With the Willamette Valley once again filled with dense fog and a predicted high temperature of 38˚F (3˚C) yesterday, we were inspired by Sonja and Roland and decided to head for the coast, which was forecast for sunny skies and 58˚F (14.4˚C).
Just before noon we stashed the kites in the Subaru, grabbed some protein bars for lunch and pointed the car West. The drive to Newport takes about an hour on Highway 20.
Our first stop was the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse and park to use the facilities. The Yaquina Bay Lighthouse was built in 1871 and is the oldest building in Newport. It was active for only three years until the traditional lighthouse was built at Yaquina Head in 1873. It was decommissioned in 1874 as Yaquina Head Lighthouse made it obsolete.
|(Yaquina Bay Lighthouse, Newport, Oregon)|
Also in the park is the Fisherman's Memorial Sanctuary, built in remembrance of those Lincoln County fisherman lost at sea.
From Yaquina Bay we drove north looking for a spot to play on the beach and fly a kite. We decided to turn into the Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area, in which the lighthouse is located. Neither of us have ever been there before and we were intrigued. It is normally a fee park but for Christmas it was a free day.
Yaquina Head Lighthouse, originally called Cape Foulweather Lighthouse, is the tallest lighthouse in Oregon - the tower stands 93 feet (23 m) tall. The lighthouse still uses its 1868 French made fixed Fresnel lens that can be seen 19 miles out to sea.
|(Yaquina Head Lighthouse, Newport, Oregon)|
The park was a lot larger than anticipated with the lighthouse, hiking trails, an interpretive center (closed) and also stairs leading down the cliff to tide pools. Did someone say tide pools? We walked down the stairs and wandered for a good hour or so. Here are some pics of the highlights.
|(Beds of muscles)|
|(A snail on the left and other crunchy bits)|
|(Giant Green Sea Anemone)|
|(Sea Star, aka Starfish)|
|(Troubadour tickling the anemone)|
|(Tide pool with anemone, urchins, and muscle shells)|
|(Artsy rust on the railing)|
While the tide pools were sheltered from the wind, being up on the bluff at the lighthouse made us realize it was quite breezy and there was enough wind for kite flying. We got back in the car and drove a little further north to Moolack Beach. What appealed to us about Moolack was that it was undeveloped with no facilities and there was only one other car there. We put on our hats and I donned gloves my as well. We walked down the path and Troubadour brought out his para-foil kite while I did some beach combing.
|(Looking south towards Yaquina Head Lighthouse from Moolack Beach)|
|(Half a Sand Dollar - does that make it fifty cents?)|
|(Me and my shadow)|
We, and by we I mean me, were a little chilly from the wind and decided to pack it in. The beach was getting busier and there were now a dozen or so people and half as many dogs running around.
We managed to find the only open coffee shop in town, which happened to be Starbucks. We stopped for a couple of grande soy chai tea lattes and headed east. We arrived home just after 5 pm. Our batteries were sufficiently recharged from the sunshine and we were ready to hold down the sofa for the evening.
I hope everyone else had an enjoyable day as well.
- Au Revoir
" Somewhere beyond the sea, somewhere waiting for me, my lover stands on golden sands, and watches the ships that go sailin'." - Bobby Darin 'Beyond the Sea'