On the last nice February day in several (it’s raining now), I took a road trip up the Oregon Coast to many favorite places. I didn’t linger in one place very long in order to get it all in. It started at the Sea Lion Caves just north of Florence, OR.
The Heceta Head Lighthouse is the most photographed lighthouse in the USA, and maybe the world, and most of those photos are taken from this spot in front of the caves. It is said that this lighthouse is haunted, but many of them are. The lighthouse keeper’s house is still here and well preserved in the era of the 1890s. Apparently, Rue is the name of the ghost and will show herself on occasion. You can spend a night here as the home is a B & B. You will learn all about Rue and why she is still there. But be sure and book your stay way ahead of time as it fills up fast.
The Steller Sea Lions migrate to these caves in winter for shelter. You can see them in the caves, swimming in the water nearby and lolling on the rocks on shore. The caves were closed this day (we’ve been there–it’s very smelly) but these people were cleaning the statue that sits out on the ocean side of the gift shop. This 1,500 pound, bronze cast sculpture was created by Ken Scott and dedicated in 1982. Bronze contains copper and when it meets water and oxygen, it turns green just like the Statue of Liberty.
Heading north on 101, the next stop is on Cape Perpetua to visit the Devil’s Churn. The ocean is fairly calm today so it’s not churning so much. In the 2nd photo, when the tide is coming in and the ocean is busier than it was this day, the water splashes high up in this chasm.
A short distance north of Cape Perpetua is Yachats. Yachats is a very popular ocean resort town with more housing that the population would warrant. Most of them are summer homes, however big they may be. There is an ocean drive just before you cross the bridge into Yachats. It has great ocean views as you drive right next to the shore. At low tide, you can probably do some tide pooling and in the cove dig for clams. This is the housing you can see from Ocean Dr.
There are some interesting things in Yachats, like the really fun ice cream shop (Tillimook ice cream, of course), but I didn’t linger as I had miles to traverse yet. So, on to Waldport, OR. This is the Alsea Bay Bridge that is visible from a pull out before you get to Waldport.
From this same vantage point can be seen the sandbar peninsula. It probably has a name but I’ve never learned it. However, you can see the housing that is crowded onto this foundation of sand. When the winter winds blow, the sands move and can drift high against the buildings to inhibit entry into the houses. Most of these are summer homes however large they are. Not sure I’d want to live on a sandbar as I’m sure it could disappear at the ocean’s whim.
I have never stopped in Waldport but probably should research things to do there. I think there is a winery! Moving right along north again we eventually come to Newport and pass on through (but we’ll be back on the return trip) and head to Depot Bay. This bay claims to be the smallest bay in the world. It is busy for such a small bay as there are whale watching tours out of here. We’ve been on a few and actually seen a whale or two. Got seasick once also. There is a pod of Gray Whales that can sometimes be seen year-round as they don’t migrate. Sometimes they come into the outer bay area to rub the barnacles off of their bellies. It’s very exciting when you see your first whale either from a boat or from shore. The bay also has a few commercial fishing boats that operate out of it. The first 2 photos are of the outer bay areas.
And the bay…
This photo shows the entrance into the bay under the bridge. A captain has to know how to navigate this entrance so as not to crash up on the concrete. You can see how small the access to this bay is!
As we turn back South, there are two more examples of ocean side housing.
This day started out sunny with blue skies and not a cloud to be seen. But, it turned cloudy and stayed that way. No rain, though, and it didn’t dampen my enthusiasm for visiting familiar places. I hope you will return next time for part II of my February Adventures Along the Oregon Coast. Stay tooned….