The Oregon Coast.
Luke and I have spent the last 5 days on the Oregon Coast, and we’re still miles away from getting to California. We’ve had amazing weather, been to stunning beaches, climbed to spectacular lookouts and lighthouses, and to top it off each night there have been unforgettable sunsets.
It’s hard to imagine how busy it must get here in the summer. Right now the campgrounds are pretty empty and you can have your pick of spots on the beach.
We started our journey south in the little town of Seaside which we arrived at after a few hours drive from outside Portland. One of our favourite spots was the next town, Cannon Beach and Ecola National Park. We hiked up to a lookout through an old growth Sitka Spruce Forest, estimated at about 300 years old and some of the biggest spruce I have ever seen. This area of Oregon is the end of Lewis and Clark’s long journey across the States, and this particular trail was one that they forged.
Another highlight was a stop in Tillamook and a free tour of the cheese factory there, with an unmanned tasting area (if only I had thought to bring an extra bag…). From here we entered the Three Cape Loop, possibly one of the most scenic parts of the coast if you only have time for a short trip.
At Cape Mears we saw an Octopus Tree (a huge mishapen Spruce) and a lighthouse. Our next stop was Netarts Bay where we searched for Agate, a semi precious bluish stone, and found some. And our last stop of the day (and the best) was at Cape Lookout. There is an 8km return trail along the cape to an incredible lookout (funnily enough), it was a beautiful walk. We had decided to stay that night at the campground and were rewarded with a hot shower for our efforts.
On day 3 we found Cape Kiwanda, where sandstone cliffs rise out of the sea.
Our next stop was in the town of Newport where I had read they had read they had a very good aquarium. It was small, but we got to see sea otters playing and seals and sea lions close up. They even had Puffins, which I have been hoping to see but haven’t yet.
We carried on to the Oregon Dunes, not as exciting as Namibia or the Sahara, but beautiful in their own way. We saw a few people out on dune buggies and quad bikes, and hiked up for views of little lakes and the sea beyond.
Today we also saw hundreds of sea lions on a rocky bluff. We stopped at a lookout but didn’t know they were there until we shut off the truck and heard the noise.
Overall we have absolutely loved the Oregon Coast. I am learning to just take each day as it comes and not worry about what our plan may have been, Luke is much better at this than me. He often tells me that I am too German, which I don’t think he realises I take as a compliment. I like being organized, but I also love throwing plans to the wind in favour of a sunny day at the beach.