Sunday, June 14, 2009

Exploring the Oregon Coast

I had a mini vacation over the weekend.
I earned it. So did Mr. Dirtywrench.

We haven't been on a vacation in....way too long.

Saturday my little brother got married on the Oregon Coast, so with that and the occasion of our 28th wedding anniversary Mr. D. and I had good cause to take off alone for the weekend.

Oregon is such a beautiful and diverse state. It has mountains and valleys, ocean and desert, agriculture and big cities. There is so much to see and do, we have spent fifteen years exploring the bounty of the state and have only scratched the surface of what it has to offer.

We've been to the Oregon coast many times but it had been quite a while since we'd been this far south.

We drove the scenic highway through the little tourist towns...
 Newport, about midway on the coast.

Newport is home base for a good portion of the Oregon fishing industry.

I thought this site was really interesting...

It smelled "interesting" too.
This is a whole truck load of shrimp shells.
I have never seen, nor imagined that before!

Fresh fish could be bought, raw or cooked, on every street corner.

If we had the inclination (and the cash) we could have caught our own.

There are many fascinating state parks along the coastline.

This one at Yaquina Bay had lots of wildlife.

We happened to be exploring at just the right time - low tide.

There is so much to see in the tidal pools at low tide.

Of all the times I have walked coastal beaches, this is the first time I've ever found a sea sponge.


It took me several minutes of gazing out at the rocks to realize what was out there.

There were dozens (hundreds?) of harbor seals lounging on the rocks.
They looked like rocks until they flapped a flipper to get my attention.
It was amazing!

After exerting ourselves hiking up and down the cliffs to see the sea creatures...

...we grabbed the chairs and found a place for the "resting" part of our R & R.

The ocean was mesmerizing me.
My body and my brain commenced to arguing -
"Maybe I should take a walk, I need the exercise"
"Maybe I should just lie here. It's good to do nothing for a change."
"Maybe I should get some reading done."
"Maybe I could just lie here."

My body won the argument.
Once I became prone, I didn't get back up for about three hours.
And it felt so good!
My body should win the arguments more often.

And this is where we stayed in Newport...

More about that later.


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