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Archive for the ‘Monday Miscellaneous’ Category

An Early Morning Walk

Posted by Jody on June 10, 2013

An Early Morning Walk

An Early Morning Walk

Take my hand.
We will walk.
We will only walk.
We will enjoy our walk
without thinking of arriving anywhere.
Walk peacefully.
Walk happily.

~ Thich Nhat Hanh, Walking Meditation


Posted in Gulf of Mexico Beaches, Monday Miscellaneous, Today's Special | Tagged: , , , , | 6 Comments »

Santa Cruz-a-palooza (Part 4: The Surfers)

Posted by Jody on June 3, 2013

Surf’s Up!  ~Early May in Santa Cruz on California’s Central Coast~

On our last day in Santa Cruz, Greg and I were thrilled to catch the surfers off of Cowell Beach. The water near the Santa Cruz Surfing Museum was teeming with wet-suited folks just waiting for the perfect wave. As we stood at the railing happily watching the action, I noticed more surfers quickly running toward the picturesque cliffs to enter the water. Not knowing if this was their usual routine, I wondered whether this was an especially good morning for surfing in Santa Cruz. You can see in the photo collage that we caught sight of one of the younger surfers jumping into the ocean from the unstable cliff edge. Most of the surfers just scrambled down the precarious bluff to the water’s edge to (safely?) enter the surf.

Wouldn’t the Beach Boys be proud?  ♬Catch a wave and you’re sitting on top of the world!♫

Surfing history in Santa Cruz, California:

“History records that surfboard riding first began in the Hawaiian Islands hundreds of years ago. It took until the late 1800’s and early 1900’s before it was introduced to the U.S. Mainland, mostly along the southern coast of California. Surfing became known in the Santa Cruz area when a few young men from the beaches of southern California migrated to the San Francisco Bay Area to seek jobs or to attend college. They already knew how to surf and brought their boards with them. Soon they discovered the beaches of Monterey Bay and the outstanding surf breaking across the outer reefs and sandbars at Cowell’s Beach.”

Source: Hal Goody, History of the Santa Cruz Surfing Club,  Santa Cruz Public Libraries

Additional links:

Surfing Santa Cruz

Riders of the Sea Spray

Santa Cruz Surfing Museum

Friction in Santa Cruz waters: Paddle boarders, surfers battle


Posted in Monday Miscellaneous, Northern California Beaches, Surfing Beach | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Simple Seaside Safety Suggestions for Spot

Posted by Jody on April 29, 2013

Quintana Beach County Park

Quintana Beach County Park

My family and I recently enjoyed another lovely day trip to Quintana Beach County Park, one of our absolute favorite Texas coastal recreation areas. This 51-acre natural beachfront playground  is the ultimate dog-friendly family choice in the Lone Star State. Located in Freeport, Texas, on the Gulf of Mexico, it’s a wonderfully scenic and a relatively quick (1 ½ hour) drive south of Houston. Quintana Beach County Park is a much more laid back alternative to the city and beaches of Galveston, which have all of the hustle and bustle you would expect from a typical seaside tourist mecca.

Quintana Beach County Park on the Upper Gulf Coast of Texas

Quintana Beach County Park on the Upper Gulf Coast of Texas

You can feel free to bring Spot along for your day at the beach. At Quintana Beach County Park our tail-wagging companions are welcome.

“Pet Safety on the Beach” as posted at Quintana Beach County Park:

  • If the sand is too hot for your bare feet, it’s too hot for your dog’s paws.
  • Keep fresh water available for your dog, drinking salt water will make him sick.
  • Use pet-friendly sunscreen on short hair, ears and nose.
  • Provide shade for your dog to rest.

~All very good safety tips~ Please remember that pets need to be restrained (at this beach) at all times and, of course, picking up after Spot is a must!

Quintana Beach County Park, Texas

Quintana Beach County Park, Texas

A while back we published a post on the many reasons to visit this lovely beach park: Quintana Beach County Park on the Texas Gulf Coast – So Many Reasons to Visit. The list includes camp sites (tents, RVs, and vacation cabins), picnic tables, modern restrooms and showers, kayaking, surfing, beachcombing, fishing… and the list goes on.  Being dog-friendly simply adds one more great reason for families to plan the perfect fun-filled trip to Quintana Beach County Park!

Do you have a favorite dog-friendly beach? Please share it with us. We’d love to know!

Here are a few more helpful links:

Quintana Beach County Park

Cesar’s Tips for Your Dog’s Day at the Beach

Doggie Heaven! Muir Beach, California

Have a great day at the beach!


Posted in Beach Safety Tips, Gulf of Mexico Beaches, Monday Miscellaneous | Tagged: , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Weekly Photo Challenge: Up

Posted by Jody on April 22, 2013

Looking up at the tallest lighthouse on the Oregon coast:

Yaqina Head Light, Newport, Oregon

Yaquina Head Lighthouse, Newport, Oregon

Gazing up 92 feet:

Yaquina Head Lighthouse

Yaquina Head Lighthouse, Newport, Oregon

Peering up inside the Yaquina Head Lighthouse tower – 114 stairs to the watch room:

Inside Yaquina Head Light

Inside Yaquina Head Lighthouse Tower

When the lighthouse was constructed in 1872, the children of lighthouse keepers and lighthouse visitors were not permitted to climb the 114 stairs in the tower to the watch room because the US Lighthouse Service feared they would trip and fall on the steep stairs or squeeze between the posts of the handrails. The Yaquina Head Lighthouse retains its historic stairs and handrails and thus the safety of children climbing the stairs is still a concern. Today, children must be at least 42 inches tall to climb the stairs of the tower. Additionally, adults must accompany and assist children ascending the lighthouse tower.

Source: Bureau of Land Management

I will vouch for that justifiable feeling of fear on the part of the US Lighthouse Service! On our last visit to this splendid lighthouse and the surrounding Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area, our 5 year old grandson was “tall enough” to climb the 114 stairs to the top of the tower. I confess to being the big sissy of the group. The little guy waited patiently with my understanding hubby and quizzical son-in-law as I whizzed by them to climb to the top and back by myself. My very prudent and proper “respect” for heights seems to quickly blossom into a full blown scardey-cattedness when I’m with little ones (I know I’m not alone in this*)!

Come on up!

Glancing up at the first order Fresnel lens, manufactured in Paris in 1868 by Barbier & Fenestres:

Yaquina Head Light

Yaquina Head Lighthouse Lens

About the light:

The light has been active since Head Keeper Fayette Crosby walked up the 114 steps, to light the wicks on the evening of August 20, 1873. At that time the oil burning fixed white light was displayed from sunset to sunrise. Today, the fully automated first order Fresnel lens runs on commercial power and flashes its unique pattern of 2 seconds on, 2 seconds off, 2 seconds on, 14 seconds off, 24 hours a day. The oil burning wicks have been replaced with a 1000 watt globe.

Source: Friends of Yaquina Lighthouses

A view from the top of Yaquina Head Lighthouse toward the beaches of the Oregon Coast

Looking north from the top of Yaquina Head Lighthouse toward the beautiful beaches of the Oregon Coast

It was a “Great Day for UP!”

*My case in point: The Coastal Path, 36c – Kingsdown to St Margarets at Cliffe


WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Up


Posted in Lighthouses, Monday Miscellaneous, Pacific Coast Beaches | Tagged: , , , , , , | 20 Comments »

“Where’s the beach?”

Posted by Jody on March 18, 2013

Last weekend Greg and I had the chance to visit the awe-inspiring Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve in southern Colorado.  We had enough time to arrange our drive from Albuquerque to Denver to include an overnight in Alamosa, which is about a 35 mile ride south and west of the park. It was an opportunity we just couldn’t pass up. The Great Sand Dunes are the tallest dunes in all of North America. The spectacular main dunefield stretches over 30 square miles at the foot of the majestic Sangre de Cristo Mountains (the entire park covers nearly 376 square miles). Simply put, this is one of the most Bucket List worthy places in the United States. Our family had been to the park many years ago, and we couldn’t wait to get back for some hiking and R&R.

Here’s a list of what we found!

Sand ~



Driftwood ~



Dune grass ~

Dune Grass

Dune Grass

And sand dunes as far as the eyes could see!

Sand Dunes

Sand Dunes

You might be thinking: “This is a beach inspired blog, Jody! Where’s the beach?”

And I would reply, “It’s right here!” 🙂

The Beach at Medano Creek

*This is the beach at Medano Creek!*

“Well then, where’s the water?”, you ask.

“Look up! It’s high in the snow pack (14,000 +/- feet) of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains!”, I answer.

The Sangre de Cristo Mountains of Southern Colorado

Every year, Medano Creek is formed by the melting winter snows. From April to June (and sometimes into July), the icy streams formed by the annual snow melt trickle down the mountain sides to create the Medano Creek beach and play area that are just perfect for splashing, surfing, wading, skimboarding, and floating! In fact, depending on water level, visitors may participate in any non-motorized activities in the creek. Sand boarding and sand sledding on the dunes are all the rage. Sand castle building is a very popular waterside activity, too.

We’re planning a trip back for fun in the sun and water in May or June so there will be more photos to follow. For now, here’s a look at more of the beauty that is Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve. It is by far one of the best of the best recreation areas the USA has to offer within its vast (84.4 million acre) National Park System!

Great Sand Dunes

Great Sand Dunes

<----- This way to the dunes.

<—– This way to the dunes and beach.

Great Sand Dunes

Great Sand Dunes

Can you spot the hikers?

Can you spot the hikers on the ridges?

Hikers on the Dunes

Hikers on the Dunes

Great Sand Dunes

Great Sand Dunes

Winter at the Great Sand Dunes

Winter at the Great Sand Dunes


Have a great day at the beach!


Posted in Beaches of North America, Inland Shores, Monday Miscellaneous, Sand and Shoreline | Tagged: , , , | 38 Comments »

The Monday Morning Blues

Posted by Jody on March 11, 2013

Cape Meres Lighthouse, Tillamook County, Oregon

Cape Meares Lighthouse, Tillamook County, Oregon

The Cape Meares Lighthouse was built in 1889. Commissioned on January 1, 1890, the tower is the shortest lighthouse on Oregon’s Pacific coast. It stands only 38 feet high! That’s because this beacon is situated on a headland that rises 200 feet above the ocean. It’s a bit of a drive from Tillamook to Cape Meares but it’s well worth the time. The views from the lighthouse are outstanding!

Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint is located 10 miles west of Tillamook, Oregon on the north end of the beautiful Three Capes Scenic Route. The park is open daily, throughout the year, from 7 am to dusk with no day use fee.  The trail head to the Big Spruce, Oregon’s largest Sitka Spruce, is located near the park entrance. Features within the park include Cape Meares Lighthouse, an informational kiosk, interesting viewpoints where visitors can view off-shore rocks for native birds and the annual whale migration, the Three Arch Rocks National Wildlife Refuge, nature trails, and the Octopus Tree, an Oregon Heritage Tree. A picnic area that can accommodate small groups is located adjacent to the parking area plus picnic tables are situated in the center of the parking circle. More information: Friends of Cape Meares Lighthouse & Wildlife Refuge

Another helpful link: Oregon State Parks



Posted in Lighthouses, Monday Miscellaneous | Tagged: , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Oreti Beach, New Zealand

Posted by Jody on March 4, 2013

Today’s Featured Guest Writer is Jo from Over the Edge of the Wild:

Oreti Beach (Photo by Brenda Cahill)

Oreti Beach (Photo by Brenda Cahill)

When people think of New Zealand, it’s often for the magnificent snow-capped mountains, the Lord of the Rings movies, the clean, green, nuclear-free image, or even the rugby. Given its proximity to Antarctica, however, it’s not necessarily the top of the list for a beach vacation.

Burt Munro Challenge (photo by Neil McKelvie)

Burt Munro Challenge (photo by Neil McKelvie)

Recently, however, TIME magazine named the Burt Munro Challenge one of its Five Festive Events You Won’t Want to Miss in 2013. The Challenge, a five day motorcycle rally, includes seven forms of motorsport racing, including beach racing along Oreti Beach, so it’s bound to see some more action this year.

Oreti Beach is a (roughly) 26km long stretch of sand, located around 10km from the city of Invercargill. Fringed with an endless expanse of sand dunes, the flat stretch of sand is solid enough to drive vehicles along (in most places, most of the time). This made it the perfect place for Burt Munro (eccentric local hero and holder of the 1000cc motorcycle land speed record at the Bonneville Salt Flats) to experiment with his hand-modified 1920 Indian Scout motorcycle and practice for racing in Bonneville. Even outside of Challenge week, visitors can walk, ride or drive along the beach.

The New Zealand Pacific Ocean (photo by Brenda Cahill)

The New Zealand Pacific Ocean (photo by Brenda Cahill)

As well as its real life role in Burt Munro’s story, Oreti Beach was also used as a set in the biographical New Zealand film The World’s Fastest Indian, which was based on his life.

Motorcycle enthusiasts are not the only ones to enjoy a visit to Oreti Beach, however. In the summer months of December to February (peaking in late January/early February), families head out for picnics and BBQs, to go for a swim, catch flounder, or soak up some vitamin D. The sun can be harsh in New Zealand, so remember your sunscreen, and the water is quite safe for swimming, but don’t expect it to be warm. Water temperatures in Southland peak at around 15°C in the summer months, and can dip below 10°C in the winter.

Burt Munro Beach Racing (photo by Neil McKelvie)

Burt Munro Beach Racing (photo by Neil McKelvie)

Kiwis (and Southlanders in particular) don’t like to let a little thing like the cold get in the way of enjoying themselves though, and Oreti Beach has been home to the Southland Mid-Winter Swim event for more than 20 years. This polar plunge takes place in June each year, when air temperatures rarely reach double figures. It’s cold, but it’s invigorating!

Aside from the cold, being at the bottom of the world does have its advantages. Only a few minutes drive from the city centre, after-work trips to the beach can last four or five hours before the sun goes down. The extended twilight hours stretch out into beautiful sunsets, and with only 50,000 residents in the city, you can be fairly certain of finding a quiet spot to yourself to enjoy those extra daylight hours on the sand.

Sunset (photo by Neil McKelvie)

Sunset (photo by Neil McKelvie)

About the author: Jo is one half of a Kiwi couple living in Darwin, Australia, saving money so they can see  more of the world. Jo and Aaron chronicle their travels on their blog, Over the Edge of the Wild, and have enjoyed taking the time to think about home and share this little piece of New Zealand with you all.

Special note: Jo, thanks so much for sharing such a wonderful place with us! I loved the movie and think it’s great to learn a bit more about the story and the area! Any reason is a good reason to visit the beach and the knowing something about history of the shoreline really adds to the experience for me. ~Jody


Posted in Beaches of Australia and New Zealand, Featured Guest Writer, Monday Miscellaneous, Sand and Shoreline | Tagged: , , , | 5 Comments »

Travel Theme: Bridges

Posted by Jody on February 25, 2013

In my opinion, the very best views of the celebrated Golden Gate Bridge are from the lovely urban beaches of San Francisco!

Beautiful Baker Beach, located on the Presidio’s western shoreline, is just short drive from the tourist mecca of Fisherman’s Wharf.  This one-mile stretch of soft sand is especially popular with fishermen and picnicking families.

The Golden Gate Bridge from Baker Beach

The Golden Gate Bridge from Baker Beach

How about that view?!

Would you like to know more about San Francisco’s many wonderful urban beaches? Here are a few of our previous posts:

Amazing Views! China Beach, San Fransisco

Location, location, location! Baker Beach, San Francisco

Aquatic Park Beach, San Francisco, California

Have a great day at the beach!

Where’s my Backpack? Travel Theme: Bridges


Posted in Monday Miscellaneous, Northern California Beaches, Today's Special | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Oh, what a beautiful morning!

Posted by Jody on February 11, 2013

Hog Island Lighthouse view from Nassau on the island of New Providence, The Bahamas

Hog Island Lighthouse, The Bahamas

Oh, what a beautiful mornin’
Oh, what a beautiful day.


Built in 1817, the Hog Island Lighthouse stands at the western tip of the what is now called Paradise Island, The Islands of The Bahamas. This photo was taken on a beautiful morning from the beach at Nassau on New Providence Island.

Hog Island Lighthouse details:

Paradise Island (Hog Island, Nassau Harbour)

1817. Active; focal plane 21 m (69 ft); flash every 5 s, generally white, but the light changes to red when conditions are dangerous for entry. 19 m (63 ft) round old-style brick tower with lantern and gallery, painted white; lantern painted red… This is the oldest and best known lighthouse in the Bahamas and the oldest surviving lighthouse in the West Indies. Located at the western end of Paradise Island (formerly Hog Island) marking the northwest entrance to Nassau Harbor. Site status unknown. Good view from cruise ships entering the harbor.

Source: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Lighthouses of the Bahamas)


I’ve got a beautiful feelin’
Everything’s goin’ my way.

Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’ ~ Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II


Posted in Lighthouses, Monday Miscellaneous | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

Have you heard the one about… Floating Gold?

Posted by Jody on February 4, 2013

Ambergris (photo by Peter Kaminski from Wikimedia Commons)

Ambergris (photo by Peter Kaminski from Wikimedia Commons)

We’ve made some wonderful acquaintances here at Beach Treasures and Treasure Beaches. Recently, one of our favorite blogging friends, Wingclipped, at The Coastal Path shared a link with us that was quite intriguing! It seems that a Mr. Ken Wilman and his curious canine companion Madge were walking along a Lancashire beach in the North of England one day when they happened across a very smelly beach treasure on the sand. After a bit of google searching, Mr. Wilman discovered that their rock-like “floating gold” might be worth over $136,000 USD!

Wingclipped sent along this video link (which sadly refuses to be dis-embedded from the Sky News website, and therefore can not be directly posted here.  Go ahead and click the link below to see the video!).

FYI: What Ken and Madge actually found is a lump of ambergris. According to ambergris is “a waxy substance found floating in or on the shores of tropical waters, believed to originate in the intestines of the sperm whale, and used in perfumery as a fixative.”

Score one (a really big one) for beachcombers everywhere!

~ Sending along very special thanks to Wingclipped for sharing such a fun beachcombing story. You too can follow the family travels and antics of Wingclipped, his lovely wife, and their energetic twins as they explore the coast of Britain on foot at his blog The Coastal Path. His most recent entry is entitled “40d – Entering Dungeness” (Britain’s only desert and “Europe’s largest stretch of shingle landscape”). This week’s post comes complete with a heartwarming twist!


Posted in Beach Treasures - Beachcombing, Beaches of Great Britain and Ireland, Monday Miscellaneous, Whales and Dolphins | Tagged: , , , , , | 14 Comments »

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