Sam’s Day at the Beach

Meet Sam:


Sam’s a lucky young man.  When most kids go to the beach they build a sand castle.  Sam’s Dad helped him build a fort!


Well, they actually fortified (sorry – I couldn’t help myself) an existing foundation…

More wood:


Even more wood:


Document and admire their handiwork:


Now, hop back in:


And wait……


Who knows what might come along…  Indians… Varmints….  Bigfoot….

I went down to the beach from my vantage point up by the road and got the photo of Sam, who wanted to take off his sweatshirt and show me his cool dinosaur t-shirt.  Gathering wood for the fort was hard work, right Dad?

I climbed back up on my observation perch and thought maybe I planted a seed and they decided to build that sand castle after all:


No, let’s play “Where’d Dad Go?” instead (and now Dad had shed his sweatshirt as well):


He was just here a minute ago…


Later, Sam decided if Dad could climb the rock, he could too:


Found you.    Ha!


Now I’m going to go up and help you get down….


Quality time at the beach!

Welcome to Oregon!

When I entered Oregon from the south on Friday the first place I stopped was the Oregon State Parks Visitor Center, called Crissey Field (the same name as the airfield at The Presidio in San Francisco).


After visiting with the nice folks who work there, and getting an armful of magazines, books, maps and brochures to study, I headed back towards my car.  I noticed a sign which explained a little bit about the building which I found very interesting.  I’ll just let the sign explain the story behind the construction of this facility.





This is why God made Radio Antennas

When I came out of the Oregon State Parks Visitor Center Friday morning a minivan was parked next to me which had these characters skewered on the radio antenna – sort of a comic totem pole…








I’m not sure I wanna know exactly what’s going on here….


This is the “Jack in the Box” guy (a hamburger chain):




People with newer cars are missing out on the fun.

Brookings, Oregon

Friday I drove up “The 101” and entered the state of Oregon.  I’ll be traveling up the entire 343 mile length of the Oregon coast over the next two weeks.  The first big city I came to, shortly after crossing the state line, was Brookings.

I ate lunch at a restaurant down near the harbor, then drove back up to a long bridge which took me over the Chetco River so I could continue my trek north.

I saw this old Coast Guard ship down by the harbor:


And I saw these two puppies at the restaurant where I had lunch:


When I got back up to the roadway this was the view looking inland from the bridge:


And this was the view looking towards the ocean, down at the harbor below:


These are some flowers I saw at the Botanical Garden where I parked my car while I took the pictures from the bridge.  This is a “Harlequin” Marigold:


When I was in Death Valley National Park I posted a photo of a Desert Holly.  Since I’m near the ocean it is appropriate that I post a photo of a Sea Holly:


There was no sign but I believe this is another Bottlebrush plant, like the ones I saw down in California:


And this is where “Hot Tamales,” the delicious red-hot candy comes from:


Actually it’s a Nine-pin Heath, which comes from South Africa.

Submarine Aircraft Carrier

History was not my strong suit in high school (nor were English or French, as those teachers would attest to…) but I learned an interesting history lesson shortly after arriving in Brookings, Oregon on Friday. I realize the title of this post seems to be a contradiction in terms but here’s the story…

On September 9, 1942, the Japanese submarine I-25 surfaced off the coast of the western United States. Crew members quickly assembled a specially designed modular aircraft which would carry two 170-pound incendiary bombs. The plane flew inland to a position near Wheeler Ridge, east of Brookings, and dropped it’s cargo. Their intent was to start a fire, causing panic and pandemonium (ask anyone living on the West coast how they feel about fire…). Fortunately, thanks to a wetter than normal summer and alert Forest Service spotters, crews were able to detect and extinguish the resulting fire before it got out of hand (and later found bomb fragments to verify what happened). The sub tried again 20 days later but farmers and military personnel spotted the plane and no fires resulted and no bombs were ever found. The September 9 attack remains the only time enemy aircraft successfully bombed the US mainland during wartime.

Here are photos of the sign I saw in Brookings:



The story has a happy ending. In 1962 the pilot of the plane which dropped the bombs attended Brooking’s annual Azalea festival and surrendered his 400 year-old samurai sword as a gesture of goodwill to the United States and the people of Oregon. Here is a picture of the sword I found online:


(Photo credit:


He also returned in 1992 and planted a redwood tree at the site of the bombing.