Newport, Oregon: Another beautiful day, so we asked the RV park to extend another day and they had room (and we didn’t have to move campsites). We ran, again along the new bike path. So nice to run in the sea air!

Exactly on target! (I am really looking forward to taking a day off Saturday.)

Again, after running, showering, working and going to the post office (which is in Nye Beach) we went to another local Nye Beach establishment, Cafe Stephanie, for lunch… we rarely seem to get around to breakfast on this trip.

We each had half-a-sandwich and cup of soup luncheons. This is grilled salmon and beer-cheese soup. The food was really good, very reasonable and the service was friendly… but I don’t think we will go back because the restaurant was just a little too dirty for my tastes. The carpet was disgusting. Blech. Anyway, we were fueled for our long day of adventuring on the beautiful Oregon Coast.

Yaquina Lighthouse

We spent the entire afternoon at the Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area. We have visited this park before, but not for some time. The park sits on Yaquina Head and features the historic Yaquina Lighthouse, a fabulous interpretive center and two of the best tide pool areas on the Oregon Coast.

We paid $7 to enter the park. There is RV parking (we were in our car) at the interpretive center, bathrooms and a nice gift shop. Wear athletic shoes – there are many stairs and flip-flops are virtually useless on the rocky shore.

Captain James Cook named many of the points on the Oregon Coast

The Yaquina Head Interpretive Center has displays explaining the history of the area, which has been inhabited by humans for over 4000 years. The history of the lighthouse is also covered and there is much information about the fish, birds, whales and other wildlife around Yaquina Head. Very kid-friendly.

After a spin through the Interpretive Center, we drove down to the Yaquina Lighthouse. Lines were long to climb the stairs and we have climbed before… so opted-out of that little exercise in favor of bird watching.

And I mean bird watching. We parked the Honda 200 yards from the lighthouse and we could hear birds squawking from the rocks off shore. This rocky island sits just 100 feet off shore from the lighthouse. It is absolutely teeming with Common Murres, Tufted Puffins, Pigeon Guillemots, Cormorants (most abundant), and gulls.

They are thick. Their babies are just leaving the nests at this time.

Here is another rock just off-shore, completely covered with nesting cormorants.

Oregon is blessed to have so many lighthouses, under the watchful eye of so many dedicated volunteers. The Yaquina Head Lighthouse operates every day!

After watching the birds and photographing the beautiful lighthouse, we took the 100+ steps down to Cobble Beach to poke around the tide pools.

When the tide is low, Cobble Beach has hundreds of tide pools to explore, and there were so many Harbor Seals dozing on the rock islands off-shore.

The problem is with the egg-sized cobbles. Impossible to walk on these things! I thought I was so smart, and switched my Nike shoes for flip-flops in the car before heading-down to the beach. I was basically paralyzed on the beach. Slipping and sliding everywhere. Ridiculous.

A baby bird on the shore was being protected by vigilant rangers. The little guy had flown out of his nest from somewhere above, but seemed a bit unsure about what he was supposed to do next. After resting for about an hour, he floated/swam out to sea. He had huge feet!

There were over one hundred harbor seals sleeping on the rocks just off shore. Not a lot of action from these lazy guys this afternoon.

The view up to the Yaquina Head Lighthouse was great from Cobble Beach. As the tide went out, more and more of the rocks were exposed and more and more sea critters could be found clinging to the tide pools.

Dave took this photo of two fluffy baby gulls.

Sea Star

When I was too wary to climb up on the rocks (in my slippery flip-flops, plus I am so blind), DT took my camera and found all sorts of pretty creatures in the tide pools.

Thousands of California Mussels clinging to the rocks.

Crunchy critters – I think they are called Mollusks…

And beautiful sticky sea urchins.

After we climbed back up the 100+ stairs, the view below – with the gorgeous purple flowers – was simply breathtaking. Pun intended.

Our last stop in the Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area was Quarry Cove. In 1994, the BLM turned an old shore-side quarry into a shore-life-friendly environment. They built a reef and made the entire area handicapped-accessible.

Now the teeny cove is ripe with marine life and the color of the water is gorgeous. Can you see the harbor seal on the front of the rock in the photo (left)?

Just trying to find a little solitude along the Oregon Coast.

This beautiful cypress seems to be growing out of the rock!

Thistles getting ready to bloom on Yaquina Head.

This view south is of Agate Beach.

It was getting late. We were getting tired, but instead of heading back to our motorhome, we made a stop to Historic Old Town Newport – home of seedy bars, touristy shops and a few huge sea lions.

Long-time readers will recognize this dock in Newport. There are usually several fat sea lions dozing in the sunshine. Today there were only two sea lions entertaining the tourists.

Obviously this creature has been tagged by Fish & Game.

Dude. See your dentist!

I took the video with my iPhone. (Okay, so Steven Spielberg can rest easy againtonight.)

By now, we were getting really hungry and couldn’t resist an ice cream – especially when I saw this:

Does everyone but me know about “enhanced” ice cream cones? I had Butterfinger Ice Cream in a Butterfinger Ice Cream Cone. Yummy.

And though we should have gone back to the RV, as it was getting close to 6 o’clock, we decided to drive to the jetty and walk to the end. Because jogging, walking up and down hundreds of stairs, walking in slippery rocks, climbing around in tide pools and traipsing down a steep ramp to an old quarry just isn’t enough exercise for DT!

Here is a photo from near the end of the jetty, looking east – back into Newport.

A Coast Guard cutter heads out to sea from Newport – with the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse (not to be confused with the Yaquina Head Lighthouse) on the bluff.

Here is DT on the jetty – with the Coast Guard cutter heading to the mouth of the river. The large ship in the center of the photo is dredging the channel.

For dinner, we walked from the RV park over to the Rogue Brewery again for lovely pub foods and refreshing Oregon-brewed beers. At the bar, we met three young men from Nashville on a tour of west-coast craft brewers. (Now that is a vacation!) We asked them if they listened to Three Hour Lunch, the sports radio show hosted by our friend, Clay Travis, of Outkick The Coverage in Nashville – and they did! I sent a text message to Clay that we were having a beer in Oregon with three of his fans and he answered right away with a friendly reply. Such fun! It is, indeed, a very small world.

What a beautiful day on the beautiful Oregon Coast. What else can I do to get you all in your RV’s/planes/trains/automobiles pointed to Oregon? I’m basically a blogging Chamber of Commerce!

I do deeply apologize for the extraordinary amount of bandwidth this page must have taken to load.

Until my next update, I remain, your Oregon correspondent.

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