Camping with Leo: Day 3
Newport, Oregon: Another great day
with Our Favorite Grandson! Before bedtime last night, we started
The Boxcar Children, Book 1,
by Gertrude Chandler Warner. The story, first published in 1924, is about four
orphaned children trying to stay together against terrible odds. I was afraid
Little Leo would be freaked-out about the whole "dead parents" part, but he was
glued to the tale - and there are only black & white drawings every few pages or
so. We went through the first four chapters. Considering Cinderella, Snow White,
Elsa & Anna, Nemo... on and on... have dead parents, I suppose it isn't that
rare of an idea to a five year old? Anyway, best five bucks I have spent in a
Breakfast fit for Spiderman
Our Big Adventure today was to visit the beautiful
Yaquina Head Outstanding Nature Area. Pronounced Yaw-KEEN-ah, the
park features a 143-year-old still-operating lighthouse, an interpretative
center about the lighthouse, trails and amazing tidal pools to explore below the
cliff where the lighthouse stands.
The lighthouse was closed to visitors today, but we spent a few hours exploring
the tide pools with Leo.
The beach below the lighthouse is called Cobble Beach. It is
ridiculously difficult to walk on the rocks, as they roll under your weight. Leo
felt like he was sinking and thought it was pretty fun... after taking a few
moments to get used to the sensation.
View to the lighthouse from Cobble Beach and the tide pools
On the rocks just off-shore there were thousands of nesting birds - cormorants,
terns, gulls and puffins. There were also over a hundred Harbor Seals sleeping
on the rocks or swimming in the shallow water. The seals would come within just
a few feet from shore. Leo loved watching the seals.
One of the most interesting animals Leo saw today was a partially decomposed
bird carcass. Oh, goodness, so many questions!
Then we climbed the 100+ steps back up to the lighthouse.
On the north side of the lighthouse is another huge rock outcropping with
even more nesting birds - so noisy!
amazing way to spend a morning. Leo really enjoyed looking in the tide pools and
touching little critters. The sun was actually shining and it wasn't too
windy. Admission was $7 for our car/occupants and the ticket is good for three
Then we went to the Yaquina Head Interpretive Center. A visitor really should
visit the Interpretive Center on the way into the park, but we had been there
many times already and thought Leo would enjoy it after... plus they
have a little gift shop with a good selection of postcards... and nice
bathrooms. Leo wasn't too interested in lighthouse facts, but liked the whale
bones and sat rapt through most of a video about the lighthouse's famed French
Fresnel lens (of all things) and later drew a perfect rendition of the
lighthouse. The lamp cost $11,000 in 1873. Leo especially enjoyed the display
about the life of early lighthouse keepers and their families. The center has
period costumes for kids to wear and an assortment of old-school wooden toys to
play with - and to figure out how to play with!
One boy's hoop toys are another boy's art creation.
I will not apologize about the numerous photos of Leo. It's my blog.
By now, it was getting towards lunchtime, so we drove north
a bit to
Depoe Bay (the world's smallest harbor) for fish and chips. After lunch
we took Leo to visit
Ainslee's Homemade Salt Water Taffy - a shop my parent's brought me to
many, many times as a child.
Leo chose 12 pieces of salt water taffy. Amateur.
We had walked quite a bit, climbed a lot of stairs, spent
several hours poking around tide pools, had lunch and walked up and down the
main street of Depoe Bay. Do you think our Little Guy wanted to rest? Nope.
He wanted to go swimming. Pacific Shores RV Resort has an outdoor and an
indoor pool. With the cool temperatures and wind, we opted for the indoor
Leo swam for 2.5 hours and one us stayed in the pool with
him at all times. We visited the hot tub a few times as well. A sign above
the hot tub stated children had to be 5 years old to use the spa. Leo made
it by three days! Whew.
After swimming, we all went out to the glassed-in sun porch to dry off and
warm up. Would you believe we found another dead bird? A poor little bird
had obviously flown into the glass wall and had broken his/her neck. Leo was
certainly getting schooled on the cold hard facts of nature today.
After a snack, Dave and Leo hiked the entire trail down to the beach from
this resort, walked half-a-mile down the beach and then all the way back to
the RV - well over two miles! If only we could harness this energy.
When they returned from their hike, Leo declared "my stomach
is getting cranky" and began whining for food. Dinner was ready - corkscrew
pasta with corn, basil and parmesan. I also served a salad with baby
tomatoes, cucumbers, avocados and red leaf lettuce - along with cantaloupe
and raspberries. Little Dude chowed it all down, had a shower, a chocolate
chip cookie and watched the first hour of the Opening Ceremonies. Then he
announced he was going to bed!
One more chapter of the Box Car Children and he was OUT.
Until my next update, I remain, your tired-myself correspondent.
Shores RV Resort. This place has it all. Indoor and outdoor pools, club
house, full hookups. Class-A motorhomes only. All sites are privately owned and
rented through the resort or privately. Ocean view sites are available. North of
Newport. We paid $90.
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