Sunday, January 24, 2016

Dog Day on the Coast

I took another trip to the coast.

This time, I not only took along a cat, but a dog, as well.

That dog was an elderly dachshund named Lilleth.  I believe she was brought up from a kill shelter in Texas.  I transported her for a rescue although they had already adopted her out to a very kind impressive young couple.  Lilleth had many many very bad teeth that needed out.  I met the couple at 5:15 in the morning, no less, up in Wilsonville, in a parking lot, to pick up Lilleth, as Starry and I, and now Lilleth, made our way north and west to the affordable clinic.

Wasn't easy on me.  I had hurt my back and shoulder muscles again, this time lifting the 40 pound bags of pellet fuel I use for cat litter.  They are so awkward and difficult.  I knew by Friday night that Saturday was going to be a trial.

Sometimes you just suck it up and go step by step through the day.

That's what I did and I got through it.

There was a long line as usual at the clinic, for surgery check ins.  I met a couple worried over their precious loved pitbull who had pulled an ACL when running.  This was the sweetest dog.  He was there to get surgery to repair that.

The man helped me bring in Starry and Lilleth, as I was unable by then, due to the severity of my pain.

After check in, I drove to a park in Hammond, which is out beyond Warrenton, not far from Astoria, just across Young's Bay a bit and west.   I like to sit in the park, facing the Columbia River and watch the ships go by.  Some are coming in bearing cargo and others leaving.   The Hammond bar with small boat basin back within it, is very close too, so small boats speed by heading towards the mouth of the Columbia River and beyond, I suppose, with crab pots and fishing gear.  Small commercial fisher boats and crab boats also went by.

Again I encountered an elk wandering right in Hammond.

Bar leading into the Hammond boat basin on the Columbia River.

Rain poured down.  Gulls sat on railings miserably in the downpour.  I stayed in my car.  I read a book, napped, and tried to call people, largely out of boredom.

Finally I decided to drive to the beach, about five minutes away from where I'd sat out the worst of the rain, for a few hours.

The Peter Iredale wreck is falling apart with less and less of it left to view.  The surf was wild and so high I could barely believe it.  There was very little beach and what there was, was littered in drift wood thrown ashore by massive wild waves.  Even walking north, bundled up, because it was cold, from that beach, I had to keep one eye on the ocean as suddenly a large wave would come through and I'd be higher up the bank, safe, because I'd seen it coming.  At one point, a helicopter flew over head out to sea. The Coast Guard.  Was there a small boat in trouble, I wondered, with such high seas.  Or were they training.

I drove down then to the south jetty beach.  I used to walk out the trail from the parking lot to the beach just north of the south jetty.  But that beach was gone, and taken over by surf.  Massive waves broke over the jetty and tumbled down into the north side.

The south jetty extends out. Normally there would not be that lake of water on the right and you could walk out to a beach beyond the dune grass on the right.  That beach is gone now.

Waves crash over the south jetty
I tried to go pick up Starry and Lilleth at 3:00 p.m. but was told they were running late and to come back at 5:00.  I waited in my car, reading a book again, and dozing off.  If I moved slightly the wrong way, terrible pain would grab my back muscle and I'd want to scream.

I met the young couple in Beaverton on the way back to give back Lilleth and very eagerly headed home from there.  At times the rain was so intense, I had to reduce my driving speed to a crawl.  Nonetheless it was after 9:00 p.m. when I finally rolled in my driveway, roughly 17 hours after my trek began.

On the way home, I talked nonstop to Starry, mostly babbling.  "I was the right person for the job," I told her.  "I made it through."  

I knew I could make it through, despite the pain, and the rain.  I got out of town at least, out from behind this computer.

Starry needed no teeth pulled.  I felt cheated.  Just kidding.  No.  I was glad she has a healthy mouth.  She's almost 7 years old now.  She did get her teeth cleaned, updated on her rabies, and got a droncit injection, for tapeworms, and hopefully that will help stop those smelly farts of hers.
Starry, with Shaulin on the right.

Today I'm going to rest up.


  1. Seventeen hours away from home? Wow, that is beyond the call of duty but I guess if it had to be done... The weather looks very wild but preferable to what has happened on the east coast. Dog smells in the car must be a novelty.

    1. A challenge for sure, Andrew. The driving was a challenge. On the way, it was fog, through the coast range, so dense, I had to slow way down, and to avoid getting rear ended by some asshole, I drove with flashers on through some of it. On the drive home, it was the intensity of rain storms through the coast range that had me at a snails pace. Usually it is a far quicker trip. This one challenged me in every aspect.

  2. I always enjoy your trips to the beach that you share with us. Thanks.

  3. What a day! You truly have the patience of a saint. Loved your photos of the sea... we lived near Rockaway (Manhattan Beach) for a while in 2001... it's a lot wilder up there than it is here in Mexico... and I think Pacific means calm... hah!

    1. Not calm up here. I do wish we had your sun, even for a few days, dry things out. So tired of the constant rain. Yes, it was a marathon day. I survived.