DJ drove me over to the Birmingham airport bright and early on Tuesday 8-4. It had been years since we had been to that airport and we about missed the exit to turn off. No notice that it was coming and I had been watching-- then boom, the sign that said "airport" and then the turnoff almost immediately after! I caught him before he got pulled out too far to the center lane. I just had him drop me at the door to avoid parking fees since once thru security, there is no waiting with him at the gate. The flight left at about 830 CD on the first leg of the journey routing through Denver on the way to PDX. Silly me, I had booked an aisle seat so could not see much of the mountains. I had just enough time in Denver to get to my gate and eat a quick sandwich from the nearby Quizno's, call DJ and txt Pam--then off to PDX. From PDX it was on to the turbo prop----I glimpsed what I thought was Mt. Hood and found out later I was correct. There was fog bank near North Bend, Pam said so I would not see the ocean on the approach but I knew I would see it in a few days time from the ground.
I could not get off that plane quickly enough!! After all, Pam and I had been waiting for this day for most of the 10 years we have known each other. I just happened to look up and spotted Pam and Ed looking down from the airport window. I don't have a picture of that first meeting but Ed took a couple of shots. Here is one taken a few days later.
As we drove through North Bend and Coos Bay, Ed and Pam told me about what I was seeing: such things as, the new airport is painted to look like a salmon and the colors change as the light shifts, what area was the bay, the timber industry locations, dredging equipment that kept the bay open for ship travel, other boats used for fishing, the casino. Lots more but that is what comes to mind.
A quick stop at the store since they were in town and live a bit out. Pam and I were jabbering at the cash register and the clerk looked at us and asked if we were sisters! Well, I suppose with that red hair we sorta look alike but I said "just of the heart" LOL.
Then it was off to the sights along the way to Coquille---what becomes Winter Lake when the river floods, the mill where Ed worked, the "loop" we had planned to walk at least in part but didn't get around to, downtown and Pam's office, spots I have heard her speak of over the years. Oh, the Madrone trees and later in the week, shoot I forgot the name of it but the leaves are very fragrant and can be used in place of bay laurel leaves. It may come to me or Pam can remind me. (ed. note---Oregon myrtlewood---duh, named like the ones in my yard crape myrtles. you think I would have remembered.)
Then we arrived at their lovely and cozy home--the kitchen remodel, her MCM room, the wonderful back yard spot they have made with the decking and pond areas. All the flowers and plantings. No wonder they spend so much time outside. Of course, Akira only allowed me a few pets and he was off pretty much for the reminder of my time there. He didn't seem to like me much better on Friday morning when I bribed him with home canned tuna juice, LOL.
Since I had gotten up early for the flight and we had the two hour time zone difference, we just kicked back for the evening. Ed fixed a yummy meal of grilled salmon steaks (some he had caught last summer and pulled from the freezer) and fresh corn on the cob also on the grill while Pam whipped up some coleslaw. Pam and I had gift bags to load for the retreat and a shopping list prepped for what was missing. ( When I get my mailing from PDX, I will show you some of the things we had stuffed in there for the girls--those top secret things Pam and I were stitching and buying earlier this summer!) We watched the Mariners, yakked and I stayed up way to late, LOL. That and we got online---chatting with Norma with me on the laptop and Pam on Betty Boop just letting her know I had arrived.
Wednesday was sight seeing day. Pam set the car for the coast and off to Bandon. It was pretty overcast at the time but that didn't deter us. I sure hope I got these photos properly labeled. I think that might be Face Rock in the picture below?? I know it is the beach area in Bandon and off in the distance is a spot where Pam, Ed and their family have rented a cabin. She has a picture of me at the private entrance to the steps for that cabin on the way down towards the beach but I was backed up into some gorse---sticks you just like our needle holly bush and is some sort of invasive evergreen that must grow like kudzu down in the South. Pam said that it was responsible for some fire situations in the past where the whole town burned down.
From Bandon we drove on to Port Orford and lunch at the Hungry Norwegian. Should have gotten the fish and chips! You can see that the weather was beginning to clear up by the next picture. We drove down near the boat yard and fish market as well as the park area near the restaurant as well as the old abandoned jail. Then on to see the friendly ladies at Quilter's Corner. No fabric for me though Pam found a couple of grab bags of fat quarters she liked. I got a couple of the foundation pieced lighthouses I would be seeing on our trip. Pam had given me one that she had found in her mother's sewing things earlier. I know that the picture was taken at Port Orford and I think it is Battle Rock in the distance from my sequence of photos.
Back in the car and this shot was taken at Sunset Bay State Park in the beach area. You can see that the sun as out and it was quite lovely out by then. I am getting myself confused but at one point we drove through one of the wonderful OR state parks where Pam, Ed and the kids/grands will be staying in adjoining cabins later this year. Was it this one??
I should have done a video just to record the sea lions barking! They were loud and a lot of them down there though I can barely see their heads in the pictures I took. Further up the coast we could still hear them though a few sounded closer. Later some of the other visitors reported that they had seen a whale. We waited long enough and sure enough, there was the spout and the whale back---no tail. Pam remembered that there was geocache hidden in the area---a little poking around and she found it without need for GPS. I have a tag she suggested I send to a pal in IL who is into geocaching though I forgot to get the travel bug to put with it.
We stopped at the jam shop on the way back, drove through Charleston on the way back up to Coos Bay and back to her house after a town errand. Ed fixed us another lovely meal and we spent a quiet evening at home. The name of that laurel type tree is still not coming to me and I just realized that I left out the lighthouse pictures. Next post!