Fresh Air at the Oregon Coast

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.

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Central Oregon Coast, and places we walked on our trip.

Sunday, September 20th

Yachats, Oregon

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.

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Yachats sunset

Pelican

Pelican

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Yachats sunset

Pelican peleton

Pelican peleton

Monday, September 21st –

Washburne to Hobbit Beach at low tide – A lovely three mile walk toward Haceta Head.

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Tidal pools and sand bars on the beach as we walk south toward Haceta Head.

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Rocky outcrop with tide pools.

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Sea anemones, barnacles, and mussels.

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Blue sky, blue sand.

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Ripples.

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Return walk north.

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A skittering of sand plovers.

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Sand plovers, doubled.

Darlingtonia Wayside

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.DSC03030DSC03026

North Jetty

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.

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Entry to the North Jetty.

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Walking seaward on the North Jetty – those shadows in the distance are birds!

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Another skittering of sand plovers! It makes me so happy just to watch them!

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Plovers.

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Pelicans and other sea birds far out on the jetty.

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Pelican in flight!

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I spotted one seal nearby.

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The dunes and lifeguard tower near the North Jetty entrance.

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A line of rocks in the estuary make perfect perches for the seabirds.

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Pelicans and gulls on their perches.

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.

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Local citizens voted for the park name.

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A short walk here reveals nice views of the highway bridge, and the dunes to the south.

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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.

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Haceta Head Lighthouse from the beach, through the fog.

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Lighthouse from the highway viewpoint, early afternoon.

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Lighthouse from the highway viewpoint, late afternoon.

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.

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The walk to Wax Myrtle Beach follows the Siltcoos River.

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We spotted a heron in the estuary as we got closer to the beach.

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Heron.

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We followed the Siltcoos River to the sea.

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A line of sand dunes border Wax Myrtle Beach.

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Dunes and beach.

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We walked north to the mouth of the Siltcoos River, where birds were out on the low tide sandbars.

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Pelican.

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More plovers in the foreground!

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!

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All three otters in this photo – the third one in the upper left corner. They are very fast and hard to photograph!

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We walked partway around the nearby lagoon, where these beautiful plants floated on the surface.

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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. 

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Looking seaward between the jetties. The North Jetty lifeguard tower is on the horizon.

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Waves crashing against the South Jetty. Not as many pelicans on the outer jetty.

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South Jetty beach from South Jetty.

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Seaweed on South Jetty beach.

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Swash zone.

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Looking south.

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Sand dunes to the east all along the beach for miles.

Sunset in Yachats

We had a lovely colorful sky outside our hotel.

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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.

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Seal Rock and Ona Beach

On our drive north, we stopped to look at the Seal Rocks, in the wind. 

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Seal Rocks to the south.

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Seal Rocks to the north.

We stopped at Ona Beach, just to the north of Seal Rocks, and walked out to the beach.

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Crossing Beaver Creek on our way to the beach.

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Beaver Creek estuary

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Squirrel getting ready for winter.

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Ona Beach.

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Windblown sand across the tidal flats.

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Sand ripples, birds on the low tide bars.

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These might be our last pelican sightings for the year.

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Ona Beach, looking south toward Seal Rocks. Too windy to explore today – we will have to come back another time.

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. 

Colorful holidays, and a visit to Eugene

Christmas week, 2019

Various Christmas trees, lights, candles and sweets:

We drove to Eugene for a day to visit family and walk along the Willamette River.

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Leaving Portland via the Macadam Bridge.

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Dense fog in the Willamette Valley.

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Sunny skies and lunch at the Public Market in Eugene.

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View upriver from the Peter DeFazio Bridge.

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Downstream view- a heron, and the Ferry Street Bridge.

Four of the twenty four American Nobel Peace Prize Laureates that are honored in the Peace Plaza at Alton Baker Park.

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Downstream view from the Ferry Street Bridge.

Knitting

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I  finished the Rafa’s Hat for my son after he tried it on – thankfully it fit and he wore it for the rest of the day.

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I unsuccessfully searched my button collection for buttons for the Meris cardigan.

Saddle Mountain, Oregon, June 10, 2019

We have been up this trail many times.The profusion of wildflowers this time of year is always a draw. A combination of shadowy forest and rocky open slopes over 1600 feet of elevation change creates a myriad of habitats and bloom times. We saw at least 66 different types of blooming flowers. I’ve detailed our 2017 hike here. Some standout views for today:

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Shady forest

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View to the top

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The knob

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First view of the ocean beyond the knob

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Steep chicken wire lined rocky trail up the cliffs

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The saddle

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Bistort, Mt Rainier

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Flowers all the way to the top

 

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View to Mt Rainier, Mt St Helens and Mt Adams from the summit

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View to Astoria from the summit

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Looking back to the sea and the summit on the return hike

 

Notable flowers:

This was hike #27 for 2019, 6.8 miles, 1900 feet.

A Winter Day at the Oregon Coast

2/21/2019

We drove over the snowy Coast Range from Portland to Cannon Beach and explored some of our favorite places on a cold, sunny day. Everywhere else within reach was colder, wetter, snowier.

Arcadia Beach State Park

First stop, late morning. High tide was in the early afternoon so the beach was shrinking as we walked a couple of miles south along the shore. We could not get around any of the headlands. Heavy mineral concentrations on the sand-depleted winter beaches made beautiful patterns.

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Looking down on Arcadia Beach from above – at low tide we would be able to walk around the headland and north all the way to Cannon Beach.

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Tidal channels

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Heavy mineral patterns

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Foot for scale.

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View to the south toward Hug Point and beyond.

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Zooming in on Hug Point – as close as we would get to it today.

Hug Point State Park

Tide even higher, so our stop here was brief.

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Beach at Hug Point State Park – north view at high tide. We would not be able to see the waterfall or Hug Point itself today.

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South view – in the summer the sand stretches for miles at low tide!

Arch Cape Beach

We have stayed near this beach many times over the past 30 years. We found a log to perch on while we ate our lunch. Only the rocky shingle was exposed on the winter beach. Thick foam was washing around in the swash zone, floating on the ebbing water, sparkling in the sun.

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Lunch view to the north.

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Lunch view to the south, Arch Cape and Castle Rock.

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Neahkahnie Viewpoint

At the south end of Oswald West State Park, the view to Nehalem Bay and Manzanita to the south is stunning.

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Neahkahnie Mountain

We hiked the three mile round trip to the top of Neahkahnie Mountain – beautiful views on this cold day.

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Much of the trail is through shady forest.

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View from the rocky top. Nehalem Bay and Manzanita Beach.

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Note the snow capped peaks in the Coast Range.

Short Sand Beach, Oswald West State Park

We walked a couple of miles here on the interconnected trails that lead to Short Sand Beach in Smuggler’s Cove.

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Bridge over Necarney Creek

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View to north from the south beach

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View to south from the south beach

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North beach of Smuggler’s CoveFalcon Point and Blumenthal Falls

There were a few surfers in the water.

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I accidentally photographed a surfer when I was zooming in on the falls.

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Blumenthal Falls

Silver Point View

Looking back toward Cannon Beach and Haystack Rock.

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Cannon Beach/Haystack Rock at Sunset

After an early dinner in Cannon Beach, we parked near Haystack Rock. Dan walked down the beach to photograph the sunset. I watched from above, keeping warm in the car. (Hike #11, 8 miles, 1100 feet for the day).

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Haystack Rock

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Tillamook Head to the north.

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Crafting

I finished the first sock of this pair. I have set up a frame to practice canvas stitching.

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Late Summer Adventures Part 1 – Redwoods and Beaches (18-38)

We were looking forward to a long planned trip to Crater Lake and Mt Lassen, but with  forest fires and smoke in those areas, we rescheduled to Brookings and Sisters, keeping one of our Ashland days in the mix.

Ashland, Oregon  9/8/2018

It was smoky/hazy when we arrived in Ashland. We walked around downtown, including a stop at Websters, the yarn store, and a walk through Lithia Park. We had an early dinner at one of the restaurants along Lithia Creek, then saw the play ‘Snow In Midsummer’ at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. The story was a modernized Chinese tale about a woman who had been wronged and was seeking justice. Very well done and thought provoking regarding harm that descends through generations.

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The pond in Lithia Park, Ashland, Oregon

Darlingtonia, Redwoods and Whaleshead Beach   9/9/2018

The way to the southern Oregon Coast is through the redwood forests of Northern California. We stopped at Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, first at the botanical trail where we viewed the Darlingtonia bog:

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Darlingtonia are carnivorous pitcher plants – they eat insects. This bog is one of the rare preserves for these plants.

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Next we took a short hike (#47) through Stout Grove along the middle fork of the Smith River.

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Then we drove north on Hwy 101 back into Oregon to our lodgings near Whales Head Beach. After dinner we took a long walk on the beach as the tide ebbed.

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Whalehead Island from the beach

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View south

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Ebb tide sand patterns

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Wind ripples

Boy Scout Tree Redwood Trail and Point St George, CA  9/10/2018

We saw a rainbow at Rainbow Rock while driving south this morning:

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Rainbow over Rainbow Rock

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Zoom in view of Rainbow Rock folds

We drove south into Jedediah Smith State Park again to hike the Boy Scout Tree Trail (#48). The forest is lined with oxalis and fern and it is awe inspiring to walk among these very tall, old beautiful trees.

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Dwarfed by trees

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The Boy Scout Tree

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Late Oxalis bloom

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The undersides of the oxalis leaves are this beautiful red violet color.

After our hike, we drove to the coast just north of Crescent City, to Point St George, where the tide was receding and we had a chance to explore the tide pools.

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Redwood flotsam

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sea anemones

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clam, anemones

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snails

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snail trails

Boardman Corridor Beaches  9/11/2018

We spent the day exploring the Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor, a series of viewpoints, short trails and beaches along the southern Oregon coast north of Brookings.

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Arch Rock

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Natural Bridges

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Whalehead Island

We took a longer hike at Cape Ferrelo (#49),

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and another low tide beach walk at sunset at Lone Ranch Beach.

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Knitting

I made progress on the back panel of the Ivy Lace Cardigan while traveling:

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Astoria, Oregon; London Museums (18-19)

Memorial Day weekend visit to Astoria, Oregon

May 26-28, 2018   A family member was camping at Fort Stevens State Park, so we made plans to stay in Astoria for a couple of nights and visit them. On Saturday we took a short walk to Coffenbury Lake from the campground.

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Coffenbury Lake, Fort Stevens State Park

It was a beautiful evening, so we headed north to Clatsop Spit for a picnic on the beach, then visited several viewpoints to admire the clear views in every direction. We looked back toward Astoria, north toward Washington and Cape Disappointment, and west to the jetties that bound the shipping channel over the Columbia Bar.

By sunset we made our way to the beach where the Wreck of the Peter Iredale slowly rusts away in the surf. This is an iconic Oregon landmark we had never visited, so I was glad to finally see it profiled against a colorful sky.

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Sunday morning we drove across the Columbia River on the Astoria-Meglar Bridge to Washington.

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We had once visited Cape Disappointment on a disappointingly foggy day. Today was sunny and clear. We took the short hike to the lighthouse and the Lewis and Clark Visitor Center.

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Lewis & Clark Visitor Center

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North Jetty

Lewis and Clark made it to this point, but did not recognize the mouth of the river because of the wide expanse of the estuary.  We had beautiful views today, and interesting exhibits, including a decommissioned fresnel lighthouse lens – always so fascinating to look at.

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Wallflowers and north jetty

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Looking back toward the lighthouse

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Map view of the mouth of the Columbia River

Later in the day we returned to Astoria and bought some fresh spring Chinook salmon to BBQ at the campground with our family members.

Monday we took a stroll along the waterfront in Astoria.

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View to Washington

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Cormorant on old pilings

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Old pilot car

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Pacific nine bark

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Waiting for salmon to bite

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Looking back up hill to the Astoria Column

We stopped to eat our lunch at Youngs River Falls before returning home.  A pleasant weekend getaway.

England Trip Report Part 2

Day 2: London, Museums in the rain          April 27, 2018

A rainy day. It was only two tube stops to the Victoria & Albert Museum in South Kensington. We didn’t even have to leave the underground – a long tunnel leads to the museum entrance. When we visited in 2011, the textile exhibit had been undergoing renovation, and I was hoping to see it this visit. But it turns out that there is no longer a textile wing. Textiles are scattered throughout the museum in various exhibits. Some highlights of our viewing:

From the Europe 1600-1815 Gallery:

And two drawing room spinning wheels:

The museum entrance has a domed ceiling with a fabulous Chihuly Glass Sculpture:

Medieval/Renaissance Sculpture Gallery

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There is a Fashion Through Time exhibit:

Upstairs galleries are devoted to Ironwork, Glass, Ceramics and other decorative arts:

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And Queen Victoria oversees all:

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We grabbed a sandwich in the museum cafe. It was still rainy outside, so we went next door to the Natural History Museum.

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This is a huge complex – one could never see it all, but we took in some dinosaurs:

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We would see more of Mary Anning’s work later when we visited Lyme Regis.

Architectural details throughout the museum inspired by Natural History:

The enormous Hintze Hall:

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and the Dodos.

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There were tons of people and it was a bit overwhelming, but I enjoyed seeing the exhibits.

The rain had let up, so we continued walking north, past the Royal Albert Hall, the Albert Memorial,

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Royal Albert Hall

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Albert Memorial

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and on to the gardens outside Kensington Palace.

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Kensington Palace

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Victoria again

This happened to be the day the name of new baby Prince Louis Arthur Charles was announced, so there was a small press pool camped out in their compound. We continued walking until we found ourselves at the Queensway station. We took the tube back to our lodging, refreshed, then found a nearby Indian restaurant for our dinner.

London, Day 3:  Jane Austen’s portrait and more walking            April 28, 2018

One of my goals for this trip was to see the Jane Austen portrait at the National Portrait Gallery in Trafalgar Square. Off we went on the tube to Leicester Square, followed by a short walk to the museum. We found the portrait exhibited in a specially lighted cabinet. It is the only existing picture of Jane Austen made during her lifetime – hard to imagine in these selfie days. The portrait is small and the pencil lines are faded. It was drawn by her sister Cassandra in 1810 when Jane was 35 and Cassandra was 37. I appreciated getting to spend several minutes looking at her as she was seen by the person who knew her best in the world.

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Jane Austen Portrait in special case

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We then took some time to explore the rest of the museum – an excellent walk through the faces of British history. As with any museum, one can’t see everything, but these portraits caught my eye:

Three views of Queen Elizabeth I:

 

The only American in the museum:

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George Washington

Some of my favorite authors:

 

 

Recent royalty:

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Queen Elizabeth II

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Princess Diana

After stopping for lunch in the National Gallery Cafe,

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National Gallery

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Trafalgar Square

we decided to walk across the Thames again on the Hungerford Bridge,

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then walk east along the south bank as far as the Millenium Bridge. It was a busy Saturday – a bit overwhelming how many people there are in London at any one moment. Every language and ethnicity, especially in the tourist areas.

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Mural hiding a construction site on the river

We crossed back to the north on the Millenium Bridge,

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Tower Bridge

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Non-orthagonal buildings on the skyline

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the Shard

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St Pauls ahead

but then felt too tired to attempt St Paul’s,

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St Paul’s Cathedral

which we had visited in 2011, so we wandered back toward Blackfriars, and took the tube back to Victoria from there.

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Looking back under the Millenium Bridge: Shakespeare’s Globe and the Tate Modern Museum

We found an Italian restaurant nearby – most of the patrons were getting ready to see Wicked or Hamilton playing at the two nearby theaters.

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Victoria Palace Theater – we saw Billy Elliot here in 2011.

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Typical tube scene

We had accomplished our sightseeing goals for London, had somewhat adjusted to the time shift, and were ready for the next phase of our journey  – on to Brighton by train, then further exploration of southern England by car and trail.

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21. It’s cool at the beach! plus a pod of pelicans!

My post 20 about the Columbia Gorge fire, (still out of control as I write this) delayed finishing this post.

Neahkahnie Mountain      9/1/2017      (#44)

The heat and wildfire smoke have settled into the Portland area for the long weekend and beyond.  We drove out to the coast this morning, for a repeat of the day trip I took with my sister and son in August.  No fog bank this time – the sky was clear blue and it was actually a little hotter than I would have liked for the hike.

Neakanie Mtn juts 1680 feet up from the ocean.  The  south trailhead is at about 700 feet, so we only had to climb about a thousand feet over one and a half miles to reach the top. The first mile is steep switchbacks through coastal forest with a few straggling flowers, and shady much of the way.  The last half mile is just below the ridgeline, over rocky outcrops, with a final slight scramble to the summit – a rocky spine with not much space for the two or three families who were there with us.  We perched where we could long enough to eat sandwiches, while admiring the incredible view over Nehalem Bay, and watching the wave trains swash along the beach below.

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Nehalem Bay/Manzanita from Neahkahnie Mtn

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A fellow hiker took this photo of us while we were eating, and kindly emailed it to us.  It is one of my favorite photos of us on a hike.  Meanwhile, it was actually rather roasting up there, so we started down and fairly quickly returned to the trailhead.

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With most of the day still ahead of us before the low tide at about 5 pm, we next went to the famous Neahkanie Point overlook on the highway, and paused to say Thank You! to Oswald West, Oregon governor about 100 years ago who was foresighted enough to reserve much of the Oregon coast as public land.

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South view, Neahkahnie Viewpoint

Next we walked about a half mile down to a viewpoint over Devil’s Cauldron, a coastal cliff chasm that creates a lot of splash.  There was a lovely bench in the shade which we had  to ourselves for a while. We sat and admired the view, which includes Cape Falcon in the distance – the very Cape that Helen, Brian and I hiked out to about a month ago – interesting to see from this angle.

Next stop – Hug Point.  We have spent a lot of time on this stretch of beach, from Arch Cape to Cannon Beach, during the last 28 years. We rented a house for a week here with our kids nearly every summer, and if they remember any one place as a favorite family vacation spot, this is it. First we walked south toward Arch Cape, passing The Cave and Big Barnacle Rock.  I am impressed with how deep the sand is!  Ten or more years ago heavy winter storms washed away so much sand and deflated the beach such that the sections of cobbled beach were persistent all summer. It is more fun to walk on the sandy beach!  Tide was going out, but not very low today – we could not walk around the west side of Big Barnacle Rock, but it was nice to say Hi and have a good peek into The Cave.

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The Cave

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Big Barnacle Rock

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Neahkahnie Mountain, which we climbed this morning

We walked back north to Hug Point, now the cool wind in our face!  All the way onto Hug Point, (once the actual road, cut by people out of the sandstone headland), and around to the other side, looking north to Arcadia and Cannon Beaches.  On the walk back we got a close look at the waterfall, then drove north along the coast to Arcadia Beach.

Dan wanted to see if there were any sea stars at Big Starfish Rock (Silver Point) at low tide.  We walked north from Arcadia Beach as the tide ebbed, splashing in the tidal pools that sparkle in the sun. The water was so blue today, and the air so fresh!  We spotted a sea star in the sand, but none at the rock. We arrived just as the tide was beginning to rise, so couldn’t get close to the small arch which we were hoping was covered in sea stars.  Again, not a low tide day, so we couldn’t really tell if they were there.

I had seen a couple of lines of pelicans from a distance flying along the swell line.  We were treated to watching a pod of about a dozen of the elegant birds land on a tidal sand bar just as the rising tide isolated the bar from the beach.  They were standing on the sand bar, facing north, and seemingly grooming.  We watched for a long time, taking pictures, though the sun angle was not great for our purposes.  Another couple of pods also flew near so that I could see over thirty pelicans at once.  Pretty cool! We have named the sea stack behind them Big Pelican Rock, to honor a family tradition of naming important viewpoints.

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We walked back to Arcadia beach, noticing the promontory we now call the Sphinx of Arcadia, because that is what it looks like.

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the Sphinx of Arcadia

We finished the day with a delicious dinner at the Pelican Brewery in Cannon Beach, followed by an uneventful ride home, over the coast range, into the hazy Willamette Valley.

LOOKBACK:

I could go crazy here!  We have so many pictures of this locale. I will just show these two comparisons, which I find interesting because they show how much sand has returned to the beach between photos. The first is The Cave, 2008 and 2017.  The second is an alcove near Hug Point 2011 and 2017.

17. Oswald West/Cape Falcon

Beach Day  7/8/2017 (#41)

Portland has been HOT (95 to 105) and SMOKY from the BC and other Cascade wildfires.  My visiting sister, my son and I decided to head west to the coast for some relief.  Our initial plan was to climb Neahkanie Mountain, an easy hike with great views, but the peak was fogged in.  We opted instead for the five mile round trip hike to Cape Falcon from the Oswald West State Park parking area.  The beach is a popular surfing spot, and the trail took us down to the beach where many were riding the waves and enjoying the 60 degree air temperatures.

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Cape Falcon (our goal) is the far ridge beyond Smuggler Cove

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Short Sand Beach

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We went from the trailhead to the cape and back via the beach trail

We followed the well worn trail past a small waterfall and out to the Cape where we watched the fog roll in and out, obscuring views and keeping us cool.  We found a shady perch to eat lunch, then hiked back to the trail head, tripping over some of the many exposed roots on the trail – it could use some work, to be perfectly honest, but the cool temperatures and beautiful views make it hard to complain.

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Looking down on Short Sand Beach from the trail

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Small waterfall above Blumenthal Falls

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Daisies and hemlock on the Cape

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View to south from the Cape

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View to north from the cape

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Cape Falcon

We drove back north on HWY 101, and stopped for a while at Hug Point State Park.  The receding tide was still high, so we could not quite make it on to Hug Point, but we sat for a while in the late afternoon near the waterfall, dipped our toes into the Pacific Ocean and enjoyed the peace, and the cool temperatures. I was able to get one iPhone photo of the waterfall without other beach goers in it.

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Castle Rock from near the Hug Pt Waterfall

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Hug Pt Waterfall

And because I have been really enjoying the LOOKBACK aspect of writing this blog, despite, or maybe because of, the rabbit hole nature of digging through my photos, here are two comparison photos of the Hug Point waterfall, and the view south  toward Castle Rock from Hug Point, taken May 8th, 2016, when we were there for a super low tide.

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Hug Point waterfall, May 8, 2016

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View south to Castle Rock from Hug Point, May 8, 2016

We stopped in Cannon Beach for a typical post beach day meal at the Pelican Brewery (clam chowder, fish tacos, fish and chips), then returned eastward on Hwy 26, back over the coast range to Portland and home, where the hazy smoky air and hot temperatures absorbed us into their gloom.  Next weekend is predicted to be in the 80s; perhaps the wildfires will calm down and the smoke will dissipate.  One can only hope, as it is rather tedious to complain about the weather.

Meanwhile, back in Portland:

By the weekend, the heat spell finally broke.  I pulled open the living room shades for the first time in two weeks, and there were plums on our plum tree, raindrops on roses, and cherry tomatoes for my birthday eclipse bowl.

And, somewhere in Peru…

They made it to Machu Picchu!

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10. Saddle Mountain with a bit of quilting and knitting

Saddle Mountain     6/23/2017   (#34)

Saddle Mountain is in the coast range, so has slightly different suite of flowers than what we see in the Gorge or Cascades. We have hiked Saddle Mountain in different seasons, and today we expected a mid-wildflower season bloom.  I found 66 different flowers that I could name, a new maximum for this year.  The trail switchbacks through both forest and open meadow slopes and cliffs, 5 miles round trip and 1600 feet elevation.

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Top of Saddle Mountain as seen from the trailhead.

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Dan in the cliff meadows on the way up.

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Distinctive knob along the trail with views toward the ocean.

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Looking north toward Mt. Rainier from near the top.

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Our friend having lunch on the lower summit ridge, with Mt. St Helens and Mt. Adams beyond.

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View from the top to Astoria and the ocean

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View to the north from the summit with three volcanos

Some of the wildflowers that stood out to me:

Quilting progress:

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Sneak peak at my Jane Austen tribute quilt using Smithsonian reproduction fabrics, many years in the making, and now basted and ready for quilting.

Knitting progress:

Crazy eights dishcloth (pattern by Julie Tarsh, Ravelry), made from kitchen cotton.  The second photo is a compressed version of the picture in my quest for better blog photos.

 

6. Yachats Weekend

Mary’s Peak and Yachats 804 Trail  Friday, May 26   (#28)

We started our weekend by driving to Mary’s Peak in the central Coast Range just west of Corvallis.  The meadows near the trail head were full of yellow Pioneer violets.  There were glacier lilies and radio towers at the top, along with a view of the Oregon Cascades from north to south: Mt. Hood, Mt. Jefferson, Three Fingered Jack, Mt. Washington, the Three Sisters, Mt. Bachelor, and Mt. Thielson.

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Dan at the top of Mary’s Peak, with the Cascade Mountains from Mt. Hood to Mt. Bachelor on the skyline.

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Flower list

 

After our short hike we continued on Highway 34 west through the Alsea River valley, twisting and winding through riparian landscape to the sea at Waldport, then south along Highway 101 to Yachats.  The Overleaf Hotel overlooks a black lava armored swash zone that was spouting waves at high tide.  We were also looking out on the 804 trail that outlines the edge of land there.  We walked along the trail after dinner, admiring the early summer wild flowers and exploring some of the coves and natural jetties as the tide ebbed.  We watched a red shrouded sun sink into the sea.

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Spouting waves near our hotel

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Another beach view

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Sunset

Meanwhile, back in Portland, the terrorism had come to our neighborhood. Three honorable men defended two girls from an intolerant ranter on the Max train and were stabbed in the neck at close range, killing two of the men. We followed this horrific story from afar all weekend.

Cape Perpetua             Saturday, May 27         (#29)

We started at the Cape Perpetua Visitor Center, and hiked down to the tide pools at low tide, and then to the Cook’s Chasm area, but decided to return at high tide to see the wave action.

We then hiked up the St. Perpetua trail to the CCC stone shelter on the cliff. The trail passes through forest and hanging wildflower meadows.  The views were somewhat obscured by fog.

In the afternoon we returned to Cook’s Chasm at high tide, and saw the Spouting Horn, and Thor’s Well, and a lot more people.

Back in our room, we saw large sea creatures in the waves, and took photos with our zoom lenses.  At first we assumed it was a whale, or four.  But when I googled whales I could not find the fringed fins I was seeing.  After a little more searching, I realized we were seeing sea lions, whose tail fins look like fingers.  But we did see four of them from our window surfing the waves.

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Sea lion or two

Later, we went for a delicious dinner at the Drift Inn in Yachats, and then a walked south from our room on the 804 trail.

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Sea thrift on the rocks

Heceta Head and Lighthouse, Hobbit Beach                 Sunday, May 28 (#30)

Washburne Beach was foggy as we started our hike.  We walked about a mile along the beach at low tide, few others about, and passed a bald eagle sitting in a snag above the beach.

The southern part of the beach is called Hobbit Beach, presumably because the sandstone bluffs are eroded into hobbit holes by water seeps dripping down.

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The fog was lifting as we headed up from the beach through the rhododendron and Sitka spruce forest on Heceta Head.

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Into the misty forest

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rhododendron

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Rhododendron forest

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View back to Hobbit Beach

By the time we switchbacked down to the Heceta Head Lighthouse on the south side, we could see the lovely blue water and birds on the rocks.  We ate our lunch near the light house and took a brief tour through the lower part of the old building.

Then we retraced our trail back to Hobbit Beach, which by now had plenty of people and a higher tide.

On our way back to Yachats, we drove up to the CCC shelter that we hiked to yesterday.  Today, the skies were clearer and we could see the views we missed.  We also stopped for a look at the Devil’s Churn area, another place where the waves create large splashes as they are constricted in rock crevices.  In the evening, we sat in the spa pools at our hotel that overlook the beach.

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Less foggy view from the Cape Perpetua shelter

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Zoomed in, now I can see the Spouting Horn and Thor’s Well

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Devil’s Churn

 

Yachats 804 Trail and home,      Monday, May 29

We took another low tide walk through the rocky headlands near our hotel.  There were sea stars clinging to the rocks at the lowest levels, giving us hope that the species will recover from the disintegration disease that wiped many of them out during the past few years.  Dan also saw a breaching whale while I poked around in the tide pools. Soon enough it was time to pack up and head home after a lovely weekend by the sea.

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Spouting slot at high tide

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Slot at low tide

A few more low tide beach views:

Flowers near the beach: