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Over 3,000 Miles Round Trip

By Richie Ann Ashcraft
Warning: I’m cranky today and you shouldn’t talk to me. I have a post-vacation hangover I guess. I wish I were still lying on Shipwreck Beach. It was among the nicest beaches I’ve ever been on. I’m sporting a little sand rash on my knees and my head from a particular gnarly wave that planted my face in the sand and then pushed me several feet face first. (Microdermabrasion!) It was awesome! The waves were nice once my body went numb. The Pacific is COLD in July in the Northwest! There were pelicans flying so low over the water I thought I could touch them and tried. Babycakes smooshed sand between his baby toes and tasted the salty sea. Mostly he slept because he didn’t like to subject his eyes to such brightness. He still has leftover sand in his ears that I can’t get out. beach.jpg Notice the actual ship carcass in the right hand corner. Aaarrgh! That’s the Peter Iredale, now home to barnacles and mussels. It is a favorite plaything of young children who like to climb on her hull and pretend to fight pirates. It also makes a nice landmark when you are trying to find bearings after pulling your face out of the sand and choking on seawater. This is what it used to look like: pi_anchoring_300.jpg A tourist kiosk in Astoria informed me that guiding ships in the mouth of the Columbia is one of the hardest of sailing feats. Something about opposing currents. Unsuccessful navigation brought the Peter Iredale where it rests today mostly buried by sand and odd looking tourists. The first family vacation was a roaring success. The baby slept for a good chunk of the way; waking for food or a diaper change. We quickly learned to slow down, relax, and resign ourselves to slow travel. I learned my husband has a remarkable ability to quickly find the city park in any town in the USA. Most of them were really nice especially the one in Boise. Knowing that my family can travel so well gets the wheels a turning about future trips. I can’t wait.