Yachats and the Central Oregon Coast

The next stop on our drive up the Oregon coast was Yachats. Actually a few miles south of Yachats at the Sea Perch RV Park.  The central coast is known for its rough shorelines, quaint sea towns, coastal drives and walks, and supposed whale watching.  The first few of these we were pretty sure we would get to see.  The last, well we would have to wait and see. We stayed two days and three nights in the area driving up and down about 60 miles.  Now I know that does not sound far, but with us stopping at every viewpoint, overlook and pull-in, it took us two days to see it all, and we still missed things.

The day we arrived was a clear and very windy day, so we took advantage of it to go for a drive around the local area.  The shorelines and beaches were awesome.

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Just south of where we were staying is Heceta Head Lighthouse, so of course that was the first place we headed for.  There were lots of viewpoints and beaches along the way, but to get to the light house took a hike we did not have time for, so we only saw it from a distance.

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Imagine our surprise when we pulled over for a view of the lighthouse and when we looked down at the rocks below, more sea lions.  Actually, we heard them first before we saw them.  We just cannot get enough of the sea life along the coast.

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The next day our Oregon weather moved back in.  Foggy with some mist and wet sea breeze.   As you know us by now, a little weather never stops us, wo we took off north for Depoe Bay.  Our first stop was Strawberry Hill State Park.  We had heard there are sometimes seals here, and we were not disappointed.  It was the first time we had seen Pacific Harbor Seals.  It was a cool, 58 degree morning so even though the seals were out on the rocks, they sure were not moving much.  Hard to sun yourself without the sun out.

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Our next stop was our far north destination, Boiler Bay, just north of the city of Depoe Bay.  The views and shoreline are supposed to be amazing, so we stopped in.

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We pulled into the overlook and there was a guy standing on a picnic table waving his arms, pointing to the water calling his friend over.  We headed straight there to see what the commotion was about.  There was a Gray Whale in the bay!!  Our first whale sighting.  It was feeding in the high tide of the bay, blowing, spouting and diving every 10 minutes or so.  Needless to say, we were there for quite a while.

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Wow!!  Well that was worth the entire trip.  It was getting near lunch time, so we headed back down to Depoe Bay to walk around and look for a place to eat our picnic lunch.  Guess what we saw walking up and down the main street harbor, more whales. There were a couple out in the bay swimming and eating.  These must have been diving deeper as we got to see quite a few of their tails, called flukes, as they dove.  We decided to just sit on the wall and watch the whales with our lunch.

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As we were eating, just about 100 yards from us, right at the rocks of the shore, we spotted another whale.  We watched him up close while we ate lunch.  We also noticed two more out in the bay.  All told we saw about 6 different whales in the bay.  Once again, we did not pay attention to the time and must have spent about 2 hours just watching the whales in the fog and mist of the Oregon Coast.

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Eventually, we had to start heading back.  We decided to avoid some of the main roads and took the Otter Crest Loop to Cape Foulweather and the Otter Rock Devils Punch Bowl.  Cape Fowlweather was actually named by Capt Cook when he got stuck out in the bad weather.  There was a great viewing area and also a look out visitor center.  We stopped in to get out of the wind, and what should we see, but 4 more whales down below.  The volunteer in the vistor center said there about 5 or 6 whales who spend the summer in the area.

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On the way home, we stopped in and added two more lighthouses to our list. Yaquina Head Lighthouse and Yaquina Bay Lighthouse.   Not that lighthouses are boring, but after the whales, they were less exciting than they were just a day before.

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Our second full day turned out to be as foggy or even more so than the previous day.  We decided it would be more of a “lazy” day.  We took a walk along the beach our RV park is situated on and headed up to Yachats and had lunch at a local seafood restaurant, Luna’s Seafood.  More chowder, this time with melted cheddar and shrimp.  Maybe the best of the trip.

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We took a short hike along the shoreline in Yachats, the 804 trail. It was very unique with wind-blown trees and shrubs and tons of rock tidepools.

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We finished the day with a flight of beers at Yachats brewery.  Then walked down to Devils Churn.

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What a great visit.  3 and a half days of rough shorelines, quaint sea towns, coastal drives and walks, and yes, whale watching.

 

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