Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Down The Coast We Go

Breakfast out started our adventure, a rarity for us these days! We really got out of the habit of going out to breakfast after I started going to Weight Watchers.

Our first stop along the way after that was at Boiler Bay, at the far northern end of Depoe Bay:

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All along the coast of Oregon there are small state parks designated as day use areas.  These typically are on a bluff overlooking the coast or near a beach, have picnic tables around, and usually provide trails or paths to the beach. They are great places to stop and get lost in the beauty of the coast.

Next stop, Yaquina Head Natural Area:

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This is a federally run area, so our America the Beautiful annual pass came in very handy, as the fee is $7 per car.

The lighthouse is one of our favorites (really, they all are!), but we’ve never been here at the right time to actually tour it before.  The woman in the hat in the lower left part of the picture below is a ranger, dressed as the lightkeeper’s wife.  She was our tour guide:

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Yaquina Head Light is the tallest on the Oregon Coast, at 93 feet.  Not that tall, compared to east coast lights, but since it sits on a bluff about 100 feet high, it equals out.  It is still an active light, although they no longer use pig lard to keep it lit!  Each lighthouse has it’s own blinking pattern, this one is 2 seconds on, 2 seconds off, 2 seconds on and 14 seconds off.

Laura, our guide, points out the location of the lighthouse on a historic map:

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The inside of the original 1868 Fresnel Lens:

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Also on this property is an area that used to be a quarry, but now has been developed as tide pools.  I should say, is being developed, because the creation of tide pools is not something that is done quickly.  When we first visited this location several years ago, there weren’t many creatures in the pools yet.  This time, we didn’t walk through them because the tide was coming in:

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Just a few miles down the road, in the town of Newport, stands another lighthouse, the Yaquina Bay Light:

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This structure, believed to be the oldest building in Newport, is part of a state park now.  It was built in 1871, but decommissioned as a navigational aid three years later.  In 1966, the State of Oregon reactivated it.  It has been completely restored with period furniture, and is the only Oregon Lighthouse with living quarters attached.  The light is a steady beam, controlled by a photo cell to shine at night and is located 161 feet above sea level.

We spent a little time in the park, walking the dogs and enjoying the area before heading on south down the coast.  Eventually we decided to have lunch in the little town of Yachats, at a restaurant located on a bluff with a view:

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Everywhere we stopped on this adventure, we noticed pelicans – many, many brown pelicans.  They were in great  abundance all along the coast.  There is a big flock of them in the center of the picture above.

After enjoying a delicious seafood lunch, we started our homeward trek.  It was a beautiful day, no rain, beautiful scenery and great company.


Janna and Mike said...

That's it, I am going to sedate Michael, poke him in the motorhome and come join you guys, your photos are great!

Lee Ann said...

Jim & Ellie, Looks like we were visiting the same places today! Wish we had run into you guys, would have loved to have seen you. We are in Florence, leaving for Brookings either tomorrow or Friday morning. Will be there for a week. Perhaps you'll also be there at the same time? Love to see you! Travel safe, Lee Ann & Larry

Mark and Dortha said...

Boiler Bay was one of my favorite stops.

Glad you had a beautiful day. We have had none stop rain.