Monthly Archives: June 2016

We got a job!

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Eddie in the Redwoods National Park. "Hey, there are no elves or cookies in here! Mom, was that supposed to be a joke?!"

Eddie in the Redwoods National Park, “Hey, there are no elves or cookies in here! Mom, was that supposed to be a joke?!”

Mid-May, Bandon OR

Traveling during the summer is hard. Kids are out of school and campgrounds are full of family vacationers, especially in popular state and national parks. To make matters worse, the weather can be hot making for an uncomfortable boondocking experience.

Last August, we got lucky and snagged a three night stay at South Beach State Park on the coast near Newport, Oregon. It never got above 70° even though temperatures 30 miles inland were in the uppers 90’s. We loved being there and it was then that we decided to plan better and return to the Oregon coast for this summer. With commercial RV parks costing lots of $$ and state parks limiting camping to 14 consecutive days, our best alternative was to seek out a volunteer position. So here we are, in Bandon, OR working as interpretive guides pointing out coastal wildlife to the locals and traveling tourists.

Point Reyes Lighthouse - After we left Yosemite National Park, we spent a couple of weeks in northern California on our way to Bandon OR.

Point Reyes Lighthouse – After we left Yosemite National Park, we spent a couple of weeks in northern California on our way to Bandon OR. Point Reyes National Seashore is just north of San Fransisco. The lighthouse was built at a lower elevation so it could be seen by ships beneath the fog that frequents this area.

We’re volunteering with the Shoreline Education for Awareness, Inc., (SEA) a friends organization with the US Fish and Wildlife Service.  We’ll be here through early August explaining to visitors the habits of wildlife along the Oregon coast. Since our favorite pastime is critter-watching, we couldn’t ask for a better assignment.

A black oystercatcher on a nest. With fewer than 400 individuals along the Oregon coast, the black oystercatcher is designated a species of concern. Volunteers with the Audubon Society are monitoring all known nesting sites to determine fledgling success rates. We've already seen 2 chicks hatch at a nearby site and hopefully we'll see chicks at this site in the next week or two.

A black oystercatcher on his/her nest. With fewer than 400 individuals along the Oregon coast, the black oystercatcher is designated as a species of concern. Volunteers with the Audubon Society are monitoring all known nesting sites to determine fledgling success rates. We’ve already seen 2 chicks hatch at a nearby site and hopefully we’ll see chicks at this site in the next week or two. Stay tuned for future photos.

Cindy and I work atop the cliffs along the mainland. Using high powered spotting scopes, we point out the nesting birds on the rocky islands just off the beach. Common Murres, pigeon guillemots, western gulls, pelagic cormorants and Brandt’s cormorants are the most common nesting birds we see but we’re also fortunate to have observed nesting peregrine falcons, black oystercatchers and tufted puffins. Visitors come from all over to see the tufted puffins and I hope to have a picture here soon.

Elephant Rock off the coast of Bandon is a popular nesting site for a variety of sea and shore birds.

Elephant Rock off the coast of Bandon, OR is a popular nesting site for a variety of sea and shore birds.

Other volunteers work the tide pools at low tide. Cindy and I look forward to spending time down there during our days off.

A sea anemone is exposed during a very low tide in early June.

Sea anemones are exposed during a very low tide in early June.

No matter how hot is gets inland, coats and scarves are required attire for spending an afternoon at the beach. Mark Twain is falsely quoted for saying "The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco." We love the weather here!

No matter how hot is gets inland, coats and scarves are required attire for spending an afternoon at the beach. Mark Twain is falsely quoted for saying “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.” Whoever did say this, we now know what he meant!

Since we’ll be here for another two months, expect many more photos to come. This place is a photographers dream.

Most evenings, Cindy and I walk T&E along the beach at Bullards State Park just across from our campsite. This should turn out to be our best summer yet!

Most evenings, Cindy and I walk T&E along the beach at Bullards State Park just across from our campsite. This should turn out to be our best summer yet!

 

 

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