Peggy and I just returned from a five-day trip to the coast. One of our goals as new residents here in Oregon is to explore the state. We’ve gotten off to a slow start. Little things like trips to Europe, Mexico, Burning Man, Las Vegas and Hawaii, not to mention settling into our new home, have gotten in the way. (Grin)
We bit the bullet on Wednesday, packed up Quivera, and hit the road. Quivera, BTW, is the 22-foot van we wandered in for three years. The name derives from a lost Indian city that never stays in the same place. I think it is somewhere out in Kansas now with Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz. (We named our first van Xanadu. Peg and I like exotic.)
Our destination for this trip was Sunset Bay State Park near Coos Bay, Oregon. Our objective was to see whales, the massive Grays that make their way north along the Pacific Coast each spring. We weren’t disappointed. Likewise, as always, we enjoyed the scenic beauty of the Northwest’s famous rugged coastline. I’ll blog about both on Friday. (Next week I will return to Florence and Barcelona.)
For today and Wednesday, I want to write about two surprises. The first is some drop-dead gorgeous flowers. The second is tree roots. Be prepared to enter a fantasy world on the latter. Heck, be prepared to enter a fantasy world with both.
We can thank a lumber baron for the blossoms. Louis Simpson built a mansion on the bluffs south of Sunset Bay. Then he built a flower garden. He lost his fortune during the Great Depression and Oregon had the foresight to acquire both. Eventually, the mansion had to be torn down, but the flower garden still stands as part of Shore Acres State Park. Some 5000 annuals/perennials bloom between May and September.
We arrived at the height of rhododendron-azalea season. (The Internet informs me that all azaleas are rhododendrons but not all rhododendrons are azaleas.) Enjoy!
NEXT BLOG: Some absolutely wild tree roots on the Oregon coast. Meet the Dragon!