Our next stop on the Oregon coast was a campground in Newport, South Beach state park. The Oregon state parks are all so wonderful. I love that the majority of the coast is public land in the form of either a day use state park, or a campground. South Beach is where we stayed one night 3 1/2 years ago when we raced down the coast in January after leaving Vashon, Wa. It was pure luck we were able to get a reservation for 6 nights last week, and it was a great place to stay. We could walk about a half mile to the beach, and there is also a nice bike path that goes to the harbor jetties that we enjoyed riding on too.
Every evening we would walk down to the beach, and usually earlier too, and just have a beach stroll.
This pattern in the sand caught my eye.
There were a couple places nearby, that looked fun to visit. The first was the Devils punch bowl state natural area. I had read about the area, and the giant devils bunch bowl, which is a really big blow hole, and that there were tide pools. So we drove there, only to find that you can’t get to the tide pools, or the devils punch bowl. We walked down to the beach thinking we could get to it by going around the shore, ya not so much unless you want to swim next to the sharp rocks. So, we bought clam chowder at the little Mo’s restaurant, best in Oregon so far, and I took this photo of the Yaquina lighthouse and the way cool clouds moving in.
Yaquina lighthouse and that natural area was also on my list of places to visit, so we went there next. Only to find it closed. This area is managed by the BLM, and you could park about a mile down the road and walk in. The 15 parking spots were of course full, so we just headed home. Disappointed all around. The next morning we went back to Yaquina early, and were the first ones to park. Yeah! My son had told me about cobble beach, which is there, and it’s also a big nature preserve. Plus the lighthouse of course.
As we were walking in, we passed a BLM employee and I asked her about the tide pools, and cobble beach. Nope, can’t go there, that area is closed because of the virus. Not sure why everywhere else was ok, but not there. This was as close to cobble beach as we got. Looking down on it.
There were seals out on the rocks too, I was very sad I couldn’t get better photos of them.
There are big rocks off the shore that were just packed with birds. These are the common murre. There were also a lot of Cormorants nesting.
Thankfully, we could walk around the lighthouse, but sadly not see the inside. The history of the lighthouses along the Oregon coast is fascinating. The ones we have visited so far were built in the late 1800’s, and this one opened in 1873. The small building next to the lighthouse was the place where the oil for the lamp was stored. Because the lighthouses were so remote, they had to really be self sufficient. Which in winter was a challenge. Winds can reach 100 mph here.
More info on this area and lighthouse can be found here.
Back to the evening walkies on the beach.
One evening it was sunny, and calm and there were a few surfers out and about. We watched this guy heading for the water and the reflection on the water really caught my eye in an artistic way. So abstract. I have never been comfortable taking photos of people, but their feet and reflection, this I can do. I took several photos over the course of a few evenings.
Seagulls make a nice reflection too.
South beach is accessible for horseback riding too. This looked like way too much fun, and something I would LOVE to do.
And then there were the birds. The brown pelicans were so much fun to watch as they fished right off the shore. They would fly slowly overhead, then slam on the brakes and dive straight down.
It was hilarious watching them. The B-52 bombers of the bird world.
One evening there was a small flock of palmated sandpipers, and snowy plovers together. The snowy plovers are protected, as they were about extinct several years ago. Cute little guys.
There were some young sandpipers in this little group. Their feathers are sure pretty.
That’s about it for Newport and the surrounding area. We did go to the old docks and walk around, but it was pretty peopley and we are trying our best to avoid all that. Masks are required in Oregon, even in outdoor areas when there are a lot of people. I have to say, pretty much everyone wears a mask here which is great. It’s nice that we have the RV because that sure makes it easier to stay safe. Nothing like taking your own house, bed and bathroom with you.
We left South beach on Saturday and are in Rockaway parked on friends property for a few days. So, more on this area in the next post.