Sheared Bolts and Science

Last week had us finishing up our time in Seaside and Cannon Beach. Some of you may have seen the quick Facebook post about our slide being broken. Yep. As we were bringing in our slides, so very close to heading out; we noticed the living room slide wasn’t coming in on one side. Luckily, Brian quickly realized it was probably a sheared bolt. He checked it out and confirmed he was right. Luckily again, the local hardware store had just opened and had the bolt we needed. I have to point out how truly lucky this was considering it was a Sunday at 9am in a small town. We thought for sure we’d have to wait a couple hours or drive 30 minutes to the bigger town with the big box hardware store. What a relief! Brian had the slide fixed and we were on our way only about 40 minutes later than we’d wanted. For those of you wondering about the bolt…our RV is a 2005 and those bolts experience stress. Neither of us was shocked that the bolt broke and we’re glad that it was easily resolved.

We arrived in Newport to more foggy coastline and cool weather. I find it interesting that the Washington coast was blue skies and mid-70s, but the skies are grayer and the temperatures cooler as we go south. I’m super happy that we’re not in extreme heat or wildfires though. It’s been nice!

This weekend, we decided to visit Oregon State University’s Marine Science Center, which is located on Yaquina Bay at the estuary of the Yaquina River and the Pacific Ocean. The Marine Science Center is a place for students, faculty, other universities, and even companies or groups with an interest to focus on marine studies and conservation. It also has a great visitor center for the public.

You can get into the Visitor Center for a donation and they do take cards as well as cash. It’s bursting with cool science and information, such as where the debris from the Japanese quake of 2011 ended up and what non-native species showed up here because of it. They have skeletons and fossils, as well as some fish tanks and a large touch tank. Their octopus just laid eggs (excellent!), so she was behind closed doors; but usually you can participate in feeding her at certain times of day. In fact, there are several interactive stations that engage people from toddlers to teens and adults, including the aforementioned touch tank, a do it yourself terra-scaping sandpit, a place to build your own lego model home and watch to see if it will survive a tsunami, plus skeletons, teeth, and fossils that you can actually touch. Oh sure. Some of the more expensive or illegal (carved ivory) items are behind glass, but they really encourage people to use all their senses, to think and interact. In fact, Brian and I were so busy reading and playing that we only took a few photos!

Afterward, we walked the estuary trail, which was the highlight of my day. It was sunny and cool with a nice breeze coming off the bay. There were very few people on the path and those we ran across were quiet. Besides the relaxation of the water and seagulls floating the breeze, I got to see dragonflies zoom around looking for bugs and turkey vultures doing their wobbly soar! The Marine Science Center will do guided estuary walks every morning, which I’m sure would have been great; but just walking the area on our own was lovely.

We’d love to hear about a great place in nature you’ve been to recently or plan to go. Let us know in the comments!

Be groovy, friends, and remember to live your journey…