|Along Hwy. 101|
To say we are moving slowly along the Oregon coast would be a bit of an understatement, sometimes we only make 10 miles by lunchtime. Pioneers on the Oregon Trail moved faster than we do! The diversity, drama and beauty of the drive, along Hwy. 101, pull you over frequently. A phenomenal number of state parks, recreation areas, beaches and waysides help visitors enjoy it all, a total of 86 state parks along the 363 miles of coastline alone. In 1913, Oregon’s Governor Oswald West drafted a bill to protect permanent rights of public access to the states’ coast for recreational use. The Senate adopted the Open Beaches Act; and since then the Oregon coast has been accessible to the public.
Stopping frequently to appreciate the views, walk the trails, snack on the local
seafood and look for whales,
makes it hard to travel any distance.
Even though we are traveling in an off-season for whale sighting, we
still managed to spot several when pulled over near Cape Perpetua, one of the
state’s 24 designated whale-watching sites.
Granted they were a half mile or so offshore, and the photos don’t look
like much, but we did see blow spouts and various body parts of gray whales.
|Bike ride on the beach|
South of Waldport, we camped at Beachside State Park, which not only offers beachfront campsites but miles of beach biking on the low tide. Luckily, we were able to squeeze in a 10-mile ride first thing in the morning before the rains moved in.
|Alan on top of the dune|
Next, we traveled to Honeyman State Park, south of Florence, which is part of the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. Miles of beachfront offer ATV and OHV drivers the opportunity to play in the sand. Alan linked up with Sand Dunes Frontier guided tours and experienced a high-speed roller coaster thrill. Dunes reaching as much as 500 feet are found along the coast. Since I was left out on the dune buggy ride, that afternoon we walked along the crest of the tallest dune we could find.
The eastern portion of the park offers Lake Woahink for boating and fishing. Kayaking the following morning with our fishing gears, we tried to snag some trout or large-mouth bass but never even got a hit. Old Town Florence presented a classic car event that coordinated with our visit. 126 beautifully customized vehicles lined the streets, mixed with some 50’s era music playing in the background. An open-air market offered fresh produce and a variety of arts and craft near the town docks, and some yummy clam chowder made it a great visit.
|Heceta Head Lighthouse|
|Dunes near Honeyman SP|
|Pacific City Beach|
|Harbor seal near Yaquina Head Lighthouse|
|Yaquina Head Lighthouse|
|Heading up the dune|
|Alan in the dunes buggy|
|Along Hwy. 101|
|Bridge designed by Conde McCullough|