Thursday, August 25, 2011

Embers and Opportunities

Neighboring "Needle" of Haystack Rock.  A protected wildlife sanctuary for seabirds.
Sorry about the break in posting.  We have been crazy busy at working on our upcoming website redesign.  I have also been working with new suppliers to find more exciting products.  I will get back to testing recipes (like a mooncake recipe that is easy to make at home) and posting soon!   In the meantime, in lieu of recipes,  I am going to blog about my recent trip to Oregon.

One of the best things about living in the Pacific Northwest is the beautiful great outdoors that surrounds us.  Once a year, the rain stops for about 2 weeks (at least it seems that short!) and allows us to go out and really enjoy the place.  This weekend, we took a short drive to the Oregon Coast, to the famous photographer's favorite- Cannon Beach. 
The iconic Haystack Rock.  The third largest monolith in the world.

We rested on this large piece of driftwood.
Checking out the tidal pools of Haystack rock.  See the huge starfish in the background?
We found a spot during the day to just sit, dig our feet in the sand, listen to the crashing of the ocean waves and watch seabirds land on Haystack rock (a protected wildlife sanctuary, which happens to also be the 3rd largest monolith in the world).  The weather was perfect, with no rain (a rare event in the Pacific Northwest), even our highly strung terrier had a terrific time (it was his first vacation, and he is almost three years old).
This is the most relaxed I have ever seen our dog.  There is even a small twinkle of a smile.
I titled this composition "Americana".
The beach got colder as evening approached. We went for a quick bite and back to the hotel to grab some extra blankets before returning to the beach. Some well prepared beach goers were already lighting bonfires, which looked extra cozy and luxurious against the backdrop of the misty and chilly air and surf.

I didn't know bonfires were allowed, or I would have brought some supplies to light one.  I was resigned to spending a rather chilly evening on the beach when Eric spotted a pile of small embers, glowing with a little bit of heat left.  The spot where the fire was was near the most coveted spot on the crowded beach.  Right in front of Haystack Rock, between two large logs of driftwood.  What a find!

The pile of embers we found.
Eric spun into action, "Let's gather some firewood to try to rekindle the fire!"  He got into action and ran back towards the sand dunes to gather old drift wood.  When he found a large piece of driftwood, he used a rock with a thin sharp edge as a chisel.  Very caveman-esque. I also started looking for wood.  And once I started looking, it seems like the beach was filled with these wood chip nuggets.  We arranged the wood chips in a neat pile, strategically allowing maximum oxygen circulation with strategic "fire-catching" positions.  Before long, with the winds blowing in the right direction, the flames soared... and we had created a cozy bonfire.

Making a bigger fire
"Trained by Navy Seal", E proudly proclaimed.  Ha!

On a side note, this incident made me think of how often we complain and lament about what we don't have and envy what other people have...only to miss opportunities sitting right in front of us.  With a little luck and a willingness to work a little harder, may the wind also blow your way and start a little fire for you.  A gentle reminder to have faith.  A perfect conclusion to a short weekend trip.

Twilight.  A couple sitting on a log.
I better get back to working on recipes!
Meanwhile, enjoy these photos!

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