Friday, December 23, 2011

Gadabout Artist: Day 6

We awoke this morning and found ourselves in one of the most beautiful campgrounds we had been in so far. Tillicum Beach Campground may not be very big, but it is lovely, with the campsites set up for maximum view. I sat inside sipping my coffee and enjoyed watching the waves roll in...
I still don't know why people complain about the coast weather, it has been sunshine and mild days the whole time we have been here. :) We got a very late start after spending a leisurely morning exploring, and decided to do a little letterboxing along the way. If you have never heard of this fun activity, you really should check out this site; http://www.atlasquest.com/

Here is the official blurb;
Letterboxing is an intriguing pastime combining artistic ability with "treasure-hunts" in parks, forests, and cities around the world. Participants seek out hidden letterboxes by cracking codes and following clues. The prize: an image from a miniature piece of art known as a rubber stamp—usually a unique, hand-carved creation.
Letterboxers stamp their discoveries in a personal journal, then use their own rubber stamp, called a signature stamp, to stamp into the letterbox's logbook.

My family has enjoyed this pastime since 2005, when I first read about it in a magazine, and we have some very nice logbooks full of our adventures. We each carry our own, hand-carved stamps, and use them to identify ourselves in various logbooks. Here is my personal journal, the last two boxes I found, and my signature turtle stamp with SR inside...
You can see, I take notes, as this will be my keepsake in days to come, and I like to remember what the experience was like. When we found the Mermaids wave, we went in at almost high tide, and our feet got soaked! I had to jump up on a slippery rock and cling to a stump until the wave swept back out again...If you like to travel, and you like a good treasure hunt, try letterboxing, I bet you'll be hooked like me!
We stopped at a few places, got skunked on a couple letterboxes, (they do disappear sometimes) and ended up going into the Sea Lion Cave, near Florence, OR. What an experience, very worth the entry fee, a truly amazing site. This is a natural cave, and these lovelies have been sheltering there for hundreds of years. Humans have set up an elevator and viewing deck, so we can go down into the cave and watch them as they go about their business. Over two hundred sea lions were taking their rest in the cave at the time, and they all had lots to roar about! Watch the small group as they swim in and try to climb up onto the rocks before the waves wash them back out again...

video
After the Sea Lion Caves, we visited the Umpqua Lighthouse, talked to the hard working and very knowledgeable lady on duty there, and found my third and final letterbox of the day. We headed down to The Mill Casino, in North Bend, and are hooked up and stuffed to the gills with their seafood buffet! I was more than ready for a hot shower, ample electricity and uncomplicated WIFI. We are trying to decide if we should stay an extra night, since tomorrow is Christmas Eve. I don't like that I will be away from my family, but it seems a little sad to spend it at a casino... 
Happy Holidays to you and yours, enjoy... 

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