Saturday, September 27, 2008

Feel the Ocean Breeze

Heceta Lighthouse
While the Oregon Cascade Mountains hold dear to my heart, my second love of Oregon would be its magnificent coastline.

From the Oregon-California border to the mouth of the Columbia River shared by the State of Washington, the Oregon Coast is one of the most beautiful and scenic wonderlands that our country has to offer.

This post would be enormous if I attempted to provide photos of all of the coasts beauty from border to border, so I leave that to you, the reader, to take the time to explore this area if you haven't already.

Cape Perpetua
Several times during my College years, several of us would take a weekend (if not an extra day of no classes) and head for the ocean. Our main destiny normally would not be very far from Oregon State University in Corvallis. We would go to Newport and drive south to Cape Perpetua area where several campsites existed. This location is a few miles past the town of Yachats. Most often we would use the campsites as staging area to explore or play. We loved the Cape Perpetua area. From Yachats to Sea Lion Caves, we would explore the tidal pools, hike the trails, visit the Cape's Info center, have picnics and do a lot of partying.

Some of my friends were students in the Oceanography department and they would explain all the different species of Sea Urchins and Anemones that we would find. Some times the pools would display an abundant amount of sea life with breath-taking beauty of all the different colors of species that could be found.

Inevitably while playing around the tidal pools, we all would get wet one way or another; if we weren't trying to get close to a water column spray on each incoming wave, we were preoccupied enough to not notice the incoming tide water circulating around us and creating islands in the rocky shoreline. One time we almost had to swim to get back safely. We had found an incredible amount of sea life. From the Urchins and Anemones mentioned previously, we found Starfish, and again, several different species. This excited us. Being so distracted by the sea life, we stopped noticing that we were becoming isolated very quickly from the mainland. The tide had been moving in for quite a while.

We managed to make it back safely, but some of us actually lost footing and had to be grabbed, the currents and eddies were getting very strong.

From this Cape Perpetua Info Center and nearby camping, one could visit these tidal pools by taking about a 1/4 mile trail provided by the Siuslaw National Forest Service

I share this experience and photos of this beautiful scenic recreational area, for you to enjoy and hopefully take the time to visit if you have not done so already. The coastal mountains truly march right down to the sea here for the Cape's overview lookout point is approximately 500 feet above sea level. It is truly an awesome view. From this viewpoint, you can look way down to the Info Center, the Tidepools, the churns and out to sea for miles.

Well, as with any breathtaking experience I have enjoyed, it inspired me to write a song and I will share that with you now:

Feel the Ocean Breeze..

Click here to listen to the song with lyrics

Feel the Ocean breeze
A blowin' past your shoulder

And the salty taste of the chilly
Sea water
Out ahead a ship is docked
And swaying
And lovin' Seagulls soar in the air
A playing

I'm singing my song until the
And Dreamin'
Of moments I can share
Just by loving you.

Sitting by the fire light
Staring in the Night
Drinking our Brandy and
Watching the Pale Moon's Flight
We feel the glow of Love and all
Its passion
While the Waves go in and out
In Rhythmic Fashion.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Silver Fire

Toketee Lake

During my college years I worked in the Summer as an engineering intern for a private power company that had generation facilities at Toketee Falls, Oregon. Toketee Falls is located on the North Umpqua Highway 138 about 20 miles from Diamond Lake. I have made posts with photos of this beautiful area previously.

A Campfire

Being a student and the minimum wage pay given me, I could not afford the housing this company provided at their facilities, so I elected to just camp out all summer long while I worked there. My good friend that I mentioned previously in a post, worked on a fire suppression crew for the State Forest Service whose headquarters were also located at Toketee Falls. He decided to get out of the bunks and camp right there with me and he could be easily notified with his pager, if he had to suddenly take off to fight forest fires.

This was basically the formulation of a great many friends who would join us in the evening around the campfire after working all day, singing, drinking, joking, and just 'cutting up'. Of course we had a mixture of guys and gals that entertained themselves with other vices than just the drink. After an evening of merriment we would then become tired and go to our respective tents or sleeping quarters and 'crash'. Of course, when the weekends came, we would really party, visit waterfalls, hike and make another temporary camp while fishing, and just enjoy the outdoors.

I always felt sorry (at least for a little while) for the fire suppression crew after a night of our partying. For they were up at dawn for their daily exercise routine, which meant a five mile run around the Toketee Reservoir and calisthenics before breakfast. These guys really had to stay in shape for their jobs, they were front-line fire suppression fighters.

After becoming fast friends (many of us were together for about 3 summers in a row); we each developed 'nicknames'. There was STRETCH (yeah a guy at least 6'7"), BEAR (hairy guy-black long fuzzy curly hair and beard), COWBOY (my best bud from Wyoming), Pollock (a name he preferred), SHITMAN (a guy always saying.. shhhhhheeeeet maaaaannn), STONY (I won't go there) and yours truly, either ROBINHOOD (well, I had the campfire site and they were my merry men er.. and women) or STARFOX (yeah, before the popular game). Well I won't name them all, but you get the idea.

One evening, after singing, laughing, joking, and stuff; I was just fiddling with the guitar and out popped a short song, the lyrics I share with you now:

Listen if you will to the following song by clicking here

Silver Fire

I will sit by you
and rest awhile
Take off my burden
for a while.....

By a Sea
of Silver Fire
We'll light our pipes
and dream of days
for a while.....

We'll sing the Bronze of Afternoons
And Rhyme the light of distant Stars
And when my wandering feet return
And the Future guides my Way
I'll think of Songs and Afternoons
And be glad.

I've traveled long to taste the Sun,
seen the joys and felt the hardness of life,
I've passed some time on fruit and wine,
filled my cup with the bitter nectar of life.

And in the Bronze of Afternoons
And by the light of distant Stars
I've met with fate and I have learned,
that my time will someday end,
But I've had Songs and Afternoons,
and I am glad.