This place hits all your senses; the crisp ocean smell is everywhere, you can hear the roar of the waves from INSIDE the RV, the mist creeps through the Sitka spruce that march down to the black lava of the coast and you can feel the concussion of the waves standing near the shore. It is a living, wild and dynamic environment and it absolutely gorgeous.
Many of those we work with are also volunteers and there is a very active group of locals as well as those of us who are here for several months. They are wonderful people and we have some great new friends.
There are a number of scientific studies being done here in the Siuslaw National Forest. We spoke with a biologist from Oregon State University in Corvallis and they are mapping the habitat of small forest carnivores like Marten and Fisher. Because the forest is so dense and the terrain is so rugged they came up with the idea of taking shelter dogs and training them to alert to the scat of these carnivores. Scientists retrieve the scat, do a DNA test and map where these animals hunt and live. This is a great win-win situation for both the dogs and scientists. All they need is a ball-obsessed dog.
Over the next several posts I'll report back on some of our other activities, nearby towns and the history of the area (which dates back to Captain Cook and the late 1700's) and we'll have time to explore more of Oregon, but with all that's going on we have so much to keep us busy right here.