Posts Tagged ‘pictures’

Today I felt like exploring. So I biked to The Mill Ponds in Seaside Oregon. The ground was soggy, so I had to pedal lightly to avoid getting sprayed with mud from my tires. Hearing the blue birds chirp relaxed me instantly. Beats traffic noise.

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Right before I got to my favorite spot, I noticed a park bench upside down in the water. I wondered where it went. It’s been a few months since I sat on it from the lookout. Without hesitation I laid my bike down, and tromped through the sticker bushes to get to it. I had seen 2 homeless teens camping there before, and I’m pretty sure they trashed the place.

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I yanked that bench out of the pond, and brought it back to its home. Now everyone can rest and enjoy that epic view again. The seat wasn’t in bad shape, or soaked entirely, so I chilled there for a few. Just another reminder that you can either make the world a better place, or screw it up for the rest of us. There aren’t many public spaces left, so treat them with respect.

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Produced by Cameron McKirdy

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By Cameron McKirdy

About the video: To film this trip I used the Panasonic Lumix TS4. It’s waterproof, and takes quality high definition video. In the past I’ve used GoPro Hero cameras to film sports, but the audio was poor. This Panasonic sounds better, and is rugged. The TS4 is even high visibility, with a safety orange color. I took nearly an hour of footage. This is the best 15 minutes. I still need to get a better wrist strap so my camera floats. I handled it well, but with all the passengers falling into me, it could have slipped into the blue. Speaking of, the water was remarkably blue. I haven’t altered this footage in any way. It’s beautiful country near Tillamook. It’s fun to film out there, and on water.

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Yesterday, a group of 30 people including myself, rafted the powerful Wilson River. I took these photos, and lots of HD video.

My Dad and I went on a paddle boat with three others from the Oregon Whitewater Association. I don’t have the gear the other boaters have. I’m more of a mountain man. They had dry suits, but I didn’t even use my wetsuit and booties. I wore hiking boots with waterproof socks, sweatpants with rain gear, and three layers for my upper body, plus a life vest, and a HooRag bandana. Going in, I knew I’d be cold. It’s rafting during the winter in Oregon. In the end, every rafter was freezing, and glad to be off the water. It was a long day. 14 river miles in 6 hours.

Our greatest challenge was getting people through a tiny 4.5 foot gap. My craft got stuck in between the two massive boulders pictured above, so we let air out of the sides and floor. Then we wiggled through. I filmed everyone making it. The group used ropes to pull one man’s cataraft over the rocks here on the upper Wilson. We all worked together, prepared for the worst, and got in position to help if needed. People were climbing mossy river rocks to signal, and help. They were ready. Also, everyone wore a helmet, and gloves, but me. I couldn’t film and wear gloves. The feeling in my toes and fingers did come back. I’m surprised.

It’s a real challenge to raft this time of the year. Everyone had to follow the plan. Safety was the name of the game. We had two people go into the drink. One guy wanted to swim, but our guide, the raft owner, got bumped out as we hit a rock wall. I look back, he’s floating there. Should I film this? Or pull him in before he gets crushed on some rocks? I put down the camera, and yanked him in with two others. We experienced Class 2, and 3 rapids. Whitewater for sure. I was soaked. We also cruised by a guy that snagged a huge steelhead. It must have weighed 9 pounds or more. When we finally got to land, I got a ride to snag our car back up river. Then it got dark. The group and I left my dad behind at the boat ramp. Problem is, I couldn’t find the damn thing. Dad’s soaked, it’s pouring. I was driving around, feeling like I left him for dead. I figured he’d wave me down on his walk back into Tillamook. There was no way to reach him. But suddenly, he text me from inside a fisherman’s truck. He was safe, and not angry that I made him wait. Then we got mexican food. Lots of it. In the end, the trip was hardcore, but worth it, and an amazing workout. It was another learning experience.

Cameron whipped up a video of his favorite moments from 2012. It’s been a crazy, and productive year. Best wishes to you and your friends. Thanks so much for supporting this blog. We have big things planned for the new year. Peace.

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This weekend my buddy Mac and I biked from Astoria to Fort Stevens State Park located along the Oregon Coast. It was dumping rain. Nearly two hours later, we checked into hiker biker camp, and begun another wild Survival Bros adventure.

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Luckily, Mac’s wife Shauna was kind enough to drop our gear off at camp. Riding in with a 50 pound backpacking bag would have been brutal, and unsafe since we had to negotiate the narrow shoulder of the Astoria bridge. Semis were seeing how close they could get to clipping us. Setting up the massive 8 person tent was easy. The only break we got in the weather occurred when we made camp. After our gear was setup, lantern hanged, and sleeping bag unrolled, we tightened up our boots and peddled deeper into the state park.

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Along the path we stopped to identify many mushrooms. The park was exploding with life. Fungi hunting season is far from over. There were huge patches of fresh Amanitas everywhere. One had a bite taken out of it, as we could see teeth marks. Must have been a deer, or a crazy person.

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Over the last few weeks, my pals and I have scoured a good chunk of Fort Stevens. It’s incredible how many types of terrain there are. From Coffenbury Lake, to the dunes near the Pacific Ocean. I finally found King Boletes just south of the jetty, west of the road. I hunted down the biggest King growing under a tree branch, in pine needles. I got video of me cutting it, but the power is out in Astoria now, so I can’t edit the HD footage. Here’s a photo of the big boletes we found. The choice mushroom nuggets are going in an omelette immediately, and spaghetti tonight for dinner.

Due to my phone about to die, and the power being out, I’m uploading this blog now. I will complete the story, and add more pictures and video very soon. Stay safe out there. We are getting blasted with 98 MPH winds right now. Peace.

– Cameron McKirdy

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This is a picture of Seaside, OR taken today!

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Update: Back to the story. Mac and I spent one night in hiker biker camp. It’s $6 per evening. Fort Stevens actually moved the spot, because where they usually stash the gypsies floods this time of year. When we got into our tent we were soaked. I quickly changed my clothes, then we started making dinner. I busted out a Mountain House lasagna, and boiled the water for it in my Jetboil Zip. After sitting for a good ten minutes in the bag, it was ready to dish out. Mac prepared 8 beef hotdogs on his Coleman stove. The warm grub was much needed. We biked around 15 miles that day.

After mushroom hunting on day one, it poured back at the tent. Luckily the spot we pitched our tent didn’t flood. We didn’t realize how bad of a storm it was until we were in it. Thank God we had shelter. The stoves kept the tent warm for awhile, until we passed out. I was also glad I brought my small windup lantern. It was bright for maybe 25 minutes in between cranks. After that, it cast just enough light to not stumble over our gear and dirty dishes.

On day two in Fort Stevens we ate another Mountain House freeze dried meal for breakfast. I love their blueberry granola with milk. I added freeze dried apples too. We had two more hotdogs each, then set out on our bikes again. This time we went out toward the South Jetty. That’s where we found the King Boletes. I was so amped to find those monster mushrooms. We saw other mushroom pickers out there, and duck hunters too.

We smashed through the brush for a few hours, but the storm kept getting crazier. Mac and I were totally drenched. But the trip was well worth the suffering. We put food on the table, and learned a lot along the way. Foraging is so fun! Supermarkets are for suckers. Our ride swooped us, and we made a clean getaway, and broke camp. You know Survival Bros will be out there again soon. Cheers.

Cameron McKirdy Mushroom Hunting at Fort Stevens State Park

Video of our mushroom foray on the North Oregon Coast

Slideshow of photos taken during our fungi hunt

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Survival Bros had another full weekend. Friends and I journeyed to Cannon Beach, and took the snake-like road to Indian Beach to explore.

The park was nearly empty. I’m use to it being packed with surfers and hikers in the summer. We huffed the path down to the sand, and walked south. The rock formations at Indian Beach are incredible. The tide pools are bursting with life. We found creatures small and large such as barnacles, mussels, starfish, sea anemones, and a dungenous and hermit crab.

Plus, higher on the beach Mac and I identified a patch of medicinal Turkey Tail mushrooms growing on driftwood. He bagged them. Later the shrooms will be ground up, and put in vegetable capsules for preservation. Gotta love free meds. In Chinese medicine they are recognized as yun zhi (云芝). They are known to boost the immune system. We scored two sand dollars as well.

After wandering around Indian, we cruised to Haystack Rock. The tide pool there is famous. I remember visiting in grade school on field trips. We found more of the same sea life here. No sign of One-Eyed Willie, or the Goonies! Beach combing was a blast. The Oregon Coast is legendary.

– Cameron McKirdy

Do you know where The Mill Ponds in Seaside Oregon are? Many locals have no idea. Take advantage of the trails, and waterfront views. From Seaside on Highway 101 (aka South Roosevelt Drive), take Ave. S to Alder Mill Road. It’s near the Seaside recycling center.

The Mill Ponds are a great walk for the whole family. Chill on a bench and bird watch. It’s one of my favorite spots in town. Please be respectful, and take your trash with you. This is a day use only park. Enjoy the panoramas and photos I took.

– Cameron McKirdy

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