Today can be summarized in one word: food! Too much probably because although it was absolutely delicious I am completely stuffed still, hours after last eating. We stuffed so much into today (in addition to food) that I took enough photos to completely fill my memory card for my SLR camera and because - you know how you always forget SOMETHING on a trip? - well what I forgot was an extra memory card. I normally do not like to delete anything until I download it and back it up on my external hard drive but alas I have 4 more days to go. So let's hope and pray my trusty laptop makes it until I get home!
At any rate it's past midnight so I will just post a few of my favorite images from the day.
This morning, Rebeccah (Director of COCA) and I had breakfast at the Salishan Spa & Golf Resort, and then we decided on a whim to go hiking at Drift Creek Falls trail in the Siuslaw National Forest. It was a long, winding one-lane road to the trailhead, and then a 3 mile round-trip hike to a waterfall. Here are a few photos. Above - Mossy rocks!
I'm not sure what this purple bluebell-like flower is, but I will have to find out!
Me hiking the trail. It was pretty mushy and muddy.
The trail goes to a suspension bridge across Drift Creek.
Another view of the bridge.
And that overlooks the waterfall - awesome.
A funky view of a cedar tree on the trail.
Next we went back to Salishan Resort where we had lunch at the Sunroom (same place as b-fast) and met up with another person on our trip - Eileen. She knows another writer I know, which is always cool. Then we went down to the Taft district of Lincoln City and this beautiful beach... It had been drizzly on and off all morning, with some surprise "sun peaks" thrown in but then after lunch the day gave us all with a completely unexpected surprise - a sunny rest of the day. It was breathtaking to see the coast all lit up with sunshine. It has been a rainy spring here and though I've not been here the whole time for the rain season, I know that I got a very lucky break with the sun.
So we met up with some folks from Lincoln City and they have the COOLEST program where they "hide" these beautiful glass floats (examples of which I had pics of yesterday) all up and down the coast. It's called Finders Keepers and they say that float fairies leave them for kids of all ages to find. Every year they do that many - so since it's 2011 they will hide 2011 floats on the beach this year. They don't put them out all at once but bit by bit so people can look for them. When you find it, you keep it. They're beautiful. And we even got one as a gift!
I was giddy with the sunshine so walked all over the driftwood-city beach and shot photos. All these pics are taken in the historic Taft district/beach of Lincoln City.
Next we went to the Lincoln City Culinary Center, which is owned by the city and they offer cooking classes and other cool stuff for locals and tourists. We had our own cooking class and made raisin scones, crepes with homemade Nutella (hazelnut-chocolate spread-recipe to come), strawberries and whipping cream. ZOMG they were soooo good! This is Eileen cooking crepes. I have some good ideas I'm going to try to pitch to Food & Wine. This place was freaking awesome! You can come on Sat nights and have an adult cooking class with a meal and wine and sometimes celebrity chefs. Sharon Wiest is the Executive Chef, and she taught us today. They really focus on local ingredients - farm to fork - and in fact most of the restaurants we have visited here do so. Local, sustainable, and organic is big biz in Oregon.
On the way to dinner, we stopped by Devils Lake State Natural Area on a whim, and I loved the miniature daisies. Of course I had to put a couple in my braids. We came up next to this van with these two dudes, one with binoculars, just staring at the lake from inside their van. I asked what he was looking at and he didn't really have an answer. I was joking like are you looking at people in their houses? Are you looking at birds? He was like, yea, I like birds. But he didn't really sound like a birder. Anyway so then the other lady on the trip mentioned that she thought he was getting high... and I bet she was probably right. What can I say, it's Oregon.
We had dinner at the Chinook Winds Casino's Rogue River Steakhouse restaurant, and I was already sooo incredibly stuffed from the crepes and scones and coffee BUT of course I had to eat! They brought out 6 different appetizers, then I ordered lobster, and then they brought out three different desserts. And yes, I'm now so stuffed I think I am going to puke. But the food was so good!! One of the desserts was creme brulee and I never liked it before, ever. But this made a creme brulee lover out of me! They also had local marionberry cobbler and a flourless chocolate cake. Wow. Just had a small bite of each of those but wow!
After dinner we were heading to the hotel but had to stop and photograph and watch the sunset. One of my favorite things to do is photograph sunsets so naturally I filled up my memory card with them. Here are a few of my faves.
LOVE this one!
We are staying at the Surfrider Resort hotel, which sits right on the beach (and I have a jacuzzi tub in my room!). After we got to the hotel, it was about 9pm and it was still fairly light out, so I took a walk down to the beach by myself to shoot photos and just listen to the sounds of the surf. There was a couple who had made a fire down there so I walked along the other direction and shot this cool rock formation in the light of the waning sun.