Wednesday, September 05, 2001

The Sitka Spruce at Klootchy Creek: Oregon Heritage Tree

I was still pretty lonely in Astoria and hadn't met many people yet. Sometimes I'd get in the car and drive in any direction to see the incredible scenery here or find something in nature to be happy about. The Sitka Spruce was advertised along the road. I almost didn't stop, thinking it was some tourist thing I wouldn't be interested in, but I'm glad I did stop. It was magnificent.

These photos don't show how huge it is. Scroll down to the first link. It will help show the size in comparison to humans.

The famous sitka spruce is above - other beautiful trees in the parking area are below.

A cool tree in the parking area. I was still getting used to how green this state is. It was quite a contrast to the (equally beautiful in other ways) arid Colorado desert and mountains.

Another tree in the parking area. The shade was deep. I don't remember if the day was warm, or not, but it was cool here under the trees. I loved the dense feeling of the woods, even here along the highway.

I dated the post for the date I took the pictures, September 5, 2001, but I'm writing this on December 7, 2008. Last year's storm brought down the big spruce. I haven't gone back to see the ruins of the tree, but I heard about it at the time. It seems to be more noted in death than in life. I'm glad I had a chance to see it. Here are some links:

Wednesday, August 08, 2001

August 8, Astoria: Living Space

Astoria, Oregon ~ August 8, 2001

Funky, but it's nice to remember these things. I thought I was in heaven. A living space begins to emerge from the clutter of packed and unpacked boxes. There's my futon on the right and a foam pad on the left, which may have been more comfortable sleeping than the futon. I bought a salmon colored piece of thick fabric intending to make a covering with it, and some white furry fabric intending to make a pillow. Neither got done, but it was fun having the colors around. The music box was not chosen for its design. It was in the price range, it sounded pretty good, and having music was glorious. Even though the apartment was small, the layout with the staggered doorways and the wide hall made an effective sound baffle. It's the first place I'd lived where I needed two sound systems. When it's not dark, those two windows look out over the river. It was incredible. Kate bought me the Scandinavian circular thing when we stayed our first night on the Coast at the Crest Motel.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Tuesday, August 07, 2001

August 7, Astoria: River Walk, waterfront, flowers, ships, and more

Here's the old ferry dock in the foreground at the 14th Street Pier. It's a nice day and everything seems picturesque. But looking back at this photo, I think, "Isn't it amazing how crooked I could get the horizon line without even noticing?" It must be a learning curve with digital cameras. I don't remember this happening so much with the old SLRs.

The old bundles of pilings at 14th Street remind me of asparagus with all the green mossy stuff on them.

Here's another veiw of the ruins of the old ferry with Englund Marine's building on the right and Tongue Point in the background.

I really like this detail of the old sign and siding of the Knappton Towboat Company's building. It says:


Now as I write this in 2010, it's gone. The building remains, but nothing of this image. I'll compare it sometime on my Astoria, Oregon, Daily Photo blog.

Baked Alaska on the left.

Here's the seafood building next to Pier 11. I love the boats docked in front of it. The Wet Dog Cafe is on the waterfront to the left.

More boats. I fall more in love with my new town every time I see scenes like this one.

From the dock at Doc's on 12th (Baked Alaska), looking back at Sears and The Wet Dog.

Windows next to Sears on the River Walk. Not kept up, but photogenic.

Doc's on 12th Street.

Here's where the pilot boat docks. To the right is a platform, and to the right of that is where I took the picture of the Knappton sign.

Yes, here you can see what I just described above. The Knappton sign is along the River Walk to the right.

At the foot of the 14th Street Pier, and just across the River Walk (on the corner of 14th and Marine Drive) is this lovely patch of flowers. I got several pix today that I liked, and here they are:

I love this blue flower. It looks like they came from one of those wildflower seed packet assortments. It's not on anyone's property except the City's as far as I know, and I'm grateful each time I see this corner that someone bothered to plant it.

Going up 14th Street back toward downtown, it's nice to come across historical markers like this. I love learning the history, and it makes me happy that someone cared to take note. I've lived in several towns with a lot of preserved history; I'd find it hard to live somewhere without roots.

Back at my apartment, here's a wonderful cargo ship passing. The pic is from my back deck.

Here's my deck where the ship photo was taken. I go up a few steps from my back door and end up on this landing. The structure is really a fire escape, but each landing is made big enough to use for a deck. This adds such aesthetic value to my apartment, I just love it, especially because it's a long way around to get to the water. At least I can see it, even though the walking/driving route isn't direct.

From the deck looking upriver. Too bad about that condo, though they have an incredible view I'd like to see someday.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Saturday, August 04, 2001

August 4, Astoria: Make-up and cameras

As I'm posting this about 9 years later, I don't remember exactly what I was doing with the camera. Some days you just want to see what you look like, or see what you look like different than usual (I usually don't wear make-up, but probably should, now that I'm getting older). The first shot, of course, is horribly burned out, but it shows the rug on the wall from Salasaca, Ecuador.

Ah. Not burned out.

Here's my first digital camera - the one I got before leaving Colorado.

Me again. Writing from 2010, I've been trying to grow my hair that long again. I wasn't having to color it yet in this photo, but between then and now it started coming in gray (and not in a nice way), so it's been through coloring and styling, and I kinda prefer the old hippie look. I'm on my way back there. Oh, hmm. I remember now. I was placing a personal ad and I needed a current photo. That's one of the scariest parts, especially when I'm feeling overweight. Well, actually, the whole thing is scary.

The back yard outside my Bond Street apartment.

I took this from the deck of the apartment balcony (slash fire escape). What a wonderful place!

Sunset from my apartment.

Sunset, part 2. Who ever said the Bond Street address was a slum? I'll take this slum any day.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Thursday, August 02, 2001

Aug 2, Astoria: Balata rubber animals from Guyana

Tapirs and other balata rubber animals from Nappi Balata in Guyana What fun! It was so exciting when I got this shipment of balata rubber animals (natural, sustainable) for the gift shop from a company in Guyana. As you can see, a lot of them are tapirs - babies and adults. But they were all nice.

Balata rubber hippo I liked this hippo! There's such variety and they're design is a bit different each time I order. And each artist has his or her own style. This might be great for a brick-and-mortar store, but when you have to show the products online (or in a print catalog, which I don't do, thank god), people want to see what they're getting. That's a lot of photos and a lot of changing and updating. It's so labor-intensive, it hurts. I can remember years ago when I thought products shouldn't have to be uniform and conform and blah, blah, blah. Well, yes, it's art in a way, and as such it shouldn't have to. But I can now see the other side of the question, because I'm living it. And that's why these cute animals are already becoming such a headache. Which is sad. I don't have the answer.

Wednesday, August 01, 2001

Aug 1, Astoria: Bond Street apartment and orange ship

View of the Columbia River from the Top of Bond Street
I took this pic on a dark day from the concrete pad where the dumpster is near the front porch of my apartment. My apartment is the row of windows you see at the bottom of the building on the right. I love these bright orange ships, but it's so hard to get the color right. It's not right here, either. That's Marine Drive at the bottom of the hill. Unfortunately, you can't go directly down on a whim, but you have to walk around a block or more to get to Marine Drive.

Monday, July 30, 2001

July 30, Astoria: The Flavel House and Courthouse

The Flavel House is a prominent landmark, and you can hardly miss it since it's near the post office and across the street from the back of the courthouse. Since I had a PO Box for business, I was in the area often. And even though, on my budget, the entrance fee seemed high, I bit the bullet and paid for it. I really wanted to see the house. Not only for the local history, but because it was built within about two years of when my grandmother's house had been built in Corona in a similar style. Her grandfather had built their house on a grand scale, with fine materials, often imported from St. Louis or the East Coast, and Flavel's project had been ramped up just a few notches from that. His mouldings were a few inches wider, the finishing just a few degrees finer. I think my grandmother's house was larger in size, or at least is was by the time the side wings had been added. The piece of land it was on was much larger and with an attached orchard and a yard filled with a variety of fruit-bearing trees. I believe this was mostly a legacy from her grandparents. But my grandmother's house had also been decapitated down to the ground floor in the early 1950s, and I hadn't seen it in its glory since I'd been too young to remember. I thought that a visit to the Flavel House might give me insight on the way they had lived, and I'd longed to see that since I was a child. The top photo shows part of the back yard from an upper story window.

The builing on the right is the carriage house, which is being renovated.

A homey scene in a small bedroom or sewing room.

I love the green tiles.

Here's a view out the back from another window.

Simple and elegant.

Here's the view east from an upper-story window looking toward the downtown area. You can see Tongue Point in the distance.

I love the ornamented hardware - as I said, just a few notches more ornate than the hardware in Grandma's house, but in a similar vein - a similar feel.

Outside now, a blue and white fowering bush in the front yard.

Here is the imposing facade - once again, a few notches more ornate than Grandma's, but with some similar elements.

Here's the front door.

More of the intriguing, majestic facade.

On the corner of Duane Avenue and 8th Street.

Across the street from the Flavel House is "the Goonies' Jail," the old county jail, with the courthouse on the right.

On the front corner of the courthouse is an old cannon. There's a cement bench in front, and on the bench the plaque reads: "Dedicated to our Fathers, by Oregon Department Daughters, Union Veterans of the Civil War 16th (?) Convention (?) 1934" and the dates 1861 and 1865.

And this is the cannon above the bench with the inscription.

Looking back up 8th Street from the corner near the cannon, you get one of the best views of the Flavel House.