Florence to Lincoln City

We got up Sunday morning to a drizzly, cloudy Oregon day.  We didn’t let the weather stop our exploration of the coast, after all we’re Alaskans.  We started off checking out the dunes at the Oregon Dunes State Park.  There are over 40 miles of sand dunes between Coos Bay and Florence.  It was more sand that you could ever imagine.

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We went for a short hike through the dunes to the beach.  There were all sorts of landscapes from sand dunes,

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to forests,

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to grass lands,

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to the sand beach.

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Here’s the view back up the trail from  the beach showing all the different terrains.

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On our way back up the trail from the beach, I saw this wooly bear caterpillar, just like the ones we saw in Ohio.  This one appears to be predicting much worse winter weather.

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We also saw this cute little bird in the forest area.

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After the dunes, we headed north to Heceta Head Lighthouse.

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It was a really picturesque lighthouse in a really wild place.

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Next stop was Cape Perpetua Scenic Area.  The wind was really whipping up there and  the ocean was wild as ever.

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Back in the 1930’s the CCC built this stone building on the top of the cape.  It was used as a coastal watch station during World War II.   It was a great observation point.

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When we got back to Florence, we had a really good dinner in the old town by the harbor, and called it a night.

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On Monday, Bill’s birthday, we headed to our next destination – Lincoln City.   Our first stop along the way was the Devil’s Churn.  It was formed by a cleft in the rocks that causes lots of turbulent water when the waves converge.

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It was amazing to watch, I could have stayed there all day.

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Next stop was the Newport Aquarium.

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We saw lots of seabirds, sea otters, sea lions, seals and bunches of fish.  It was a fun place.  Here are a couple of puffins in their non-breeding colors.

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Next was the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse.  It’s the only wooden lighthouse with the living quarters attached in Oregon.

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The next lighthouse along the way was the Yaquina Head Lighthouse.  Unfortunately, it was being renovated so all we saw was this.  It’s the tallest working lighthouse in Oregon.

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The surrounding area was – wait for it – amazing.

untitled (330 of 334) Before we got to Lincoln City, we took the Otter Crest Scenic Loop so that we could take a look at the Devil’s Punchbowl.  Since the tide was low, there wasn’t much to look at.  Some kids there told us that earlier in the day there was lots of water in the ‘punchbowl’ and lots of wave action.  We might have to make a return trip at high tide.

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We’ll be spending tomorrow in the Lincoln City area.  Rain is in the forecast but I’m keeping my fingers crossed for better weather.  Our condo has a fireplace and a view of the ocean, so if it’s really bad we can light a fire and watch the ocean from our couch.

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