I've ever had....mmmm.

Wednesday ~ August 11th
We drove another 88 miles south to Sunset Bay State Park near Coos Bay. We had a great time hiking around near the tide pools. This is definitely a spot Dave and Hailey want to come back to. The beaches are becoming more and more beautiful with their rocky cliffs and little islands. We didn't get to spend quite enough time here since we didn't arrive until early evening and left mid-morning. I slept fantastic the whole time we were near the beach. I also started waking up earlier than everyone else... I almost felt like an early bird rather than the night owl I am accustomed to.

Thursday ~ August 12th
After a long and stressful afternoon of washing clothes at the laundry mat (in Coos Bay) and becoming separated.... we finally arrived at Harris Beach. Our last stop in Oregon. This was my favorite beach site of them all. The camp ground was huge with lots of campers, but the site we stayed in was great and secluded. The best part was the beach was within walking distance and the hike down to the beach was breathtaking. There was a huge tide pool that we all enjoyed exploring, luscious fern covered rock formations towering overhead and plenty of open beach to play in the sand & water.

Dave and Alex exploring the beach

Hailey drawing the rocky views, using charcoal she recovered from the campfire pit.
Yep, I was a proud artist mom that evening.

Friday, August 13th
At last the Redwood Forest! One evening was NOT enough time. We met Greg, the hitch hiker, just before we entered the park. He gave us some great advice on which trail to hike. We weren't disappointed either! The old growth area of the forest is spectacular. I look forward to spending multiple days there next year hiking the many trails. As we left the forest all the other trees we saw seemed so unimpressive in comparison

to read the adventures of Greg Clarke, our hitchhiking friend, visit his blog here:

For the first time since we left I didn't sleep well, kept waking up during the night... could have been because there are bears in the area and I was a bit freaked out about it. My mom however, being the special mom she is, sprinkled moth balls all around the exterior of our camper while we were on our hike. She heard from a ranger, who works in Yellowstone, that bears do not like the smell either. Not sure if it was the moth balls or we were just lucky, but the bears didn't visit us that night. 

Saturday, Aug 14th
The next morning we headed back up to Oregon and then  in-land to see Crater Lake....
We had a long drive ahead of us, so we weren't able to stay at Crater Lake for very long. Regardless, the drive up the mountain was impressive, the Lake was breathtaking, and the drive back down the other side made you feel like you were on top of the world looking down. You can see for MILES and MILES... the mountains actually gradated from dark blue to pale powder blue just like you might see in a photographers photo.

Sunday, Aug 15th
Saturday night we stayed at La Pine campground out in the desert about 70 miles from Burns. We all wanted a shower that evening, but decided against it since the showers were on 2 min timers and the water was cold. ): Alex and I awoke on Sunday to the sound of coyotes howling at the first light of the day. After breakfast, we headed across the hot Oregon High Desert. Wouldn't be so bad if we could drive 65-75mph.... but no, it was 55 all the way. Dave was nervous about getting a speeding ticket if he drove faster than 55, given the area we driving in it would have been a high probability for a ticket so 55 it was... I decided that living anywhere with in a 75 mile radius of  Burns was not my cup of tea.

Hope you enjoyed coming along with us as we explored the coast. And just for the record... I'm still finding sand in the crevices of my journal.... =D


fromthepines said...

Great post Lisa. Your drawings are amazing!


Lisa Cheney-Jorgensen said...

Thanks Cheryl :)

Chel said...

Wow. WOW! Such a wonderful post and your journal entries are amazing, so inspiring! I'm sort of a newbie to your blog- how long does it take to create an average journal page? Thank you so much for sharing your adventure with us.

Lisa Cheney-Jorgensen said...

Hey Chel!!
It really depends on the page, but anywhere from an hour to a couple hours...usually not in one sitting. I often draw the whole thing out with a PITT pen first, then journal around the drawing, and then later come back and add watercolor & colored pencil.

I've had a few folks ask for an on-line class which I've never done before but am curious about looking into the possibility. That will have to wait until I finish with my workshops at JournalFest at the end of October. =)

Roxie said...

Love your journal pages! My husband visited a lot of the same places as you in September. We took a three week trip out west. Wish I could have documented it like you did! that Redwood circle a rubber stamp?

Lisa Cheney-Jorgensen said...

Hi Roxie,
The circle in question is actually printed on the postcards I glued into my visual journal, I then drew over the cards.

I've actually make a set of seven postcards from this pages to sell at a recent Open Studios event.

After Journalfest, I plan on getting my etsy account up and so I can make them available to my online friends as well. :)

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