Category Archives: beaches

Yaquina Bay Lighthouse (Newport, Oregon)

"Yaquina Head's light is 81'2" (25 m) above the ground and 162' (49 m) above mean sea level;
“Yaquina Head’s light is 81’2” (25 m) above the ground and 162′ (49 m) above mean sea level; the top of the tower is 10′ (3 m) higher still.

Yaquina Bay Lighthouse:

    “The Yaquina Bay Lighthouse was built in 1871, this lighthouse is the oldest building in Newport. It operated for only three years – until the lighthouse here was built. The restored lighthouse is a popular attraction in Yaquina Bay State Park” ~ information sign at Yaquina Head National Park, Newport, Oregon.

“Yaquina Head’s light is 81’2” (25 m) above the ground and 162′ (49 m) above mean sea level; the top of the tower is 10′ (3 m) higher still. Higher is better – On America’s rugged west coast, keeping lights low enough to be seen under the fog was often a problem. However if they were placed too low, they couldn’t be seen far enough away to be useful. The higher a light is, the further it can be seen at sea. At 162 feet (49 m) above sea level, Yaquina Head’s light can be seen about 19 miles (32 km) out to sea. Late nights at the office – Imagine spending all of a long winter’s night sitting on a stiff chair 70 feet (21 m) up in the tower watching the light. Now try to imagine doing it in the years before there was radio, tv, or even electricity! The buildings attached to the light tower has two rooms which once served as the ‘oil room and office’ however the keepers stood nightly watch in the tower itself. Still lighting the way: Many ships and boats continue to depend on lighthouses for navigational aid. Equipment in the small building attached to the light tower keeps a light on in case the electricity fails. A small battery-powered back up light is attached to the railing surrounding the lantern deck – you can see it from the observation deck at the base of the tower. By modern standards, the regular routine of a lighthouse keeper was monotonous. It was however sometimes interrupted by unexpected moments of drama. ‘last night lightning struck the office and storeroom building. it tore off the copper, lead, and shingles where the root joins on to the tower …’ keeper’s log, Yaquina head, Oct 18 1920. By 10 am every day the lighthouse lamp was refueled and its five wicks trimmed. Throughout the day, the lens and windows were cleaned and repairs made to keep everything shipshape. At dusk the lamp was lit and then watched from the watch room until sunrise. What else did keepers do? they greeted tourists ‘ … sea quite smooth. keepers painting the watchroom and working the road today, had two visitors today.’ – keeper’s log Yaquina head, april 28, 1877. They submitted to inspections: ‘…they never knew when an inspector was going to come. He came about four times each year. He would just come in the house like he belonged there and he would go through it just to see if the women kept the houses up.’ – Philena Nelson, friend of the keeper’s children 1916-1918. They painted, and painted some more ‘ keeper’s painting the bracketts and getting stage (scaffold) ready and mixing paint to paint towers’ – keeper’s long, yaquina head, may 27, 1891. They aided victims of shipwrecks – ‘keeper send 2nd asst. to Newporte for assistance of a tug. The keepers gave the three men that got ashore necessary assistance done all in there power to make them comfortable’-Keeper’s long, Yaquina Head, March 28, 1889. Even though Newport was only four miles away, bad weather, poor roads, and the demands of their work combined to tie the keepers and their families to the Yaquina Head light station. They caught, shot, and grew their own food. ‘Keepers whitewashing the garden fence and weeding the garden also today.’ June 8 1887. They coped with the weather – when there were big storms and the seas were rough, it would make a roar and shae the lighthouse. the spray from the ocean, when the waves were rough, would spray clear up to the tower.Some of the women became keeps – Mrs M J Plummer went on duty as laborer today until a 2nd Asst. arrives at the station.’ August 17, 1888. In the long history of staffed US lighthouses, a number of women, usually wives or daughters of keepers served as keepers. “~ information sign at Yaquina Head National Park, Newport, Oregon. http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=25775

"Yaquina Head's light is 81'2" (25 m) above the ground and 162' (49 m) above mean sea level; the top of the tower is 10' (3 m) higher still. Higher is better - On America's rugged west coast, keeping lights low enough to be seen under the fog was often a problem. However if they were placed too low, they couldn't be seen far enough away to be useful.  The higher a light is, the further it can be seen at sea. At 162 feet (49 m) above sea level, Yaquina Head's light can be seen about 19 miles (32 km) out to sea. Late nights at the office - Imagine spending all of a long winter's night sitting on a stiff chair 70 feet (21 m) up in the tower watching the light. Now try to imagine doing it in the years before there was radio, tv, or even electricity! The buildings attached to the light tower has two rooms which once served as the 'oil room and office' however the keepers stood nightly watch in the tower itself. Still lighting the way: Many ships and boats continue to depend on lighthouses for navigational aid. Equipment in the small building attached to the light tower keeps a light on in case the electricity fails. A small battery-powered back up light is attached to the railing surrounding the lantern deck - you can see it from the observation deck at the base of the tower. By modern standards, the regular routine of a lighthouse keeper was monotonous. It was however sometimes interrupted by unexpected moments of drama. 'last night lightning struck the office and storeroom building. it tore off the copper, lead, and shingles where the root joins on to the tower ...' keeper's log, Yaquina head, Oct 18 1920.  By 10 am every day the lighthouse lamp was refueled and its five wicks trimmed. Throughout the day, the lens and windows were cleaned and repairs made to keep everything shipshape. At dusk the lamp was lit and then watched from the watchroom until sunrise. What else did keepers do? they greeted tourists ' ... sea quite smooth. keepers painting the watchroom and worki
“Yaquina Head’s light is 81’2” (25 m) above the ground and 162′ (49 m) above mean sea level; the top of the tower is 10′ (3 m) higher still. Higher is better – On America’s rugged west coast, keeping lights low enough to be seen under the fog was often a problem. However if they were placed too low, they couldn’t be seen far enough away to be useful. The higher a light is, the further it can be seen at sea. At 162 feet (49 m) above sea level, Yaquina Head’s light can be seen about 19 miles (32 km) out to sea. Late nights at the office – Imagine spending all of a long winter’s night sitting on a stiff chair 70 feet (21 m) up in the tower watching the light. Now try to imagine doing it in the years before there was radio, tv, or even electricity! The buildings attached to the light tower has two rooms which once served as the ‘oil room and office’ however the keepers stood nightly watch in the tower itself. Still lighting the way: Many ships and boats continue to depend on lighthouses for navigational aid. Equipment in the small building attached to the light tower keeps a light on in case the electricity fails. A small battery-powered back up light is attached to the railing surrounding the lantern deck – you can see it from the observation deck at the base of the tower. By modern standards, the regular routine of a lighthouse keeper was monotonous. It was however sometimes interrupted by unexpected moments of drama. ‘last night lightning struck the office and storeroom building. it tore off the copper, lead, and shingles where the root joins on to the tower …’ keeper’s log, Yaquina head, Oct 18 1920. By 10 am every day the lighthouse lamp was refueled and its five wicks trimmed. Throuhout the day, the lens and windows were cleaned and repairs made to keep everything shipshape. At dusk the lamp was lit and then watched from the watchroom until sunrise. What else did keepers do? they greeted tourists ‘ … sea quite smooth.

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Yaquina Head National Park, Newport, Oregon

"Yaquina Head's light is 81'2" (25 m) above the ground and 162' (49 m) above mean sea level;
“Yaquina Head’s light is 81’2” (25 m) above the ground and 162′ (49 m) above mean sea level; the top of the tower is 10′ (3 m) higher still.

Yaquina Head
Newport, Oregon

One of my favorite highlights of Newport, this great area of Natural Beauty is preserved by the Bureau of Land Management as part of the National Landscape Conservation System/Lands and a tourist hotspot on the Oregon Coast. Yaquina Head is a headland that extends into the Pacific Ocean with a pristine historic Light House at its head known as the Yaquina Head Light. The protected area is just north of Newport along U.S. Route 101. Consisting of 95 acres, it has been preserved since 1980. The head stands at 108 feet above sea level.

The area depicts a violent volcanic past with basalts that changed the coastline during volcanic eruptions millions of years ago. It is home to 5 hiking trails, all of which are less than a half mile in length paralleling the ocean or through the forest lines. It is a popular place for sightseeing, whale watching, bird watching, history, and the light house.

"Creating Cobbles; Cobbles, pebbles and sand are the result of boiling lava meeting the cold ocean, followed by 14 millin years of weather and erosion.  Fragments of ancient lava - hot basalt exploded upon contact with cold sea water and intermixed with quickly chilled volcanic glass to form a breccia. The cobbles on this beach are weathered remains of these exploded fragments. Sea water alters the glass surrounding the basalt fragments into a mineral called palagonite which is easily washed away. The water then attacks the fragment causing its corners to become more and more rounded. The cobbles are further rounded and made smaller by beach wave action. In the summer there is some sand on these beaches, but winter waves wash most of the sand out to sea leaving almost all cobbles on the beach. Between the tides: Tidal forces shape the shoreline and bring life to the intertidal area. Tides are caused by the gravitational pull of the sun and moon. Here and elsewhere in the coastal Pacific Northwest there are almost always two high and two low tides daily. The pull of the moon and sun causes the oceans to bulge and the earth rotates under them. These bulges come and go as high tides. The tides would be easy to predict if they occurred exactly every six hours. However because the tides follow a cycle that is slightly more than six hours long, the whole sequence is repeated later each day. Mean (average) lowest low tide is used as the base level for most coastal charts and tide tables. When ships enter or leave harbor, the depth of water at mean low tide is more important to them than mean sea level." ~ information sign at Yaquina Head National Park, Newport, Oregon. Yaquina Head National Park (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=25775). 1/27/16: Chronicles 23: Delving the Oregon Coast and Willamette Valley:  http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=19727 -   Photos from  February 2016 . (c) 2016 - photo by Photographers Thomas Baurley  / Leaf McGowan
“Creating Cobbles; Cobbles, pebbles and sand are the result of boiling lava meeting the cold ocean, followed by 14 million years of weather and erosion. Fragments of ancient lava – hot basalt exploded upon contact with cold sea water and intermixed with quickly chilled volcanic glass to form a breccia. The cobbles on this beach are weathered remains of these exploded fragments. Sea water alters the glass surrounding the basalt fragments into a mineral called palagonite which is easily washed away. The water then attacks the fragment causing its corners to become more and more rounded. The cobbles are further rounded and made smaller by beach wave action. In the summer there is some sand on these beaches, but winter waves wash most of the sand out to sea leaving almost all cobbles on the beach. Between the tides: Tidal forces shape the shoreline and bring life to the intertidal area. Tides are caused by the gravitational pull of the sun and moon. Here and elsewhere in the coastal Pacific Northwest there are almost always two high and two low tides daily. The pull of the moon and sun causes the oceans to bulge and the earth rotates under them. These bulges come and go as high tides. The tides would be easy to predict if they occurred exactly every six hours. However because the tides follow a cycle that is slightly more than six hours long, the whole sequence is repeated later each day. Mean (average) lowest low tide is used as the base level for most coastal charts and tide tables. When ships enter or leave harbor, the depth of water at mean low tide is more important to them than mean sea level.” ~ information sign at Yaquina Head National Park, Newport, Oregon. Yaquina Head National Park (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=25775). 1/27/16: Chronicles 23: Delving the Oregon Coast and Willamette Valley: http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=19727 – Photos from February 2016 . (c) 2016 – photo by Photographers Thomas Baurley / Leaf McGowan

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Dunes City, Oregon

Dunes City, Oregon and its surroundings

Dunes City is a small town along the Oregon Coast near Florence, Oregon and Eugene, Oregon that is surrounded by large numerous and expansive sand dunes. The City itself is small, population in 2010 was a mere 1300 residents. The town in still influenced by the lumber industry surrounding the Dunes, otherwise tourism and recreation with ATV’s and dune machines infiltrate the area.

Rated: 4 of 5 stars. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

If you would like to contact the author about this review, need a re-review, would like to advertise on this page, or have information to add, please contact us at technogypsie@gmail.com.

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Prospect Lake, Colorado Springs

Prospect Lake
~ 1605 E. Pikes Peak Avenue, Colorado Springs, Colorado ~

A beautiful water-sports popular swimming lake in the heart of Colorado Springs, Colorado. Popularized by the many offerings of Memorial Park and the YMCA Aquatic Center, this location is very popular with the locals for swimming, fishing, boating, water skiing, jet skiing, and water sports. The parks and amenities along its shores are very popular, including playgrounds, bath house, beaches, recreational trails, and picnic spots. There is also one wheelchair accessible fishing dock. Some boating requires licenses or permits, but both motorized and non-motorized boats may operate on the lake, including sail boats, canoes, row boats, and paddle boats some of which can be rented in the park. There is a 1.25 mile long fitness trail around the lake. At the official beach, which is roped in to protect swimmers from boating, offers a once a week opportunity to swim 6-8 pm saturdays beyond the ropes to the rest of the lake.

The lake is historic and man-made being originally built in 1890 as a reservoir for overflow irrigation water. It became a swimming lake in 1932. It was donated with land by General William Jackson Palmer along with other Colorado Springs parks upwards of 1270 acres to the City of Colorado Springs. Prospect Lake is part of Memorial Park. There is some dark history to the lake, including the fact that it has leaked massive amounts of water for over 50 years causing environmental issues for the city. This has raised much controversy as the lake has been drained in the past and contemplations of emptying it for good has been considered. The commission put together a $50,000 study to determine why it is leaking water. It is believed that the bentonite clay lining that was installed in 1953 on its bottom cracked when it was exposed and dried out in 2002 when it was purposely allow to dry up during the 2002 drought. Prior to that the lake had been annually pumped with potable water by Colorado Springs Utilities. The lake was refilled in 2003 with non-potable water and banned swimming that year. It is hypothesized that the water leaked through the cracks into an underground aquifer. leaking through the porous ground soil at the same pace throughout the years. Evaporation is also believed to be a major issue annually. The Parks office claims “it’s a birdbath with a crack in it”. The lake loses 392 acre feet or 128 million gallons of water every year, 54% through leakage and 46% by evaporation. 400 acre-feet of water costs the city $389,000. Theories state the city could drain the lake and install a bentonite liner over the other half of the bottom but that would cost several hundred thousands of dollars and would not solve the evaporation problem. Other solution would be the city building a well north of the lake in the aquifer that takes much of the seepage and pump the water back into the lake. They say “its just a major recreation area. We’ll put hundreds of thousands of dollars into ball fields … and when you think about Prospect Lake, it has that same kind of benefit” Richard Skorman, the Vice Mayor stated.

As for cleanliness, the lake has potable water pumped into it annually and they have drained and refilled the lake a few years back. In former years, it has been “sketchy” due to patrons, general neighborhood concerns, and cleanliness but many of those issues have been tackled in current years. City Health officials state that even though swimming pools are rigorously chlorinated and tested daily, outdoor swimming lakes and beaches are not. There is no way to chlorinate, check chemical quality, use a filtration system or check turbidity. Even with swimming pools, a 2010 national study states that 1 in 8 pool inspections led to an immediate closure due to code violations. Pools can be closed in minutes with on the hour testing. Some pool operators go above and beyond, such as the YMCA at Monument Park including emergency response plans to deal with any unexpected issues involving recreational water illnesses (RWI) that can cause diarrhea, gastrointestinal, ear, respiratory, eye and would infections often caused by cryptosporidium, giardia, shigella, norovirus, and E. coli. The YMCA operates several city-owned pools and water features including Monument Valley Pool, Portal Pool, Wilson Ranch Pool, and Prospect Lake Beach in Memorial Park. The YMCA follos state Department of Public Health and Environment’s guidelines for natural swimming areas and testing. The beach is tested 17 times during the summer, collecting bacteriological water quality samples at least once every seven days and no fewer than 5 times a month, collecting water-quality samples at least 24 hours prior to the beginning of a peak-use period and within 24 hours after the end of the same peak use period such as before and after Memorial Day weekend.

Note: The safety of the lake is questionable even though it has a city operated bath house, swimming beach, and is a popular recreation spot in Colorado Springs. According to the local hospital, the water is questionable. My son, on Sunday June 10th, 2018 cut his toe on something sharp in the water while swimming, resulting in 4 stitches. Please be careful swimming in these waters.

There was an article about Sunken Treasure that was revealed in the lake when it was drained showing finds such as a metal skeleton of a 1960’s Volkswagon Bug, shot guns, rifles, knives, class rings, ice cube trays, a 45 rpm record, empty pull-tab cans, and jewelry. A local prospector with his Bounty Hunter metal detector has found 14 shotguns, handguns, and rifles since 2002 many with their serial numbers filed off. The Bug is believed to have been driven onto the lake when frozen one winter that fell through the ice.

Bibliography:

Rated: 3 of 5 stars. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

If you would like to contact the author about this review, need a re-review, would like to advertise on this page, or have information to add, please contact us at technogypsie@gmail.com.

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Memorial Park (Colorado Springs, Colorado)

Memorial Park – Prospect Lake
~ Memorial, 1605 E. Pikes Peak Ave. Colorado Springs, Colorado ((E. Pikes Peak and Hancock Aves) ~
~ https://coloradosprings.gov/parks/page/memorial-park ~

In the heart of Colorado Springs is a beautiful multi-use park offering outdoor recreations to all sports enthusiasts and a great place for outdoor family gatherings. It features tennis courts, recreational lake with swimming beach, multiple baseball fields, an aquatic center, bicycle velodrome, ice skating center, basketball courts, volleyball, and multi-use sports fields. For families it offers playground and picnic areas with reservation spaces available. The Park embraces much of the shores of Prospect Lake and features a 1.25 mile fitness trail around the lake for walking, jogging, and hiking. Prospect Lake also features fishing, swimming, boating, water skiing, and jet skiing space. The Skate Park is Colorado’s second largest skate park at 40,000 square feet with competition-size space features for inline skaters, skateboarders, and BMX bikers. There is no cost to use these facilities. Prospect Lake also has a official beach and bath house and two fishing areas with docks. The sports center has an administrative office, three baseball/softball fields, 15 football/soccer fields, 12 tennis courts, and the YMCA hosting an indoor poor, fitness room, social/play room, and swimming lessons. The park features tribute and memorials to soldiers, guards, and military service. There are also horseshoe courts, multi-play courts, three playgrounds, restrooms, public telephones, vending machines, concessions, three trails: prospect lake fitness trail 1.25 miles, criterium trail at .6 miles, and perimeter jogging trail at 2.2 miles.

Review – I am very impressed with this park and love the lake. However, the lake is very murky at times and according to the local hospital its cleanliness is questionable, although they offer a official swimming beach and areas. My son on 6/10/18 was swimming in the lake and cut his foot on something sharp on the bottom of the lake floor requiring 4 stitches, so please be careful and aware. The indoor swim center hosted by the YMCA is laden with rules, often shutting down / interrupting swim time for ‘safety breaks’ and have some outrageous restrictions in play. Not to mention use of the pool is very high priced and oriented towards wealthier clientele. The staff are not very friendly or positive, and the overall experience is just not enjoyable. We have not used the bath house as it is often closed leaving swimming beaches and use around other parts of the lake leading to more unsafe conditions.

Rated: 3.4 of 5 stars. ~ Review by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions visited last 6/10/18. ~

If you would like to contact the author about this review, need a re-review, would like to advertise on this page, or have information to add, please contact us at technogypsie@gmail.com.

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Maryhill State Park (Maryhill, Washington)

072413-069

Maryhill State Park
* http://www.parks.wa.gov/ * Maryhill, Washington *

Nestled right on the Columbia River, just down the hill from Maryhill’s infamous American Stonehenge is a wonderful state park with swimming, picnicking, camping, and boating recreational activities offered. Warm showers (pay per 3 minutes), nice restrooms, good camping facilities, and a stony beach welcome a restfulstop along the long stretch from the Oregon desert to the fertile valleys westward. It is a 99-acre camping park with 4,700 feet of waterfront on the Columbia River in Klickitat County.

Maryhill State Park: ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=7637). Northern Exposure: Chronicle 24 - Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf, Lady Etain, and Prince Cian.  Adventures in Washington. Photos taken March 28, 2016.  To read the adventures, visit  http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=20007.   To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews.  All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com - by Leaf McGowan, Eadaoin Bineid and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.
Maryhill State Park: ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=7637). Northern Exposure: Chronicle 24 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf, Lady Etain, and Prince Cian. Adventures in Washington. Photos taken March 28, 2016. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=20007. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan, Eadaoin Bineid and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.

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Olympic National Park

Hoh Rainforerst (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=26103) - Olympic National Forest and Park: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=26099. Northern Exposure: Chronicle 24 - Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf, Lady Etain, and Prince Cian.  Adventures in Washington. Photos taken March 26, 2016.  To read the adventures, visit  http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=20007.   To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews.  All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com - by Leaf McGowan, Eadaoin Bineid and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.
Hoh Rainforerst (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=26103)

Olympic National Park
Olympic National Forest, Olympic Peninsula, Washington

One of the most famous National Parks in the State of Washington, the Olympic National Park is nearly surrounded by the Olympic National Forest, on the Olympic Peninsula, in the state of Washington. It consists of four regions within it – the alpine areas, the west side temperate rainforest, the east side forests, and the Pacific coastline. The park hosts three distinct natural eco-systems: (1) temperate forest, (2) rugged Pacific Shoreline, and (3) sub-alpine forest and wildflower meadows. This section of the Olympic National Forest was created as the Mount Olympus National Monument by President Theodore Roosevelt on March 2, 1909; then designated as a National Park in 1938 by President Franklin Roosevelt. In 1976 it became an International Biosphere Reserve and a World Heritage Site in 1981. The Park hosts 60 miles of rugged sandy beach shores along the Pacific Ocean, and two main rivers – the Hoh River and the Quileute River. The first inhabitants were the Hoh people who lived along the Hoh river and thd the Quileute people along the Quileute River. The earlier inhabitants of the area primarily fished, hunted and gathered. Then came the influx of Euro-American settlers who decimated the indigenous populations with their European diseases and genocide. The Euro-Americans came in for lumber and timber harvest, trapping, hunting, and use of the natural resources. The Olympic National Park preserves numerous valuable flora and faunal resources that need protecting. The region is abundant with chipmunks, skunks, squirrels, six species of bats, weasels, muskrats, beavers, red foxes, coyotes, fishers, river otters, mountain goats, martens, black bears, bobcats, cougars, Canadian lynxes, moles, snowshoe hares, shrews, whales, seals, sea lions, dolphins, sea otters, raptors, winter wrens, gray jays, Hammond’s flycatchers, wilson’s warblers, blue grouses, pine siskins, ravens, spotted owls, red-breasted nuthatches, golden-crowned kinglets, chestnut-backed chickadees, swainson’s thruses, hermit thrushes, olive-sided flycatchers, bald eagles, western tanagers, northern pygmy owls, townsend’s warblers and solitaires, vaux’s swifts, band-tailed pigeons, and evening grosbeaks. The park is used for fishing, boating, hiking, camping, repelling, rock climbing, skiing, snowboarding, sledding, surfing, water sports, elk watching, and rafting. The foggy sea stacks are a popular attraction along the beaches. Mount Olympus and the Blue Glacier are other outstanding natural features.

Sol Duc Hotsprings and Campground (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=26101). Olympic National Forest and Park: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=26099. Northern Exposure: Chronicle 24 - Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf, Lady Etain, and Prince Cian.  Adventures in Washington. Photos taken March 26, 2016.  To read the adventures, visit  http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=20007.   To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews.  All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com - by Leaf McGowan, Eadaoin Bineid and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.
Sol Duc Hotsprings and Campground (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=26101). Olympic National Forest and Park: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=26099. Northern Exposure: Chronicle 24 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf, Lady Etain, and Prince Cian. Adventures in Washington. Photos taken March 26, 2016. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=20007. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan, Eadaoin Bineid and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.

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Fort Worden, WA

Fort Worden ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=26407), Port Townsend, WA ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=26403). Exploring Olympic Peninsula - Northern Exposure: Chronicle 24 - Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf, Lady Etain, and Prince Cian.  Adventures in Washington. Photos taken March 25, 2016.  To read the adventures, visit  http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=20007.   To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews.  All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com - by Leaf McGowan, Eadaoin Bineid and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.
Fort Worden ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=26407), Port Townsend, WA ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=26403). Exploring Olympic Peninsula – Northern Exposure: Chronicle 24 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf, Lady Etain, and Prince Cian. Adventures in Washington. Photos taken March 25, 2016. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=20007. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan, Eadaoin Bineid and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.

Fort Worden, Washington

Right in the heart of Port Townsend is a historic US Military fort turned into a State Park. It resides along the Admiralty Inlet that flows by Port Townsend. The fort property, now owned by the National Park Service consists of 433 acres, originally as a US Army base to protect Puget Sound from invading forces from 1902 to 1953, named after U.S. Navy Admiral John Lorimer Worden who commanded the USS Monitor during the American Civil War. After it was decommissioned in 1953 and purchased in 1957 converted to a juvenile detention facility, and then turned to a State Park in 1973. Because the Admiralty Inlet was a strategic defense location for Puget Sound, three forts were built along the shores – Fort Worden, Fort Casey, and Fort Flagler creating a “Triangle of Fire” with huge guns thwarting any invasive force coming from sea. The forts were never used for war and never fired a shot. During World War I the guns were removed and used in Europe. It was primarily a training base for military applications. During World War II it became the headquarters of the Harbor Defense Command and jointly operated by the Navy and Army in a team effort. The artillery units were disbanded after World War II and gun batteries dismantled. During the Korean war a 2nd Engineer Special brigade was stationed here before being ordered to Korea to reinforce the Far East Command. After this, in 1957 the fort was in the hands of the state of Washington for diagnosis and treatment of troubled youths. Remnants of various batteries litter the landscape, some of which are open to explore by park visitors. The park also houses the Puget Sound Coast Artillery Museum, a balloon hanger used by airships, three 3-inch anti-aircraft gun emplacements, several restored quarters on Officer’s Row, Point Wilson lighthouse, a campground, Port Townsend Marine Science Center, and lots of beaches for recreational use. In 1983 the movie “An Officer and a Gentleman” was filmed here. In 2002 the movie “The Ring” was also filmed here.

Fort Worden ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=26407), Port Townsend, WA ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=26403). Exploring Olympic Peninsula - Northern Exposure: Chronicle 24 - Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf, Lady Etain, and Prince Cian.  Adventures in Washington. Photos taken March 25, 2016.  To read the adventures, visit  http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=20007.   To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews.  All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com - by Leaf McGowan, Eadaoin Bineid and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.
Fort Worden ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=26407), Port Townsend, WA ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=26403). Exploring Olympic Peninsula – Northern Exposure: Chronicle 24 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf, Lady Etain, and Prince Cian. Adventures in Washington. Photos taken March 25, 2016. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=20007. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan, Eadaoin Bineid and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.

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Soap Lake, Washington

Soap Lake ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=25717), Washington. Northern Exposure: Chronicle 24 - Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf, Lady Etain, and Prince Cian.  Adventures in Washington. Photos taken March 29, 2016.  To read the adventures, visit  http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=20007.   To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews.  All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com - by Leaf McGowan, Eadaoin Bineid and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.
Soap Lake ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=25717), Washington.

Soap Lake, Washington
~ 47°23′18″N 119°29′15″W (47.388341, -119.487611) ~

Both a small town and a natural phenomena of a magical healing lake, “Soap Lake” was called “Smokiam” by the Native Americans as “Healing Waters”. It is a soft mineral lake in between Ephrata and Coulee. It is located in Grant County Washington. The abundant mineral within the waters is what is referred to as “washing soda” giving it a suds-like, slippery film feel. The minerals are alkaline which kills most bacteria it comes in contact with without damaging the animal or human the bacteria is living on, and when the tissues repairs itself the massive layers and deposits of mineralization will occur. The lake is very popular as a healing cure for Burgeger and Reynaud’s disease because it opens the capillary and extremity circulation of those affected by it. There are over 20 alkaline mineral salts found in Soap Lake, and is why many gather mud from the bottom of the lake to spread across their bodies for its natural healing effect. The mud sucks out toxins, moisture, and oils from the skin, giving it ability to heal. Combined with sunshine from the desert, it has been known to control psoriasis. The minerals found in Soap Lake are Sodium, Bicarbonate, Sulfate, Carbonate, Chloride, Potassium, Organic Nitrogen, Fluoride, Ortho-Phosphate, Nitrate, Calcium, Magnesium, and less than .01 percent of Iron, Aluminum, Copper, Rubidium, Lithium, Strontium, Barium, Chromium, Lead, Manganese, Titanium, Vanadium, and Boron. The waters have been rumored to cause relief with rheumatoid arthritis, beurgers disease, eczema, psoriasis, raynaud’s syndrom, and paralysis.

This lake is one of its only kinds in the world, and no other lake has been found as such in the world. It drew large crowds of visitors back in the 1920’s. The U.S. military sent young men to Soap Lake to help arrest symptoms of the debilitating disease known as Buergers Disease. Some bathe in hot baths using the water at 104 degrees Fahrenheit for 20-30 minutes, once a day. For capillary dilation, others take 108 degree fahrenheit hot baths for 20 minutes a day. Others just swim in the lake for their skin. Others use the mud combined with the sun for sun tanning while others take mud baths. There are some that even believe in drinking it, but never taking more than 2 ounces four times daily. This however is not recommended. The first layer of the lake has approximately 81 feet of mineral water, the second level is mud-like and consists of a stronger mineral composition with concentrations of unusual substances and microbes. It has been stated that these layers have not mixed for thousands of years, creating the rare condition called meromictic. There are only 11 meromictic lakes in the U.S.

The town has just over 1,500 residents (2010 census). Through the years it has become a busy resort and health spa, had grown to four hotels and various rooming houses making the waters known. It also became a touristy social center with celebrations, festivals, socials, and gatherings held often. This ended around the Depression as a drought hit the lake, dwindling the tourist trade and visitors. When the Grand Coulee Dam was built, new irrigation canals were built, and brought life back into the area. From the 1900’s to the 1940’s, numerous sanitariums were built on the shores to help attract and cure visitors.

Soap Lake ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=25717); Northern Exposure: Chronicle 24 - Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf, Lady Etain, and Prince Cian.  Adventures in Washington. Photos taken March 22, 2016.  To read the adventures, visit  http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=20007.   To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews.  All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com - by Leaf McGowan, Eadaoin Bineid and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.
Soap Lake ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=25717); Northern Exposure: Chronicle 24 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf, Lady Etain, and Prince Cian. Adventures in Washington. Photos taken March 22, 2016. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=20007. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan, Eadaoin Bineid and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.

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First Beach, La Push, Washington

First Beach (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=26123) - La Push (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=26119) - Forks, Washington: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=26115. Olympic National Forest and Park: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=26099. Northern Exposure: Chronicle 24 - Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf, Lady Etain, and Prince Cian.  Adventures in Washington. Photos taken March 26, 2016.  To read the adventures, visit  http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=20007.   To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews.  All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com - by Leaf McGowan, Eadaoin Bineid and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.
First Beach (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=26123) – La Push – Forks, Washington

First Beach, La Push, Washington

Tribal lands outside of Olympic National Forest not far from Forks, and part setting / inspiration from Stephanie Meyers series “Twilight” it is a location off the path from the Twilight Tour in Forks. Only 14 miles towards the coast from Forks, this is the home of the Quileute Tribe who originally habitated these lands for their sea-faring quests and fishing trips. It was here they traditionally built their cedar canoes for oceanic journeys, whaling, and seal hunting. La Push is their current headquarters. They signed their first treaty with the Euro-American settlers here that eventually relocated them to a reservation in Taholah, but because of their remoteness, wasn’t enforced, and many stayed in this area. In 1889 President Grover Cleveland established a one mile square reservation here for them, with about 252 inhabitants. That same year, the town was destroyed by arson. Today it is a popular tourist destination and is home to oceanfront resorts, a fish hatchery, a seafoo company and a marina. They host an annual festival called Quileute Days every July 17-19th celebrating their cultural heritage, with fireworks, salmon bake, dancing, songs, softball and other tournaments, vending, and food. They are featured as characters in Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight series as the wolf people.

First Beach (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=26123) - La Push (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=26119) - Forks, Washington: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=26115. Olympic National Forest and Park: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=26099. Northern Exposure: Chronicle 24 - Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf, Lady Etain, and Prince Cian.  Adventures in Washington. Photos taken March 26, 2016.  To read the adventures, visit  http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=20007.   To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews.  All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com - by Leaf McGowan, Eadaoin Bineid and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.
First Beach (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=26123) – La Push (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=26119) – Forks, Washington: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=26115. Olympic National Forest and Park: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=26099. Northern Exposure: Chronicle 24 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf, Lady Etain, and Prince Cian. Adventures in Washington. Photos taken March 26, 2016. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=20007. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan, Eadaoin Bineid and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.

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Dn Laoghaire, Ireland

Dn Laoghaire
* Ireland *

A suburban sea-side town in Country Dublin that is properly known as Dublin’s Port for it is a central gateway for ferries travelling to Dublin especially since it is only 12 kilometers south of the city centre. Historically it was a major port of entry from Great Britain and therefore from 1821-1921 was called “Kingstown”. The town was named after the 5th century High King of Ireland Legaire mac Nill combined with the Irish word for “fort” (Dn) after the fortifications that lined up this coast in the past. The current town dates from 1820 atop an earlier village located around where the Purty Kitchen pub is currently located originally boasting of a coffee shop, a salt mine, and a small cove atop a craggy, rocky pasture overlooking the sea. After the 1807 tragedy of the catastrophic loss of troopships, Prince of Wales, and the Rochdale being driven upon the rocks between here and Blackrock estimating a loss of over 400 lives – a re-vitalization of the area was set into effect making it a new harbour with safer constructs put into place creating the West Pier when it took on the name of Kingstown until Ireland became a free state. By 1844 a “Atmospheric Train” was constructed to connect Kingstown to the Dalkey. A railway later replaced the train connecting Dublin and transforming the area to a seaside resort. After the British 59th Division marched up the road to Dublin to crush the Easter Rising, road changes took place connecting the village to its surrounding area. During World War II, stray German bombs struck the area. Its a popular little village and seaside shopping center frequented by many from Dublin. It is also the main ferry transportation hub from the UK to Dublin directly. Dn Laoghaire was its own borough and was the only town in Ireland to have its own Vocational Educational Committee even though its part of the Greater Dublin region.

Its East Pier is aligned along one of Ireland’s largest harbours and is where the ferry route to the UK is based. The piers are made of granite and is a popular location for people to visit, walk, and contemplate the universe. This was also the setting for the movie “Michael Collins” (1996). This harbour took over 42 years to build. The obelisk at the old ferry port terminal is the monument commemorating this feat.

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Santeetlah Lake, NC

photos 12/24/12 042-052

Santeetlah Lake
Santeetlah Lake

Near the historic Smokey Mountains, in Graham County, North Carolina, is a small town built along the shores of Lake Santeetlah. The town and lake share the name. Boasting a population of approximately 67 (census 2000), the town has approximately 200 residences. Santeetlah is located approximately 6 miles north of Robbinsville and only 15 miles from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The lake is surrounded by the Nantahala National Forest. The area is a resort community. Established in 1989 as “Santeetlah”, it was changed to “Lake Santeetlah” in 1999. Originally hunting grounds by various Native American tribes, the area was settled very late by westerners. The area was one of the last sections of the eastern United States to be settled by Europeans. A Detroit native named Kenneth S. Keyes, Sr. found the area and exchanged with the Forest service some land he had held for the area and this was then built into the town of Lake Santeetlah. The originally called the property “Thunderbird Estates” with a dream of building a large hotel complex in the area. He never built, and in 1958 he sold the property to another Florida land developer, and from there it went through a couple of exchanges. By the early 1960’s – Smoky Mountain Resorts built a lodge and some cabins here offering much recreation for those seeking a vacation escape. Always short on funding, the resort fell through various ups and downs, until 1971 when it was sold to W. Bennett Collette. Battles, disputes, and law suits flooded the area over a variety of grievances by owners and residents, becoming resolved by the late 1990’s. The lake is popular by outdoor recreationists who fish bass, walleye, crappie, lake trout, and bream in its waters. The Marina on the lake is the only full-serviced marina on a lake that has 76 miles of shoreline. Around the lake is home to over 200 miles of hiking trails, and area known for swimming, camping, hiking, boating, and picnicking.

Smokey Mountains, North Carolina, USA

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Bottomless Lakes State Park (Roswell, NM)

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Bottomless Lakes State Park
* Roswell, New Mexico, USA *

The memories of Bottomless Lakes State Park … it was my family and friend’s swimming hole and playground while growing up in Roswell, New Mexico. Bottomless Lakes provided much cooling off during the hot and dry summers of the desert. Only Fifteen miles from Roswell, the Lakes are Located along the Pecos River, and are a series of natural caves and sinkholes forming lakes used for recreation. The parks were established in 1933 and was the first State Park founded in New Mexico. There are Eleven small deep lakes along the escarpment of the Pecos River Valley that represents the remains of an ancient limestone reef. Caves formed within this limestone and eventually collapsed via erosion creating sinkholes or “cenotes” as round circular lakes or swimming holes. One of the largest lakes is Lea Lake and Lazy Lagoon, providing a large sandy shoreline that outdoor recreational visitors can use for picnicking, camping, outdoor sports, and swimming. Lazy Lagoon is the largest of the lakes and spans over 26 acres as a single lake but is made up of three interconnected sink holes. The lagoon is level with the salt flats which gives it an appearance of being very shallow, where in contrast, it is actually quite deep – over 90 feet deep. As opposed to the old days, Lea Lake is the only lake in which swimming is allowed, due to accidents that occurred in the others, especially Devil’s Inkwell.

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The shallowest is Pasture Lake with a depth of 18 feet and a surface of .76 acres. The deepest are Lea Lake (90 feet deep – only one that allows swimming) and Lazy Lagoon (90 feet/ 26 acres). The smallest of the lakes, is the darkest, known for its color, steep sides, and algae growth, called “the Devil’s Inkwell” and is approximately .36 of an acre. Figure 8 Lake is actually two lakes separated by a thin beach that seasonally gets covered making it look like one lake at times. The circular shapes connecting create the figure 8 symbol. Cottonwood Lake is 30 feet deep, and Mirror Lake at 50 feet. The Lakes are fed by underground streams and aquifers perculating through the rocks up into the catchment holes. The lakes are home to various endangered species and all of the park’s lakes are protected. The four known endangered species found at the park are the Cricket Frog, Eastern Barking Frog, Rainwater Killifish, and the Pecos Pupfish.

The lakes were originally visited frequently by Prehistoric Indians of the region, and in the 1500’s were said to have been visited by Spanish Conquistadors searching for the legendary Seven Cities of Gold. While the Conquistadors did not record their visitation, it is said that the Native Americans drew a petroglyph at the Lakes depicting a Spanish Conquistador riding a horse according to John LeMay’s book “Legends and Lore of Bottomless Lakes” having also appeared in the Roswell New Mexico Centennial Magazine as well.

According to legend, the lakes got their name as “Bottomless” because the outlaw Billy the Kid and his gang who once hid out in the bluffs supposedly dipped their ropes in one lake to see how deep it was and they didn’t hit bottom so called it “Bottomless”. The deepest lake is Leah Lake at 90 feet.

There are numerous legends surrounding the lakes from a Octopus Man, giant turtles, giant catfish, a White Ghost Horse, and a Dragon. There are many legends of people drowning in the muddy depths and being transported by an Underground Artesian river and cave system to Carlsbad Caverns, giant turtles eating people who went missing there, sheep and horses reportedly been swallowed by the lakes, and numerous cars. The only evidence of such legends are remnants of cars at the bottom. Some say atop the lakes cliffs and bluffs, teens had drag-raced and lost their cars over the edges into the lakes. A local boater claimed to have seen a giant turtle surface in the 1980’s large enough to claim Nessie was in the lake and that it came to eat him.

Rating: 5 stars out of 5. ~ Thomas Baurley and Leaf McGowan.

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    The Eleven lakes are:

  1. Lazy Lagoon – one of the two deepest at 90 feet with a 26.1 acre surface area.
  2. Cottonwood Lake – 27.5 feet deep with .52 acres of surface area and having natural shade over it.
  3. Mirror Lake North – 32.8 feete deep with 3 acres of surface area.
  4. Mirror Lake south – 43.3 feet deep, .44 acre surface area.
  5. Devil’s Inkwell – 28.2 feet deep, .36 acre surface area, has dark algae in it that makes it appear darker than others.
  6. Figure 8 Lake North – 37 feet deep, 1.46 acre surface area. Forms a figure 8 with Figure 8 Lake South, but is an independent lake.
  7. Figure 8 Lake South – 22 feet deep, .76 acre surface area. Forms a figure 8 with Figure 8 Lake North, but is an independent lake.
  8. Pasture Lake – 18 feet deep, the shallowest of the lakes, having a .76 surface area.
  9. Lost Lake – The depth is unknown, and has a surface area of .1 acre.
  10. Lea Lake: the deepest of the lakes with a maximum depth of 90 feet, 2nd largest in acreage at 15 acres surface area. Only lake where swimming is currently allowed and hosts a daily spring flow of 2.5 million gallons.
  11. Dimmit Lake – unknown depth, made up of two basins covering 10 acres, is privately owned.

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Batesman Bay

Batesman Bay, New South Wales, Australia

Just north of Narooma is the small resort town of Batemans Bay just north on the Sapphire Coast in the South Coast of New South Wales on the Princes Highway (Hwy 1), it is also one of the connecting coastal city routes to Canberra. With a population of just over 10,800 inhabitants, Batesman Bay is a well known seaside town known for tourism, beach holidays, retiree’s, young familes, and relaxation. It is also popular for its sawmill, oyster farming, foresty, eco-tourism, and retail services. Geologically it is where the Clyde River empties into the Tasman Sea.

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Bar Beach (Narooma, Australia)

Bar Beach * Narooma
New South Wales, Australia

Just to the north of Narooma is the infamous “Bar Beach” which is a popular area for snorkelling off the rocks and beaches. It is also one of the safest beaches in Australia as it is naturally enclosed and protected near the Wagonga Inlet mouth and further enhanced by a break-wall at its north end. The beach is also enclosed by netting. The waters are full of young fish, squid, seahorses, and jelly fish. Next to “Bar Beach” to the south is “Apex Park” which includes a playground, picnic tables, barbeque grills, and is a great place to watch seals and rays feed. Rating: 4 stars out of 5.

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Glasshouse Rocks Beach

Glasshouse Rocks Beach, Cemetery Road, Narooma, New South Wales, Australia * 2546 *

Definitely one of my most favorite beaches on the planet, Glasshouse Rocks Beach is the integral attractant to the area for me. The beach hardly ever has anyone on it, its quiet, abandoned, and remote. Only way to it is a scramble down the path from the Narooma Graveyard. The rock formations are sensational and the panoramas are breathtaking. Anyone travelling through this area should not miss this beach. Rating: 5 stars out of 5.

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Narooma

Narooma
New South Wales, Australia

By far, my most favorite place in Australia, Narooma is a panoramic sensation for the beach enthusiast. Think the historic Highway 101 Coastal Oregon route meets the Bahamas and you have “Narooma”. The Aborigine suitably called this area “Clear blue waters” and nothing more could be true. Crystal clear waters. A town of about 3,000 and a strip of geological wonders along the beach, this captures the contrast of earth and water perfectly. The rocks found near Narooma include the Narooma Chert that dates to Cambrian times. There are also underwater remains of a submarine volcano with pillow lava offshore. The Island known as “Montague Island”, now a National Park and Wildlife Refuge, is 8 kilometers offshore from Narooma and was one of the islands sighted by Captain Cook in 1770. The island has 8 known rainforests on it. The area brought white settlers for timber, gold, and fishing. It was declared a port in 1884, opened its first school in 1886, and its first post office in 1889, and originally was only accessed via the sea. By the 20th century, it became a major tourist destination and boomed in oyster farming. Then saw construction of the first major bridge to be constructed on the Princes Highway, improving access by road. In 1937, industry boomed again with a local cannery opening its doors to process tuna and salmon which eventually saw a drought of salmon causing the cannery to close its doors. Narooma was also home to the annual Great Southern Blues and Rockabilly Festival held in October until it moved to Batesman Bay in 2010. Rating 5 stars out of 5.

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Merimbula, NSW, Australia

Merimbula
New South Wales, Australia

A popular scenic hotspot of the Sapphire Coast in Australia, Merimbula is an area and small coastal town with just under 9,000 inhabitants. The name is aborigine in origin, meaning “two lakes”. The area has world paleontological significance for its occurence of Merimbulaspis and Pambulaspis fossils with many field camps taking place in the area especially by the School of Earth Sciences at the Australian National University. The town falls in the middle of the Princes Highway (1) and is technically in the middle of the route from Melbourne to Sydney and only three hours from Canberra. An annual Jazz fest in held in the area on June which draws much attention to the tourist resort aspect of the area.
Besides tourism, oyster farming, whaling, fishing, kitesurfing, and boating is popular in the area. Merimbula has 5 beaches : Main Beach, Mitchies Jetty, Bar Beach, Spencer Park Beach, and Short Point. The town even has its own theme park with a rollercoaster and one of the world’s best tobaggan slopes.

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Green Cape Light House

Green Cape Light House * Bittangee Bay/Ben Boyd National Forest
New South Wales, Australia

Just to the side of Bittangee Bay/Ben Boyd National Forest
, about 7 km hike away, is the stunning “Green Cape” Lighthouse. Set within the tip of Green Cape, overseeing Disaster Bay in the southern most part of New South Wales in Australia. It is Australia’s first all-concrete lighthouse, and the second tallest as well as the furthest south lighthouse in New South Wales. It was built in 1880 by James Barnett as a all-concrete structure in response to a series of wrecks in the bay and started out as a stone structure. He ran into difficulties in moving materials to the site as the safest anchorage spot was Bittangabee Bay, about 7 kilometers away through forest and various land slopes. Originally, he built the Bittangee Bay Storage building where materials where dropped off from ships until they could be courriered over to the site. Eventually a 7 km long wooden tramway was constructed from the building to the lighthouse spot, and horses would pull cargo from destination A to B during 1881 through 1960’s. By the 1990’s, the lighthouse was converted over to a solar powered lens on a modern lattice steel tower next to the historic concrete lighthouse. Since 1992, it has been solar powered. Visitors can go to the lighthouse in the Ben Boyd National Park anytime, though guided tours are only available on select dates. Some accomodations are available in the two assistant keeper’s cottages on reservation. Rating: 4 stars out of 5.

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Bittangabee Bay/Ben Boyd National Forest

Bittangee Bay/Ben Boyd National Forest
New South Wales, Australia

A refreshing break from the metropolis of Melbourne, me and my travel mate Sir Bluey, headed off for some camping along the infamous “Bittangee Bay” in the Ben Boyd National Forest. A unpaved dirt road led us to this amazing campground overlooking Australia’s rugged South Coast. In fact, we had quite an adventure with it that you can read about here. This small picturesque bay is located on a remote rugged coastline just south of Eden in New South Wales of Australia and is one of the few safe harbours in the area between Twofold Bay, Mallacoota Inlet, and Eden making it a popular night stopover for boaters travelling inbetween for the night. The campground is rugged as well to match the Bay in its entirety. The campground is serviced by the National Parks and Wildlife Service. The Bay is also home to the “Bittangabee Bay Ruins” which the campground is above. The Bay and the camping area was once used by the Yuin Nation and the Thaua people as a important camping and teaching grounds for indigenous “secret business” and was seen as a “men’s area”. On the other side of Green Cape to Bittangabee Bay was believed to be the resting place of the Rainbow Serpent. They utilized the area for over 6,000 years until the Europeans started taking over the bay for construction of the lighthouse, fishing, and industry. At this time, the Bay was known as “Pertangerbee” and by European occupation with constructions of the the storehouse in 1844, was later called “Bittangee Bay”. The Campground also has a nice hiking trail to the Green Cape lighthouse as well as down along the beach of the Bay. Lots of wildlife in the area – our 24 hour visit blessed us with seeing kangaroo, wallabee, wombats, and oppossums. Highly recommended place to camp. Rating: 5 stars out of 5.

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Campbells Cove Beach

Campbell Cove Nude Beach
* Campbells Cove * Melbourne, Victoria, Australia * GPS: S:37 56 29.04″ – E:144 44 24.45″ *

One of Melbourne’s closest nude beaches, Campbell Cove is a quick drive from downtown Melbourne. However, it has mixed reviews. It is considered to be one of the worst beaches in the area many online reviews write. I couldn’t agree more. It is a small rocky strip of coastline with murky muddy waters and unsavory types hanging out in the parking lot. While we semi-peacefully got some sun, another beach-goer’s dog wouldn’t stop shaking its water all over us. Not recommended. Though if you’re set on a place to strip close to Melbourne, you get to it from Werribee by turning on to Duncans Road which turns into Aviation road. RIght onto Cunningham Road and left into Campbell’s Cove Beach Road. Go past the fishermen’s huts to the end of the road. Rating: 1 star out of 5. Reviewed by Leaf McGowan.

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Lake Jindabyne

Lake Jindabyne
New South Wales, Australia

During my trek across the Snowy Mountains of New South Wales, we pitstopped at this beautiful man-made lake conveniently located on the eastern slopes to fish and spend the night at the local backpackers. The lake was formed by the dams constructed in the Snowy Mountains Scheme and thereby receives the flow from the Snowy River, Eucumbene River, and the Thredbo. These hydro-works re-distribute water into the Murray River and the Murrumbidgee River for irrigation concerns. The lake’s capacity is 689,790 mega-liters. The original town of “Jindabyne” was where the dam is and was relocated to its current location in the 1960’s to the shores of the lake. A suburb called “East Jindabyne” is located just above the Old Jindabyne and one can occasionally see parts of the old town when the lake is low. This like is highly reputed for one of the best places to catch trout in Australia. It is home to the Lake Light Sculpture Festival, used for fishing, boating, waterskiing, sailing, and other water sports.

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Canberra’s Pine Island Reserve

Pine Island Reserve
* Canberra/Tuggeranong, Australian Capital Territory, Australia *

Along Australia’s Murrumbidgee River that travels through Canberra and the Tuggeranong is a Nature Reserve called “Pine Island Reserve”. It isn’t really an Island persay, but a seasonal “island” during flooding and is named after the Black Cypress Pines that grow within this particular natural area of the Australian Capital Territory. Originally occupied by the Aboriginee, it was taken over by the British Man named Charles Throsby who in 1820 while exploring Canberra and searching for the Murrumbidgee River decided to settle here at Pine Island as this was where he came across the river in April 1821. Pine Island is a popular swimming location for locals. Activities include hiking, kangaroo and bird watching, and picnicking. The “Murrumbidgee River Corridor” running from Pine Island to Kambah Pool is one of the more popular bushwalking paths in the park. Rating: 4 stars out of 5.

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Dockweiler Beach State Park

Dockweiler Beach State Park
Los Angeles International Airport, Los Angeles, California

Right alongside LAX: Los Angeles International Airport is a popular beach known as “Dockweiler State Beach”. Part of this beach is directly under the flight path of the airport and therefore has become a popular spot to watch planes land and take off. It is also a popular location for training people to hang-glide.It is also one of the very few beaches in Los Angeles were beach bonfires are permitted. Adjacent to El Segundo and connected to Playa del Rey, this can become a very popular beach for picnics, summer outings, etc. In between the beach and the airport is the ghost town of Palisades del Rey.

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Ghost Stories on Wreck Beach …

Saturday, November 6th, 2004

Wreck Beach Ghost Story, Wreck Beach, Vancouver, British Columbia


Wreck Beach Ghost Stories

Wreck Beach- Vancouver, B.C.

Some say, that if you visit Wreck Beach at night, and are away from the camp fires or the crowds, you can hear a woman screaming as if she’s being brutally murdered. Some say, you can see a apparition of a bloodied naked young girl stumbling around on the sand or walking the trails. Others claim to have seen a mist that floats with a shape of a young woman. Some have said to hear screams coming from the bushes. Others have reported seeing a ghost of a male wailing in agony.

Evidence of these tales have not been proven. Some say the ghost tales are hearsay. In 1990, Kevin Ladouceur was brutally murdered on the beach. He was the first reported murder at Wreck Beach. The horrid death of Christina (Tina) Joy Thompson who was murdered at the top of Trail Six in August 1993, inspired a local play called “Wreck Beach” that tells the tale, and could be the source of the tale. Apparently this was the 2nd murder committed at Wreck Beach by 1993. Not aware of any other murders since that date.

In 1995, after two years of angst in the community as rumours circulated over who murdered the popular girl, Joseph Daniel Hammond arrived with a priest at the Richmond RCMP detachment and admitted killing Thompson. He was jailed for life and is eligible for parole in 2004. Hammond said he had watched the woman argue with her boyfriend. He then offered to carry a bag for her up a trail. He began to touch her and a struggle ensued. The woman was quickly strangled. The Crown lawyer said that Hammond had intercourse with the deceased woman “a couple of times” in the bushes after killing her.

Links:
http://www.vancourier.com/issues01/08301/news/083101nn1.html
http://www.nsnews.com/issues98/w120798/12049801.html
http://www.nsnews.com/issues98/w102698/10239802.html
http://www.cms.uhi.ac.uk/publications/re/arp05.pdf

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English Bay (Vancouver, BC)


English Bay
Vancouver, British Columbia

English Bay brings sweet memories for me during the
World Expo 1986. It was the romantic setting for a marriage proposal to my
first wife. English Bay has a bit of San Francisco charm. With
bicycle/rollerblade paths along the beach and sea wall, palm trees and
ornate architecture, beach activities, roller bladers, and summer fun –
kayaking, rain forests, and great seafood restaurants – great views of
Vancouver, the harbour, Stanley Park, and the great aspects of Vancouver –
English Bay should be on your activity list for a place to relax and
visit.

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Sandymount Strand

Sandymount Strand Beach
* Sandymount D4, Ireland * 01 6617297 * County Dublin, Dublin, Ireland *

Sandymount Strand a.k.a. “Dumhach Thr” is just a short 3 km walk from downtown Dublin. It is a large strand on the east coast of Ireland adjacent to the village and suburb of Sandymount in Dublin. This is a premiere location of the south side of Dublin Bay and is great for walking but not good for swimming. It’s gradual slopes make the water too shallow to swim near the shoreline. In fact the tide is so tricky that cars and people sometimes get trapped by the incoming tide as it sneaks up on you and has gotten the nickname of “Cockle Lake”. In 1883 swimming baths were built measuring 40×40 meters with a 75 meter pier added in 1884 hosting a bandstand halfway along it and was a commonplace for summer concerts. Unfortunately by 1920 the pier had deteriorated and had to be demolished and now lay in ruins. An old defense structure called Martello tower remains that was built to warn of an invasion by Napoleon. This was once converted to a popular cafe in the 60’s, then attempted into a restaurant that never opened and leaving a modified window in its seaward side. This strand is also the location for James Joyce in Ulysses referring to Cock lake making it one of the most famous beaches in Irish fiction where young Gertie lifts her skirt as Bloom pleasures himself and was the section that caused the book to be banned in the USA for alleged obscenity. The Strand stretches from Irishtown through Sandymount and Merrion and on to Booterstown. It is a shallow tidal mudflat that attracts thousands of birds especially during winter and becomes a prime location for birdwatching. Rating: 3 stars out of 5.

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White Park Bay, Northern Ireland

White Park Bay
* Balintoy, Northern Ireland *
Right off the Coastal Causeway route most infamous for the Giant’s Causeway, is a beautiful white sandy beach nestled between two headlands on the North Antrim coast forming a white arc in a very secluded location. My first visit was obsessed with ideas of coming back to this spot and settling into the youth hostel that overlooks this bay, and finding solitude to write and write. Even on busy days, this beach is quoted to be spacious and quiet. Backed by ancien dunes providing rich habitats for animal and bird life, it is a piece of hidden paradise. It is managed by the National Trust and donated by the Youth Hostel Association of Northern Ireland in 1938. It is one of North Ireland’s most painted and photographed beaches. Can be reached by train service from Belfast or Londonderry to Coleraine. By bus – Ulsterbus #218 from Belfast to Portstewart. By cycle or car via the NCN route 93 that runs past the strand. Rating: 5 stars out of 5.

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The Giant’s Causeway

The Giant’s Causeway:

near Bushmills, Northern Ireland
Tied into the legendary faerie lore with being created by Finn Mac Cool as a causeway to walk between Ireland and Scotland, the area is rich in myths and legends. A World Heritage site (UNESCO 1986), operated by the National Trust, the Giant’s Causeway consists of over 40,000 interlocking basalt columns that were caused by the result of a ancient volcanic eruption 50-60 million years ago. Intense volcanic activity caused highly fluid molten basalt to intrude through the chalk beds forming an extensive lava plateau. As the lava cooled quickly, contraction began with some in vertical directions that reduced the flow thickness, and horizontal contraction that was accommodated by cracking through the flow varying by lava speed forming the columns. In the heart of County Antrim on the northeast coast of Northern Ireland, the site is not very far from the infamous village of Bushmills. The site was discovered in 1693. It is considered to be the fourth natural wonder in the United Kingdom. Each of the hexagonal columns form stepping stones that lead from the cliff foot onward into the sea where they surface again into Scotland. Some of the columns reach heights upwards of 36 feet high. Most of the columns are hexagonal, though some have four, five, seven, and eight sides. Areas of solidified lava in the cliffs are up to 28 meters thick in some places. The area is infamous for the columns, stepping stones, myths, legends, the Giant’s Boot, and the Organ, the Giant’s Eyes, the Shepherd’s Steps, the Honeycomb, the Giant’s Harp, the Chimney Stacks, the Giant’s Gate, the Camel’s Hump, as well as a panoramic seaside view and beaches. Rating 5 stars out of 5.



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 


 


 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Giant’s blood pool:

 

 

Giant’s Boot:

 

 

 


 




 

 


 


The Organ:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 


 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 




 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 



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