We have recently returned from a lovely week touring the Oregon Coast where we enjoyed viewing historic bridges, iconic lighthouses, and stunning seascapes. Best of all, we were able to meet up and spend time with good friends.
As we headed out our first day, our trip began with a visit to Seaside, one of our favorite places. This time, it was only for one night. However, you can view photos of other visits to this area here.
We like staying by the river which flows through the center of town. It's a little less windy and right in the middle of all the shops and restaurants. With the beach just a short walk away, it has always been the perfect location for us. I love this view from our balcony and was fortunate to catch a shot just as the Canadian Geese were flying over at dusk.
On Day Two our coast trip began in earnest. There are many places along the road between Seaside and Newport where you can stop to gaze down on the waves crashing against the rocky cliffs. Even the wild flowers look picturesque against the the backdrop of sky, sea and rocks.
Once we had met up with our friends we spent a couple of days in the Newport area. One of our first places to visit was the Yaquina Head Lighthouse located on the mouth of the Yaquina River just north of Newport.
Established in 1873 and standing 93 feet tall, Yaquina Head is the tallest lighthouse on the Oregon Coast. There were no tours taking place at the time that we were there, but we were able to walk around the outside buildings and savor the gorgeous views. We even spotted a bald eagle perched on a branch of a tree nearby.
We stopped to visit a second beacon in the area known as the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse located at the entrance to the Newport harbor. We were saddened to see that while the views were lovely, the lighthouse itself was shuttered and in a sad state of disrepair. There is a lighthouse association looking after it though, and hopefully someday they will be able to find the funds necessary to restore it to it's former glory.
There was the remains of an herb and vegetable garden on the grounds. but much of it had gone to flower and seed. These unharvested artichokes actually looked quite interesting.
Following our busy morning we returned to Newport where we had lunch on the waterfront and watched the sea lions basking in the sun on the docks. A note of interest, these are only male sea lions. The females remain in California year round and the males only join them during the mating season before returning north for the rest of the year. They were very noisy and entertaining and quite territorial as they guarded their little spaces from younger "upstarts".
From the window of our restaurant we could look out over the water to view the Newport Yaquina Bay Bridge, one of a number of historic bridges built along the coastal highway.
We completed our day with a sunset visit to Depoe Bay, "home of the world's smallest natural navigable harbor." In the early 60's the channel leading from the ocean into the harbor was widened from 30 feet to 50 feet. As you can see, it's still very narrow and can become extremely difficult to navigate in rough weather.
Every boat must carefully navigate through the channel and under the historic Depoe Bay Arch Bridge before entering the harbor beyond.
Here is a look inside the harbor which is home to a small Coast Guard Station and a few private boats.
We lingered for an hour or more at the mouth of the channel watching the tide roll in as the sun begin to set.
It is a beauteous evening, calm and free,
The holy time is quiet as a Nun
Breathless with adoration; the broad sun
Is sinking down in its tranquility;
The gentleness of heaven broods o’er the Sea …