Would You.. Could You.. Hike A Thousand Miles?

“The Mountains Are Calling
And I must Go.”


Curt Mekemson has just left on a thousand mile chunk of a hike that begins in Ashland Oregon, travels south to Mount Whitney, through Siskiyou, Marble, and Sierra Nevada Mountains.This is quite the hike, through some of the most beautiful places in America. Places most people, Americans too,  never will see. Curt Mekemson is  an excellent nature writer, with an eye for detail and a way with words that could convince anyone to go outside to play, to explore, to see the beauty of it all.

Author of  The Bush Devil Ate Sam,  I first came across a batch of stunning photos,  the Burning Man Collection, and have been enjoying Curt’s  writings, adventures,  and photography since. His insatiable curiosity for exploring the planet is matched by his wife Peggy, who sharing his wanderlust, high spirits and a fine camera eye of her own, …makes their website Wandering Through Time and Place  one of the best and most interesting websites to savor and enjoy.  A fellow WordPress Blogger, Curt has in turn been a real source of inspiration, support, and contributor of smart comments for my own, JoHannaMassey.com for several years now.

When it comes to backpacking, Curt Mekemson speaks with experience on provisioning, food considerations, resupply points,  and permits that all need to be planned out and reviewed when undertaking a big or small adventure.  Whether a novice backpacker, a seasoned explorer, or someone wanting to see/learn of the back country of America in almost real time, here’s your invitation:

I’m inviting everyone to join me, tell all your friends and family, co workers, neighbors, and acquaintances too. This is a real big deal hike and I am thrilled for my friend. Let’s tag along this next three months with  Curt Mekemson’s Hike of One Thousand miles. I just think it would be so cool, if a million people worldwide, but especially the WordPress bloggers followed along with Curt Mekemson’s One Thousand Mile Hike.

No matter how huge our numbers swell to, how gaily and  daily we tramp along with Curt, via WordPress, we will ‘leave no trace’ behind us, the lightness of Curt’s steps one for all and all for one!

All my best to each and everyone of you. See you along the trail!


For Nothing Was Simply One Thing

“She belonged to a different age, but being so entire, so complete, would always stand up on the horizon, stone-white, eminent, like a lighthouse marking some past stage on this adventurous, long, long voyage, this interminable — this interminable life.”
Author: Virginia Woolf

Traveling the  Oregon Coast Highway three miles north of Newport Oregon is one of my favorite places, Yaquina Head. A coastal headland of hard basalt cliffs and coves, it  has for an estimated 4,000 years been a place that beckons.

Native Americans, including the Alsea Tribe, came for the mile long access to open sea. An area abundant with game, marine animals, mussels, seals, fish, seaweeds, marine gardens, it was recognized to be a place of of both physical and spiritual renewal. It is said to have been named for the female Native American Chief, Yaquina.

Located at Yaquina Head is the charmer, Yaquina Head Lighthouse .Built  1871-1873, using  370,000 bricks from the Patent Brick Company in San Raphael California to create a ninety three foot, doubled walled, one hundred fourteen iron step spiral climb  to the top beauty of a beacon.The tallest Lighthouse in Oregon,  the light visible for 19 miles. Chief Lighthouse Keeper, Fayette Crosby first lit the wicks on August 20 of the lard burning fixed white light, with a change to using mineral oil in 1888.

Yaquina Head Lighthouse began to attract many new visitors during and following it’s construction, with the Lighthouse Keepers adding an extra duty in conducting scheduled tours in addition to their maintaining the Lighthouse round the clock.

The Yaquina Head uses its original 1868 French-made, 1st order, Fixed Fresnel lens,[1] Fully automated in 1966, Yaquina Head Lighthouse continues to guide sailors safely using it’s own  flash  pattern of light a pulsing 2 seconds on, 2 seconds off, 2 seconds on, 14 seconds off, 24 hours a day, a steady reliable method to recognize Yaquina Head from air or offshore. It is delightful to climb up the lighthouse stairs and be able to look at the mechanics of the light.

On clear days, Yaquina Head Lighthouse offers  a recharge, stand up straight, realign your spine kind of view of the Pacific Ocean Coastline. It is absolutely the best place to watch Gray Whales. There are ‘summer resident’ who have chosen the Oregon Coast rather than the Berring Sea for summering,  December thru January, Grays migrate from the Berring south to Baja Mexico to have sex and birth babies, then March and April they pass by Yaquina back to the Berring.  I once was fortunate enough to spend an afternoon viewing twenty one passing Grays, simply a thrill…but so many others have told me of a hundred or more passing by during peak migration season.

Dramatic moods in coastal weather can just as easily offer a visit featuring gray green waves breaking on the lighthouse, with the wind and rain howling about as cathartic, eerie, exhilarating, introspective, sun sets unnoticed into night and the storm continues. Or the sky clears and the sunset dazzles, The Lighthouse steadfast throughout, a sense of safety and calm within.

Ghostly stories abound about Yaquina Head Lighthouse. Sweet Terry and I lived in Oregon for several years, and still have family there. A sentimental visit to Yaquina Head can create an echoing voice perhaps familiar, a glimpse of blonde curls, wrinkled hands grasping a hand sewn angel doll, shiny mary-jane shoes running down spiraling steps and gone to shadow before I can be sure. At play may be imagination, or a once familiar now unrecognized friend,  perhaps a memory or glimpse of what is to come? I return to the present through the camera lens. I’m not scared of no ghost.

Yaquina Head Lighthouse. is part of the Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area, with a first rate Interpretive Center, and tide-pools along the base of the cliffs teaming with colorful creatures and sea gardens for guests to explore. Whether a first time visitor, or frequent apparition, I encourage you to enjoy the Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area,

“So that was the Lighthouse, was it? No, the other was also the Lighthouse.                               For nothing was simply one thing”
― Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse

May each and everyone have a peaceful, joyful  and safe week.

Todays Music:Things We Do For Love’  from David Crosby’s new solo album “Lighthouse.”


For Every Relative Fragment

“There is not a fragment in all nature,
For every relative fragment of one thing
Is a full harmonious unit in itself.”
― John Muir, The Wilderness World of John Muir

In response to WordPress Photo Theme: Harmony

Today’s Music: Elk Song

Few People Know What Fish Think

“The fish in the creek said nothing.
Fish never do.
Few people know what fish
Think about injustice,
Or anything else.”

― Ursula K. Le Guin, Catwings

One of many afternoons spent at the Oregon Coast Aquarium. Sweet Terry and I  would immerse ourselves in the mysteries of the ocean. A world-class marine educational attraction nestled on beautiful Yaquina Bay in Newport, the Oregon Coast Aquarium is surrounded by forest and estuary where many of the species exhibited within the Aquarium flourish in their native habitat. I especially love the ‘shark tunnel’ I call it, where you can walk through a clear tunnel with exhibited sharks and fish swimming all around. There are both inside and outside exhibits. A must see are the otter and sea lion exhibits, the octopus, and the wonderful groupers. It’s a peaceful place, and the exhibits are well maintained, volunteers are about to answer questions, and the exhibits change frequently enough to merit returning time and time again.

Today’s Music: Ringo Starr and the Roundheads- Octopuses Garden