Sunday, May 15, 2011

Oregon coast is paradise!

Sunset this evening, through my window at the Salishan Spa & Golf Resort, Gleneden Beach, OR
All photos copyright (c) 2011 Wendee Holtcamp

I've been in Oregon since Thursday and I want to share all my photos of my trip so far (including visiting my dad's Crackerbox Palace - aka log cabin in the woods) and a gathering of writers in Portland and seeing my 7th grade BFF but first, I'm going to share the images of the beautiful Central Oregon coast because I spent the last half of today exploring and photographing and it's freshest on my mind -so this is 'live and in person'! Right now, I'm sitting in an incredible hotel room complete with a gas fireplace, couch, King-sized bed, massive bathroom - and a view you see above...

The natural beauty of Oregon inspires me. Yes, I'm from here, and yes my visit is hosted by the Central Oregon Coast Association or COCA but I'm not just saying that because COCA is sponsoring my trip. Anyone who has been to the Oregon coast will pretty much say the same thing! It rains a lot and there are often clouds, but the entire coast (that I have seen before - and more this trip) has absolutely breathtaking scenery.

At any rate, this morning I left my dad's place and headed south of Portland and when I got near Corvallis, headed coast-ward up and over the mountains to Newport, a small town right near the coast. There I met up with the Executive Director of COCA who is driving me around (we are meeting up with a couple others tomorrow). We have only had half a day on the coast so far but I've taken so many pictures already that I wanted to upload them or I'll never be able to catch up when I get home. So here are some images to whet your appetite! Most of these I took with my Android phone, which has some apps that allow me to create cool-looking images, but others are from my Canon SLR.

First we went to the Depoe Bay Whale Watching Center (run by Oregon State Parks - and free to the public). Gray whales can be spotted here year-round. Right now they are migrating northward, and just minutes before we got there a mother and calf swam by but we didn't see any. Bummer! Orcas, seals and sea lions can also be spotted. We saw a couple of sea lions on the jetty (visible with the multiple pairs of binoculars provided at the center).

We drove a mile up the road to Boiler Bay where we thought maybe we would spot the mother and calf, but no luck. However it was beautiful! Notice the waterfall on the right.

Next we stopped in at Alder House III - the "oldest glassblowing studio in the Pacific NW."
Buzz Williams, owner of Alderhouse, shows us how he creates glassware.

ome glass balls (floats) in the studio.

Loved the look of all the colorful glass artwork!
Funky tilt lens effect on a St. Francis statuette.

I had hardly eaten all day so was very excited about dinner. We ate at the 3-star Bay House Restaurant in Lincoln City. I had the Alaskan halibut with cucumber, baby bok choy, coriander, meyer lemon, celeriac, and micro-arugula. It was tender, flavorful, and beautifully presented.

Owner Stephen Wilson sat and chatted with us for a while. They use as much locally farmed veggies and meat as possible and did so way before it became popular to. I also got a lesson in what it means to be 3, 4, and 5 star. Wow! They have to jump through hoops to get those stars! Interesting stuff.

Holy yumness, the truffles were gorgeously presented and freaking delicious. In fact I nibbled two halves, then took the rest back to my hotel room where I had them in front of the fireplace with a cup of coffee!

There was a guy catching sand shrimp out the window as we ate - can you see him on the right?These shrimp are apparently bait for catching halibut. While we ate, the sun peeped out of the clouds and then it gradually cleared up! Sun on the Oregon coast - I couldn't ask for more! The forecast had called for rain all week so I'm very happy. I thought this image was Boiler Bay but it turns out it's actually Siletz Bay that the Bay House overlooks.

The sun through the clouds over Siletz Bay near Lincoln City (where the Bay House sets). And you know what? My stepdad's parents lived here for many years, and I spent one Thanksgiving there as a kid. We are going to go visit their house on the trip. My stepdad's dad passed away many years ago and his mom moved to Sequim, WA but now she lives near them in Dallas.

After dinner we walked down to the bay/beach and I accidentally shot this with my phone. I thought it looked totally surreal and beautiful. I want to start a website with accidental photos!

This is my room at The Salishan Spa & Golf Resort. The room is huge, and decorated in ranch style luxury. This pic doesn't do it justice!
And that brings us to... the sunset over the bay!

But before I leave you for tonight I wanted to give you a taste of the images I shot at my dad's log cabin, aka the Crackerbox Palace as he calls it. This is a window of the bathroom from the outside.

And the cabin itself. Very small, quaint, rustic. Home! I spent every summer here and lived with my dad here for two years when I was 8 through 10.

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