Yesterday – C and I got up and went for coffee and pastries. We lingered for awhile and enjoyed the slow start to the day. I was anxious to try out the wide angle lens I rented for shooting photos at my friend Peter’s wedding today. C wanted to stay home and get some things done around the house, so I packed up my gear, a hoodie and one of our dogs, Baker. He and I set out on a small journey toward the coast. I had hoped to find a lot of fall color on the way, but it’s a little too early for that I guess. Driving always makes me sleepy, so only about 40 minutes down the road I pulled off at a rest stop in a woody area. I parked, cracked all the windows and Baker and I enjoyed a heavenly siesta. The air, crisp, the sun, shining and the birds, chirping. Ahhh….what bliss that was. It’s the small things, ya know? Our rest was disturbed by a car with mechanical problems coming to a loud, smoky stop next to us. Feeling refreshed and ready to go, we got back on the road.
Another 40 minutes or so, we arrived in Seaside, Oregon. I stopped at a Taco Bell to get some food and a cup of water for Baker. We watched seagulls eating lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, etc that someone had thrown on the ground. One of the gulls carried a taco wrapper around. The wind made it flap and wave like a flag. A kid dressed in a superman costume ran circles around the parking lot, his cape billowing behind him.
From there, it was only another 15 minutes to the beach at Fort Stevens, near Astoria. I chose that particular beach because there is a shipwreck that I enjoy photographing. Here is a shot I took about 3.5 years ago.
I have never been able to take pictures at the beach with a wide angle so I was really excited. But when we got to the sandy lot, I got a sinking feeling. The lot was full of cars and two buses. Loaded down with my camera, tripod, car keys, etc, we headed toward the grassy dune between the lot and the beach. The sand was wet enough that we easily climbed to the top of the hill. My heart sank. It was low tide, and the big, rusted frame of the ship’s hull was covered by kids and grown men, climbing it, walking on it and hanging off it as if it were a jungle jim. Keep in mind, this is a fragile, eroding piece of history. With each tide, fragments are carried out to sea. Every inch of the frame is covered with rust and barnacles.
Aside from the anger I felt at the carelessness and disrespect of the ‘monkeys’ on the beach I was really disappointed that I probably wouldn’t get the wonderful wide images I was hoping for. Baker and I stood at the top of the sandy dune for awhile, watching the chaos. I considered just going home, but eventually decided to go down and get some close up shots. Also, Baker deserved to get his feet wet after the car ride, which isn’t his favorite thing.
It wasn’t the optimal time of day and I would have preferred high tide photos, but…….it was what it was ya know? The wind felt good, the sound of the ocean was restorative and Baker got to run after some birds and bite at the waves that ebbed and flowed near the sunken hull of the “Peter Iredale”.
Here are a few of the images….Please note, patience truly is a virtue. I waited out the large group of children and adults that had invaded the beach and was able to get a couple of wider shots. I had to photoshop people out of both though. You can click on any of the photos to view larger if you would like.