Saturday, April 2, 2011

The Oregon Coast

I grew up in western Oregon about an hour's drive from the coast. Now I live in eastern Washington, which is about a six-hour drive away, so instead of going to the beach three times in one week (as happened when I was in college), I'm lucky to visit the coast once in three years. Last week was one of the rare trips we made to the Oregon coast.

It was late on a Monday afternoon and my husband and I were talking about what we should do for the rest of the week. He said, "I want to go to the coast." So we left Tuesday morning (you can do things like this when you're retired.)

It was rainy and overcast 99 percent of the time we were there. We drove down to Newport one day to have lunch, stopping at the seawall at Depoe Bay. As you can see from the photo, even the seagull had the shivers! Mostly we holed up in our oceanfront hotel room, looking out the window and watching the waves come in -- if the clouds cleared enough that we could see that far. I ventured down the stairs for a walk on the beach one evening and came back wet and shivering. The next day it cleared up enough in the afternoon that we took another beach walk near where the D River (which claims the title of being the world's shortest river) empties into the Pacific. As luck would have it, the weather never really started clearing up until we left for home on Friday morning.

The whales are migrating at this time of year, so I packed my binoculars. Probably a gazillion whales passed by but we'll never know as you just couldn't see that far out to sea. Our hotel told us the best place to see whales was the wall at Depoe Bay unless you take a whale-watching cruise. With the water so rough, no way was I going to get into a boat and venture out into the ocean.

The Oregon coast really has a lot to offer. We usually go just to Lincoln City, but a few times have gone down to Bandon, Brookings and Gold Beach when we have the time. We like Old Town Newport and usually have lunch at one of the quaint little cafes there.There's a sheltered dock where fat ol' sea lions hang out, but the salt water taffy store clerk said he hadn't heard them calling for a few days, so he assumed they'd gone elsewhere for a few weeks. He said the resident sea lions leave for about six weeks every year.

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