Tuesday, September 27, 2016

My Oregon Coast Adventure

I found out a month or so ago that I would be working in Florence for a few days.  I was kind of excited about that.  Bill and I had been in Florence for a CAA Flyout years ago but didn't really venture out of the casino much because he had work to do while we were there.  This time I decided I was going to do some sightseeing.  I knew I was going to make several trips between Eugene and Florence on Hwy 126 so I decided to take a different route to the coast between Corvallis and Waldport.  I wanted to go down Hwy 101 to see that portion of the coast.  Had never been there before.  As usual, the Oregon coast is rugged and that is what makes it so beautiful.  I made several stops along the way to take photos.  First stop was near Cape Perptua.
I love lighthouses and wanted to see the Heceta Head Lighthouse.  It is a beautiful spot with a small beach and a fairly short, easy hike up to the lighthouse.

I have heard about the Sea Lion Caves for years and have always wanted to go.  I picked the wrong time of the year.  The sea lions don't need to seek the shelter of the caves during the summer.  This is their winter hangout.  But I still enjoyed seeing the cave itself and didn't have to suffer through the smell that the sea lions emit.  I did stop at a lookout between Heceta Head and Sea Lion Caves and saw a few groups of them hanging out in the surf.  Too far away to see well or take any photos though.

I spent my birthday in Florence.  Bill drove down to join me for a few days which was wonderful.

I got recommendations for a restaurant and it was hands down to be Waterfront Restaurant.  I decided to wait until I got there to make my reservation.  I was lucky to get one.  Even a week out, they were nearly booked for a Tuesday night.  But it was a wonderful place.  The first night I was there, I got there at 4:15 and I was lucky to get a spot at the bar.  I enjoyed seeing a sea otter or seal bobbing in the river outside the restaurant.  Both nights I got the crab encrusted halibut which was great.  And for my birthday treat, I got Tres Leches cake on a friend's recommendation which was also wonderful.

I enjoyed walking along the Siuslaw River through Old Town while I was there.  Old Town consists of a lot of turn of the century building with cute shops and restaurants.  I ate at a few other places during my two stays in Florence over a period of a week and a half but I have to say that Waterfront Depot was the best.  There was so many herons and egrets that would land on the shore or various spots along the river.  I enjoyed seeing them.  And there are painted seals all over town just like other cities have cows, pigs or other sculpture.

One of the things that we missed on our flyout to Florence was going on the big dune buggy tour of the Oregon Dunes.  While there is about 20 miles of sand dunes north of Florence, Florence is the start of the forty miles of beach that is part of the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area.  What a fascinating place.  There are several groupings of trees that they call tree islands that exist because they are fed by fresh water springs.  There are trees that are almost completely buried by sand and you can only see the very top few feet.  We got to get out and play in the sand for a little while.

Overall it was a good trip even though I had to work a good portion of it.  Got to have some beach time anyway.  And loved being able to do that.

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