27 August 2010

New Bike & the Fruits of Summer

Two days ago I purchased my very own Surly Long Haul Trucker. It is the smoothest, lightest bicycle I have ever owned and I feel like a speed-hungry gazelle. I tried out new and used bikes for a little less than a year before I finally found this bike. It was waiting for me at Seven Corners bike shop in SE Portland where a girl had ordered the bike and then decided she didn't want it. She's crazy. But thanks to her indecision I now own a beautiful bike my size. And let me tell you, finding a bike my size isn't all that easy.

Tomorrow I start back at school after having the whole summer off. I do not feel mentally prepared but there really isn't a whole lot of preparation I could be doing. To enjoy the last days of summer last monday Joel, Clara, Kevin and I went to Ft. Stevens State Park which is where the Columbia River meets the Pacific Ocean. I'd never been there before but it was great, you could go to a beach on the river or on the ocean and both had their perks. We actually started off at Pt. Del Rey (I think?) where there was a sea of grass preceding the sea of... well, sea.

It was a beautiful warm, sunny day, which is particularly amazing on the Oregon coast which typically runs in the 50s with a thick grey cloud coverage.

While Joel and I were having the above photo taken Kevin kept sneaking into the photo. Kind of like Where's Waldo...

While at Pt. Del Rey we walked on the beach and in the water. Some people had driven their SUVs onto the beach which I find to be somewhat sacrilegious, but regardless I enjoyed myself and just tried to ignore them. Along our walk we found this beauty!

You know me, it isn't a proper beach trip without a rotting animal. At any rate, all the seagulls were picking at this fish and fighting over the best pieces.

After Pt. Del Rey we went to the Columbia River for a lunch of sandwiches and apple cider (Wandering Aengus -- delicious Oregon cider) where we watched a couple of kite boarders.

After lunch we went to the Pacific side of the park where there was a jetty and a look-out point. On the jetty we watched hundreds -- probably thousands -- of pelicans, ducks, geese and seagulls journeying South for the winter. Yes, apparently it is already that time of year.

While we were on the look-out post there was a couple that pointed out that there were two whales swimming near the jetty. The whales never did jump out of the water or do back flips in the air but we saw surface a little bit and spout water from their blowholes.

While whale watching I saw a curious face poke his head out of the water, it was a seal and there were only one and he didn't stay around for long but he was a welcome surprise. Later that evening we heard lots of sea lions barking from the harbor in Astoria but the seal (which, for the record is not a sea lion) I saw swimming by the jetty was quiet and content puttering about in the water.

While Joel was climbing down from the jetty he accidentally nicked his toe but he was a good sport about it.

The view from the jetty.

Kevin and Clara enjoyed the anchovies they brought.

Then we went to still another beach (all in the same state park, very amazing!) called Shipwreck Beach where there was an old iron hull of a boat wrecked upon the beach. Clara enjoyed it very much and I had a wonderful time taking photos during Magic Hour (the most beautiful lighting of the day is right before sunset).

Kevin moved out today, but regardless I think he will always be kind of a ham.

That night the moon was full. We stayed to watch the sunset and hopefully see the sun flash as it dipped below of the horizon but to our dismay that was not in the cards. However, this beautiful moon (blurry as it is) was big and bright, waiting for us in the East.