Oregon Tidepools Heceta Beach

Oregon is known for many beautiful places and interesting wildlife. I have always loved Heceta Beach which is just outside of Florence, Oregon. I love taking landscape photos there and just relaxing. I have taken the Heceta trail to the Heceta Lighthouse which has a great view at the top of the trail. I have seen sea lions, grey whales and picturesque sunsets, but until my trip last week, I had never seen the tidepools on this beach.

I was taking pictures of the awesome caves and rocky cliffs when I realized the tide was coming in. I started looking for seashells, but noticed because of the rocks that there were only pieces of shells. Also there were seagulls flying around eating the crabs and other sea creatures they could find to eat. I noticed some jellyfish that were dead and had been washed up from the tide. I also noticed pools of water around the rocks which are tidepools. I was climbing on the rocks carefully and looking to see what was in these pools. I saw many red and green sea anemones which looked pretty neat. I saw muscles, sand shrimp, sand crabs, hermit crabs, tiny fish and tadpoles. The most interesting ocean life I saw was a starfish. In fact, I saw a few starfish. I have always loved starfish, especially if they have a pretty color like the starfish I saw clinging to the rocks on the beach. There were many tourists out so it was hard to get pictures of these creatures, but I did manage to get a few. Now I can add tidepools to the interesting tourist attraction of Heceta Beach and Heceta Head State Park.

Newport Oregon Marine Discovery Cruise

If you get a chance to visit Newport Oregon you should make some time to try the Marine Discovery Cruise. This is a tour of Newport Bay and also a whale watching experience. Sometimes there are no whales but you usually see at least one. I went on a Marine Discovery Cruise in July and saw two whales! Grey Whales are usually the whales seen. When I saw them it was apparently very rare to see two at that time of year because it was their feeding time. When Grey Whales feed they don’t swim together like they usually do. They swim individually because they are looking for food.

You will also see other life by the sea on this Marine Discovery cruise. You can see Jellyfish, porpoises, seals and different types of birds. When I took the cruise in July we saw a Pelican which apparently was very rare to see in Newport Oregon. The captain on our cruise had been in the coast guard and had been blessed to be stationed in Newport Oregon for eleven of his coast guard years. He was very familiar with the area so when he retired he bought a boat and joined the Marine Discovery Cruise line. There was a woman who was basically our navigator. She also had a degree in Marine Science so she was telling us about a lot of the animals and sea life.

At one point, the woman asked people if they wanted to come to the front of the boat to see some sea creatures she had found. She had starfish, crabs, sea snails and some other interesting things. There was also a time when people could help lower the crab rings and bring them out of the water. People, especially the kids really liked this. Another fun thing was that the Captain said people could go upstairs to  the Wheelhouse and talk with him. He even showed people how to steer the boat. Once again, the kids really loved this experience.

The Marine Discovery cruise is great for the family or people without kids who just love being on a boat in the ocean on a nice day. As of 2018 the ticket price is $40 per person. This tour lasts about two hours, but to me it is worth it. I got so many nice pictures of the Newport Bridge, various birds, the boat, the bay, whales and more.

Elk Viewing Dean Creek

When I travel to the Oregon coast through hwy 101 the first coastal city I come to is Reedsport. Before I reach Reedsport there is a place to stop and view wildlife, specifically elk. This place is called Dean Creek. The past couple of times I have came to this spot the elk were hiding. However, a week ago when I traveled to the coast and back I found there were many elk all over this viewing area. It is a protected area now, but it wasn’t always this way.

In the 1930s a highway was built which made it hard for the elk to get to the Umpqua area. There were farms around the Dean Creek. This is where the elk decided to stay. Sometimes the elk were killed and used for food. However, this was only done if necessary and all of the elk was used. The natives often used elk meat for stews. They used the elk hide and skin to make blankets, shoes, clothing and spiritual ceremonial clothing.

One of the most interesting facts I discovered about the elk was how little they sleep. I expected such a big animal to need a lot of sleep. However, elk only sleep about 2 1/2 to 4 hours a day! That’s less than I sleep! Elk also swim and can jump fences up to 8 feet. This helps them to escape falling trees.

Most elk live about 10-15 years. Some live 20 years. It only takes about 3-5 months for an elk to grow a complete set of antlers. The elk at the Dean Creek viewpoint are known as Roosevelt Elk.  Dean Creek Elk Viewing is a nice detour on a trip to the Oregon coast.


Bandon Oregon Beach

I recently returned from a much too short trip to Bandon, Oregon. Bandon is a small town on the Oregon coast. This town has shopping including an area called Old Town Bandon that I really like visiting. I also love the Cranberry Sweet Shop where you can buy tasty treats and get free samples. There are also art galleries and art carvings in Bandon. The Bandon Bayfront has many interesting carvings.

What I really love about Bandon is the beach area. Not only because I love beaches all over the United States, but Bandon has some of the most beautiful beach access. The Bandon Beach isn’t only peaceful and beautiful but it has personality. There are huge, interesting rock sculptures on the beach. It’s almost like a rock sculpture museum. These rock formations are natural. There are several names for the rock formations which I am still learning. I know Table Rock and Face Rock. I was looking for the Cat and Kittens rock, but I missed it somehow. There’s always next time.

I have been visiting Bandon often for the past fifteen years. However for some reason I wasn’t able to get to Bandon last year. I got to Florence, Newport, Reedsport and Lincoln City, but not Bandon. I wanted to make sure I got to visit Bandon this year. The beaches are a place you must visit especially when touring the Oregon Coast. I wasn’t sure what to expect as far as the weather because February is still winter. Thought the coast is beautiful in the sunshine, the winter does get stormy and cold. Lucky for me I was blessed with a perfect day as far as winter on the coast. It was cold but the sun was shining. It was so beautiful. It had that natural coastal breeze blowing but it was really beautiful. The only part I didn’t like was trying to get to the beach from where we were staying. I have Vertigo so walking down a steep, old, wooden staircase to the beach was not fun. The view was worth it. Next time I will try to find a place closer to the beach so I can just walk down a short trail. As I mentioned, the view was beautiful.

Bastendorf Beach

Bastendorf Beach is a beautiful beach by the Coos Bay area in Oregon. This lovely Oregon coast beach has many fun memories for me. One time my friends and I were trying to get pictures a little too close to these big rocks. A huge wave came and pretty much knocked us over. We ran and it seemed to be chasing us. We finally got away and I checked to make sure my camera was okay. It was a funny memory and yes we did manage to get some good pictures.

Bastendorf Beach is close to Coos Bay Oregon which is a nice coastal town. The beach is a bit smaller than some other Oregon coast beaches I’ve been to but I like it. There is what looks like a wall of huge rocks around part of the water. Apparently this is considered part of the jetty which is probably why when the waves were so high we nearly got knocked down for good on that one occasion.  This beach is a nice place to relax, swim, have a picnic or take pictures. Bastendorf Beach is a beach to visit when on the Oregon coast.

Devils Lake

Last summer I decided to learn to kayak. I had only tried to kayak once when I was much younger in California. I decided that I wanted to try a sport that I would enjoy. I bought an inflatable kayak which worked great. It’s a good thing I had my kayak buddy or I would not have got that kayak in the water or been able to get around the lake. Devils Lake in Lincoln City, Oregon is the first placed I tried my kayak.

I love the scenery around Devils Lake. The mountains are so beautiful and so are the green trees. There is a place to picnic and many nice places for pictures. It was rainy the first time I went but it cleared up fast. I went in the morning so I could get my kayak in the lake before more people came. After about an hour I took a lunch break. It was a fun experience. I got a little tired of rowing so I tried to take a break. I couldn’t do that much because there was the coastal breeze which sent me towards the shore. I really did enjoy the experience and plan to visit again in the summer.

Lincoln City Beach

Last summer I decided I wanted to visit somewhere new for my birthday. I decided to visit Lincoln City. I had visited the Lincoln City Outlet Center numerous times and love it, but I decided to stay a couple of nights by the beach.

I have been to Newport, Bandon, Florence, Yachats and several Oregon coast beaches, but last summer I finally visited Lincoln City, Oregon beach. Lincoln City is a neat Oregon cast town. The feel was like a small beach town. The beaches were some of the most beautiful I have seen. This summer I plan to go back to the Lincoln City Beach. I plan to go in July so I can get another beautiful sunny beach day. Even in the rain the beach is beautiful.

I noticed a lot more rocks on this beach and the sand was a bit more fine than the other beaches. I liked it. In some ways it reminded me of a small California beach. However it is much prettier because there is no smog and plenty of green trees surrounding the beach. I think I will bring a bucket next time and see what kind of neat rocks I can collect. The water was so beautiful and blue. Some people may think I photo shopped the images but no. That was just how picture perfect the Lincoln City Beach looks. It is a beautiful place and I will return to enjoy this beautiful Oregon coast beach.

Beverly Beach

Newport, Oregon is one of the best cities on the Oregon coast. There are many tourist attractions like the lighthouse, Hatfield Marine Science Center, Ripley’s and the Wax Museum. There is also shopping and the Oregon Aquarium just to name a few attractions. I enjoy all of these attractions but I must admit the beach is my favorite place to go. Once a year we camp at the Beverly Beach Campground. This is something I look forward to every summer.

Camping is fun but Beverly Beach is the reason I love camping in Newport, Oregon. There are many camp spots and beaches in and around Newport. However Beverly Beach is one of the best. There is this cool bridge right by the beach. You walk under it when walking from the camp site to the beach. There are neat looking sticks and rocks by the bridge and on the beach. You can build sandcastles or collect sea shells. You can walk along the beach and feel the sand between your toes. I love doing this and enjoying the feel of the clear, refreshing water. There are also walking trails if you want to take a trail. You can also find a trail to the lighthouse a few miles away. Beverly Beach is a place you must see if you travel to Newport, Oregon.

Heceta Head Beach

The Heceta Head Beach is one of my favorite Oregon Coast beaches. It is actually part of the Heceta Head Lighthouse State Park. It costs $5 to park and enter but it is worth it to me. I go there so much I think I may get a State Park yearly pass just for this park. I love that the beach is more like a cove. It is actually located at the mouth of Cape Creek. You can picnic here, get in the water, walk on the sand, take beautiful pictures and just relax.

If you’re a little more adventurous and like to explore, like I do, you will want to see the Heceta Head Lighthouse. Of course the lighthouse is on top of a cliff which is an excellent viewpoint of the ocean. I have also seen Sea Lions and a whale from this point. The lighthouse is neat and there are volunteers who will give you a free tour between 11 am and 3pm. I must admit that I take the trail for the exercise and the view at the top.

The Heceta Head Trail is part of a 7 mile walk. The trail to the lighthouse is wheelchair accessible and very enjoyable for me. If you want to take a harder walking trail there are trails that go up into the woods. I am not that athletic so I don’t take those trails. I take the trail to the lighthouse and always stop along the way to take pictures. The nice thing about nature is that even if you have been to a place a million times, you never know when you might catch something new on camera. Sometimes the beach has a different look and feel on a rainy day. Sometimes a bird or squirrel runs across the path and I quickly try to get the picture. Sometimes there are flowers in bloom that I didn’t see before. If you get a chance be sure to visit Heceta Head Lighthouse State Park. This park is located a little bit outside of Florence, Oregon. Even the drive on a sunny day is beautiful.


Siuslaw River Bridge

If you happen to be passing through Florence, Oregon while traveling the Oregon Coast, you will see a big bridge. This bridge is known as the Siuslaw River Bridge. As you can probably guess this bridge covers the Siuslaw River on the U.S. Route 101. This bridge was designed by Conde McCullough and built by the Mercer-Fraser Company of Eureka California. This bridge was funded by the Public Works Administration. The bridge opened in 1936.

The length of the bridge is 1,568 feet. It has a 140 foot double-leaf bascule which provides 110 feet horizontal clearance for boat traffic. The bascule section is flanked by two 154 foot reinforced concrete arches identical to the Alsea Bay Bridge. Four Art Deco-style obelisks store the mechanical equipment. There was also a living area for the bridge operator. The total cost to build the bridge was $527,000 which is now equal to $9.4 million as of 2017. This bridge was added to the National Register of Historical places on August 5, 2005.

The Siuslaw River is home to many Chinook Salmon and has become a popular fishing spot. The Siuslaw River Bridge is a beautiful piece of history. The Siuslaw River was named for the Indian tribe that once lived by the river. When in Florence, Oregon you will see this beautiful rive and bridge. There is a small garden with a view for looking out at the Siuslaw River Bridge.