Just Coastin'

Trip Start May 09, 2009
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Trip End May 27, 2010


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Where I stayed
Sunset Bay State Park

Flag of United States  , Oregon
Sunday, October 4, 2009

Our next adventure took us from the mountains of Oregon to its coast. We headed first to a campground near South Beach OR, about a third of the way down the coast.  After a few days there, we headed further south to Sunset Bay State Park so that we could continue our explorations.

For most of our exploring, we stayed on Hwy 101 which is also the Pacific Coast Scenic Byway.  The Oregon coast is protected and the state has done a great job ensuring that there are numerous parks and waysides for public access.  Even the rocks in the ocean are part of a wildlife refuge. 

We were fortunate to have mostly good weather while here.  Except for the last day where the coast was fogged in, we had sunny (but cool) days. 

We were wowed by the beauty and diversity of the Oregon Coast.  Nothing in our previous beaching experience compared to the ruggedness of the coast here.  The power of the Pacific was amazing where, even in relatively calm weather, huge waves crashed against massive rocks and capes.  There is a winter tourism built up here just for storm watching. 

This was supposed to be good whale watching territory, but our timing was off and we didn't see any.  We did come across a huge colony of harbor seals when we stopped at an overlook of a lighthouse.  Down the road, they were charging to go into a sea cave and see seals, but for free, we saw at least a hundred in the cove at the overlook,  You could hear their barking from the road.  The other mammals we spotted were surfers taking advantage of the waves!

Part of our enjoyment of our coastal trip was traveling over wonderful concrete (and sometimes with steel) bridges erected in the 1930s and designed by Conde B. McCullough.  His designs are remarkable and the state has done a great job in keeping many of them restored and functioning.  Soon, we were able to identify his bridges by the deco obelisks that flanked the entrances and the wonderful arches that were his signature.

We would have been content to stay longer at the coast, but we are behind in our itinerary and need to head off to our next destination, Crater Lake, before snow moves in.  We’ll be heading back to the coast after that, but this time in Northern California. 
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