Misty hills above Tillamook.
Me with Mather at the end of a pitted dirt road. Photo by Eric.
Eric unfortunately had to do much more than his fair share of the driving, because I was still in a wrist cast from a December fall in the gutter. I took the obligatory picture of Mt. Shasta welcoming us to the Cascades, with insufficient snow on top.
Of course, we started with a fun day of gaming in Albany. We think we've all been gaming together for twenty years now. Tony, Torsten, Charlie, Miranda, me, and Temperance, with Eric of course on the other side of the camera.
Eric took a picture of Boelyn and Jack "sharing" the doggie bed.
In the morning, Eric took a picture of snow falling on Mather.
We had the usual lovely breakfast at Interzone with Lars and Paul. Paul brought his portfolio of colloidal glass prints to show us. You can see Paul's amazing work here. Eric took a picture of Lars and Paul with me.
The snow on the trees on our way out of Corvallis was so pretty we had to stop to take a picture.
Eric's picture of the snowy trees.
Our first stop was one we'd missed on previous trips, Munson Creek Falls State Natural Site. The road out to the falls would have been passable in Sydney, but we were surely happy to have Mather's all-wheel drive and higher clearance. Eric took a picture at the trailhead.
I stopped to take a picture of a beautiful drop on a green leaf.
And some tiny but beautiful Pacific Northwest fungi.
After a short, easy hike, Eric photographed the tallest falls in the Coast Range 97 m (319 ft).
The falls had a dramatic tree in front.
The mossy tree.
The upper part of the falls.
The middle part of the falls.
A branch with a drop in front of the falls.
Eric took my picture on the trail, surrounded by mossy plants lightly dusted in snow.
We stopped in Tillamook at the Blue Heron French Cheese Company. The truffles were amazing. Eric took a picture of the picnic area.
They had a petting zoo, but most of the animals were sheltering themselves from the precipitation, which was varying between rain and snow.
At last, we made it out to the coast. I took Eric's picture at Manhattan Beach State Recreation Site.
The beach was covered in dead jellies. These look like By-the-Wind-Sailors to me, but they are larger than any I have seen before.
I also found this lovely pointy shell.
A pyramidal sunset.
Eric got the picture of the starburst.
We went to Nehalem Bay State Park, hoping to see some lovely post-sunset colors.
The hoped-for colors did not materialize, but we saw this ghost in the clouds.
We drove over a snowy mountain pass, getting to experience how the AWD behaved in slippery conditions, on our way into Beaverton on US-26. We had a lovely stay, including a homemade breakfast in the morning, with Grant, Carli, and Derek in Beaverton. Since the last time we had visited, they had adopted precious, sweet Bella.
Eric took a picture of Bella on her favorite comfy heated blanket, showing off the cute heart on her hip.
Not pictured: we saw two suburban coyotes walking down the middle of the street, through the front kitchen window!
Once again, it was a wonderful, happy visit to a beautiful and fascinating place. We miss Mark, of course, but we still love Oregon and our other friends up there. And Mather is already well broken in: muddy, dirty, and full of sand!