I think what I like most about traveling with our big family in the skoolie is that we can make frequent stops and be in comfort the majority of the time. We can pull over and eat lunch anywhere there is room to park our 40’ rig. So we’ve been able to do the central Oregon coast slowly, taking in the sites as we please from basically Lincoln City south to Florence.
Its the rain that’s made us move faster than we might like to. Yes, we’re hardy BC’ers used to rain. But hey, its the grey dismal rainy winters that’s motivates us to do our Operation Sunshine heading south.
As you might already know, Everette wants to be able to say that he’s done the entire Washington and Oregon coasts. Washington is already done. And we did the northern Oregon coast with our daughter and her 3 daughters. As I write we’re now in northern California, so we can proudly say that we’ve now completed all of the Washington and Oregon coastline.
Here’s some of the highlights of our stops as we did the central Oregon coast slowly.
There’s a cool store that’s more like a museum…free to visit. It’s called Prehistoric, right on the main street through Lincoln City, with public parking in the same block. Even big enough for RV’s like our 40 ft skoolie. Which is perfect for walking around town.
The store was a hit with the kids… and us adults, too. Greeted at the front door by this big guy the store was filled with the real deal stuff…with price tags to go with them.
We think our skoolie is big. After all, its as big as school buses come but we feel small when parked beside a long hauler. And now, if we were to put our skoolie up against a Megalodon we would certainly feel like the runt. Look at that comparison!!
And check out his teeth!
With 3 of our birthdays and Everette’s & my wedding anniversary in February we kinda have a thing for amethysts. And this one was a beauty for sure!
Lincoln City is home to the world’s shortest river. As it seems with every comparison there is always some grey area; River D has a rival with Roe River. Nevertheless, here’s my view of River D taken from the bridge that’s between its short journey from Devil’s Lake (right behind me) to the Pacific Ocean. Hardly worth calling it a river, but they do!
A little further down Hwy 101 I just about got my driver’s door ripped out of my hand with a gust of wind when I pulled over at Cape Foulweather…suitably named. Not much calmer when we pulled over at Depoe Bay and then at the Devil’s Punchbowl.
There was no action when we jumped out to take a look at the cool formation of Devil’s Punchbowl…probably better at high tide. However the kids ran around a bit and did silly things as kids do to stretch their legs so everybody was happy about the stop. Happy it wasn’t actually raining on us.
To make the best of sight seeing along the coast one ought to pay attention to tide charts. We’re not that organized, and none of these sights are crucial to us enjoying our road trip. So we just wing-it, and see what we see and enjoy the process anyways.
Sea Lion Caves
Being from the coast we’ve seen plenty of seals and sea lions but seeing them inside the Sea Lion Caves would have been cool. You can check the video displayed live-time in the gift shop but there weren’t any sea lions in the cave…at this time of the year they are out at sea teaching their pups all they need for growing up.
We didn’t pay to take the elevator down to checkout the caves. I’m sure there’s some value (education) in just going into one of the largest sea lion caves in the world whether there’s any creatures in there or not, but we couldn’t justify it for our large family. Maybe another time on our way through we’ll be able to smell these sea creatures up close. Yeah, because I know their breaths stink terribly.
This is the only sea lion we saw there:
Throughout the region we saw other painted beauties. There are 20 of them; 11 of them are in and around Florence. The rest are elsewhere in the County.
This one is out at the casino where we parked for two nights. Covered in “gold”.
If you stop in at Yachats (pronounced YAH-hots) I highly recommend you check out the fermentation restaurant there.
Gaelyn and I happily chowed down a huge Chicken-Brie-Apple on sourdough sandwich we shared along with barley pilaf and sauerkraut. And where did we find such a fabulous meal? Yachats Brewing of course. Yes, a family eatery. We washed our meal down with some Apricot-Nettle kombucha.
This isn’t just a restaurant. No, its actually more like a fermentation house. They have information and items For Sale to help with all kinds of fermentation you might be wanting to dabble in. Highly recommended to stop in on your next trip down the central Oregon coast.
When discussing lunch options for Yachats, fish ‘n chips was high on the list. After all, this is a little fishing town, big on freshly caught fish. Everette and I were utterly surprised though when we realized most of our kids had never eaten fish n’ chips even though they’ve lived on both the west and east coasts most of their lives. I suppose that comes from being part of a big family.
Reminds me of when I was little; the youngest of 5. Dad would pull up to an A&W Drive-In and when the rootbeers arrived at his window he would take a sip from each of our glasses before handing them to the back seat. Of course it was just so we wouldn’t spill, he said. But I wonder…did he order 7 drinks, or only 6 because he got his fill from all the sips? I don’t really know.)
Anyways, Everette took the rest of the kids over to Luna Seas to try both battered and grilled fish for their first time. Some liked it, some didn’t care too much for it. But now they’ve had the experience, right here on the Oregon coast.
This area of Oregon is the Suislaw National Forest which extends 35 miles along the coast and has some of the most protected old growth coastal rainforest in the Pacific Northwest. Of course it was raining, and blowing hard when we visited.
We stopped at Cape Perpetua located just 3 miles south of Yachats (pronounced YAH-hots) and 22 miles north of Florence. It’s where rainforest, headland meadows and the rocks of the tidal margin meet the sea. The park visitor centre was very informative and the staff helpful & kind.
We learned about the Marbled Murrelet, an endangered seabird that depends on a healthy marine habitat for its food, and only builds its nest in increasingly rare old growth forests…like right here at Cape Perpetual. At this time of the year, they are out at sea.
There was lots of information to be gathered at this stop. We could have spent more time, but attention spans last only so long, so outside we went for a walk.
In the wind and rain we were on the lookout for Thor’s Well ; easy to find once you get to Cooks Chasm and look directly behind you. Its a treacherous spot for explorers. But wise people stay up off the shore, especially in this sort of weather.
Always on the lookout for possible camping spots if we ever come this way again, Everette and I set out for the South Jetty after a rainy day up the coast with the kids.
There looks like plenty of spots to park a rig of any size in several different parking lots along this jetty. Some lots are pretty dappled with pot holes which can make it a wet mess during the rainy season. Most have buildings with toilets in them…I’m assuming pit toilets. I actually didn’t go look.
This is the end basically to the sand dunes that stretch the whole central Oregon coast. Most of these parking lots are separated from the beaches by a sand dune you need to climb over. The climb is easy, especially when the sand has a crusty top due to all the rains rather than soft and flowing that makes it a bigger workout for your legs.
The view is gorgeous. Watching the swells enter the river and crash on the jetty can be mesmerizing. At least for me it is.
And now for the southern Oregon coastline.
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