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.