We escaped the extreme heat in Portland area by heading west to the Pacific coast in Oregon. As we went through Tillamook State Forest, we noticed some bare trunks in vertical plastic tubes on the hillsides by the road. I was wondering what those were. Stephen told me those were newly planted trees. We got on highway 101 at Tillamook. A sign that reads “Entering Tsunami Hazard Zone” suddenly alerted me. We were near the Pacific Coast.
After Hebo, we were driving on the Pacific Coast Scenic Byway. We couldn’t get in the Nestucca Bay National Wildlife Refuge because vehicles beyond 25 feet are not allowed. That was a pity. But after a while, we saw the immense Pacific Ocean from the view point near Cloverdale! We drove all the way from inland Ohio and finally reached the ocean. How excited we were! The misty blue ocean blended into the sky on the horizon. White waves came in gently to the sandy beach, retreated, and came in again in a rhythm. A seagull stopped on the rail looking for handouts.
We were in a traffic jam at Lincoln City. Lots of shops lined up Highway 101 in this town. I saw people flying kites on the beach. A sign claimed that D-river is the world’s shortest. When we passed Depoe Bay, another sign asserted that Depoe Bay is the world’s shortest bay. Don’t know how they came up with those claims. There were nice apartment buildings on the high ground by the beach at Depoe Bay. Those lucky residents enjoy the scenic ocean view everyday. We had a glimpse of the little Whale Cove from the running truck and noticed that the Whale Cove Inn has a killer view of the cove.
The land and seascape from Cape Foulweather were gorgeous. From 500 feet above the sea, the grand vista was impressive. The cliff we stood on was basalt. A volcanic eruption occurred here 15 million years ago. Below the cape lies ring dikes of lava. The Marine Terrace was eroded by the wind, wave, and changing sea levels. An old lady told us that she saw a whale in the water. I grabbed my binoculars from the truck. But it was hot in the sun and we couldn’t wait for too long. When we got inside the gift shop, there were big windows for visitors to watch whales. The log on the wall recorded that 5 whales were seen today so far. I searched the water carefully, but didn’t see any whales.
Newport is a major city on the Pacific Coast Scenic Byway. It seems the whole city was built along the highway. Grocery stores, gas stations, restaurants, and car dealers are all by the road. It was slow going through Newport as well. We drove across the magnificent Yaquina Bay Bridge. The limelight green colored arch bridge is the landmark of Newport and one of the most recognizable bridges on route 101. Two concrete decorative columns stood in front of the entrance of the arch. Stephen said it might be built in the 30s from the columns. And he was right!
Short shore pines are common on the central coast. Forest meets the sea at Waldport. It was about 3:30 when we arrived at Waldport / Newport KOA. The cool breeze from the ocean brings comfortable weather here. Temperature was only in the low 70s. It is truly a getaway in summer.