Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Oregon Coast Motor Home camping part 4

Brighton Marina
  • is a choice crabbing site with RV overnight camping overlooking the peaceful little harbor inside the bay. Dozens of Gulls settle in for the night on the floating log breakwaters. They jockey for position using some system only understood by themselves. The owners of the marina will pull a Dungeness crab from their dock well, boil it and clean it for you for about 15 dollars. A dozen steamer clams will fill out the evening meal table to be enjoyed in the RV. All of this ambiance is overwhelming to a pair of desert rats like us.

    Drive back north to Cannon Beach
  • Mr Fulltano’s has the most spectacular Pizza we ever had anywhere. The Haystack, named after the countless huge rock monoliths off shore, is piled with all imaginable fresh vegetables until it is about 2 inches thick. The scenic little coastal villages like Manzanita
  • Nehalem Bay, State Park
  • and Wheeler
  • all worth the stop. Some are like postcards with colorful houses perched on hillsides. Most are only occupied during the warmer summer months. Wealthy absentee owners close them up the rest of the year. The coast of Oregon is for tourists or those able to afford the lifestyle. Attempting to move here and live this life with out having a healthy bank account is not recommended unless you are into poverty as a lifestyle.

    Moved south to Cape Lookout State Park
  • Drive back north to Tillamook Cheese factory
  • for a big ice cream serving, then south of town and nearby Air Museum in the original massive wooden hangar built for WWII blimps.

    This small plane apparently came to ground a little early, It was on the north side of the entrance road leading to the runway near the hanger. A row of trees separated it from the runway. Cut power a little early?

    Scenic drive around Cape Meares Lighthouse loop was another enjoyable side trip. This is the northern most of the Three Cape series loop.
    I Hiked down the paved trail to the Cape Meares lighthouse with it’s original First Order Fresnel lens
  • This beautiful piece of bullet shaped glasswork is over 6 feet tall and large enough to stand inside of. With the beam concentrated by multiple reflector surfaces, These engineering marvels were able to shoot a bright piercing beam of light for 21 miles to sea. Considering only kerosene and multiple wicks, using the 'center venting' principle in the Aladin Lamp, as the source of it's brilliant light, this is remarkable. Oregon Lighthouses

  • Originally most of these huge lenses were floated on a pool of mercury, driven by a weighted 'clock mechanism' and could be turned with one finger in spite of their massive weight. The mercury was removed and bearings now support these works of art. Nine operational lighthouses now exist along the scenic coast of Oregon, built to maintain an unbroken beacon system for Oregon coastal shipping. The 'Terrible Tillie' sitting on Tillamook Rock, an island far off the coast south of Seaside, is now a 'Columbarium' used to hold ashes of deceased.

    Back at Cape Lookout State Park and nightly walk, no nocturnal animals joined me. Cedar trees are about 8 feet wide at their many rooted base, giving them the local term of Octopus trees. Long beach walks to south end of ancient volcanic wall. Most of the Oregon coast is old lava flows from huge, ancient volcanoes far inland. Hiking trails are abundant in most of the State Parks. The Oregon scenic coastal trail system is designated as a bicycle route. Many international cyclers, loaded with camping gear, are on this route year around.

    Tuesday headed south along the coastal route toward the third Cape, Kiwanda, and Pacific City, picking up highway 101 once again.

    The Sea Hag in Depoe Bay is my cell phone stop for a call to an old friend Dave in ABQ. Watching the boats attempt to fight their way in and out of the ‘Worlds Smallest Harbor is always interesting and sometimes includes Whale Watching

  • These waves many times roar over the main street of Depoe Bay, to the delight of the tourists and locals alike. Always stop at the numerous scenic turnouts to view the waves. Names like ‘Devil’s and Boiler’ are used freely to describe these rocky outcroppings attracting the ferocious coastal storm activity. Even the mild weather is photo worthy with large driving waves. Storms such as we witnessed in our 2003 camping trip, are really fantastic.

    Stop in at the scenic point above Cape Foul Weather. This point high above the ocean records some of the highest winds along the coast. Nice little shop on the edge of the high bluff.

    Beverly Beach State Park
  • with it’s dense forest of trees, is under a big highway 101 bridge, 6 miles north of Newport. A Tsunami warning came while we were camped there overnight. The Indonesian earthquake raised the sea level about 3 inches at 1 am. Nothing to be concerned about because the quake was 4,800 miles away. In the mid 1960’s the Alaskan Quake claimed four lives at this campground with a Tsunami. After that experience the coastal warning system, with it’s sirens, came into effect.

    Wednesday brought us further south to Newport Oregon
  • Yaquina Bay. The Newport Marina was our campground for 3 nights. South Beach State Park Campground is also nearby but washing clothes was the priority and the marina has the newest facility. Fuel costs are dropping as oil falls again. A fill was good at $2.76 per US gallon (3.8L). Yaquina Bay Lighthouse
  • is on the north side of Yaquina Bay bridge and Yaquina Head Lighthouse
  • is 3 miles (5.4km) north of Newport. Both are easily accessable. Northernmost Yaquina Head is tourable most days.

    A trip upriver from the historic Newport bay front, brought us to Toledo
  • an old town with a logging connection from long ago, where my co-pilot bought some antique wares. Wood products are still in the process. The river is navigable for quite some distance. Large fishing boats are seen moored along the way, interspersed with old wooden pilings from a busy river system in the past. Barge and tug tows are common.

    The best seafood for the money, on the coast, is at the little Newport Café
  • on highway 101 in town, with dazzling Monique as our waitress. She and her husband own the little 24 hour cafe, open for just over a year. Her always friendly greetings and knack for remembering faces is refreshing. Monique has no tolerance for young teenage waitresses that roll their eyes when you ask them for a refill of soda. Monique’s clam chowder actually has clams in it, lot‘s of ‘em.

    Famous Mo’s has lots of potatoes like most clam chowder. The historic bay front with it's resident fishing fleet, is a don’t miss attraction. The harbor breakwater and the floating dock near the fish packing plant, is home to numerous Sea Lions. Their endless ‘barking’ is fun for us. It lulls us to sleep across the harbor where we are parked.

    The south jetty is sometimes accessible by 4 wheel drive. The south beach sand blows over it near the shore.

    Even in low wave conditions the importance of the Jetty is visible in these images. The crescendo of waves hitting the huge rocks is great to watch and photograph. The Pacific Ocean winter storms are a real treat..If you can stand up to the waves and spray. The locals view it as entertainment with no comparison.

    This beautiful Yaquina Bay Bridge designed in the 1930’s by Oregon’s Master Engineer Conde McCullough to replace the ferry system, is great at any time, including dusk, to photograph. We park so as to see it out our windshield. Night lighting is a red and green enhancement.

    The harbor just in front of our parking space, adds lots of various types of boats and action to the view. My nightly walks along the many docks, never fail to be interesting. Names like El Shaddai, Persistence, Kukana, Aqua Holic and many other creative logos adorn the boats.

    One electronically equipped, beautiful power boat, sank at the dock our last night here. The diver said the drain plug was in place, but the bilge pump design apparently allowed a reverse siphon action. Flying bridge top heavy, it turned upside down. Keith, other Port employees and a diver, worked to re-float it using many inner tubes placed internally, then inflating them.

    Keith, the local Salt, always has a story to tell. I met Keith years ago and continue to meet him each trip. His wife is from American Samoa (Tsunami just hit). He sailed his boat here long ago, took 45 days, bought her a pair of shoes, and still stays, living aboard at A dock, even buying a car. Kind of makes him a ‘lubber’ now doesn’t it? The Port Marina office ladies want to make a video starring Keith telling some of his sea stories. He now works at the Marina part time to pay his slip fee and get a little pocket cash. Nice little gig Keith, see you next trip.

    Blogger Woody said...

    Hope that your "Eject....." sticker resulted in your meeting some nice friends on this last trip.
    Fine information on the lenses and lighthouses so I cut and pasted it into a message to a friend.
    All is well in Houston,

    7:42 PM  

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