Thursday, November 20, 2014

Seal Rock, Oregon Coast

I don't know how I have been up and down the Oregon coast so many times and never knew about this little spot! Seal Rock is beautiful, even on a cloudy fall day. Just a short drive south from Newport (about 8 miles/ 12 minutes ish), with a paved trail, and a couple entrances,  this is an easy stop that could occupy a 5 minute break or a full day of walking around and exploring all the tide pools. 

We pulled into the first entrance and took the short path to the overlook. It was a cold day and when I took the picture I didn't realize my coffee cup was in the shot! But I liked it too much to not post it and I don't have/ use photoshop. 

We then walked down the trail to the beach and to the rocks. 

Have you heard about the seastar wasting disease?! It basically disintegrates the stars and causes them to breakdown. Thankfully they are finally getting some leads on it, one step closer to saving them. I hated to see all these stars turning to mush.

If you enlarge the picture,
the puffy discolored part in the middle is the disease. 

what happens when you are looking through the camera for a good wave shot

Rock dance party

This very unassuming spot off 101 is a great way to spend a few hours.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Drift Creek Falls

{The computer had to undergo some surgery, then Josh took it on his boat for a while. But this ol' 2007 MacBook is back up and running, so I am going to get a couple more post from it still. I am sensing a new laptop for 2015.}

Drift Creek Falls is one of the places I got stuck in my head, and when we couldn't go I became determined to get there! Our first attempt mid-late summer was rained out so we ended up at the outlet mall up the road instead. [Got an unplanned head start on some Christmas shopping.] Drift Creek is on the coast, so the weather there is different than what we can predict for the valley. I was really bummed, it's not a far drive from Corvallis, but since it was summer that means hight of tourist season on the coast and Highway 101. Tourists are the worst! They cause unnecessary traffic, walk in the middle of the roads looking at things around them totally oblivious that they are in the middle of the highway, and drive the prices of hotels and local eateries up. At the same time, some of these smaller towns probably would not survive without them ::sigh::.

Anyways, enough ranting about too many people in small places. I had my head set on getting to Drift Creek, it's just a few miles north of Newport and just south of Lincoln City and has great signage! I mean seriously, for such a small place, it there were a TON of signs! The boat Josh was on in September was in a rotation schedule with another boat in their fleet, so he just happened to have about 2.5 days off over labor day weekend. We spent one day laying around and taking it easy, and the second day we bolted for Drift Creek. His days off are FEW and far between and he can get called in at anytime, they are not true guaranteed days off. We usually avoid holiday weekends that attract crowds, but we had to go when we could. Surprisingly, it was raining when we got to the coast... sense the sarcasm? It was okay, we packed a lunch and our rain jackets and ended up with two muddy dogs! 

nervous of the bridge
mid-yawn face, silly boy
Because of the rain we didn't get a ton of pictures, but what is fun about this place is the huge suspension bridge at the base of the falls. Also, the hike is pretty short at only 3 miles round trip and only a small hill at the trail head which is eased by light switchbacks. It would be a nice place to take visitors, minus the dogs next time. The trail is slightly more narrow than other trails we've frequented, which is what makes it a little tight for the dogs. They were wet and muddy and although they are OVERLY friendly, some people just don't like dogs at all and on that trail there isn't a lot of space to maneuver. Also the bridge is narrow... and moves.... a lot. I am not a bridge person, I do not trust man-made heights - no bridges of any kind. I have gotten a lot better through the years, but this is the first suspension bridge I have been on this size. 

The bottom of the falls and all the water is accessible by a small walk down the rocks at the base. If we did not have the dogs or it wasn't so crowded (covered with screaming kids, screaming because they were having fun that is) we would have ventured down, it just didn't line up for us this time. There is one waterfall and it comes off the side of the mountains into the river falling 75 feet. The trail is open year-round and there is a decent amount of parking, but not a lot, so go early if it's a nice day. It is also close to camping, hotels, and shopping, so you can make it part of a weekend coast trip. It's off HWY 101, going N from Newport to Lincoln City, turn right onto Drift Creek Road (after the golf course, there is a small sign on your left pointing to it) and follow the signs up the mountain. I think they do a lot of boy scout type stuff up there where they bring in busses of kids, there were signs at every intersection and even though it was a forestry road it was all paved. Super easy to find.

It really is a beautiful bridge! 

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Mountain Top Sunset

With Josh's job working on fishing boats, we have a hard time finding a day we are both off work together. His schedule is very random and he is always on call, there are times they will call him and tell him he has to be there in 4 hours - we live an hour away from the ocean. We were sitting home together one day, enjoying some lazy time together, when we both had a random thought at the same time; let's drive up Marys Peak and watch the sunset! We had to act fast, Marys Peak is about 45 minutes to an hour from us and sunset was in an hour and a half. We grabbed the camera and headed out the door. We've been to Marys a lot and we did a sunrise hike earlier this year, but we had yet to do sunset. Lucky for us, it was a stunning one! 

The rest of this post is all pictures, which I haven't posted to facebook yet, enjoy!
(apparently my DSLR lens is dirty, click to make larger, but ignore the smudges)

mountain shadow! 

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