Pilgrimage to Glass Beach

February 11, 2014

Steider Studios:  Glass on the Beach

Ever since hearing about  Glass Beach in Fort Bragg California I’ve wanted to make a pilgrimage to see it for myself.  Many friends and acquaintances told me I’d be disappointed because there was no glass left, but I was determined to go and find glass to photograph if there was any to be found.

Steider Studios:  View From Room

I wanted to stay right on the beach but not in a dumpy old place so after researching chose the Ocean View Lodge – this is the view from my room.  It was comfortable in spite of a few quirks and we didn’t plan to spend any time there other than sleeping.  We arrived late and had a great meal at Mendo Bistro.

Steider Studios:  Leaving Harbor

While waiting for low tide the following day, we took a whale watching excursion on the Trek II Charter boat where I had an interesting conversation with our captain & his brother.  Their grandfather captained the first charter boat specifically for whale watching in the area.  I snapped a few shots as we left the harbor and wish I’d grabbed a shot of our boat to show you.

Steider Studios:  Traveling Companions

My friends and I enjoyed our Starbucks in the warm dry cabin while the 4th grade class that we shared the boat with crowded the front deck.  We traded places soon after the first whale sightings occurred and the kids had spent their early morning excitement and energy.

Steider Studios:  Heading out to Sea

It was a blustery day but we were there to see whales.  As the kids moved to the back deck we headed to the front where we mostly had the entire deck to ourselves.

Steider Studios:  See It?

See it?  The blow spout from a gray whale.

Steider Studios:  Gray Whale

We only saw a couple of whales and they didn’t show us much more than this, but it was fantastic to see them.  Soaked from the rain in spite of our rain gear, we remained on deck so we wouldn’t miss any sightings.

Steider Studios:  Back to Wharf

Two hours later, back at Noyo Harbor I tried to dry out my camera so it would be ready to document Glass Beach.

Steider Studios:  Storm at Glass Beach

Following the advice I was given from several sources we hiked along the cliffs in Fort Bragg.  We were determined in spite of the weather so kept moving forward, closer to where we might find sea glass.

Steider Studios:  Trail to Glass Beach

We had several trails to choose from and decided this looked the easiest to hike down the cliffs at Glass Beach.

Steider Studios:  Glass in Hand

How thrilled we were to find actual glass at the bottom of the cliffs!  We couldn’t resist digging through it right there, even though we had a couple of coves to explore while the tide was out.

Steider Studios:  Lighthouse near Glass Beach

As we played in the glass we heard a melodic and peaceful continuous song that must have been a fog horn at this lighthouse.

Steider Studios:  Glass Beach Coastline

As we left I snapped one more shot of the Glass Beach coastline then we grabbed a late lunch on the wharf.

Steider Studios:  Traveling Companions determining our course.

We decided to see more of the coastline after lunch since we were already wet & didn’t want to spend the afternoon cooped up in a hotel room.  My friends and I wanted more adventure!

Steider Studios:  Walking on Beach

Forgive the quality of this shot, it was almost sunset and we were wet and cold in the fog, wind and rain.

Steider Studios:  Pair of Seagulls

Back at our room we dried out, then found a fantastic pizza at Piaci Pizza, recommended by a local friend.

Steider Studios:  Rain and Mud at Glass Beach

At dinner we couldn’t stop talking about how much fun we’d had on Glass Beach, so abandoned all other plans and returned the following day.

Steider Studios:  Glass Beach Coastline

It was raining even harder so we drove down the coast to Mendocino while waiting for low tide, stopping at every little turn out.

Steider Studios:  Low Tide at Glass Beach

Climbing down the cliffs was wet and muddy that second day but worth it.  As we hit the beach the rain stopped and we frolicked in the glass one last time.  I tried to get a classic shot of glass beach, but there was no glitter without sunshine to bring out the sparkle.  Much of what appears to be dark rocks is actually very dark brown glass.

Steider Studios:  Glass Beach

As I said earlier, several of my friends warned me of disappointment because there was no glass left.  I think they were on the wrong beach!  I hated leaving but had to catch a flight to the frozen Northwest the following afternoon.

Steider Studios:  Lighthouse

Early in the morning we left to have one more half a play date together in Santa Cruz.

Steider Studios:  Sea Lions at the Santa Cruz Wharf

We started at the Santa Cruz wharf where sea lions were piled high.  Several babies were snuggling in the group.

Steider Studios:  Sea Lion Kisses

It was fun watching them swim and play in the water.

Steider Studios:  Baby Sea Lion

Loved this cute little baby sea lion.

Steider Studios:  Seagull in Flight

I got a little practice photographing  more birds while there!  You knew I would!!

Steider Studios:  Heron in Mendocino

Found a few herons too!  A remarkable and fabulous four days of adventure.

I must tell you it was mostly a remarkable trip because of the company I kept – two friends from long ago that I hadn’t seen in over twenty years.  In addition to the excitement of seeing Glass Beach for the first time, most of my joy came from our reminiscing and planning for the next adventure together.

January ~ A Month of Eagles

February 2, 2014

Steider Studios:  Bald Eagle Take Off into Flight, 1.6.14

January was an incredible month for chasing eagles.  I’ve been down by the river all month in spite of below freezing temperatures.

Steider Studios:  Bald Eagle.1.13.14

The best day was January 27th when my friend Nancy and I counted FORTY SIX eagles between Major Creek, Balfour Park, The Dalles Dam, Meyer Park and Mosier.  Simply stated, it was a magical day.

Steider Studios:  Bald Eagle in Tree.1.6.14

Thousands of photos later, I’ve whittled down my image catalog to those I can’t bear to part with.  Not all are that great, but remind me of what I saw, staring up in wonder at the magnificent Bald eagles.

Steider Studios:  Juvenile Eagle.1.13.14

January was a magical journey full of inspiration.  We photographed many other birds, but mostly we chased eagles.  Without further ado:

Steider Studios:  Eagle Catches Fish.1.13.14

On the Klickitat River I caught an adult bald eagle taking his fish to a more private dining area.

Steider Studios:  Eagle Takes Off

Further up the Klickitat River eagles were harder to photograph due to camouflage of twigs and branches.

Steider Studios:  Klickitat River.1.13.14

While we wait for photo opportunities the surrounding landscapes are breath-taking.  This is an upper section of the Klickitat River on a frigid January morning.  I can still hear it roar.

Steider Studios:  Bald Eagle in Flight.1.6.14

My heart soars with these magnificent birds.  Am I lucky?  Blessed?  In the right place at the right time?  Yes.

Steider Studios:  Foggy Balfour Park

This is Balfour Park where eagles perch in trees along the Klickitat River.  I’m still waiting for my new Tamron 150-600mm lens that will allow me to get much closer to these incredible birds.

Steider Studios:  Eagle@Balfour.1.27.14

This adult bald eagle perched right on the paved path at Balfour where numerous visitors including Yours Truly were able to photograph him endlessly.

Steider Studios:  Eagles at The Dalles Dam on 1.27.14

At the Dalles Dam on the Columbia River dozens of bald eagles congregate daily.  I will get much better shots of them with my new lens.  If it arrives before the eagles leave!

Steider Studios:  Juvenile Eagle Taking Off

A juvenile bald eagle surprised me when he took off directly overhead at Major Creek.  I think I surprised him too!

Steider Studios:  Eagle in Flight along Hwy14, January 2014.

Although not sharp, I like this photo because of the white feathers on his back and his tail feathers have brown tips.  Near Lyle Point along Highway 14.

Steider Studios:  Mosier Creek at Columbia RiverMosier Creek where it flows into the Columbia River is another great spot for watching eagles.

Many of my images have been printed on all occasion greeting cards and are available in my Zibbet shop and my ArtFire shop; and are also available as metal prints and canvas wraps to adorn your home or office walls.  If you see something you like and it’s not in my shops, please send me a message to make it happen!

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