Discovery South of Newport
Feb 10, 2011
|Tuesday was our work-week "friday", having wednesdays and thursdays as our "weekends". We were "totally exhausted" after putting in four hours! (hee hee - just kidding). We spent about two hours together in the Interpretive Center greeting visitors and answering questions after opening the facility. Then Rick went out with a ranger (Chloe) to "rove" at the tide pools. That means "being present" for visitors, observing critters (land and water) and making sure visitors are abiding all tide pool rules. The weather was better than the day before, but it was still a bit cool and raining off and on. I don't think I mentioned in my last post that while we were in the light house and a gust of wind hit it sounded like a coast guard helicopter hovering above the building.
Rick has been suffering with pain in his back for the past three or four weeks (after lifting the propane tanks in and out of the fifthwheel) so we decided it was time to see the doctor. Being in a place that we cannot see his regular doc, we took a trip to the hospital directly after work. We were so worried that he was developing one or more absesses, but after the exam and lots of discussion it was determined that he had sprained his back. Pfeww!!! What a relief! If he doesn't feel better in two weeks we will be making an appointment with a doctor in Toledo.
Yesterday we woke up to a perfectly clear sky. A perfect day to explore...."Let's go up to Tillamook! - but first let's go down to the lighthouse and tide pools." It was so beautiful; the sky was nothing but blue, the ocean blue and almost glassy it was so calm, and it was still low-tide. There were even ten fishing boats out...we have only seen one or two way off in the distance on any given day. It was early enough (about 10am) that there were no other visitors when we got to the the tide-pools. Harbour seals were basking in the sun all over the rocks, black oyster catchers were feasting on the exposed muscles, purple and orange star fish, green sea anenomes, purple sea urchins, hermit crabs and so many other tiny little critters could be seen in and around the crevaces and pools. Above us the seagulls were dropping critters from the sky onto the cobble stones so their shells would break, exposing the meal within.
We spent too much time at the tide-pools so we ended up driving South instead of North. Maybe we could make it to Florence.
Our first stop was Oha Beach, between Newport and Waldport. It must be a very popular picnic spot because we counted over twenty picnic tables in the beautiful park area bordered by a river.
Further south we stopped at Devil's Churn. The ocean was so calm that there was no "churning" going on. We will have to go there again when the water is more agitated.
A quarter mile more was the turn off for Cape Perpetua; an area highly recommended to us by Ranger Gretchen that we work with. The road snaked up the mountainside...the views at the top were spectacular.
The day was still young so we kept driving south stopping at the Sea Lion Caves. There were a TON of sea lions inside (and out). The howling/barking calls were a bit eery echoeing in the cave. 'Never realized that they actually time their transfers into and out of the water to the waves. To get into the water they wait for a big wave; just as the wave hits they dive - to get out they ride the wave, using it to launch them over the lower vertical face of the rock.
We got a photo of Heceta Head Light House, but didn't tour...we wanted to see more...we'll go back again later.
Next stop; the Oregon Dunes Recreation Area. We know that this area is very popular with many that we know is Idaho so we had to see it for ourselves. We obviously couldn't see a ton from our compact car on the road, but we got a good feel for how huge the area is and how much fun it is for the dune-buggy and fourwheeler enthusiasts.
Well, we might as well see Florence. It was time to grab a bite to eat so we decided to see the Three Rivers Casino...donate a few dollars from our winnings in Lincoln City and eat at their buffet.
So our journey took us through Waldport, Yachats (pronounced YaaHots) and Florence. (Yachats is where to two teenage boys lost their lives last week....so sad..)
We left the casino at 7:30 and got home at 8:45....amazing...it doesn't take three or four hours if you don't stop ten times!