Thursday, June 24, 2010

North Bend/Coos Bay, Or and Brookings, OR

I am combining 2 stops into one blog.  When I was in North Bend/Coos Bay and Brookings, Oregon it was grey and rainy a good bit of the time. 

The first couple of times that I saw sea stacks in the haze I thought they were magical and mystical -

But after seeing them like this for many days, it became much less magical!  The picture below was taken on a day that it tried to clear up!

I suppose that it is like this so much that people just get out anyway.  I’m trying to learn to do that, but it’s hard!

When I took the picture below, I just sat in the car and you can see why.

I went to Bandon, OR one day and enjoyed the town and the beach very much.  Next time I’m in the area I would like to stay in this town.  Bandon Beach had a Wildlife preserve that was great.  There were birds, seals, sea lions, sea stacks and sea life.

I went to Cape Arago State park one day and happened to be at the tide pools the same day a class was there.  What a great field trip.  But too many people for me.  I went to the other side of the cove until they left.

In the picture above there are hundreds of seals and sea lions.

I also drove down to California and saw the redwoods, but I enjoyed it so much that I decided to camp there for a few days so I’ll save those pictures for my next blog.

Newport, OR

I headed down the coast again, this time stopping in Newport, OR.  I stayed at Newport Marina and RV park, which made for some nice morning and/or evening walks around the boats and out to the pier.  Below is the marina and bridge behind the campground. 

While in Newport I went to the nearby Yaquina lighthouse.

  This is a great park, I went there more for the tide pools and beach scenery than the lighthouse.  I can’t get enough of tide pools and there were some great sights here.  Before getting to the tide pools, you had to walk over the cobblestone beach which wasn’t that easy.  The rocks were for the most part probably 1 – 4 inches and kind of like walking in sand dunes.  You step on them and they slide!  It made for an interesting trip down and back up the rocky slope. The tide pools were great, the best I have seen so far--


The pictures above show Orange and purple sea stars, purple urchins and Giant Green Anemones. 

The Oregon Coast Aquarium and the Oregon State University’s Hatfield Marine Science Center were just across the street from my campground.  Both were interesting.  The Science Center’s main attraction is a Giant Pacific Octopus.

I went to several beaches around Newport.  I particularly enjoyed the seal rock recreation area.

Not only was their great scenery, but I found many agates and petrified wood – including an agatized fossil!!  I went to this beach several times, one time I went at low tide to not only hunt for rocks, but also to see the tide pools.

There were hundreds of sea stars and anenomes.  Note because it is low tide and these are out of water, the anenomes are closed up.

As I’ve mentioned I love to watch the waves hit the rocks, so here are more pictures -

The one above is a blowhole in Cape Perpetua Scenic Area – a place where I did some great hikes. 

Not far from Cape Perpetua was another lighthouse.  In addition to that, there were a bunch of seals and sea lions just below the lighthouse overlook.

One day, I went beach walking at Seal Rock park and in going back to the car I missed the turnoff for the parking lot.  I ended up walking about 3 miles extra.  I knew I had walked to far, but the beach was very interesting -

I later found out that I was at Ona Beach State Park. 

Next I’ll be in Coos Bay, OR.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Tillamook, OR

After Astoria, I headed down the Oregon coast.  For a few nights, I stayed in Tillamook.  Tillamook is known for Tillamook cheese.  I had never heard of it, but it seems to be popular in the Northwest.  Below is a picture of their factory.  The color is a bit off due to their lights and taking pictures through the glass windows.   This is the part of the factory where they cut and package the cheese. 

My favorite place around Tillamook was Oceanside Beach.  At Oceanside I looked for agates.  Also there were sea stacks, sea life and an interesting way to get to one of the beaches. 

To get to my favorite beach in Oceanside, you had to take a dark tunnel from one beach.  Going thru the dark tunnel, you had to step on and over rocks – it made for an exciting trip!  The picture above is the view just as I was exciting the tunnel.  The picture below is the tunnel entrance/exit – as you can see it’s not fancy!

Oceanside is one of several cities along the 3 capes scenic loop.  I spent several days touring this area.   The picture below is of one of the spits taken from a wayside on the drive. 

I enjoyed several hikes while in this area.  I went to another waterfall. It was misting the day I went to Munson Creek waterfall, but I’m learning that it does that a lot and you just have to keep going.

Another great hike I did was the Cape Lookout trail.  This trail takes you thru a rain forest while hiking out to the ocean on the cape.  It rained part of the way, but I figured rain while hiking in a rain forest made sense.  The ferns and moss were great! Having the rain forest on one side of you and the ocean on the other (down the cliff) was a great treat!!

Another of the capes was Cape Meares.  Just like waterfalls, I could just sit here and watch the water.  I love watching the waves hit the sea stacks.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Astoria, OR

After the Columbia River Gorge, I headed for the Oregon coast.  My current plan is to take several weeks and head down the coast.

My first stop was in Astoria, OR.  I stayed at Fort Stevens State Park.  While I’m not into history I enjoyed this park.  In addition to the military part of this park, they have a great beach and some wonderful bike trails. To be honest I didn’t go to the historical parts of the park, but I did find the shipwreck interesting.  This is the Peter Iredale, which was wrecked in 1906.

One of the things I was really looking forward to in Oregon was the sea stacks, I have seen so many pictures of these and was excited to see my first ones.  My first good view was from Ecola State Park. 

I had heard about this restaurant that I wanted to try, they only have 3 things on the menu – Fish, Chips and Soda.  But the Fish they use is Albacore Tuna.  I had never had fried tuna so I thought I would give it a try – wow, it was fantastic.  I tried to convince myself that because it was fish it wasn’t too bad for me!!  Not only was the food good, the restaurant (if you can call it that) was very different -

Yep, it was in an old boat.  The other side had stairs leading up to the cabin, where they had made a window to order from.