Posts Tagged ‘field trip’

Aquarium at Cannon Beach

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

aquarium-at-cannon-beachWe visited an aquarium at Cannon Beach called Seaside Aquarium. You can feed otters and see several octopuses, lots of anemones and other fish, and a petting zoo. It’s a small aquarium that has been open for over 70 years. It’s not really at Cannon Beach, but at a nearby town called Seaside. If you’re taking a vacation at Cannon Beach, it’s only about 15 minutes away. Two of my children loved feeling the sea stars and sea cucumbers with their fingers.

anemonesThe aquarium has one large room surrounded by glass aquariums. It has another room with the otters. In the main room you also have an area with a red octopus swimming around. What I’m saying is that if you expect a large elaborate aquarium, you will be disappointed, but if you expect something small, you will be delighted.

aquarium-at-cannon-beach-2The aquarium around the edges of the room is all salt water, with colorful eels, anemones, and shellfish. Rocks are covered with living creatures.

cannon-beach-aquariumMy son Stephen is my biologist, and he has always loved living creatures. He was glued like a magnet to the petting zoo area of the aquarium. He would watch how creatures responded to his touch.

aquariumHe also loved having a hermit crab tickle his fingers as it walked across his hand. He spent nearly an hour touching the beautiful and intriguing sea creatures. My daughter enjoyed touching the sea creatures as well.

hermit-crabMy other two sons preferred not to touch the sea creatures, but to look at them from a safe distance. They looked at the calm swaying of the tentacles of the sea anemones. They watched the fish swim around in the water.

cannon-beach-aquarium-2One tank had a lot of sea stars. The stars are sort of prickly to the touch, and their mouth is underneath. A sea urchin was also in the same aquarium, but it was so prickly that it felt like a pin cushion.

sea-starsHere is the fabulous octopus, the terrible monster of the deep. It reminds me of when we studied 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, where the octopus attacked a submarine!

octopusHere are some squid eggs. The long white sacks are filled with eggs, and the parent squid dies shortly after laying the eggs.

squid-eggsWe had a great time at the aquarium at Cannon Beach. The next day my daughter asked if we could go back because she loved it so much!

Rainforest at Cannon Beach

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

rainforest-at-cannon-beachWe hiked through a rainforest at Cannon Beach, and it was beautiful! We were at Ecola State Park, where we could see breathtaking views from the side of the mountain. The park is right beside the beach itself. The air is humid, and the greenery from the moss and ferns is so vibrant! Take a look at this massive tree with lots of greenery growing on top of its huge branches!

rainforest-2The sunlight shone through the trees to give the path an almost green glow. We saw a fallen tree with moss growing on it. Some of the trees were hundreds of years old.

rainforestWe parked our car in one of the two parking lots and hiked up to the lighthouse lookout, where the lighthouse was still quite far away. The trail was two miles, so the entire hike was four miles. The scenery was beautiful the whole time. You could look down over Cannon Beach for a while until you were around the side of the mountain.

rainforest-cannon-beachIf I had been alone with some paper and a pencil, I might have sat down and written some poetry. Look at this path… Doesn’t it make you feel inspired?

forest-pathMy daughter and I began counting rings on the tree trunk to see how old the tree was when it fell. This gave us an indication for how old the thicker trees were.

tree-ringsWe found lots of mushrooms during our walk. Mushrooms thrive in damp environments, so I was not surprised. These mushrooms looked almost cartoon-like!

mushroom-1Some of the varieties I had never seen before. I would have brought a mushroom guide if I had known we were going to see so many varieties of mushroom.

mushroom-2Some were growing straight out of the tree trunks. These are called shelf mushrooms.

mushroom-3This shelf mushroom looks like blackened lava from a volcano!

mushroom-4My husband took this picture from a low angle so that you can see how small you feel among such tall trees.

forestSo many beautiful scenes presented themselves as we climbed the mountain. Here is a scene from Cannon Beach that includes Haystack Rock.

views-from-cannon-beach-rainforestThen you see partial views of the ocean and seashore through the trees .

view-of-cannon-beachMany rocks jut out of the water. One of the larger rocks has a hole through it.

rocks-in-waterWe thoroughly enjoyed hiking through the rainforest at Cannon Beach!

Find out what else we did while we were at Cannon Beach: Our Cannon Beach Vacation

Cataldo Mission in Idaho

Monday, November 18th, 2013


If you want to go to a great historic building that looks like the Alamo, but you live in the Inland Northwest, the perfect destination is Cataldo Mission. Situated in North Idaho, it is the oldest historic building in the area. Missionaries to the Native Americans built this mission in the 1850’s, and they led many Native Americans to Christ.


When you first arrive at Cataldo Mission State Park, you will see a short film to introduce the historical aspects of the mission, the parish house, the Coeur d’Alene Indians, and the surrounding area. After this film, you walk up some steps to the mission itself.

cataldo-mission-idaho-4When you step into this beautiful church, you will notice the front of the church, which has a dome decoration as well as the altar. Beautiful wallpaper surrounds the altar area, hand painted by the Jesuit priest who founded the mission. The tour guide was dressed in the period costume of a Jesuit priest, and he gave us some interesting demonstrations.

One of the demonstrations included how the church was constructed. He showed us tenon and mortise joints, where a square hole in one piece of wood would fit another piece of wood. An auger hand drill would make a hole just big enough to fit the wooden peg going through it. (You can watch this demonstration in the video below.)

We toured the back of the altar area and saw several old priest vestments, and the desk of the founder of the mission. We also saw a piece of the original wall that had been smeared with mud by children and their parents. (The tour guide embellished a little, saying that there was a huge mud fight!) So the inside of the walls were sort of like adobe. The mission itself was refurbished twice because it was falling into disrepair.

cataldo-mission-6The windows were small panes of glass that were added together to look like large windows. This is because the Jesuits had to transport the glass long distances. So they packed the glass surrounded by sawdust or whatever packing material they had available. This way when the horses stumbled, the glass wouldn’t break.

After viewing the mission, we looked at the parish house next door. It was a plain-looking blue-colored house with period furniture in it. One of the rooms was the study, where there was a desk and a Bible, heated by a wood stove.

A kitchen and dining area are located at the back of the house, with shelving and dishes that look antique. A lantern sits on a wooden table, with a pitcher and bowl for washing hands. A lack of electricity and running water is evident from these items.

cataldo-mission-idaho-8When we were finished looking at the parish house, my kids ran over to the grist mill, where people used to grind their wheat. They also ran to the wooden canoe at the bottom of the hill. The children shouted, all out of breath from having run so far ahead, that the winding trail led to the Spokane River below.

The museum in the visitor’s building was surprisingly interesting. First a 7-minute 3-D projected movie was displayed with surround sound, so that you felt like you were in the middle of the Native Americans. You walk through rooms with beaded Native American costumes, weapons, pencil sketches, dolls, musical instruments, and many other artifacts. You walk into a mission scene, all decorated for Christmas.

This 4-minute video clip gives you the highlights of our visit to Cataldo Mission in Idaho:

Museum of North Idaho in Pictures

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012


I hope you enjoyed these pictures from a family trip to the Museum of North Idaho, located in Coeur d’Alene. Even though the Museum of North Idaho is small, it contains quite a bit of history from the area, as you can see.