Archives for posts with tag: Depoe Bay

Traveling coastal Oregon along Highway 101, there are signs that we just don’t see in Oklahoma.  We have tornadoes, earthquakes, and thunderstorms, but we don’t have tsunamis.  Everywhere you go, there are warnings and I find myself trying to figure out how I’m going to get high enough to escape the giant waves.  In Oregon, the forests reach the coast, often on high cliffs.  You’d have to scramble to get up, up, up!

DSC_0471 DSC_1340 DSC_1317 DSC_0942 DSC_0539DSC_0780The “run like hell” sign is a joke, but that’s basically what you do.  Not to be messed with.  But most of the highway is delightful and scenic with beaches and trails around every turn, different each time you visit.

DSC_0461 DSC_1404I love the beauty of Florida beaches with their smooth white sands, unique shells, gorgeous sunsets, and warm sun, but there is a dangerous element with the Oregon beaches that brings ever-changing surprises.  You never know what the beach will hold.  This year, we had the mildest, most perfect weather imaginable with only a few hours of drizzle preceded and followed by warm sun and calm seas.  You still enter every beach by passing by the instructions and warnings for visiting.  DSC_0829 DSC_0384DSC_0940And then, you’re at the ocean on small beaches, long beaches, wide beaches.  Surfers, beachcombers, sunbathers, picnickers, dogs and children.  Perfect beaches.DSC_0908 DSC_1262 DSC_1266 DSC_1286 DSC_0837 DSC_0852 DSC_0483Coming from Oklahoma, I eat all the fresh seafood I can get.  I haven’t had a bad meal on the coast yet.  Here are some of my favorite places that we add to our list every time.  There’s Mo’s with locations up and down the coast, but we like the one at Otter Creek.  Mo’s is famous for their clam chowder, but a friend had a wonderful Oregon shrimp sandwich.DSC_0467Gracie’s Sea Hag in Depoe Bay is right on Highway 101 and our favorite place on a Saturday night, eating in the bar, when there is entertainment, dancing, and bartenders playing tunes on the liquor bottles.  It’s a perfect seaside vibe, right across the street from the sea wall.DSC_0523 DSC_0490We have several favorites in Newport, although I’m sure there are many more.  Lunch at Port Dock One is a must because your dining companions are sea lions, at least in the fall, when the males come up from California and you can be seated right beside them.  They are constantly entertaining, but then I don’t have to listen to them all day.  The food is good, too!IMG_5168DSC_1299I love Gino’s, with the owners from a fishing family.  The popcorn shrimp is delicious and the soups scrumptious.  It’s on the bay front without a water view, but they make up for it with their masses of colorful buoys.  DSC_0815It’s clean, fun, good.  Love Gino’s.DSC_0816 DSC_0824And you HAVE to stop on Highway 101, south of the Newport bridge for crab.  It’s a fish market, restaurant, convenience store combo.  Yum.DSC_1150 IMG_5213 IMG_5212For the nicest dinner possible, go to Depoe Bay and visit Tidal Raves, again on Highway 101.  You must have a reservation as there are few tables, but an outstanding view and incredible food.  I love the Seahawk bread, which could be a meal in itself, and the Rock Fish.  Oh my.   IMG_5210IMG_5188
If it’s raining or you’re just in Lincoln City, sit near the fireplace at Pier 101 for more seafood!  Can you ever get enough when you’re on the coast?  I had the Cedar Plank Salmon, which was crusted with a maple bourbon sauce.  Need I say more?DSC_1329
Enough with the food.  I’m ready to fly back now, although I have to admit that I went for a hamburger as soon as I got home to beef country.  Oregon is known for its greens, forests of pine trees carpeted with masses of ferns and decorated with moss and lichens.  The coast gives you the contrast of the blues of the ocean with the colorful nautical elements.  Besides the buoys, there are the crab  cages stacked by the fishing boats and the containers ready for the ships in port in Newport.DSC_1306
The famous bridges designed by Conde B. McCullough are elegant in their Art Deco beauty.  I discovered the one in Florence on this trip, but they are everywhere in the state, including Newport.  Here’s the one in Florence.DSC_0966
North of Florence is Cape Perpetua with cliffs, forests and extraordinary views.  The park encompasses the mountain and the coast for a sample of the natural wonders of the state.  With the Heceta Head lighthouse at the south endDSC_0990DSC_0996The view from the point is endless, especially from the World War II lookout where you can stare out to the open seas.DSC_1020DSC_1016Back along Highway 101, you can see the raging wonders of The Devil’s Churn, where the waters froth like fresh cream…DSC_1048 DSC_1058…The Spouting Horn spurts up as the waves rush in…DSC_1108…and the pounding waves sink into Thor’s Well in an ever fascinating rush of water.DSC_1128

Our glorious days on the Oregon coast ended with a different sunset every evening…DSC_0532 DSC_1157

…and our final night in Depoe Bay found us watching half a dozen whales spouting and leaping in the orange waves.  The perfect ending to our days on the Oregon coast.

DSC_1323Watch my blog for our final days of this trip.

This Okie girl likes to travel just about anywhere, near or far from home.  On my third fall vacation on the Oregon coast, I found my favorite places, discovered new ones, and brought home all the photos and memories I could jam into 12 days.

My friends and I fly into Portland to spend the night before heading for the coast.  Our traditional beginning is to stop at the fruit and vegetable stand and stock up for the week.  It’s not that we don’t have good fresh items at home, but it’s fun to see the bounty of Oregon.IMG_5741 IMG_5743The fruits and vegetables delight, as do the dahlias.  We see fields of them blooming, ready for picking in September.

DSC_0242 DSC_0238This year, we stopped for some wine tastings along the way.  The vineyards are gorgeous and lush in the Oregon valleys, even with the droughts that have plagued the state.  We visited Raptor Ridge, Adelsheim, and Stoller – all wonderful vintners whom I have worked with in Oklahoma.  It was fun to see their vineyards in person.DSC_0263 DSC_0253 DSC_0257Not only are the vineyards and orchards full of ripe fruits, but the hazelnut harvest is underway in the fall.DSC_0265Our other favorite stop is always Farmer John’s for some strawberry shortcake and more fruits and vegetables in another beautiful Oregon valley.

DSC_0299 DSC_0290 DSC_0300 IMG_5108On the way out, we noticed this reminder of the fires that are always a threat to this beautifully wooded state.DSC_0304Our next stop is the ocean, traveling through valleys that end with the sea, heading south to Depoe Bay, located on the central Oregon coast, our headquarters and home for the next week.  The sun was shining, the air was warm and our view of our little cove on the north end of Depoe Bay’s sea wall was magical.DSC_0488It was a homecoming this time, all of us familiar with the setting.  We spotted whales from our balcony, spouting close by.  That was a first for us, even though this is the whale watching capital of the world.  DSC_0320Our day ended with the sunset seen from the sea wallDSC_0353 before we headed to the comfort of The Spouting Horn, overlooking the world’s smallest harbor, for our first taste of seafood, followed by homemade pie.  I had Marionberry pie because I can’t get that at home.  The lady who makes the pies is in her 80s and I take advantage of her skills at every opportunity.DSC_0340 DSC_0363We ended our first day in front of the fire, enjoying the warmth as the evening cooled.  We were back in Oregon, ready for our next adventures.  I woke early the next morning and went walking along the point, looking back to see the fog come in over Depoe Bay.  DSC_0383This Okie girl feels right at home, even though it couldn’t be further from my beloved Oklahoma.  It has a special place in my heart.

Come back for more Oregon adventures tomorrow.

When I get to the sea, I’m constantly reminded of all the wonderful creatures, beautiful and unique, who glide through these waters. I know whales are out there, have seen a quick sighting in Alaska and a couple of closer encounters two years ago in Oregon. Ve stayed on the coast these past three years, in Depoe Bay, the Whale Watching Capital of the world along with boasting the smallest harbor in the world.

This time the weather was perfect, we are seeing whales spouting from our balcony all day long and we went back out to get up close. I can feebly try to put words with the experience, but my photos tell the story in a much more exciting way. We are all visual people, aren’t we?

We rode on Zodiac boats, like the coast guard uses, with a whale scientist as our leader. Here is her boat with her whale hunting dog on watch.IMG_6067On the way out, we stopped at the bay’s buoy, where sea lions rested in the sun.imageWe spotted our first whales and the sun made rainbows in their spouts.
IMG_6088The day was a delight for children, seasoned whale watchers, our guides, anyone alive! At one point, we had four whales all around us, with three of them playing between the two boats, chasing each other.imageimage
Having two grey whales come up beside you, within twenty-five feet is quite a thrill.
We learned so much, like watching for the Fluke Print, the flat water left when the whale submerges and displaces the water.
By the end of our trip, we had seen at least ten whales, most of them regulars to this area, known by name. Only an insensitive soul wouldn’t be touched by the grandeur of these giants, gliding by, leaving us in wonder with a flip of their mighty tails.
My Whales’ Tale is a joy to be shared!

Last month I toured the Southeast states and now I am in the Northwest, Oregon to be exact. Getting to make two fun trips in a short time is a reminder of how beautiful this country is, how varied the plants, the foods, the dialects. I ended summer in the south and am welcoming fall in the northwest. The abundance of resources is taken for granted, but why are there still starving people in our country?

I’m here with two friends, kickin’ back on the laid back Oregon coast in a little town, Depoe Bay, on Highway 101. We’ve been up and down the coast before, so we’re deciding where to return, where to go new. Last night we ate looking over the harbor on a drizzly evening with the best waitress, Precious (and she was), fabulous salmon and fish & chips, and warm pear pie ala mode to die for.



Today is the perfect day to stay in with rain and 50 mph winds. Our view has gone from relatively calm yesterday…


…to rougher and rougher as today unfolds.


Bottom line is that the weather doesn’t matter – of course it is raining in the Northwest, duh – when you’re adventuring with friends who make you laugh! Off we go…