Sunday, March 15, 2009

Hide & Seek with Oregon Beach Fossils...

Recently while posting in the blog FIREWATER IMAGES the series BEACH PHOTOS was the focus. This led me to researching my files and therein I found this group of pictures from a late winter trip to the Oregon Coast.

This is an interesting series in that Catherine and I discovered a fossil bed in the beach rock uncovered by the recent storm surge of those mighty Pacific waves.

This shell fossil (above) is a typical representation of the fossils still embedded in the matrix that the surf uncovered (right click in the image for a larger view).

Preserved in rock from an earlier geological period the fossilized shells in this 'cluster of fossils' have eroded through the action of waves & the minute grinding of sand for thousands of years. .

Try as we might we could not catch this image of this fossil without a thin covering of water. It was one of those times where we would follow the ebbing waves out until this fossil was nearly exposed. Then I'd take a few shots of it through the water and then run from the next flooding surge of the waves.

On the same day we discovered the fossils we found this partial cave that Catherine is pictured standing in. It was several hundred feet from the fossil field.

In front of the cave stood these 'mushroom' rocks. Part of the same matrix the shells had fossilized in, the mushrooms are approximately three feet from the puddles to their tops. This is an important point for the next part of this notation.
The afternoon of our fossil discovery saw the Pacific frontal weather system turn foul. The tide was flooding, the hard rain falling, and a cold ocean wind blowing as we left the beach in search of hot coffee and a lap top to view our photos on. A plan developed to return to the beach the next day at the lowest of tides and photograph as many fossils as possible. Alas, the best-laid plans of mice & men... The storm continued through the night and we were delighted to find some clearing the next morning. When we arrived at the edge of the rock face which housed the cave we were stunned to find the over night storm surge had laid hundreds of thousands of tons of sand, several feet deep all down the beach. The small band of stones, to the left of the cliff face in the photo above is the top of the mushroom rocks of the previous image. Yep, nearly three feet of fresh sand shifted to cover the fossils and protect them for another day. Hide & seek with Oregon beach fossils...
Hope you still find pleasure in exploration & discovery...
Foster Fanning

Here's some reference info...
Stonerose Fossil Center:

Oregon Beaches:

Oregon Fossils:

Monday, March 9, 2009

Fire Destroys Historic Landmark - Bavarian Candy Shoppe...

It's always sad to mention a landmark destroyed by fire, and here I am touching base regarding just that topic in the Pacific NW. Anyone who has traveled WA State Highway 2 over the Cascade Mountains and into the Bavarian Village of Leavenworth has drove within fifty feet of the Alps candy and gift shop once located in Tumwater Canyon of the Wenatchee River Valley.

No one, except an arsonist, ever expects a fire. That was the case for Archie Marlin, owner of the Alps - an unexpected fire. Archie he smelled smoke Friday morning after arriving to find the power out. The smoke and fire drove him out of the building and he was unable to save the 600 recipes he's created in over 35 years of work. Rebuilding will be as much a task of memory as saws, lumber & hammers.
Initial reports were that the retail shop had suffered smoke and some fire damage. But as we made our way over the Cascades the afternoon after the initial blaze, Archie's candy & gift shop had rekindled and in the end was fully destroyed. Initially he had stated that the business was insured and he had hoped to reopen as soon as possible. Archie's father started the business in 1961.
Before the fire photo 2007.

This is the Alps Candy Store in the aftermath of the first portion of the fire the morning of March 6th, 2009. The fire rekindled later in the day and burned the remainder of the building into the basement. It was a total loss for the owner.

From my private collection of photos: this image captured in November, 2007 of the small lake on the Wenatchee River just downstream of the Alps candy & gift shop (double click image for larger view). I shot this photo from the deck of the Alps.
For the Wenatchee World new article:
Tumwater Canyon & the Wenatchee River:
The village of Leavenworth WA: