Thursday, February 5, 2009

Oregon Pt. 1

Some excerpts from the time I spent living/researching at a marine Institute (OIMB) in Charleston, Oregon.

WARNING: Longest Post Ever.

Coastal Oregon is soooooo beautiful; the coastlines are pristine, craggy and sandy and the inland area is a forest, seriously like Jurassic Park. It is so green and natural, not to mention relatively secluded; it was so refreshing after growing up in LA (not that I don't love LA).

Okay OIMB is beautiful, and definitely tight-knit. I was there with some other college kids and a professor/his TAs and we took classes and did our research project and then there were the University of Oregon kids doing Undergrad or Grad work. You get to know eachother fast; I was even luckier, I came knowing people, our TA Sophie and a friend Kelly - we were pretty close after Physics 106 and fish/flux analogies, anyone else have Magleby? haha.

Anyway, the marina was pretty much our front yard, it was so nice to just sit on an isolated beach - think, write, read, draw, whatever, I read Les Mis - wow. Also it was pretty fun to mingle with the old fishermen around the docks. The dorms were a treat, boys and girls in the same hall, also the walls didn't go to the ceiling haha, it was pretty funny - not much privacy. Also, here's our campus map, we lived in the dinin hall/dorms and you can actually see a really small bit of my window on the far left of the dorm picture.

Anytime we weren't required to be in class we were probably outside exploring/messing around or playing sand volleyball - we got pretty good. There were so many trails to hike in the woods, which were right behind the Institute, and coastline to explore, which was right in front. Also I had my mountain bike so I got to see a lot of the area; it was awesome so many Oregonians have bikes I love it - I hope I can live in the Coastal Northwest when I grow up, maybe Seattle.

We were on this trail one day, hiking and the woods were pretty thick and the trail vaguely cleared. Anyway, the brush clears a bit to the west and we realized we were totally on a cliff edge, which we did not know; we kept going and the trail abruptly ended with a cliff edge (seen below), there had been a mudslide the previous winter that had wiped out the trail, it was crazy, a little frightening, and very cool.

Even the work at OIMB was awesome, this is research (pictures below, I loved posessing hip waders even if only for a summer). This tunnel cut from the trails in the mountains right behind the Institute to this secluded beach/tide pool. Like every beach in Southern Oregon has tide pools too, and they are so pristine, I can't describe how happy they made me. The tunnel was a pretty good find, saved time to get to the beach for research if we couldn't get a ride (it was like a mile by road from the Institute) and definitely had the cool/spooky/freaky vibe going for it. Kelly, Bre and I braved it a few times without a flashlight.

Our first kind of day trip outside of Charleston, came when Dr. B wanted to go to Bandon (like an 1 hr South down the coast). He said Bandon has the best fish and chips in the world and invited anyone who wanted to come. The fish and chips were okay, a little oily for my taste, but we had fun walking around the town. It was quaint and a little touristy. 1st picture - Me, Kelly, Laura and Bre in hats in Bandon. A couple weeks into my time in Oregon I turned 22 (fyi my golden birthday as I turned 22 on May 22nd).

Aparently, if anything weird in a marine sort of way happens in Charleston locals think that the Institute students are marine experts. This one particular day Mike, Kelly and I were out running and on our way back some local people stopped us and told us they found this stranded baby seal pup, so they brought it to the Institute. FYI it is a huge fine to even come within like 100 ft of a marnine animal let alone pick it up. But anyway, they said they saw some teenagers messing with it and attempting to run it over, so they rescued it and brought it to the marine institute. We of course had no idea what to do with it, the professors who live on campus and all the grad students were also away on a study. So we're left with this infant seal pup (it still had an umbilical cord). Eventually we got a police officer over who was in contact with the department of wildlife and they transported it a couple hours north were they could care for it (it died like 2 days later). But he was so cute, we named it Boo.

Here are so of the crazy animal life you see at the tidepools:

Of course I should mention that it was by no means a warm toursity beach type environment. It was late spring/summer and often in was warm like 75 or 80, but the water was always freezing, I only got in on 2 occasions - once after a run we jumped in and the other during a crazy moment of fleeting reckless abandon when I jumped into deep water from a rock like 150 meters out to sea that was insane.

Oregon is famous for huge waves crashing into the rocky shore, we got to see a bit of that. Also, the microscope picture below is juvenile sea urchins. I actually spawned those and then we tracked their life cycle from single cell through juvenile, it was very intersting. Thing with the baby sea urchins though, someone from each team had to watch them 24/7 for a few days, so I have some good memories of Kelly and I on the 2 am til 6 am shift.

Okay, well this post is so long and I have so many pictures/memories from Oregon that I think this will be installment 1 in a series, so auf wiedersehen for now.

PS maybe you're wondering about the German, I'm picking up some German for Europe this summer. I have family in Germany we'll probably stay with for a couple days, it's a heritage thing or something.


shuu☆ said...


shuu☆ said...




JAPAN IS 12:45