Seaside Day II

We started our day with a walk and then took in some indoor mini-golf.  Matt won.  (As he always does when we play mini-golf)

We spent part of the day walking around looking for scavenger hunt clues.  More about that tomorrow.  Along the promenade, we found this self-service flower shop.

Sitting on the big chair outside the Seaside Visitor’s Bureau.

Let’s talk about the super awesome, probably original cabinetry in our beach house.  I love it so much!  And there is even a built-in strange object that I finally determined was a dish-towel holder.  You can see it on the lower cabinet on the right, between the first and second cabinets. It had a marble inside it, and that was the thing that would grab onto your dish towel.

We took a sunset walk along the beach.

Our sunset self-portrait. (Minus the sun.)

As you can see, we were in good company with the photo-taking.  This was the trip where I was astounded at the number of people staring at their phones while at the beach.  We’ve crossed some hurdle where the potential for ruin via sand/seawater is not enough to change people’s normal cell-phone-all-the-time-behavior.

After the sun went down, we walked up to Dairy Queen for a Blizzard.  The store was open until 11, but the employees made it very clear they would rather not be.  The only lights on were in the employee area, they had one seating section closed and the Blizzard they made me was sub-standard.  But that’s what I get for spending my money in a place where the employees didn’t want to take my money.

Saddle Mountain

Since we were headed to Seaside for our vacation, we planned to hike to the top of Saddle Mountain.  We did this hike early in the relationship.  Maybe year three?  For me, this was a good reminder at how different one’s fitness level can become in a decade, plus a few years.

In our previous hike, we got to the trail early.  So early that we took some naked hiking pictures, because there were no people around.  At various times on our hike today, one or the other of us would say, “I think this is maybe where we took the naked hiking pictures?”  This was one of my guesses.  I’m not entirely sure where the naked hiking pictures are right now, so I can’t check to see if I was right.

Someone is committed to keeping this picnic bench in this location.  Matt stands on the precipice.

From the top!  There were a ton of bugs at the top.  They were flying into our mouths as we were trying to take this picture.  That’s the ocean behind us, on the horizon.

Along with our fellow hikers, we retreated to a non-bug area below the top.  There we rested, and took this self-portrait.  It was windy.

Matt wandered out to the precipice area and grabbed this photo.

After hiking back down, we ate the most delicious sandwiches I’ve ever made.  There’s something to be said for one’s appetite after such physical exertion.

Getting home from the Eclipse

And here’s where I should have kept to what I had planned. 

Instead of following the Oregon Bikeways path between Salem and Champoeg, we made the mistake of using Waze.  Waze kept wanting to put us on the freeway.  Unfortunately, every entrance to the freeway had very long backups.  We would wait for a while and then Waze would re-route us further south, to wait in another long line for the freeway.  We did this four times, never actually reaching the freeway, before I called, “Uncle,” we stopped at a truck stop to have a mediocre meal, and I took over the navigating.

This man was walking faster than cars were moving.

There was a lot of this:

I didn’t keep track of what time we left Salem, probably 1:15-1:30 pm. After the truck stop, I used Google Maps and chased the roads that were green.  It meant we went out of our way, but at least we were moving.  Once we got far enough north on back roads, we easily popped onto the interstate and had a quick trip home. But overall?  Probably five hours in the car.  It took us an hour to get there.

Still totally worth it.

Matt as the Oregon governors

After the eclipse, I stood in line to have the letters and postcards cancelled, and then we took a self-guided tour of the capitol.

Here’s Matt, sitting at the governor’s desk.

And now let’s see Matt as the governors.  As Theodore T. Greer:

As Julius Meier: (note that after that first picture, I neglected to take photos of the name plates, and there is not a convenient State Capitol Virtual Tour of all the portraits.  So I’m matching faces to Wikipedia entries, especially for the pre-1960’s governors.  Feel free to suggest corrections.)

As Oswald West:

As Vic Atiyeh:

As Ted Kulongoski:

As John Kithaber:

As Tom McCall:

As Barbara Roberts:

As Bob Straub:

And also as the dog:

I was quite taken by this very large mural of a good lookin’ shirtless guy.  Who was that guy?  Why did a shirtless worker make the cut for official statehouse murals? 

Troilus & Cressida at Lone Fir Cemetery

It’s summer Shakespeare season. We’ve seen Portland Actors Ensemble shows at Lone Fir before and so go there early to claim our space.  We caught the end of rehearsal, when guns were scattered about.

This was a robustly military production of the often-not-seen Troilus & Cressida.

I enjoyed what this percussionist–seemingly not mentioned in the program?–added to the story.

There were good performances by all, with some actors having incredibly fun expressive faces.

I wasn’t the only person taking photos.

In the audience tonight was the woman who has been designing the PAE t-shirts.  She was working a quilt to commemorate her work.  I love this quilt!  She’s a great designer.  I used to have the top row, second-from-the-left shirt.

Manhattan Project Hanford

The Manhattan Project National Historic Park is made up of three sites:  Oak Ridge, Tennessee; Los Alamos, New Mexico; and Hanford, Washington.  Fun fact:  If you collect National Park Stamps, the stamp for the Manhattan Project is in three parts.

There are two tours offered at the Hanford Site.  Here is the link to register. We took the Historic B Reactor Tour, but had I known the Pre-Manhattan Tour existed, it would have been my choice.  Each tour takes up a big chunk of the day and involves a bus ride to the site, a guide and a lot of time to look around.  All for free.  Thank you, National Park Service.

We met outside of Richland, where we looked at some exhibits, like this newspaper. Our guide showed us an introductory video and then we loaded up the bus and were off.

Our guide was great.  She also teaches Biology to college students.  She was very good at repeating the questions asked so everyone could hear them and knowledgeable overall.

Headed out to the site.  At a certain point in history this road would have been closed to the general pubic.

It wasn’t a long trip, but did allow for a short nap.

And here it is!  The historic reactor.  What you are looking at are the caps on the rods.  Scientists changed the amount of plutonium produced by moving the rods in a very big cube. [Science!  Not my strong suit.  Go watch a video or something if you want to know more]

As usual with science things, I was more interested in the people part of the equation. A whole bunch of people had to be recruited to this desert to build the reactor.  They weren’t told what they were doing, just that things needed to be built.  And the people needed to be fed.

The site was full of all sorts of repeating colorful patterns.

And some good vintage and modern signs.

Here’s the view from the outside.  Once everything was built, the construction camps were taken down.  The town of Richland was rebuilt so the workers at Hanford had nice places to live. That’s where the Alphabet Houses came in.  The population of Richland was 300 before residents were evicted in 1943.  Then workers for the Hanford Engineering Project arrived and there were 25,000 people in Richland by 1945 Spokane Architect Albin Pherson designed most of the city. He designed a variety of single family homes, duplexes, apartment buildings and dormitories.  Each design was designated with a letter of the alphabet.  If you visit Richland, you can walk through the Gold Coast Historic District and see a selection of the Alphabet Houses.

I greatly enjoyed my tour of the Hanford site and recommend it for anyone visiting the area.

REACH museum

We were in Richland to experience the Hanford tour with Matt’s mother, but we stopped at the REACH museum first.

I’m still uncertain just what the REACH museum is, even after having visited and after looking at their website. I think it’s talking about how the Columbia River sustains a large area around it.  Here’s a big picture of the Columbia and how it reaches so very far, as indicated by the green patches.  I think that big brown area where the word “irrigated” is might be the Hanford site.

The REACH had some nice displays of how the Tri-Cities area developed, geologically and with human influence.  It’s also the first place I learned about the 2300 people kicked off their land with 30 days notice so the Manhattan Project could build a nuclear power plant.  Also about Alphabet Houses.

Other people displaced by the Manhattan project?  Native Americans.  They had lived in the area for thousands of years.

How big is my living room?

Our square dancing class wants to learn the Plus Level this summer, so we are having lessons in my living room, which is just big enough for a square.

And here’s where things are stashed.  There are also chairs hidden in the pantry, out of site.

It’s times like these that I have the greatest affection for my little house.