Monday, June 27, 2011

Life With Sparky is Never Boring!

view on the Ecola Point Trail to Indian Beach
Well, frustrating maybe, but not boring! (Sparky is showing some definite signs of ADHD says E. Wait till you see what she did today.) Here's how today went. We decided to plan a hike at Ecola State Park. Sparky wanted to recreate an awesome hike she went on with her family members about six years ago. All she can remember is that the coast dropped off hundreds of feet below within inches of the hiking path, (well, ok, a few feet) and part of the hike involved tramping through HUMONGOUS old growth Sitka Spruce. After much deliberation and map checking and one false start on the Clatsop Loop Trail last week, (that was probably NOT the hike, Sparky said) it was narrowed down to a two mile hike one way that started at Ecola Point and ended up at Indian Beach. MAYBE that was the hike.....
First view at the start of the hike
Off they set....about 1/4 of the mile into the hike, Sparky noticed that the camera battery on the new, awesome Nikon 3100 was dying. Now, according to Sparky, there was a 1/4 bar showing on the camera, plenty of juice for several spectacular scenery shots. WRONG! When the Nikon battery dies, it dies NOW and the shutter locks so you can't take a photo. No extra battery in hand... (we're gonna get one soon!) The hike came to an abrupt stop because Sparky, being of stubborn German descent, decided she was not going without a camera to capture this special hike. So-o-o-o, Eldo rolls his eyes, says nothing, (wise man) and Sparky says, "I'll go back to the car and get the OTHER camera" which she usually has in her purse which USUALLY gets left in the car. She starts back down the hiking path, leaving Eldo at the first spectacular scenery shot, gets almost all the way to the parking lot and remembers, the purse is at home, there is no other camera. Back up the path she comes and announces, "I don't want to go on this hike without my camera. How about I leave you at the picnic wayside, drive home and get the Canon Powershot camera and come back?" Since Eldo has food in the knapsack, he's ok with that, although he is still rolling his eyes and still looking disgusted. But he says I told you, he's a wise man!
view of Haystack Rock  from Indian Beach picnic area
Sparky goes home, first on the winding, (single lane at some points) state park road, driving a little too fast around blind curves, the road out of the park is about three miles, then another eight miles back to the RV in Seaside, gets the camera, and sets off for Ecola State Park AGAIN, with a lead foot, determined to make it a fast trip. She doesn't want to keep her honey waiting any longer than necessary! She waves to the toll booth guard a second time coming in and gets back to Eldo in record time. The trip took about 45 minutes. Eldo is patiently waiting at the picnic wayside, most of the food gone, and we start off on the hike, again. It was a STEEP hike and very muddy. Sparky is losing brownie points minute by minute. She's going to have some SERIOUS making up to do for a hike gone not so great. BUT--the scenery WAS spectacular! And she says this WAS part of the original hike! (Well, thank God for THAT! exclaims E.)  Eldo and Sparky were pretty pooped by the time they got to 7/8 of the way to Indian Beach. Sparky comes up with THE MAKEUP plan....she'll hike BACK from the same way they came, to the parking lot, get the car, drive down to Indian Beach, and pick Eldo up. They discussed the plan, how it would go, and Eldo looked relieved as he doesn't like to hike BACK the same way he came...he prefers the loop trails--more interesting! Sparky sets off at a VERY fast pace, so fast she doesn't see the long green SNAKE with a lime green stripe directly under her foot as she rounds a corner on the trail. The foot comes down just about on the snake, Sparky screams, the snake screams (well, just in my imagination) and slithers out of the way of Sparky's foot! THERE WERE NO SIGNS ABOUT SNAKES IN THE PARK!! WHAT'S UP WITH THAT??!!  And what the heck are they doing out in a dense canopied forest in such cool weather? So Sparky picks up the pace even more in case there's another snake and makes it back to the parking lot in record time, while Eldo continues on to Indian Beach....(I do NOT like snakes! Even if they are just big garter snakes!)
demeanor pre-snake experience
Somehow, Sparky gets her usual spatial orientation confusion going,  (Somehow?? It's ALWAYS present!) Eldo, shush!  and proceeds to go all the way out of Ecola State Park, missing the left turn to Indian Beach at the toll booth which was LONG before exiting the park and ends up in Cannon Beach. Sparky turns around, goes back through the toll booth gate a fourth time-- the toll guy is looking puzzled at this point but waves her through, and she makes it down to Indian Beach. It's a good thing that the five dollar pass was good all day for any state park. Never mind that I went through the toll booth four times at the same park! Wasn't this scenery worth it? And Sparky is all hiked out....(woo-hoo! says E.)
part of the hiking path
P.S. Indian Beach is a great place to start or finish a hike, or just sit and watch all the surfers come out to play.....Here are some photos I took at Indian Beach after I rested up from my adventure today....
artist sketching Indian Beach

A kayaker getting ready to go play in the waves....

You gotta wax your board with special stuff so your feet DO stick to the board when you surf....This couple is making criss cross hatching patterns on their boards. And they weren't spring chickens, either! Well, then again, I'd guess they were in their forties, so that would be spring chickens to us!

These two young chicks were getting ready to go out in the surf....

I was very interested in the surfing and preparations going on as I got to surf a little bit in Hawaii on a special spring break trip way back in high school. I loved it even though I got severely burnt on the backs of my legs from my butt to the bottoms of my feet from paddling out to meet the waves. Or maybe it was because I did more paddling laying on the board than standing up! I do remember catching the waves, though!

It was quite a cloudy, hazy day today, but still a terrific day..we never did see the huge Sitka spruces I remembered, but I also remembered later that we hiked years ago all afternoon, so it must have been a continuation of the hike we did today and a much longer one at that. Close enough for me! (And me, too! says a relieved Eldy.) Our last day is tomorrow..we're going to miss the coast very much. But it's on to more adventures with Eldo and Sparky!


  1. You are too funny! Thanks so much for the great storytelling that I get to enjoy every day. That coast is magnificent and your sharing your experiences through words and photos makes me feel like I'm back there enjoying it with you. I, for one, am glad you went back for camera #2 :-).

    I happen to be reading a terrific book about those Sitka spruce. It's called "The Golden Spruce" by John Vaillant and is based on a true story. This nonfiction book is so well written it almost stops me from my own writing. It takes place in the Queen Charlotte islands of British Columbia.

  2. Got to poke fun at myself now and then. I told Eldy the other day, "Being me is not easy!" I get exasperated at the things I do and how lost I get. The other day I drove to the post office heading the opposite direction, didn't realize it right away, then turned around and got to the post office three minutes after they closed. Called 'em up on the phone and begged to get someone to hand me my important general delivery letter at the back door. They felt sorry for me, so they did.

  3. A couple theories. Try not to get upset.
    First, on the "French" thing. I'm pretty sure that the subtleties of the French language and the difficulties the rest of us have when trying to figure it all out is one of the reasons the French come across as being just ever so slightly arrogant. Note choice of words, and note that I said "one of".
    Two: Eldo is a saint.
    Of course, you know that.
    How he was never snagged up to this point is a complete mystery. and ....
    Three: (this is the part where you shouldn't get upset) I think that if you had been one of the teachers where I was the Caretaker, you just might have driven me right 'round the bend.
    In a nice way, of course.
    It's that whole "rolling the eyes" thing?
    Gawd, I could write a whole "white paper" on the different types of teachers I've worked with. Honestly!
    The ones who lock themselves outside. (their classroom, the building...) The ones who leave the lights on in the car and it won't start and somehow think the janitor can "fix" that problem. (What? Did I come to work today in a triple A truck?) The ones who bugger up the photocopier (again, not really a "janitor" issue).
    I'll stop now.
    You know how Spider Man has his "Spidey sense"? I used to have something like that when it came to those I worked with. Somehow getting that sense that, "this person is going to be a challenge". I think I actually used another term, but I shouldn't put that in print.
    Not on someone else's blog thingie anyway.

    Try to stay on the trail there Sparky.



  4. A great story. Would have loved to see a picture of the snake and you jumping 6 feet in the air when you saw it. :)

  5. Ha Ha! Good story, and nice pics! :)

  6. What a great story. Jeannie you just know how to make me laugh and miss you even more. I can just picture Dad rolling his eyes. I can not believe how calm he is. Retirement must be treating him right. Love and miss you guys!!!


  7. Thanks for going back for the camera. I know you did all that just for us readers. A snake shot would have been cool, I guess you forgot about us for the moment.