Thursday, June 24, 2010

Newport, OR

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Today, I found the ocean and I met up with That Coastal Girl Robin.  We met at the Oregon Coast Aquarium… and had fun looking at the new exhibit… Swampland for an immersive experience with colorful mural work replicating different types of swamps.  

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One most impressive items was a freshwater Alligator Snapping Turtle.  I didn’t know they got so big.  The guidebook says they weight between 155 and 175 pounds.  They live 70 years in the wild.  Gosh, I pray I NEVER run into one that big in the wild. The guidebook says they are NOT Threatened.  Duh???

This thing must have been six feet long from nose to tail.  I had a run-in with one of those once in Coastal Virginia.  My boys were small.  They stayed in the van while I went to move the turtle off the highway.  I approached from the rear… it was only about 2’ long.  It got up tall on it’s feet, then squatted and jumped into the air about two feet and made a full 180 degree about face… and landed facing me and hissing.  I left him in the middle of the highway and returned to the van rather quickly.  And smell bad… oh my gosh.  But six feet long!  Sure glad he was in a really big solid tank.

Other nice exhibits were the kelp forest and the touching pool.

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The Kelp Forest - A sting ray swimming overhead.


Anemone with guest… photo by Robin Smith (That Coastal Girl)

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The touching pool

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I wanted to buy stuff for my granddaughter, but my brain kept saying… it’s gas money… so I took a photo instead.  Zoey, this one is for you:

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Robin is delightful and fits right in with my Vandweller tribe.  She was worried about that.  Even has a dog, so Homer, Tori and others will be happy.  She is eagerly awaiting for her last fledgling to fledge.  Two years to go and we should begin watching for her at southwest gatherings.  We traded beads… and she gave me a metal feather charm and seven agate beads.  According to American Indian tradition, Robin says, the seven beads represent wishes for a successful completion of a task… and for me.. that means completing my 50-state paddle and agate also represents good luck.

In the parking lot of the Aquarium… we saw this neat rig. 

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The couple designed it and had it built.  They are travelling all 50 states, golfing each as they go.  It was really nifty.

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After the Aquarium, we drove out to the Jetty where you can get a really good view of the bridge.  It was rather cold… so we then headed over the Embarcadero for lunch. 

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Yum, shrimp melt (English muffin, shrimp sauce, small shrimp, topped with cheese – melted) and a side of cole slaw.  It was so good.  Nice view overlooking the marina.

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We then went over to Wal-Mart where I looked for that tent that goes with the First Up Canopy… and they did not have it… so I bought some scarves and hats… for my bald  head.


Photo by Robin (That Coastal Girl)

After saying goodbye to Robin, I drove on up to Lincoln City where I plan to hunt for agates tomorrow.  Also, if you register and get a Players Card at the Casino… you can get a free breakfast brunch.  That’s my plan and I’m sticking to it.

It was a good… no… a GREAT day.

Thanks Robin.

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Who is Swankie?

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Anywhere, USA, Full-Time USA traveler, United States
Visit me on In 2006, I was shopping for a wheelchair. By 2007, I had new knees, better health and by 2008 a kayak. In Aug 2013, I kayaked my 49th state, Alaska, at the Holgate Glacier and in May 2014, I kayaked Hawaii, my 50th state, to celebrate my 70th Birthday and the finale to the wonderful adventure of Kayaking America? Next up... Solo Hiking the Arizona Trail, 820 miles in Spring 2017. In training now for the hike.