7/28/08 Hello from Newport, on the Oregon coast. We have been here for a few days and have been having nice weather, albeit quite a bit cooler than we were experiencing while we were inland. Today was a wonderfully sunny day so we drove out to Yaquina Head. This is a point of land about a mile long that sticks out into the ocean, just a mile or so north of Newport. It used to have two distinctive hills on it but one of them was quarried to get the material to build the original Pacific Coast highway many years ago. In 1996 artificial tidepools were made out of the old quarry and now there is lots of marine life there.
The views of the seafront were impressive all along the drive along the head.
There is also an impressive interpretive center with displays on the history of the lighthouse and some information on the marine life here. The actual lighthouse and a small building attached to it are still there, but the keepers houses and other buildings that used to be there have been removed. Right outside the lighthouse there was a huge colony of seabirds on a huge rock in the ocean, with a bald eagle sitting in a tree on the cliff overlooking it.
About a dozen gulls were constantly harassing the eagle because he was so close to their territory. Finally, he flew off. We didn't want to wait in line to climb up to the top of the lighthouse, so we took the hike up to the top of the hill overlooking it instead. There were great views from the top and we felt so self-righteous about climbing up there!
Cape Foulweather was our next destination, about 6 miles up coast. It was named by Captain James Cook, the English explorer, when he first spent a horrific day there in 1778.
Luckily for us, today the weather was fabulous, and we even saw a humpback whale in the water below the viewpoint. More wildlife was on offer at our next stop, Otter Rock and Devil's Punchbowl. Here an over-friendly squirrel came running along the fence right at Elaine, thinking that we were there to feed it, like all the other dumb tourists. She quickly departed, and after my incident in Africa with the monkey, so did I, but I did take a picture first.
On our way here, we stayed at the Elks Lodge in Corvallis, so that we could get up the next morning and go blueberry picking again. There are no RV sites at this lodge but they graciously allowed us to park in their parking lot, which isn't all that big. We even had an electric outlet to use nearby. There are LOTS of berry farms in the Corvallis area, and had our choice of about 8 kinds of blueberries to pick at Anderson's Farm, at $1.25 a pound. Later that day we set up our RV at the Newport Elks Lodge, where they have 8 RV sites with water and electricity for $12/night. We saved some berries for eating and made jam with the rest. Yum.
Yesterday we poked around Newport, down by the waterfront, and also attended a delightful movie at the Center for the Performing Arts. It was a documentary called Young@Heart about a chorus of senior citizens who became famous for singing rock and roll songs. The youngest person in the group was about 76 and the oldest was 92. They were delightful! We think this should be shown at Park Sierra at Friday Night at the Movies....
Today we moved from the Elks Lodge to the Eagles Club, which is only about 1/2 mile from the Elks but which costs only $5/night. Of course, we are again parked in a parking lot and only have an electric hookup. The people at these lodges and clubs are always so friendly and welcoming, and here on the Oregon coast where all the RV parks cost a fortune, they provide a great service! In a few days we will probably move south to Waldport where there is a Moose Club with RV sites, and where there is usually good crabbing.