Southern Oregon coast

Trip Start Mar 26, 2006
Trip End Oct 20, 2006

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Flag of United States  , Oregon
Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Our time along the Oregon coast has been a blur of lighthouses, craggy coastline, scenic viewpoints, whales and sea lions, sand dunes, and small coastal ports. The fall weather is beginning to chill, or maybe we're just a bit weary of the constant cool breezes sweeping in from the ocean along with the frequent all-pervasive fog.

Blue sky mornings bright with sunshine aren't something we take for granted after our time here. My mood gets sullen and grumpy when the fog rolls in and hides the eye-popping seashore views, then just as quickly I cheer up when the sun unexpectedly burns through the damp clouds and the ocean reappears. It's the painfully obvious giant-screen version of post-meditation, watching my thoughts and emotions swing around based entirely on the weather. Crazy.

Cold ocean, relentless fog, constant wind - Oregon coast residents must have strong spirits to endure here.

We've also enjoyed a lot of memorable sights, too many to mention without just writing down a boring laundry list of destinations. The countless rocky islands besieged by crashing waves, the Devil's Punchbowl, a collapsed sea cave that fills with water during high tide, the fantastic blow hole near Yachats where the crashing surf spouts water 40 feet into the air through a hole in the volcanic rock, the towering 500-foot-tall mountains of sand at Oregon Dunes National Monument, and on and on.

At Cape Perpetua, a colony of seals entertained us for over an hour with their crazy acrobatic flips and dives. I could sit and watch wildlife for days on end, mesmerized by how similar they are to us. Further south at Cape Arago we came across Simpson Reef, the best spot along the entire Oregon coast to view Pinnipeds (seals and sea lions). Hundreds of the enormous barking, belching creatures covered the off-shore rocks, sunning themselves, playing in the waves, tousling aggressively, and lounging about as if it were a seaside resort. And at Cape Orford, we discovered a beach popular with the local surfers. I find myself drawn to getting out there with them to discover what it is about the waves and motion that they find so magically alluring, but when I see them in their black full-body wet suits, bobbing around the surface, looking like seal snacks for the Great Whites that swim in the cold dark waters below, I wonder if I have the guts for it. I'm tempted to take a surfing lesson, but I can feel myself putting it off until we've reached the warmer waters of Southeast Asia where nary a Great White is found.

California, land of Redwoods, Hollywood, and the Governator, beckons and we look forward to more (and warmer!) adventures further south.
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