There was absolutely not a chance in the world that we would be in Oregon and not visit its well-known gorgeous coasts. So with that in mind toward Newport we traveled. Arne and Valerie happened to be also visiting friends and suggested we join them for dinner one last time and had the opportunity of sampling Dungeness crabs. Yumm!
We stayed at the Port of Newport and on our first evening experienced what the locals call coastal mist, which in my humble opinion, is just rain. This is also an area where every morning, rain or shine, locals like to go clamming.
We could see the Yakima bridge from our site and were pleasantly surprised one evening by being able to enjoy a stunning sunset, especially with the bridge on the foreground.
We drove north and came across Depoe Bay, a small and picturesque coastal village known for charter fishing and for whale watching, earning its distinction of being the whale-watching capital of the state. This adorable village has an amazing scenic appeal with its rocky outer bay, flanked by headlands to the north and south with a narrow channel through the basalt cliffs leading to a small inner channel also home of the world’s smallest harbor.
We were told by the locals that if we really wanted to see even more whales we needed to visit Cape Foulweather as on a clear day visibility can extend 40 miles a day. Whether it was one or several gray whales I’m not sure, but we did see whales spouting and breaching.
Our jaunt to arrive to the edge of Cape Foulweather required walking through wildflower fields.
We continued our journey south and stopped at Devils Punch Bowl. Unfortunately, we arrived during low tide and because it is tide dependent, the waves were not entering the bowl and thus, we were not able to see its splendor. Apparently, during high tide waves comes in through the opening at the bottom, which although appears to be somewhat small, it’s probably about 10′ or taller in height, until the bowl fills and then the water spins around in a circular motion each time a wave pushes its way in. We would have had to wait several hours for this to occur so we had to only envision it in our minds.
But to make up for this we visited Devil’s Churn and after walking down the narrow trail to reach a better viewing spot, I could not stop watching the sheer strength of the waves barreling their way inward only to crash against rocks causing them to reach varying heights of anywhere from 10′ to 30′. Not a single one is alike and it was just mesmerizing.
John had to pull me away so we could keep going. We came upon Yakima Head Lighthouse, Oregon’s tallest lighthouse at 93′, with its original lens first lit in 1873, still guides ships along the west coast and remains a beacon of light.
Just offshore I was awed by one of the largest common murre colonies on the coast. The common murre has the most densely packed nesting colony of any bird. The first thought that came to mind was that they were packed in like sardines in a can.
We continued our journey south and stopped often to enjoy the views. It was so worth it though, as the views were spectacular and pictures do not do them justice.
We continued our adventures further southbound and met up with our friends Keith and Jenn at the Sea Lion Caves in Florence. I had previously seen stellar sea lions on docks and swimming in the ocean but watching such a large quantity of them enjoying their natural habitat was certainly a remarkable experience as they have chosen to live in such a large sea cave.
From the Sea Caves we had a beautiful view of the Heceta Head Lighthouse. Today it is an interpretive center, but could you just imagine being able to see these beautiful views on a daily basis as the house keeper who used to live there was able to see?
Because we were so close, we just had to stop in Florence for lunch as it would not be until later in August before we would see Keith and Jenn again. When we arrived in Florence, we were greeted by many bikers who were passing by on their way to a nearby bike rally. It was lovely how all the town’s light poles were decorated with lovely poppy baskets.
After lunch, we traced our steps back to Newport and of course, the sights from a different perspective certainly did not disappoint either. We drove over Rocky Creek bridge and just had to stop.
We were saddened to leave the area, as there was still so much unseen, but yet more adventures to be had. Stay tuned!