"Of all the paths you take in life make sure a few of them are dirt" US Forest Sevice

Showing posts with label Lighthouses. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lighthouses. Show all posts

Friday, May 4, 2018

Port Orford

More ocean time

One of the reasons we wanted to spend time in Oregon this springs was to ride their scenic bikeways. We arrived in Port Orford with the intention of riding most of the 60 miles of the Wild Rivers Coast Scenic Bikeway. The strong winds had us thinking that this was going to be one long week if the winds didn't change.

When a person sees this painted on the road, it seems like a good thing to check out.

Yep, that's an ocean view.
We woke the next morning to sunshine and calmer winds. The first three miles going north were into some fairly strong winds. Now we understand why most people ride the Pacific Coast Highway north to south.  

Once we turned off the highway onto Elk River Road, the wind was blocked by the trees and the beautiful valley kept us smiling and pedaling


 The only problem was that the beautiful rivers and waterfalls kept making us stop and take pictures. Finally, we had to just ride.
 One rule of bike riding is that your bike follows where you are looking. I kept that in mind as we would find ourselves glancing down to the river in the gorge as we pedaled along. Fortunately, our handlebars didn't follow our eyes.

Turning around at mile 16 seemed like a good plan even though the river and valley kept calling us ahead.

We stopped at the fish hatchery on the way back down to see some huge trout for the lakes and tiny steelhead salmon that will be released in the Chetco River near Brookings, OR in the fall.
 
Piloted in 2014, the Tag Team Program helps ODFW fish biologists better understand the effectiveness of stocking efforts. It’s also a chance for anglers to participate in fishery management and, perhaps, come away with up to $50.
 
By releasing a known number of tagged fish into lakes, and totaling reports from anglers who caught a tagged fish, ODFW biologists can accurately estimate the percentage of the total population of stocked fish that were caught. With this knowledge, biologists can better stock the correct number of fish and the most desirable species. Not every tagged fish will be reported, so to sweeten the deal, some tags come with monetary rewards.


We were sure hungry after 34 miles of riding and headed over to the Crazy Norwegian.
The giant coconut shrimp went well with the great clam chowder and sour dough bread. All I needed was to ride the mile back home and take some Tylenol.
 
We broke up our hiking and biking days with visits to local museums and parks. 
Coast Guard Museum
 

 A lifeboat from the early 1900s at the Coast Guard museum.
The lifeboats were launched from Nellies cove over 500 steps down from the Coast Guard station.


A walk out on the Headlands Trail from the Coastguard Museum.
At the end of the trail looking down on agate beach, we could see the lighthouse way out there on the tip.
Cape Blanco Lighthouse

 
On the lower work level of lighthouse, a volunteer gave us a tour before we climbed the stairs up to the light.
 The stairs were not attached to the wall but felt very sturdy. I guess they would have to be for it to still be in service.
The 18 second light is specific to Cape Blanco. Every lighthouse has its own pattern to help the captain of the boat or ship know where they are in foggy conditions.


The Hughes house built in 1898 was not far from the lighthouse. We stopped for a tour here also. The couple were from Ireland. After operating a successful dairy ranch for more than thirty years, the couple was able to pay a pioneer builder to design and build the comfortable, two-story home It is always interesting to glance back into the past.

I can't imagine milking 100 cows twice a day by hand. But then again, I have never milked one cow but Mike has.
It was also good to visit with the volunteers at these places as we consider where we could like to volunteer next summer or spring.
 
Who knew there would be more of Port Orford to share coming up?


Thursday, June 1, 2017

More of Burlington, VT

Is it still raining?

Not making decisions when you are tired, hurt or angry is a good thing to remember while living this lifestyle. Occasionally, when we reach a destination after a tiring day or week, we find ourselves saying that maybe it is time to find a nice place to settle down and just travel sometimes.
Crown Point
 
Our drive from New York took us by one of the most unusual and historic lighthouses  located on the Vermont/New York border on Lake Champlain known as Crown Point. It was originally a windmill built by the French in 1737. In the early 1900s, a lighthouse was erected. 
 
The Crown Point Campground on the south end of Lake Champlain looks like a great place to spend some time. But we had plans and headed across the bridge to Vermont.

Shelburne Farms

 We decided to visit Shelburne Farm even though it was raining and chilly. Our ride was pulled by a tractor and we were the only people ready to brave the weather. Several times on our travels, people comment "People from Colorado are hardy and can handle the weather." No sense waiting for everything to be perfect after driving so far. We just put on an extra shirt and a jacket and go.
 
We paid for our tour. Then around the corner pulled up a school bus full of kindergarteners. We looked at each other wondering if we were up to 1 1/2 hours of cute but loud little kids. Our guide walked up and said that our wagon was on its way and we would be the only two on the tour. I felt a little bad about having her taking us around in the wind and rain that was on the way. She said she knew that "Colorado people" would go out in this kind of weather and she was game.

In 1886, Dr. William Seward and Lila Vanderbilt Webb began acquiring farmland on the shores of Lake Champlain to create a model agricultural estate.
The heyday was short-lived. Beginning around 1910, farming operations and other activities began to shrink, and subsequent generations struggled to find a workable future for this farm. 


The 10 million dollars that Lila Vanderbilt had inherited didn't last forever. The 40 gardeners, lavish parties and building of this estate was expensive. Now it's a nonprofit organization, on a 1,400-acre working farm, forest, and National Historic Landmark.
 

 The farm raises and grows most of the food it serves at its farm-to-table restaurant. That is the wagon with half of the cute kids. Guess we dodged that bullet.

Views of New York’s Adirondack Mountains, directly across Lake Champlain.

Our driver, Tony, was so attentive to our needs. We had our rain jackets on but he offered us ponchos. We did take him up on the umbrellas when the rain got harder. He had called down to the main office and had the school bus brought  up to the main house instead of riding back down in the wagon.
If it had been a sunny or drier day, we could have walked some of the 10 miles of trails on the property.



Champlain Islands
 
We got another chance to ride our bikes on the Champlain Islands (a biggie on my LIST) on our last day in Burlington. My legs were feeling lazy as they always do our first few miles. The bugs flying around my head were enough to make me get moving. The Off that I had applied didn't fazed them. I looked down at my odometer at the two mile mark and wasn't sure I wanted to do this. As we kept going, the sun was sparkling off the water like diamonds and the cool breeze on my back made me forget about being a slug.  Pretty soon I was feeling very happy and enjoying the ride and birds singing all around us.

 We rode from North Hero to Alburgh and Isle La Motte. The brush along some of the side roads was dense at times. I wondered if a moose might barrel out and take us down. The clouds would blow over us at times making the ride cooler.
We passed several cyclists along the roads and passed a group that caught my eye. One of the tandem bicycles looked like an adaptive bike I had seen previously. We stopped for lunch at the General Store and that group was also having lunch on the deck overlooking the lake. The lady had a stroke 6 years ago and  the bike was modified for their needs. Her husband showed us the special equipment as they got her situated on it. It was quite a production as I presume their lives now are. They were glad to share some of the difficulties this stroke has brought. She is paralyzed on her right side. He said the help from their friends made things easier for them. 



 
We watched the group ride away and I felt a bit foolish for my laziness at the first of our amazing morning ride.
 

Burlington Breakwater North lighthouse

After six days in Vermont, our heads were back on straight and back on the travel bandwagon. We have tried to settle down in the past, by buying a house and making it "ours". Once everything was how we wanted it, we would look at each other and say "Where next?" and sell it. 


Monday, August 24, 2015

Duluth's Canal Park and more lighthouses

 
Seemed like a good day to head to Canal Park in Duluth since it is another rainy day. Even with  the winds it was great.
We watched a barge full of grain was leaving the inner harbor as we arrived.


This was a new type of draw bridge for us. The lower road raises just enough for the size of the ship to leave. It included a path for walking or your bike.



A foot traffic draw bridge


We had some great food at Grizzlies that is known for it's roasted chicken. The waitress was glad to have temps in the 50-60s again. No air conditioning for the 90s.

Driving here is a bit strange. There will be no traffic coming on a county road. We are behind 3 cars and each one comes to a complete stop and looks both ways before going when it is their turn. A little weird after driving in Colorado Springs.