nature, photography, reflection

Coastal Birthday Weekend

Sylvan’s parents joined us in the valley to celebrate his birthday weekend during mid March. We had a full weekend of coastal adventures planned, so before heading west, we spent the first evening showing them around our neck of the woods by taking a nice, long walk around our new neighborhood. There was still a lot of standing water from the winter storm and Willamette River flood, so our paths were somewhat limited (but luckily Sylvan was up-to-date on which routes were currently accessible.)

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We first took a peek at the small farm where Sylvan is spending his days. Just a day or two prior, they had finished building a large greenhouse, which came just in time for the spring planting season. One of their smaller hoop houses had caved in from the snow storm a month prior — so perfect timing all around.

The sheer size of the new building project seems unbelievable when you think of there being only a few hands helping piece it together. Sylvan is pretty proud of the work he helped with and has been completely inspired by the whole project (more about that later).

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We spent a good hour walking around the park and the neighborhood. His parents even had the opportunity to meet the farm owners, which was a nice happenstance! After such a long walk though we were left with four hungry bellies — so to Block 15 Brewery we went!

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The following day we trekked up to Cape Kiwanda in Pacific City. It was really windy, but that didn’t stop us (or carloads of other tourists) from exploring the cape.

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I am so fascinated with the geology at Kiwanda. The rocks are made up of so many colorful layers, yet it is hard to find out what makes up the rock mineral content. Most websites just focus on the diminishing sandstone dunes at Kiwanda, and maybe I’m being ignorant, but no one seems to be talking about the composition of the sandstone. I may have to reach out to one of my cute geologist girl friends to find out more…

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One next adventure was spent at Drift Creek Falls in the Coastal Range just west of Salem. Sylvan and I spent a day at Drift Creek last summer during the dry season when it was mainly a blanket of summer green, although the paths were dusty and dry then. This time around it was wet and rainy, giving us a glimpse into the spring mushroom season, the sprouting of Trillium, and sorrel shamrocks galore! It was neat to experience the landscape in two different seasonal settings, both unique in their own way.

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And then there is the 240-foot long cable suspension bridge, swaying one hundred feet above Drift Creek. What makes this hike so spectacular is that you begin to hear Drift Creek Falls as you are nearing the bridge, but it doesn’t enter your field of vision until you start across the bridge. You can’t quite figure out what exactly you should get excited about — seeing for the first time the long, skinny bridge suspended high above, or realizing you must cross that bridge to actually see the loud water scape that is rushing in and out of your audible senses. Oh the thrill!

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Sylvan stood so majestic, looking out at the…other majestic force  — Drift Creek Falls.

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I tried getting a photo of both the bridge and the falls while on the bridge, but the angles were all off, so here we are down below, looking up:

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It was so lovely getting to see his family and to spend the weekend exploring the area! This was the first time we had actually been out on a hike in a while (maybe even all season??)  and it felt great to get back outside, even in the rain!

nature photography reflection

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