July 4th in beach towns is always interesting, to say the least, but this year topped anything we have ever seen. Because fireworks were banned in all inland areas and the high temperatures persisting everywhere except on the coast, most everyone in Washington came to Long Beach to celebrate the holiday. And boy, did they ever party hardy!
From noon to midnight on the 4th, the entire 27 mile beach on the Long Island Peninsula was a wall of fire with an aerial display that would rival the efforts of any city in the country. Loud explosions and huge bursts of crackling colors lasted for the entire 12 hour period, even when their full impact couldn't be seen during daylight hours.
Local restaurants and super markets ran out of food, especially bread, buns, hot dogs and all the stuff that people use while having a great time outdoors. Safety rules along the beach such as a ban on campfires, no overnight camping, speeding violations and the use of illegal fireworks were ignored, much to the dismay of local officials. I understand that a meeting is in the works to avoid a repeat of the mayhem in future years. In my opinion...good luck with that! I'm sure commercial interests were thrilled.
Before we left Andersen's RV Park, a couple of outstanding sunsets allowed me the opportunity to get several good aerial photos with my DJI Phantom 3 Pro quadcopter. All these photos are created with five images taken in rapid succession, each with different exposure values, and merged into a single HDR image in Adobe Lightroom.
We left Long Beach on July 7th and stopped for two nights 150 miles to the south in Newport, Oregon. While there, we rested up from the holiday uproar and enjoyed a few of the local sights. I also put my quadcopter into the air and got a very nice sunset photo over the Yaquina Bay Bridge to the west of the RV park. This is another merged HDR image.
As you can see, I am having way too much fun with this photo platform!
On the 9th of the month, we traveled another 75 miles and pulled into one of our favorite parks on the Oregon coast...Winchester Bay RV Resort. This place is roomy and located on a piece of land with water on three sides. Our space is slightly elevated, giving us a fabulous 360 degree view.
I have never seen a park of this size get so much attention from staff members. All grass is watered nightly (yes, they have plenty of water), the lawns are mowed every Wednesday, the facilities are always immaculate, and a host cleans every site immediately upon the departure of each guest. We even saw a host cleaning the inside of a covered utility station this morning.
Because this is peak season in the park, our weekly rate was $260 for a large interior pull through space including all the usual amenities. We have really enjoyed our week in Winchester Bay!
As you can imagine, I have managed to get in a good deal of flying time with still photography my main effort. I have gained a huge appreciation for the quality of images that can be attained from a very small camera fastened to a 3-axis gimbal on the belly of the quadcopter.
A few photos of our park location follow:
And, in the following photo, our home on wheels can be seen at center right:
I also managed to photograph a spectacular sunset over the Umpqua River:
Tomorrow we will make the short drive down to our West Coast home park in Port Orford. Even though we have had an excellent time in other places, we have really missed our friends and all the activities around that little Southern Oregon Coast village.
I am looking forward to some fishing with friends and Juanita is eager to return to all of her quilting buddies in town. We have both volunteered to work at the Cape Blanco Country Music Festival at the end of the month and will be able to keep our two little Beagles with us as we attend the gate of an event campground.
I also have a couple of aerial photo and video projects planned for our four months in Port Orford and will most certainly share them with you on the blog once they are completed.