Part Two, Exploring the Oregon Coast

Can anyone actually have a favorite place at the Oregon Coast? By and large, it is all incredibly beautiful and scenic from border to border, and virtually all of it accessible to the public – a situation unique in the USA. One of Oregon’s early governors got a law passed that made the beaches public property, up to the high-tide line; later, many areas were made into state parks, with great views, camping, and historical significance. Here is a great map of the coastline.

For us, the area between Lincoln City and Newport is exceptional, so when we got a chance to grab our time-share condo at Depoe Bay, we jumped at it! When we checked in, we were thrilled to find we had a fabulous view of Pirate Cove. There was a full-blown storm raging, a far cry from the warm and sunny days we had spent in Bend. The rain lashed our sliding glass door overlooking the cove; the wind blew hard and strong, and the waves splashed and crashed against the rocky cliffs surrounding the tiny bay. Every once in a while, a wave would over-top the cliff; I’m guessing it must have been 50′ tall. In short, a perfect day to stay warm and dry inside with a book, a glass of wine, and epic ocean watching.

But wait, there’s more! From our condo deck, we could also see a large, flattish rocky area on the south side of Pirate Cove, with several sea lions laying about; on the north side, a rocky promontory was the nesting and resting place for literally thousands of sea birds! We could see them flying out to fish, then return and (we had to use a little imagination due to the distance) feed their young. South side, there was also a rough trail outside our door that snaked along the rough rocky headlands, taking us to the place where we had seen the gigantic waves crashing high above the cliff. Beautiful, minuscule flowers lined the path while distant views kept drawing our eyes out to sea.

The next day the storm was gone, so we headed out towards Newport, hoping Terri could get her sea lion fix down at the docks. But we were easily distracted, and stopped at nearly every tiny little pull-out and side road that hinted at a view. And were we rewarded! Three times we got to see the whales spouts from a mother and a calf as they swam southward. What a treat! And we found a new-to-us park,Yakina Head Outstanding Natural Area, home to the Yakina Lighthouse, magnificent tide pools, and fabulous bird-watching opportunities. This area was reclaimed from a mining operation in the very early 1900’s that basically blew up a mountain and shipped it to California for building purposes. You can see before and after photos at an interpretive display.

We also stopped at Otter Crest State Park with some of the best ocean views ever, and the Devil’s Punchbowl State Natural Area where, besides great views, we watched a surfing competition in the bay below. Oh, and grabbed some great ice cream in the tiny nearby settlement! (Good luck finding parking there!)

Mom and calf before they got kicked off the float by the male

We always love to do at least three things in Newport; walk the waterfront, look for the sea lions, and eat at Local Ocean. Unfortunately, we saw no outdoor dining options at Local Ocean, which always has amazing seafood meals. So, the sun was coming out, and we walked the working waterfront. Then we saw people staring at something on one of the docks, so we checked it out … sea lions! Only two, but hey! After getting as close as safely possible, we kept walking, and then came to the main dock where we’ve seen them before, and there were about a dozen of them! We watched their antics for awhile – the big bull sea lions do NOT want to share their portion of the dock. There are always more sea lions than spaces, so females or younger ones are always trying to climb on board, eliciting an aggressive response from the male.

Just the best view of the sea lions!

I noticed that even though it was a bit cool outside, people were dining on an outdoor deck overlooking the sea lion show below, so we headed over to the Saltwater Restaurant, and were able to grab a prime seat. So much fun, and the perfect way to wrap up our stay on the coast. Next stop, the Willamette Valley and Portland.

6 thoughts on “Part Two, Exploring the Oregon Coast

  1. Dearest BIG brother, Here is a screen shot of how your blog shows up in my email. Not sure why your photo captions are doing that …

    [image: image.png]

    *If you have much, give of your wealth; *

    if you have little, give of your heart


  2. I shared it on my Facebook page! Why? Because I so enjoy reading about your adventures, and I’m sure others will also!!

    *If you have much, give of your wealth; *

    if you have little, give of your heart


  3. It’s beautiful to share this adventure with you, thank you for writing it. Your writing is fun, evocative, and so entertaining!!
    I was fortunate to tour newly the same exact area, and stop at many of the same places when we had the sibling reunion and I went off for a day adventure on my own. So I could really picture them right along with you. Fun to share!!


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