Rain, Seafood, and the Oregon CoastApril 1, 2019 in the United States ⋅ 🌧 13 °C
A cup of coffee on a foggy morning is just about as perfect of a start as we could have asked for. After morning photos, checking out, and saying our goodbyes, we started our journey south with a few notes scribbled on a hotel notepad.
Our first short stop was at Hug Point, which got its name from the exact reason why we didn't actually see much there. You see, before our dear Pacific Coast Highway, those traveling north could go along the beach or chop down every tree in their way... soooo when taking their wagons up the beach, the only way to get past this area was to wait for low tide then "hug" the cliffs to get past them. That being said, it was not low tide and the lovely waterfall and sea caves would have taken a very brisk and downright dangerous swim around the point. Either way, we were just excited for our PCH trip to begin so we were enthusiastic.
Wesley was delightfully passed out, it was raining, fog was seeping through the trees, and driving was easy, so we only stopped at a few viewpoints along the way, choosing to enjoy most of our views from the road. A couple of hours in, we went for an early lunch in Neskowin. Delicious seared cod sandwich and rockfish tacos... yum. 3 full bellies and we were on the road again. Danielle pointed out a Pendleton shop, so we took a quick detour to get Wesley his first wool blanket and may have picked up souvenirs for ourselves too...
Next up was the Yaquina Head Lighthouse, which is designated as an "Outstanding Natural Area", possibly the best designation ever. There were heaps of noisy common murres on the rocks and rafts of cormorants in the surf surrounding the iconic-looking lighthouse. It was easy to get lost in the mix of crashing waves, the smell of pine, the brisk breeze, and the taste of the ocean air. If someone could make an air freshener smell like that, it would need to come with a huffing warning.
Other than a few viewpoints, the last stop was another tide-dependant one that we didn't exactly nail on the head, but was fun nonetheless. It was raining steadily as we made our way down the fairytale-esque trail to Cook's Chasm. The jet black rocks were of obvious volcanic origin that had been worn into their current state by millennia of crashing waves. While walking down, we could feel the largest wave in each set pound the small caves of the chasm. Had it been high tide, we would have seen Thor's Well devouring ocean water like a black hole and the Spouting Horn would have been launching water 30 feet in the air, but instead, each would periodically shoot up a 5 to 10 foot "ocean geyser".
Soaked and happy with our expeditions, we skipped our last potential stop, the Sea Lion Caves. The way we saw it, if the place has a gift shop and overflow parking filled with Buicks, we probably don't need to be dragging our little bear through that sort of tourist trap. That left our final journey to Coos Bay. We passed some tired, yet adorable old fishing and crabbing towns on the way and finally made it to our little cottage.
Dinner usually wouldn't warrant its own paragraph, but when Danielle's first words upon being seated are "oh no, I've watched too many Kitchen Nightmares to eat here", it deserves the nod. With no real alternatives, we did eat there, and of course pointed out everything that Gordon Ramsay would yell at them about. The only other table in there were of an age that required the waitress to literally scream her questions to them, no music, the menu was 6 pages, there were cold cucumber and tomato slices on the seafood fettuccine, the portions were enough for 4 people each, the owner went up to the other table to talk about himself... they broke all the rules, but somehow the mix of playing russian roulette with our health and the view of the bay worked just fine, food waste aside.
Tomorrow we make our way back to California with our trusty scribbles!Read more