We were SO lucky not to have the typical Pacific Northwest weather of rain and gray skies for most of our trip. This allowed me to get some great pictures (and share them with you!), but also let us see so much more of the coastline than we probably would have otherwise.
Southern Oregon was quite craggy, with numerous small and large rocks and "seastacks" offshore.
One of our favorites was Coquille Point at Bandon, Oregon. The tide was out, so there was a huge expanse of beach, that was enjoyed by numerous people and dogs.
Exploring the tide pools was fascinating, since I'd never dive in these cold waters!
The rocks and seastacks are havens for seabirds and seals. These black guillemots are in the family of puffins, but we didn't see any of the latter. The guillemots (or murres) were all over the rocks and floating on the water in large groups:
At one beautiful overlook we heard what we thought were seals barking, but didn't see any. Luckily Steve reads all the signs (and I mean all!) and found that if we drove just a mile back the way we had come, there was a popular haul out point for several types of seals. The volume of their calls was amazing. The California sea lions (smaller and dark) and the Stellar sea lions (larger and tan) covered the closer beaches and rocks, but they were still at least 100 yards out.
Harbor seals are more timid, and so stay further out from shore. They are the smaller white and gray ones on the second tier of rocks, and there's even a youngster looking at the camera, just left of center:
We stopped briefly at Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, to take advantage of the gorgeous sunny weather, but unfortunately we couldn't stay and play, since we had miles to go before we could sleep. (apologies to Robert Frost)
You can see the tectonic action at this site, along with evidence of water erosion on the rock surface:
The coast interestingly became less sheer and rocky as we traveled north. I didn't take any photos, because it was less picturesque.
On our last day, we actually backtracked about 30 min. to get to Haystack Rock south of Astoria, because we had to "rush" to get to our B&B the previous night for check-in. We finally had the usual rain of Oregon, so we literally stopped just to get a picture, and then drove on to Portland to meet friends.
Interesting tidbits: In the town of Tillamook, the sports teams are named the Cheesemakers (won't that strike fear in the hearts of opponents?).
Several small towns reminded us of Myrtle Beach, SC (with too many tourist/kitschy shops and attractions) but with cannabis outlets.
Our next post will be from Fiji in just about a month.
Here's looking at you, kid.