Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Columbia Plateau

We spent a couple more hours on the Oregon Coast before heading over to Portland Sunday afternoon. The rain stayed with us - and actually got pretty blustery that evening. Reed was grey and damp, and some combination of quirky, hippy, and intellectual. Monday afternoon D got to drive from Portland to Hood River through a white knuckle rainstorm - at least I was on the right side of the car so I could admire the waterfalls when I wasn't giving advice.

Walla Walla was cool and hazy sunshine this morning. D got to sit in on a physics class while I searched out coffee and outdoor art. We had lunch in town, then visited Palouse Falls and the Hanford Reach before heading over a wet and slightly slushy Snoqualmie Pass.

Sunday, March 28, 2010


Sunday morning at the Columbia River Coffee Roasters, beneath the south end of the bridge. There's actually some blue sky showing, despite early drizzle and pending storm. By now D is probably up, maybe in shower, but probably watching ESPN. Vacations and road trips open up new vistas and cultural experiences - cable television, for example.

Grayland Beach

D & I started the first day of our brief spring break loop through Washington and Oregon by heading for the coast, arriving at Westport a little after noon. I didn't realize we had timed our visit with a rare razor clam opening, which meant that the beaches were crawling with people, punching holes in the damp sand with PVC tubes.

We walked Washaway Beach, stepping over the remains of homes and cars and recently exposed shipwrecks - Dad reveling in the coastal geology and the human saga, D mainly wondering when we'd get back to the car.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Baker Preserve

We picked up lunch makings at the store and headed off in search of the trailhead. The trail switchbacks up - steeply at first - the high ridge that forms the south end of the island and that includes Lummi Peak. The outlook is well short of the high point, but provides a spectacular view out over Rosario Strait towards Clark, Orcas, and Vancouver Islands (and a few hundred others).

I took pictures while D ate M&Ms.

I suspect my next step should be a contribution to the Lummi Island Heritage Trust for making this place possible.

Lummi Island

I took a much needed day off and spent it with D - some driving time for him (and me, but that's nothing unusual), a Puget Sound place that had been on my list for years, a walk around the WWU campus, and still made it back for his practice!

The ferry runs every 20 minutes, except when we pull up, when it runs every 40. Oh well, I get to wander the beach and D gets to drain the batteries in his ipod. I would have liked to explore the island more, but will save that for another trip. I have been up here before, but it's been a long time.

Sunday, March 07, 2010


For me, Mukilteo, like Edmonds, tends to occur early and late in the day - the details determined by the coincidence of my timing with the ferry's. I passed through Mukilteo at 7:30am and again at 5:30pm, but I also got a nice glimpse from the bluffs above Possession at noon!

South Whidbey

It's been almost three months since I posted something here. My Gravel Beach blog remains a fairly regular stream of photos and words, but this blog suffers long lapses of inactivity. I think it's because it is best suited to travelogue and I have not been traveling. At times, hshipman resembles a family photo album, but I guess I remain hesitant about posting photos of friends and family, so the blog was dormant through Thanksgiving and the December holidays.

Many of my most photogenic adventures are beach-related and end up in Gravel Beach, so posting here requires something new to say or a tolerance for redundancy.

Saturday's trip to Whidbey was the most recent in a series of wonderful weekend beach explorations during the past few months, most (but not all) of which are captured at Gravel Beach: Key Peninsula, Vashon Island, and two trips to Whidbey. I think I've realized that if I really want to visit all the beaches on Puget Sound, I better get moving.

Saturday found me on a beach that I had never visited before, but that I had long wanted to see. It took some walking, but the day was perfect and the beach was better than I could have imagined. (Maple Point, Maxwelton)