04/16/2011 to 04/22/2012  Oregon City to Long Beach
On Monday, we headed over to Oregon City to see another of Richard's
army buddies.  We had a fun visit at their house, then headed back to
the RV to get ready to move on Tuesday.  We took our time Tuesday,
and got to the park in Seaview, WA and got the trailer all set up just in
time for the rain to start.  So tired of rain!  Of course this also offered
Richard an excuse to push our miles back to Wednesday.  Fortunately,
when we woke up Wednesday the sun was shining so we walked the 200
yards or so from the RV park to the trail that runs all along the beach.  
We had to be careful on the grass trail from the park to the paved path
because it had rained so much that the path was replaced by several
small lakes, and so alternate paths were worn into the grass on higer
ground.  We managed to get there without getting our shoes wet, and it
was worth it.  Lovely!  What a great place to be able to run!  Maybe I
would run more often if we lived on a trail like this!
Then we got back and got cleaned up, but the sun was still shining, and
we didn't want it to go to waste, so we grabbed our bikes and headed
the other direction on the path.  We got a few miles and turned around.  
This being active stuff can wear a person out!  Then we headed into
town with one goal - set up Richard's birthday horseback ride!  We
found the horses and got all set up for a two hour ride on Friday.  We
got back home right before the rain started...  and it didn't stop.  It
rained all night Wednesday, it was raining when we woke up Thursday, it
rained all day Thursday.  Dang!  Are we doing to have to ride horses in
the rain?  Surely it will stop in time to celebrate Richard's birthday, right?
Nope.  We woke up to rain on Friday too.  Fine.  We cancelled the
horseback ride and headed to breakfast instead.  The restaurant was next to the "World's Largest Skillet" so we stopped for a photo op.  It doesn't
actually say "Wash" on it, as if it someone needed to do the dishes, it says "Longbeach, Wash".  I think they should have put WA instead, but what
do I know...
After a birthday breakfast, we
went to Marsh's Free Museum
which is filled with junk to buy
and also old carnival games,
fossiles and taxidermy.  The
taxidermy is hilarious because
right next to a "real" animal
will be something totally fake
(a flying jackalope) next to
something that could be real,
but now you're just not sure.  
(One eyed lamb - I voted not
real, two headed calf - real.)  
One of the treasures was this
little lady.  She looks kinda
real huh, and kinda scary...

After strolling through town,
not going into all the shops
selling t-shirts that say
"Longbeach", the rain finally
stopped and we headed
home.  It was a running day,
and I reminded Richard of
this, but he made up some
rule about how you don't
have to run your miles on
your birthday, so off I went,
alone.  
I had a much harder time
getting to the trail this time.  I
tried jumping over puddles
and taking alternate paths,
but I got my feet a bit wet from
all the rain water standing
everywhere.  When I got to
the paved path, it was nice
and elevated and dry and so
off I went, going the same
direction we had ran on
Wednesday.  About 3/4 mile
into it, I had to cross some
new creeks running across
the path.  My feet got a bit
wetter.  Then at 1.09 miles I
had to stop. There was a
pond over the path.  There
was so much water, I couldn't
actually tell how deep it was,
but I was guessing at least a
foot and a half.  I got my miles
in going the other direction,
then showed the pictures to
Richard when I got back.  He
wasn't impressed.  
Saturday the sun was finally out.  It was one of the three annual
'Beach Clean-up' days, so Richard headed to the beach to pick up
trash.  Isn't he a good boy?  While he was doing his civic duty, I went
to Curves.  When we were done, I suggested we ride our bikes to the
port of Illwaco for their Saturday market.  It looked really close on the
map, so off we went.  What the map hadn't shown was that in order to
get there, we had to go up and over a huge hill.  I thought my legs
would catch fire pedaling up the hill.  Richard got off his bike and
walked it up.  Once we panted at the top and caught our breath, we
coasted down the other side into the port, only to find no Saturday
market.  Dang it.  Back up the hill.  I guess Richard is a glutton for
punishment because at the turn to go back to the RV, Richard
suggested we proceed on further up the hill to see what's up there.  
What?  Okay, on we went.  When we got to the top there was an
overlook of the beach.  
What he wasn't telling me was that he figured we could manage to get
on the beach path and ride on in the back way, not back-tracking.  
There was a pond on that path.  Hadn't I just told him that last night, and
shown him the pictures?  Oh well, if he wants to ride all the way down the
hill to the path, only to find a pond and have to push his bike back up
the hill to go in the front way, who am I to say no?  So, down the hill we
coasted, onto the beautiful beach path, all the way to the pond that he
said would have dried up by now.  
It's not the best video, I was still on my bike, so I didn't get around the tree,
and it got shaky when I started cracking up because as he pedaled his feet
would go into the water clear up past the tops of his boots, so he was filling
them with each pedal.  Once he made it, you can hear me say, "Crap, he did
make it" because I knew now I would have to.  I had my pants legs all hiked up
and was about to take my shoes off when he rode back towards me and said
there was a path worn in the grass that went around the pond.  Whew!  I
waited while he took his boots and socks off and poured, "three gallons of
water" out of his boots (his estimate.)  Then we headed back towards the RV.  
After ditching our bikes, changing into our crocs, and packing two beers
(Richard) and a water (me) into a cooler, we headed back down to the beach.  
This was about 2:30 in the afternoon.  We sat for a while, I started thinking
about dinner. Richard wanted to stay on the beach.  There was going to be a
meteor shower, so he thought he should wait for dark.  Okay, I'll go get dinner
and bring it back.  I would say it is a quarter mile from where we were on the
beach to the RV.  Off I went to get dinner, a lighter and chairs so we could
build a bonfire on the beach.  While I was gone, Richard napped and gathered
firewood.  Look how happy he is to be building a bonfire.     
About 6:30 we cooked some potatoes, rolls, veggie sausage patties, and
hotdogs.  Our campfire cooking skills could use some work.  The sun was
creeping lower on the horizon.  Everything was perfect...
...except that I was freezing, and even though I had remembered everything
else, I had forgotten to bring a flashlight, and Richard was still planning on
staying on the beach until after dark, so back I went again.  On the way to
our RV I saw a couple at another RV eating s'mores.  So, the loving wife that
I am, after filling my bag with warm clothes and a flashlight, I grabbed a
ziplock and a dollar and went to beg some marshmallows for my little boy
playing with a bonfire on the beach.  RV folks are friendly, they hooked me
up with chocolate and graham crackers too, so I triumphantly walked back to
the beach with all the fixin's for s'mores, and a flashlight.  Then we waited for
it to get dark and the meteor shower to start.  
I had some magazines, but it finally got too dark to
read them, and it was a bit too cold to just sit
around, so I walked up and down the beach
searching for treasures.  I found two half sand
dollars.  Unfortunately, they weren't matching halves.

Finally it was dark.  According to Richard, the news
had said it would start at 9:00, and to look straight
over head.  Okay.  Up we looked.  And looked.  And
looked.  Until I had a crick in my neck.  Then we
looked some more.  Finally, at 11:00 we gave up
and headed back.  No shooting stars, but I did put
in 1.25 miles going back and forth, and about
another half a mile beach combing, so not a total
loss.   

Sunday was still sunny.  We had 10 miles on the
schedule, but I was thinking that Curves + a long
hilly bike ride + 1.75 miles schlepping stuff from RV
to beach should exempt me from the run.  I knew I
still had to do it, and besides, Richard had skipped
the last one, I couldn't encourage him to skip two in
a row, so I put on a brave face (and my tennis
shoes) and off we went.  We ran north on the paved
trail as far as it would take us, then headed back on
the beach.  Normally I wouldn't think running on a beach would be any fun at
all, but this beach is smooth and the wet sand by the water is packed hard
so it's easy to run on.  This beach is also a designated highway, so there
are lots of vehicles.  At one of the vehicle entrances, folks were flying lots of
kites.  So pretty!  
Because of all the rain, there were several rivers running across the beach
to the ocean.  We made it over several by stepping carefully and doing ballet
leaps, but on the 3rd one we hit I got my toe wet and the 4th one we came
too was not passable.  Richard thought we should get back on the path to
cross, but I saw a truck coming so I flagged him down and asked if we could
ride on the bumper while he drove us over the river.
I knew the day would come, but I didn't know it would be so soon.  About mile
7, I was wiped out.  I could blame it on the added difficulty of running on the
sand, but it really wasn't that much of a difference.  Richard felt fine.  In fact,
he felt good.  In fact, he felt like he should run fast.  I could not keep up.  
AHHRRRGH!!  He just had a birthday.  He is supposed to be old.  No fair!