Fire Cloud...
An irregular marking on the exterior of Native American pottery: usually resulting from burning fuel coming in direct contact with the vessel during firing

Thursday, 30 June 2011

Makah Indian Reservation

Cape Flattery, Washington

Cape Flattery is the extreme northwest corner of the lower United States. You can't get much farther away from Key West and still be in the lower 48.....

The Makah Indians own this piece of beautiful real estate. They've built a lovely 3/4 mile walking trail on their reservation that goes steeply downhill to Cape Flattery.

It's a rain forest environment with abundant  moss, ferns and cedar trees.

The Makah have built a series of overlooks on the cape with cedar walkways and  viewing platforms.

We didn't see any seals or whales, but they are common here where the Pacific Ocean meets the wide Strait of Juan de Fuca (Wanda Fooka). Looking north, you can see the mountains of Canada over the strait.

This is a cedar tree. I'm not sure I've ever seen one before.

Lots of ferns and moss here in the rain forest.

We visited a fish hatchery. They raise Chinook salmon, Coho salmon and Steel head trout here. The hatchery cost $13 million. That's actually less than one F-16.  I do not begrudge the money the government spends to hatch fish. The fish have helped us and now we need to help the fish.

They have a new way of tagging hatchery fish by implanting a tiny wire in the nose of each fish.

The odd gadget above is an electronic fish weir.  It forces the Chinook (king) salmon up the fish ladder into the hatchery where they spawn in a most unnatural way and produce many new salmon.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Twilight Mania

Olympic Peninsula, Washington State

We're at a place called "Forks" which  is 12 miles from the Indian reservation  on the Pacific Ocean coast. The reservation is at a small fishing town called "La Push", home to the Quileute Indians. These Indians are important in the "Twilight Saga". This popular story is about a group of sort of vegan vampires who are ethically opposed to drinking human blood and like to chase deer in the Washington woods..

The dark, damp, dreary and dank coniferous rain forest of the Olympic Peninsula is a perfect place for these vampires to call home. Sometimes I think I might be part vampire because every time I go out in the sunshine I get another cancer.... Bella is a human girl who moves to the Forks to stay with her divorced father. Edward is in inhumanly attractive vampire who attempts to avoid her and seems to Bella to find her repulsive.

Edward and Bella's ultimately establish a relationship grows over time, and they fall passionately in love. Their foremost problem is that to Edward, Bella's scent is a hundred times more potent than any other  human, making Edward struggle to resist his desire to kill her. However, despite this they manage to stay together safely for a time.

Anyway, the small town of Forks has five or six businesses and tours that focus on tourists and the Twilight Saga.

Forks is very well located for exploring the beaches and coniferous rain forests of the Olympic peninsula.

We'll be here until the 4th of July . Our next stop will be Port Townsend. Maybe we can find a way to explore Seattle and/or the San Juan islands.

We went to a place called Rialto Beach on the Pacific Ocean in the Olympic National Park today. A characteristic of Washington beaches is the huge bleached driftwood trees.

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Mount Rainier National Park

Back in early 1966 we drove our green Triumph TR4-A and all our possessions up here to Tacoma, Washington. I was navigating C-124s over the Pacific to Southeast Asia to support the war effort..

Our first ever camping trip was here in the Mount Rainier National Park. I was in great shape back then. We had two bedrolls and a kerosene lantern that we checked out from the base recreation officer.

We walked the hills for miles. As darkness arrived we found a place on the mountainside to spread our sleeping bags.

It was our first time camping out. I worried about bears and about rolling over and down the mountain.

We lit the kerosene lantern about 1 AM and walked for about two hours back to where we had parked the 61 Cadillac convertible.  I was afraid. Mrs Phred had no fear.

The Mountain goes up to 14,400 feet. It's an active volcano that might be big trouble anytime now.

Mount Rainer was the 5th National Park established by Congress in 1898.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

The Allure of the Automobile

Portland Museum of Art

We took the light rail into Portland.

Portland is big on roses. The first rosebush was shipped n 1837 around Cape Horn and presented to Anna Marian Pittman on the day she married Jason Lee. We saw lots of roses walking downtown Portland.

When I saw that the museum was having an exhibit called "The Allure of the Automobile", I wanted to go.

This is a 1955 Jaguar. The hood is held on with a leather straps. Leave it to the English to come up with a strange combination of beauty and absurdity.

My favorite in the exhibit was this straight-eight Duesenberg. What a beast. You can keep your Bugatti, the Mercedes and any Aston-Martins. Given my choice, I'd drive this one home in a heartbeat. It was said that only a Duesenberg could pass another Duesenberg , and that only with the first owners permission. The Duesenberg is THE most desirable of classic cars, often selling at auction for well over a million dollars. The 1937 Model J did a 152 MPH at the Bonneville Salt Flats for over an hour. Tom Mix and Rudolf Valentino each bought one. They sold new for $18,000 when the average physician made $3,000 a year. The Duesenberg fell into obscurity during WWII and the model J changed hands after the war for $100 or $200.

We spent about three hours wandering the museum. The Northwest native people's artifacts were very colorful.

Some of the more modern things can make you think.

I liked this one a lot. the little squares are skulls and dice.

Outrageous blown glass.

The museum had lots of photography.

This is absolutely my favorite. "The Dishwasher" is so realistic that you look at the chest closely to see if it's moving. You expect the figure to lift his head and look at you. You can see veins and tendons in the hands.

A good day...

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Mount Saint Helen's National Monument

Mount Saint Helen's exploded with the force of a ten megaton bomb on May 18, 1980. That's 500 times the power of the Hiroshima bomb. It's a little strange to watch the contemporary videos and see the strange haircuts, moustaches and sideburns of Americans 31 years ago.

The scientists had been nervously monitoring earthquakes and "harmonic vibrations" from the mountain for several months, but no one expected the cataclysm that caused the Mount St. Helen's  to end up 1300 feet shorter. The show started with a cubic mile of the Mountain's north face sliding down at 150 miles per hour. The mud and rocks ended up as much as seven miles away. They dropped into Spirit Lake and kicked up an 800 foot wave. The wave slid back into the lake carrying trees six feet in diameter that had been blasted out by the roots.

The landslide loosed a blast of ash, magma and rock that went out as far as 17 miles with wind speeds of 700 miles per hour. Hot air and rocks seared and killed huge trees far beyond the 17 mile blast zone that knocked down every tree. There were 160 square miles of old growth trees ripped out by the roots and many more square miles of trees killed by heat, high winds and blast rocks

Within minutes the heat of the blast melted all the snow and ice on the mountain and caused a 200 foot high wave of water, rocks and mud that buried the river system many miles to the north to depths of 600 feet.

The ash from the eruption rose 12 miles into the air. Within two weeks the ash plume encircled the earth. I think Mrs. Phred and I came here in 1993. The road we were on today did not exist back then. All the roads into St. Helen's and Spirit Lake were destroyed for about 25 miles back from the mountain on the North side... We saw the knocked down trees from the South...This time we have a road on the North Side that reaches to within 5 miles of the crater...

Cause it's the new Mother Nature takin' over
It's the new splendid lady come to call
It's the new Mother Nature takin' over
She's gettin' us all
She's gettin' us all

Friday, 17 June 2011

Chainsaw Art on the Siletz River

Coyote Rock RV Resort

We're on the coast of Oregon, but about two miles inland on the banks of the Siletz River. The last time we were here we met two retired policemen from Tampa. They were spending their pensions collecting highly discounted Iraqi dinars. I wonder how that worked out for them?

Mrs. Phred kicks back and watches the Siletz River flow in front of her living room picture window. When you can rent a view like this for $20 a night (including cable TV, garbage collection, lawn maintenance, water, electricity and security), why buy?

I'm doing another fishing trip out of Depoe Bay in the morning.

We found a tennis court near the ocean in nearby Lincoln City.

Cruising the country road along the Siletz, we ran into this statue. The owner bought it from the winner of last year's chainsaw art festival in Reedsport. He has it chained down although it weighs 800 pounds. If you stole something like this, you couldn't put it in your front yard. 

In the afternoon, we spotted a whale feeding offshore. I's not a great picture. I have better in my archive....