Our plan today is to drive only 60 miles from Corvallis over to the Oregon coastline where we will be staying at a campground in the South Beach State Park located only a few miles south of the city of Newport and less than 1/2 mile off the Pacific Ocean. Despite the short distance over to the campground our drive is expected to take at least 1-1/2 hours since to get from Corvallis in the Willamette Valley to the coastline we had to climb over Oregon's Coastal mountain range. While the highest point that we reached on the drive was only an elevation of 900 feet, much of the drive was on a two lane winding road where our top speed reached no more than 50 mph. The drive again was beautiful as all of the hills were covered with Oregon's famous Douglas Firs and other tall evergreens. Our campsite was a pleasant surprise with large paved spaces, and plenty of shade trees and scrubs. In addition, one of the trails over to the beach area was right next to our campsite. The photo above shows both our travel trailer on the left and my sister Joan's shinny Gulfstream trailer on the right.
Once our two trailers were both hooked up, Kathy and Joan took their dogs (Cabo and Bodhi) on a walk over to the beach on the 1/3 mile trail located right next to our trailer. The photo to the right shows Kathy and the dogs on the beach. One thing that we quickly discovered is that the temperatures here on the Oregon Coast were quite a bit cooler than in the Willamette Valley and for that matter, in the rest of Oregon. On the beach the temperatures were in the mid-60s whereas over in Corvallis only 60 miles east, the temperature at the same time period was in the mid-90s.
After lunch we decided that we would head north for a short drive into Newport both to do a bit of shopping as well as to explore an area within the City of Newport known as Nye Beach. Nye Beach was a popular tourist destination located directly on the Pacific Ocean. The area was occupied with dozens of quaint shoppes, restaurants, small hotels, and many neat condos and small cottages. The beauty of the area kind of reminded us of one of the many villages along the coastline of Ireland that we had visited a few years back.
This photo of Cabo and I was taken by Joan while Kathy wandered in and out of the many small shoppes that lined the streets running up and down the hills above the ocean. In the background in the photo of Cabo and I (almost impossible to see without enlarging the photo) is the lighthouse on Yaquina Head that protrudes far out into the ocean. Tomorrow part of our plan is to visit the lighthouse.
We returned back to our campground around 4 o'clock just in time to begin our "cocktail hour" and sit around, relax, and discuss the good times that we had today and what fun things that we have planned for tomorrow. My sister Joan has done an outstanding job so far planning and acting as our tour guide. We could never have seen Oregon as we have so far without her help. Tonight the temperatures are expected to drop into the low 50s. Great sleeping weather but we may want to wear our flannel pajamas.
Today Joan has a full day planned so she suggested that we get an early start and get on the road by 8:30 am. This is no problem for Kathy and I as we have been usually rising by 5 am. Our first plan this morning is to visit the old fishing piers, The Bayfront, in the City of Newport, population around 10,000. Newport was originally settled in the late 1860s when it was discovered that the Yaquina Bay upon which the city sits was loaded with oyster beds. Fishermen soon flocked to the area hoping to profit from the sale of oysters that were considered a prized delicacy in cities like San Francisco. The city was finally officially founded in 1866. Fishing is still a large business here in Newport although tourism has probably taken over as the largest industry.
We walked out on the docks by the numerous commercial fishing boats many which had probably just returned from a night of fishing. Several of the boats still had men working on board probably cleaning up from the previous nights efforts. I could not help notice however, that many of the boat slips were empty possibly because the boats and their crews were still out fishing. It is also possible of course, that the fishing industry has gotten considerable smaller over the past few decades. Whatever the case, this visit to the docks was an interesting experience.
This photograph of Joan communicating with a dog on board one of the many fishing boats in the harbor is a classic. The dog probably had been aboard the fishing boat all night while its owner and its crew had fished and now that daylight had arrived and the dog was anxious to get off the boat, the sight of a human walking along the dock had peaked the dogs interest. Anyway, I love the photograph.
The next place that we visited was up the coast and out on a peninsula known as Yaquina Head. It is here that a famous lighthouse is located that was first lite back on August 30, 1873 and it is now listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The lighthouse has been the setting of at least three movies over the past few decades and we have to admit that it quite a sight to see. It is 93 feet tall and it is the tallest lighthouse in Oregon. But even better than the view of this lighthouse is its setting on the rocky coast of Oregon.
Just below the lighthouse is a beach known as Cobble Beach which consists almost entirely of cobble stones made from volcanic rocks which are said to be 14 million years old. As planned by Joan we arrived at the lighthouse and Cobble Beach during the low tide which allowed us and many others to walk out onto the volcanic rocks that are covered with mussel claims, star fishes, and other critters and to witness the enormous beauty of what is normally underwater in an incredible spectacular setting. This is what traveling is all about when one gets to visits these special places in our great country.
This photo of Joan and Kathy was taken with the backdrop of the beautiful Oregon coastline. This place is so special that we are not looking forward to ever heading back east. Oregon is just a special place with its beautiful coastline, its Willamette Valley and it eastern Cascade Mountain Range. We still have another two weeks here in Oregon and we are looking forward to every minute of our visit.