September 20 to 23, 2020
We were able to reschedule our planned trip to the central Oregon Coast until after the wildfire smoke cleared out. We stayed in a hotel, brought our own food, and walked on the beaches and trails, following all the covid-safety protocols. Many of the parks and trails along the coast were closed due to the recent windstorms and wildfire smoke event, or due to Covid precautions. But all of the beaches were open for walking.
Sunday, September 20th
We arrived in Yachats in the evening, in time to walk along the rocky outcrops near our hotel as the tide was receding, and watch a lovely sunset, with pelicans and gulls.
Monday, September 21st –
Washburne to Hobbit Beach at low tide – A lovely three mile walk toward Haceta Head.
After our beach walk we continued south along the coast looking for more adventures. Our next stop was to see a swath of carnivorous plants.
We followed the north side of the Siuslaw River to it’s mouth and took a walk along the North Jetty, where we again saw pelicans and plovers.
Exploding Whale park
As we drove back toward Florence, this park caught our attention. It is named for the infamous attempt to dispose of a washed up dead whale with dynamite, on a nearby beach, about 50 years ago.
Haceta Light House
We stopped briefly south of Haceta Head in the early afternoon to see the lighthouse through the fog. On our return trip north in later in the day, the view was much clearer.
Monday, September 22nd
Wax Myrtle Trail and Lagoon Trail, Siltcoos River
Campgrounds in this area were closed, and the trails were particularly empty on this beautiful September day.
As we walked back upriver on our return hike, another hiker pointed out three river otters who were swimming upstream and eating fish along the way. We followed along with them until they disappeared upriver. This is my first time seeing them in the wild!
We walked partway around the nearby lagoon, where these beautiful plants floated on the surface.
South Jetty, Siuslaw River
We drove back north toward Florence, and decided to drive out to the South Jetty of the Siuslaw River, just across from where we had walked on the North Jetty the previous day. There were plenty of people out there, also plenty of room to walk on beaches and in the dunes.
Sunset in Yachats
We had a lovely colorful sky outside our hotel.
Wednesday, September 23rd Yachats
We woke up to wind, and predictions of a storm coming in. We walked a short way on the beach in the wind before heading north toward home.
Seal Rock and Ona Beach
On our drive north, we stopped to look at the Seal Rocks, in the wind.
We stopped at Ona Beach, just to the north of Seal Rocks, and walked out to the beach.
These might be our last pelican sightings for the year.
Rain started as we headed back to the car. I felt so refreshed from our few days in the fresh air and wide open spaces of the Oregon coast, and thankful that I could be there during this difficult year of pandemic, climate and political crises.
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