Originally created Tue Oct 15 10:29:20 2002
October is a great month to travel. Crowds are light, the heat of summer is gone, and the Fall colors are a real treat.

Beth and I took a trip to Montana in early October to see Glacier National Park, while my father took care of our children. Then last week we took the family to an Oregon beach house for several days. Due to teacher workshops, the kids did not even miss any school!

This is McDonald Creek which flows into Lake McDonald in Glacier National Park. We saw a loon here. This is October 1st, 2002.

McDonald Creek

On the right is Mt. Oberlin (8,180 feet) while to the left is the road to Logan Pass (6,646 feet), but the road was closed 3 miles before the pass.

Mount Oberlin

Down there in the middle is McDonald Creek as seen from up on the Garden Wall. Clements Mountain is the left (south, 8,760 feet). The fall colors were great!

Clements Mountain

Now it is October 9th, 2002, and we are on a family trip in the EuroVan to Pacific City, OR. This view is of Manzanita and Nehalem Bay OR at 45 ° 44 minutes North latitude, 123 ° 57 minutes West longitude. Our destination of Pacific City is another 50-60 miles south of here.

Nehalem Bay

Here we are at the beach house. It is called The Lighthouse and rents for $145 a day off season. The best part is that it is right on the beach. We cooked all of our meals here and brought all of our food from home as there are very few stores in the area.

Here are Andrew and Brigham just moments after we arrived, already in their bathing suits and headed for the sea.

Andrew and Brigham in front of beach house

The house sleeps 8 people: 2 in the third story loft, 2 in a master suite on the second story, and 4 downstairs, 2 in a bunk room and 2 in another queen bed. The boys liked changing their swimming suits in the top loft and then throwing down their wet suits and towels to the ground floor. I had fun throwing balled up socks from down below into their area when they least expected it.

Beach house interior, looking up

Here is their aerial view of the downstairs. Beth and I pretty much sat in those chairs and read. One day a Least Sandpiper got stuck in our fireplace. I had to catch him with a towel and release him. We didn't dare let the bird fly into the interior of the house or we would never have got him out with those high ceilings!

Beach house interior, looking down

This is why adults go to the beach: sunsets. They were beautiful! I spent a lot of time determining with my Jupiter sextant the exact location of this house, just for fun. I shot sunsets as well as afternoon sights. We are at N47°14', W123°58'.

Sunset at N47°14', W123°58'

This is why kids go to the beach: playing in the sand. They had a great time building this sand castle, and many others. The tides had a great variation here, with the surf's maximum point changing hundreds of feet between low and high tides.

Kids building sand castle

In the distance is The Haystack, a rock of local importance. Here the surf is about to get the castle, so the kids furiously work on their water draining system, a moat that encircles the castle.

Kids on beach

After the castle got clobbered, the kids were ready for some food and so we all headed back to the house, which is pictured on the left. It was so wonderful to be right on the beach. We could watch the kids play on the sand or in the water from inside the house.

Heading back to the house

The best part of these trips was not having to drive the kids places, not hearing the phone ring, and being able to enjoy the beauties of nature which really recharge the soul with peace and tranquility. It was very hard to return home to the real world.

We all had favorite activities. For the younger boys it was throwing a football on the beach; for the older four of us, it was reading. Reading Patrick O'Brian's books about the sea while on the beach is fabulous!

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Created:  15 Oct 2002
Modified: 15 Oct 2002