Friday, September 5, 2008

A Rainy Day at the Beach

Last week, our family left for our annual camping trip to Cannon Beach, Oregon. We've gone every year, except one, of the last six or so years. This year, despite less-than-perfect weather predictions, we headed out like usual.

The morning of our last full day, we headed for the beach. It was about 7:30am and we wanted to take advantage of the low tide to explore the tidal pools at Haystack Rock. We had a great time last year and saw all sorts of creatures: sea stars, round green anemone, barnacles, muscles, and even a hermit crab. A volunteer group had a touch tank available with a variety of other creatures as well. We were hoping for a similar experience.

Here are the kids standing with Haystack Rock in the background. You can see that the tide is way out and the rock, which is normally surrounded by water, is now part of the beach. We were bundled up against the cold and hoping the clouds didn't decide to open up and dump on us. Josh is comfortable in his new wagon, a new "toy" bought just for this trip. We used it for transporting beach gear, sand toys, and Josh from the campgrounds to the beach four blocks away. The kids also entertained themselves and others with in in the campground. It worked pretty good, even on the soft sand. BTW, don't you just love Sammy's strange little smile that looks more like he's straining? We get that look a lot in photos of him.

The volunteers didn't have a touch tank out this year; however, they did have two nice telescopes set up and trained on points of interest on the more distant rocks surrounding Haystack. The day before, one of the telescopes was pointing to a heron sitting on the rock. It just sat there, not moving, as if it was trained to stay put for the viewers on the beach. On the morning, the kids and I went, one telescope was pointing to a nest on one of the rocks.

Here's Mika looking at the base of Haystack Rock. All that green that you see are green sea anemones. If you look closely, you can make out several sea stars. There are purple ones and an orange one. That white area at the top left is covered in barnacles.

Not long after we reached Haystack Rock, the sky did decide to open up on us. At first, it was just a light sprinkle so we kept exploring. It soon turned to a steady rain, quickly drenching us. Josh wasn't too happy about being plopped into the wagon, which by that time, had a small pool forming in the bottom. Those pamphlets in there with him didn't make it. In this photo, he's pointing out daddy off in the distance.

Scott didn't go with us to the tidal pools. Instead he took the dogs for a romp on the beach. When it started sprinkling, he headed to this log to wait for us. He started to wonder when we didn't immediately show up and said he almost left without us. I took this photo of him and the dogs as we worked our way through the wet, but still soft, sand. Don't they look miserable?

My advise: Don't go tidal pool exploring on a rainy day unless you really like the rain and don't mind being cold.

Stumble Upon Toolbar