Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving weekend at the Coast

Gull Cottage in Long Beach is such a place of peace and joy. It is picture perfect (except the leaking gutters, some rotting shakes and front railing, a deck out back that needs to be re-built, and too many weeds!) For the past 12+ years this place has been my retreat that I have shared with as many friends as possible!

You just can't capture the smell of the pine needles under your feet or the salty breeze on your lips with a camera when driving along the Oregon coast! Even on an overcast afternoon ... a grey day... in the late fall... the views of the coast are spectacular.

The Cape Mears Lighthouse, about 10 miles from Tillamook, is so majestic as it sits on the cliff. Surprisingly, it is a short stout building and as you approach on the pathway down the hill the top of the lighthouse is almost within arms reach! I made it there just at sunset where the sky was painted with colors of blue and rose.

Colin came down on Thanksgiving and stayed for a few days and we drove down to Cannon Beach for lunch, cleaned gutters on the cottage, watched videos and had great dinners!!

Cheri and I went on the Peninsula Art Association Studio Tour. It was fantastic to meet artists, hear about their process of creation, and see their homes and studios!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Polar Bear Adventure

Staring a wild polar bear in the eye is quite a rush. Few people in the world venture out on the tundra up in northern Canada. Polar bears gather along the shores of Hudson Bay in October and November waiting for the entire body of water the size of Texas to freeze. Then the bears go hunt seals for the rest of the year.

Dolly and I went on a Natural Habitat tour and spent 5 days on the tundra without ever putting our feet on the ground. Polar bears surrounded our lodging in a custom made motor home pulled out on the tundra during this two month period. We watched the bears out the windows and spent the days in polar rovers, busses with wheels that are 5 feet in diameter!

The bears are not predictable and don't have a territory. We found them stretching outside the windows, sparing with other bears in the brush, scratching and licking the ice, and roaming across the tundra with their babies.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Murals in Winnipeg

To brighten up the city of Winnipeg, murals are painted everywhere on the sides of buildings. When Dolly and I heard this the first few hours we were in town we talked to the concierge at the hotel. A taxi was called and we spent about an hour or so driving around town to see creative masterpieces all over town! Here are some photos of them near and far.

Polar Bears on Parade in Winnipeg

Winnepeg had dozens of Polar Bears painted by different artists around the city. Bears on Broadway was to benefit Canada's Cancer Foundation. Many of the Bears were in a park near the Government building. But they were also displayed all around town. We saw them in Winnepeg on the first day of the trip and the last day.

Our plane wasn't ready to take off for Churchill to see the real polar bears so we stopped at a well known donut shop. This is where I first got to know Samantha from Quebec. She was fun to have on the tour.

Look at the detail painting on this bear!

The last day in Winnepeg, Sam and I walked around to get some last shots of the bears in town.

They were nothing like the REAL polar bears that we saw up on the tundra. But, each was painted with a theme and you could hug and kiss them. They were the only bears we hugged!