Sunday, October 05, 2008

August in Seaside, Part III

It seemed like the hotter it was in Portland, the more the fog moved in to protect Seaside. Finally, it descended upon the entire city.

A length of pipe from from some unknown portion of Seaside's infrastructure cuts a silhouette in the fog as it raises out of this sandy beach. The mossy surface along with the background shows that the work of nature and man are sometimes one and the same.

A sand castle fortress reminds me a bit of Tolkien's Helm's Deep. No orcs or Riders of Rohan appeared out of the fog or in miniature on the ramparts. I count myself lucky.

Here we are at the Seaside Inn restaurant getting ready for some wonderful entrees.

The "main drag" in Seaside has undergone many changes over the years based on economics and the predictions of the changing tastes of the tourist trade of which Portland pays the major role. The new Seaside reflects the consumer culture with many more opportunities to buy trinkets than to enjoy amusements. With that said, some of the old amusements still hang on. Places like Pronto Pup (a corn dog joint where you can see the batter and frying in front of your eyes), Tiny Tiny Tees miniature golf, and the bumper cars you see above were all around when I was a kid. That kind of nolstalgia is one of the biggest draws for me. They bring up memories of the last of the operational nickel and dime games including nickelodeon movies, losing my first lunch on the Tilt-A-Whirl, and breathing the smells of corn dogs, cotton candy, and saltwater taffy wafting on the sea breeze. These were some of the brightest spots of my childhood.

I've never played here, but Fascination is a game which has obviously been around for a while. It is probably a "gateway drug" to gambling.

At the Seaside turnaround, statues of Lewis and Clark stare out to sea and, on this evening, a beautiful sunset. Speaking of Lewis and Clark,...

On Friday morning, I left to pick up the MiniSnab from her backpacking trip to the Olympic mountains in Washington state. While I was doing that, Ladybug and her dad stumbled across a reenactment performed for the benefit of a local historical group. Actors recreated 1808 and using period technology, demonstrated the salt making techniques of the Lewis and Clark expedition along with showing the clothing and equipment that the crew had at their disposal. They were quite impressed with the display.

The trip between Portland and Seaside was not so visually appealing....

I was actually shocked at the amount of large scale logging which has taken place near Highway 26 over a 40 mile stretch over the last two years. It is looking less like a dark, verdant forest and more like the aftermath of a volcanic eruption (we know about that thanks to Mount St. Helens).

To be sure, a strong storm with some gusts knocked down corridors of trees as if a tornado passed through during the 2006-2007 winter. There are areas along the highway where uprooted trees form a 10 to 20 foot high dirt birm along the leeward side of the freeway that is only rarely broken for a quarter mile. I have a hard time believing that this entire area of knockdown was the result of that storm and that the clearcuts were entirely salvage cuts. Most of the area is part of the Tillamook State Forest which is owned by the state of Oregon. I know the post-9/11 economy coupled with federal "security" mandates which were imposed without funding placed every state in a huge economic hole. Perhaps Oregon made some tough decisions that I failed to keep up with. In any case, many of these clearcuts march right up to the back of private properties and For Sale signs abound. This was an area which we considered moving to at one time. I am glad we didn't now.

I didn't find much during my short Internet research, but it probably doesn't matter because the trees are gone now and it will be decades before it starts to look like a forest again. The damage was done by man or nature, so we go on trying to remember the forest that was.


nootka said...

I always enjoy reading accounts of people's visits to "my" area, where I've lived now for most of my life.
The first pic is an intake for the Seaside Aquarium. It brings fresh seawater into their tanks at high tide. :)
Yes, most of the tree damage was done during the storm, but there is a lot of logging around that area, too.
The combination together looks really bad, that is the area that got hardest hit by the winds, so the trees that were left standing were taken down, anyway...resulting in a virtual clearcut!
Glad you had a nice visit...

Arkonbey said...

That was a full post, don't know what to say except: glad you had a good time.

Nootka: nice 'color commentary'

Dean Wormer said...

You know what's a real gateway drug to gambling game? Those stupid things with all the stuffed animals and a claw.

Lovely pictures don.

Don Snabulus said...


Thanks for visiting and the great info! That is a neat aquarium.

I think some of the reason the clearcuts are more visible now is because the storm blew down the small buffer of trees in areas that had the clearcuts behind them. Here in the valley, there were some areas (like the Tualatin Hills Nature Park) with a band of nearly complete blowdown.

We lost a tree in our back yard as well.




You could be right. Also, all those games that spit out tickets you can turn in for plastic junk.

The Moody Minstrel said...

You know what's a real gateway drug to gambling game? Those stupid things with all the stuffed animals and a claw.

Uh, oh...guess what my daughter is into now!

What, did they get rid of those arcades with vintage games and nickelodeon movies? Those were half (well, maybe one third) the fun of going to Seaside!

Pandabonium said...

There is something spooky about moss covered plumbing sticking up out of the sea... arrrgghhh uggg, gack gack, it's got me....

The forest devastation, whatever the cause, is also creepy. I think you should have split from that place in a hurry. Before the moss people with logging saws got you....

Ross Perot said...

I'll tell you something, Larry, that big sucking sound you hear is the Seaside siphon - a big moss covered thing that's sucking jobs and money right out of America, Larry. Take a look at this chart....

Some foig said...

That REALLY sucks!

ElTigrez said...

We have some of us that have been serious sand castle builders in the past :) and vision. maybe some day we should congregate and really build an extravaganza. We even have the armies for it *LOL*

One thing I know about big business is it big hunger for cheap resources to exploit. If it was allowed we would be as flat as some the east coast states where little sticks that pass for trees nowadays.

Or naked hills and mountains with a little bit of green fuzz like some parts of West Virginia. Some of the ugly scarring I have seen driving down Hwy 20 in the past reminds me of that.
but *shrug*

The Moody Minstrel said...

(smug giggle) "Hey, if YOU don't want to make use of our natural resources, FINE! (Another giggle) But as for ME, I'd rather see our country STRONG!"

(That was an actual quote from someone most of us who visit here know.)

Swinebread said...

I sure do miss the old Seaside but it was so run down for so long that don't miss it that much