|Pacific Standard Time change today Ö.. Sunday November 4, 2007
Coast Trip of an Unscheduled Nature
Up early this morning since the automatically functioning alarm clock didnít get the word of the time change. What to do with all this extra time? Weather forecast indicates a few more days of glorious sun and warm weather for this time of year before falling into a winter schedule. Computer on at 9:00 am. to just check the whatever and somehow logged onto Lodging at Lincoln City. Rates at our favorite ďSandcastle MotelĒ looked promising. A phone call at 9:30 invited us to Ö come on down! What can we do but gather our stuff Ö enough to fill the floor space of the trunk of the carÖ and get on down the road for a two night stay. We are out by 10:30 am., headed for Lincoln City and Sandcastle Motel. It was foggy this morning but clearing some by the time we left home, and sun later for out drive over.
Still fog in heights of hills through the Van Duzier Corridor, making fir trees seem like their tops cut off and a world above of oblivion. The traffic is moving fast and we follow. By 11:30 the oncoming traffic returning to Willamette Valley is increasing to the point of a steady line of vehicles. We donít have the problem.
Lunch time and we are near Maxwellís restaurant in Lincoln City, so a good time to do that. Might as well head for Depoe Bay afterward as too early for Motel check-in and also the best chance to visit my cousin Kelly at his shop. He might be on winter hours about now, and we would miss him by waiting until tomorrow. The sky is clear in Lincoln City but fog bearing down on us going south to Depoe Bay. North bound traffic nearly bumper to bumper through Lincoln City and only a couple places to park along the highway at Depoe Bay at 1:45 pm. We wheeled in to get that one!
A great visit with cousin Kelly (McCarter), updating him about our lives since last seeing him, and getting some understanding about his. He thrilled to see us, and we to see him. Traffic and parking spaces cleared completely in the 45 minutes we were visiting. Of course, we couldnít get out of town without shopping at the discount leather store for a new purse with long shoulder strap --- no, not for me, there isnít anything for me to put in one, and certainly not one that big!! Everything, including the kitchen sink, seems to wear Joanís out in a years time!!
Foggy in Depoe Bay but some clearing and sun on returning. Socked in again at our motel. Windy. We tried walking on beach, but too windy for enjoyment, so we retreated to our room to watch the sun blazing brightly upon the low wave action, and beauty of the area of a clean sandy beach, now that the fog has cleared. We are mid-way between tide changes so much beach exposed. Itís still windy -- sea gulls on the beach sitting calmly, all facing north into the strong, breezy wind. No fog, no clouds. The world looks so peaceful and calm, so sunny from our third floor room, but we see pant legs of walkers whipping briskly in the breeze, and decide that our room is the place to be!! The sun is setting quickly Ö 5:00 pm. having taken only 5 minutes. Twilight lingers until it too departs. Only the small wave action continues in itís unceasing roll to shore, draining away oneís worries and anxieties in itís peacefulness.
Monday-------- sunny, no fog, warm, and no wind all day. A high tide of 8.3 feet at 9:00 am. left little chance to walk the beach at this time, since nothing but the soft, sinkable sand to walk in. We opted to drive northwards on Hwy 101, then jog off to Pacific City to view the beach and the steep, 400 foot sand dune nearby that people climb and then thrill to roll down. The high tide engulfed this beach too, but we found enough to walk some into the warmth of the bright sunlight without a coat required! We continued our drive north along the scenic route towards Cape Meares some 20 miles distant on this windy, narrow, two lane highway. We had traveled this road some years back but forgot to remember the climb up some 1000 feet (?) or more through dense timber before itís, likewise, quick descent. Several scenic ocean vistas to admire the encompassing views. Thankfully we are going north so we are on the more comfortable, inside lane of the road.
Between the high hills and low hills, we come upon a valley where Cape Lookout State Park offers a welcome retreat to walk some of itís many paths and hiking trails in the Day Use area, some of which skirt the ocean and itís beautiful wide, clean, sandy beach. Numerous picnic tables are spotted amongst the many species of tall fir trees in an order of isolation. Just a beautiful setting, and just a wonderful time for us to be here without the hordes of summer-time people. We ventured some into the campgrounds to see equal privacy from native shrubs and trees between campsites.
We continued on to the small town of Netarts then to a dead-end at Oceanside where straight up hills and Tillamook Bay forced a retreat a few miles south to pick up the highway to Tillamook. A fast food lunch awaited us there. Nearing Tillamook we begin seeing huge herds of dairy cow operations. At one farm the Holstein cows apparently knew it was milking time as they lined up in single file on a raised dirt pathway heading for the barn. There must have been 75 cows in this line thatís moving slowly nose to tail, and still another 50 in the pasture waiting their turn to join the procession. South of town, several herds of milking cows are seen, all numbering in the hundreds? Some of their hay or silage is baled within plastic wraps, so to store outside in this area of high rainfall. Itís 50 miles south on Hwy 101 to Lincoln City. We made the round trip by 2:30 pm., in time for a really long walk on the beach towards the north where long stretches of gravel has been washed by the retreating tide, exposing treasures not to be ignored!!! The weather has been sunny and warm and calm all day, allowing a walk unencumbered by coats or sweaters.
Tuesday morning ----- and we are up bright and early again but too early for the sun to have gotten up! We can wait, as the sky is clear, no wind and we donít have to be out of the motel and heading home before 11:00 am. Time for a walk on the beach heading south towards the resort motel of Spanish Head before the sun has crested the hills and houses perched on the edge of the high, high cliffs. Exquisite rock gems that canít be left for some other seekers have filled our pockets! At last the sun has vaulted the hills and houses allowing the white crested waves to reach up and capture the first rays of the sun in such beautiful splendor!
Several flights of Albatross birds in small flocks of 10 to 12 skim the tips of each wave as they fly northward. Their flights rise and fall with the height of each wave as they continue their journey, seeming to glide when close to the waters edge but need to flap their wings otherwise. Several seals can be seen feeding in an apparent rich food source in this one area off our motel. So as we sit in our room resting from a brisk morning walk on the beach and enjoying these happenings of waves and seals and flying birds of different species, and seagulls in their pristine beauty, and the antics of dogs in the accompaniment of their owners. What more could one expect to see than all of this. Ahh! But like so many times on trips weíve taken, this one too has a rare and special treat for us! A treat we would never suspect! While watching the seals bob in the surf there is something strange appearing just beyond them. We watch and watch. No, itís not rocks being exposed between the waves. Itís not seals as this is too large. It is in a rhythm of surfacing and sinking and seeming to be moving northward. Weíve seen this same thing in Hawaii and they were whales!!
This has to be a pod of at least three whales on a migration, or maybe just a leisure swim along the beach. We watched in awe until these majestic creatures vanished from our view. What a treat to behold for us! How fortunate for us to be here this day, how fortunate for us that such wonders have again shown forth and rekindled our spirits. We thrill in this grandeur!!
All too soon we must face reality, pick up our duds and rejoin life back home. Sunny, calm, warm as we leave the Coast this day but a dense fog bank awaited us at Willamina that continued and lasted all day in the Willamette Valley. Oh, if only we could have turned the car around and enjoyed another day on or two at the sunny and warm Oregon Coast this trip!
Maybe next time!