Oregon Coast

Trip Start Apr 28, 2009
Trip End Sep 30, 2009

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Flag of United States  , Oregon
Thursday, May 21, 2009

Leaving Coos Bay in the morning, we cruised along a completely different coast to what we'd experienced so far on the trip. Rather than winding roads along cliff tops where forested mountains meet the sea, we had straight roads that scythed through sand dunes that play host to Americans in their dune buggies and ATVs on weekends! By lunchtime though, we were back to the familiar landscape, with the road rising back into the mountains and once again taking a winding route around the cliffs.

Not far into this leg, we stopped at the largest sea cave in the world... home to another gift shop and tourist attraction manufactured and engineered by the Americans. Parking at the top of the cliff and entering the gift shop, we had to pay $11 each to descend into the cave by elevator no less... descending the equivalent of a 12-storey building! There used to be an external staircase, but the Americans being Americans, that must have been too much effort for the lazy buggers to walk so an elevator shaft was bored instead in the 1960s!

In the cave, one finds a colony of sea lions and various birdlife, but we couldn't get too close or use flash photography in case we disturbed the wildlife... of course blasting an elevator shaft with dynamite would have barely raised a whisker with the sea lions!

Back on the surface, we continued along the highway, having another 4 hours or more to drive to Seaside, right near the Oregon border with Washington. Whereas we'd spent roughly a week travelling the Cailfornian coast (excluding side trips inland), we were basically doing the whole Oregon coast in a single day! We didn't stop much, but we found the scenery to be not quite as spectacular as what we'd already seen.

Arriving in Seaside, which is a small coastal town that could be described as Portland's Victor Harbor, we made our way to our hostel a short distance from the downtown and beach. The hostel seemed to be a combination of hippy commune and highway motel, with weird staff that invited us to some meditation/chanting/yoga/pagan worship in the morning!

After checking in we wandered along the beach to downtown to find something to eat. As Mike had a craving for clam chowder, we settled on a seafood restaurant that looked reasonably busy, which generally signifies that the food is good. Mike got his clam chowder, together with a fisherman's basket that included battered and fried salmon and oysters (not recommended), while Brooke got good old fish and chips. After dinner it was back to the hostel for an early night and an early start, as we were anxious to get to Portland!
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