Part II – Oregon Sampler

Adventures and fair weather continue in Oregon!  We had 2 days booked at South Beach State Park near Newport, OR, and looking at the weather forecast, it seemed like Saturday was the better day for paddling, so we got back in our boats.  The town of Newport is on Yaquina (yah-KWIH-nah) Bay into which the Yaquina River drains.  We found a great put-in spot at the “Paddle Park”, complete with a kayak launcher (yippee!), parking lot, and bathrooms, about 10km upstream, and 3 km downstream from the town of Toledo.  So we put in there and decided to go upstream, against the current first, so we could come back with the current. Good decision.   We ‘battled’ the current of up to 1 knot and some wind on the way there, and it was easier coming back.  

Toledo boomed with the out of the timber business in the late 1800s/early 1900’s, but began to decline in the 30’s until Georgia Pacific bought the mill and has provided the livelihood for the town since 1952.  We passed the large mill  with piles of pulp etc,  and when we got downwind it smelled quite a bit.  But it, along with all the pilings in the river, from what we assumed were old wharves and docks, made for a great paddle. 

You can see the route on the Relive video HERE

We enjoyed another evening together trading stories and playing games, protected from the wind, and warmed by the fire, in our shelter.  Good times!

Today we traded in our boats for Matt’s truck, and explored more of the coast.   First we drove along the river between our put in yesterday and the city of Newport, and realized how wide the river is closer to the bay.  It was quite windy, with white caps, and we were glad we chose the route we did.  

Then we went back north to see a couple interesting places along the coast we missed on the way down.  

Rocky Creek Falls Viewpoint had impressive cliffs, with large houses, but down by the water we watched the waves crash on the beach, and the waterfall, visible from the pretty bridge.

Otter Crest Scenic Viewpoint: Cape at Foulweather was named by Captain Cook in1788 when he only saw a large forested cliff, and named the headland for the quality of weather he soon met.  

Devil’s Punchbowl was gorgeous.   Formed by a roof collapsing on a cave (soft sedimentary rock), it’s fun to watch the water rush in through a couple arches and the waves crash on its edge.  

Back in town we made our way to the Yaquina Bay lighthouse, the second oldest lighthouse in Oregon and famous for being in operation for only 3 years, from 1871 to 1874, after which is was replaced by the Yaquina Head lighthouse 6 km up the coast.  I really enjoyed the patterns formed by the wet and dry sand on the beach below the lighthouse cliff, as well as the great view of the bridge across the river into the town. 

Our last stop was Seal Rock, a bit south of Newport.  More basalt rock outcrops on an endless sand beach that, from a distance, look like seals.  A spectacular view.

So we got to see a lot of the beautiful Oregon coast over the last several days.  Tomorrow we head inland for some biking adventures.  Stay tuned.  

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