Friday, February 18, 2011

The Honey Moon

If you' been wondrin' where I've been for the past two weeks, there's a simple explanation to my absence: Roadtrippin' down 101 to California. I had grand plans of having a bunch of posts appear while I was on the road, but that never materialized, so I'm going to get you some updates from the road instead.

Through hailstorms and emergency rooms, marauding raccoons and awesome thrift finds, it's been a pretty wild journey, and even with my camera erasing a bunch of snaps, there's enough material for several posts.
Our journey started out at the border of Washington and Oregon, near the towns of Long Beach and Ilwaco (the self-appointed "best little town in Washington"). Over the years we've camped around this area a bit and know all the good haunts in the towns. C.'s grandmother was born in a logging camp not far from there and brought up in Ilwaco, then a bustling logging town. As usual we camped in Cape Disappointment, a huge park right on the beach with two lighthouses and endless beach (The town of Long Beach boasts "world's longest beach". Go figure.)
Cape disappointment
The first morning marked our wedding anniversary and it was glorious to wake here among the wind-bent trees and go for a walk on the beach in the sun.
Wake up to this
Same log
Jam log
The winter storms wash to shore all kinds of interesting things here: enormous logs, a lenght of rope, fishing boats from Shanghai...
C. and I both love documenting the little details, the textures of things, shapes and grains, the undergrowth, and sand grains and follicles of plant fuzz...
These water-worn logs are intricate like sculptures, almost like they're expressing something beyond what they are, just objects in space. Their shapes appear crafted, willful to a human mind. One of the things I love about nature is just that sense of purpose, meaning.
Windows to the beach
Since we never really had one, we've been telling people we're on our honey moon, hobo-y as it might be (actually, the last 4 days have been anything but hobo-like, thanks to Missa and Lucas). Being together on the road and camping and tramping about is pretty much the most fun anyway.
Beach art

We walked the beach, looking for treasures and watching the waves, until we were numb with cold. A raven followed us from a distance.
We've been to long beach so many times now, that it's become a tradition to visit two places there: The North Coast Antique Mall and Marsh's Free Museum, Home of Jake The Alligator Man.
Fortune teller
The Museum has a lot of olden-timey coin-operated machines that you put dimes and nickels and quarters in to hear a canary sing, see a racy image, or have your future told.
Come on closer
Canary in a glass case
They also have curios in all shapes and sizes, even stranger than the obviously man-made alligator man.
Yep-that's a one eyed lamb
I've professed my love for made-up creatures and strange taxidermy before, and Marsh's really is the place for both.
North Coast Mall
Though we generally don't end up buying a lot of stuff at antique malls, we have a really good time poking around them and the North Coast one is usually pretty good. The vendors really put effort into their booths and most of them have weird fun themes, like kid's playhouses, Old West knick-knacks and soforth.
see my vest see my vest
Indian maiden
It's embroidered right there
Back at the campsite, we cooked dinner with an unexpected audience of two raccoons, quickly dubbed Frankie and Johnny, who were quite crafty about their re-con missions. It was only after the cooking and eating seized that they scampered off into the night. We tried to keep warm under a huge ring around the new moon.
Hey Frankie!
Frankie and Johnny
My moon my man
Our next stop was another old favorite, Astoria, Oregon, where we've also stayed and stopped many times before. While this visit was just supposed to be a pit-stop, we still managed get into a fair bit of small adventure.
Astoria coffee house
Our first stop was the lovely Astoria Coffee House & Bistro downtown, with grate art and breakfast, and apparently even bands and events.
Soul tattoo
Ponies and airplanes and bows and chrysanteums
Family photos
Hierarchy of beards
Events like their beard growing contest, for which C. was asked to model, after he determined that his beard was indeed the "Twin Peaks"-model. My honey is famous in Astoria.
The Twin Peaks
The beard is famous
Yeah, I look like a spazz
And I'm a kind of a spazz.
It's been 2 years now lower the price lady
Pretty cool
Mine, mine
Black label

Gunnes in the hood
A few antique malls and tiny Gunnes later, we hit the Co-Op and the only place in which we did any serious shopping: the work wear store, appropriately located in the Finnish Brotherhood building. You see, back in the day Astoria was known for something entirely different than being the set of Goonies. It was commonly known as the Helsinki of these United States, a great union town, where labor was king and Finnish folk songs the tune of the day and there are still a few remnants of those good old days around.

At least in name.
Helsinki of the U.S
We got what we needed (woolly socks, sweatshirts, a pair of new pants for C.), chatted with the owner about those Finnish ancestors and moved onto new adventures, of which you'll be hearing soon.
Here we are behind that same building on our first big road trip together back in 2007. The photo was taken by a friendly biker dude.

Happy full moon and adventures and great woman energies all around!


  1. How cool..I've seen some of your adventure pics in your flickr stream and was curious as to the tales behind them. And now, I'm going to find out some! Those nature made wood sculptures are so beautiful. Looking forward to more posts on your journeying; it really looks like a romantic time. (is it old-fashioned to say 'romantic'?)

  2. i'm in humboldt,milla. are you guys going to be passing through the eureka/arcata area?

  3. Great trip, I want continue....)

  4. looks like an amazing time... I love some of the details you captured like the painting (drawing?) of the little girl with tattoos.

  5. fun adventures! i long for a good roadtrip.
    the beard poster is rad. i dig c's twin peaks ;D seems like a cool trip so far. i can't wait to hear about meeting up with all the gals, i'm sure you all will have a blast!

  6. wow, all of those little shop nooks look like they're filled with incredible treasures!

  7. thank you for sharing the first stage of the honey moon :)

  8. great blog! looks like a fun trip.


  9. You've gotten some amazing photos, Milla. I hope the rest of your trip is as awesome as it has been so far :)

  10. love those eroded logs on the beach! i love details like that too. and loved seeing the beard poster -- i long for the days when my bf's beard was as big as your c's. he cut it shorter for a teaching job, so as not to intimidate the parents! :) glad you are enjoying your trip to cali! can't wait to see your norcal pics!

  11. midnight. the witching hour. i made it home safe and missed you so much i had to come look at pictures of you! seriously, i drove with that MOON and those sweet grandmother words in my own shaky voice, just flooded with emotion and love for you and our little ragtag group and the times we just shared. it is sooooo lovely to take a little glimpse into the earlier part of your trip too and to now be able to imagine much more perfectly how silly and wonderful your adventures are, you two lovelies. my heart is so full tonight, thank you forever.

  12. This is fabulous adventurizing!!! I keep telling D. we only have a few more months before hot, steamy summer comes here and its time to get our camp on.

    Congrats on your nuptial anniversary :) I love the photos of the raccoons (I think I have some raccoon in me & possible squirrel), glad they could join the honey moon celebrations. I must admit Milla-- you tell wonderful stories. I can not wait to hear more about the trip.

  13. i echo Nicole. Though with the ache of a too-short visit, I also feel the full glow of love.

  14. Finnish Brotherhood! I love it. And I loved getting to hear more about Finland from you. So great to get to see what you were up to before our busy weekend. Can't wait to see the rest. Miss you terribly.

  15. Hey thetossnturn is Graham's account. That was me!

  16. Looks like such a fun trip. I would just LOVE to visit some of those antique stores. Ooh, bliss. The pictures of the beach are just beautiful. Happy "honeymoon".