Thursday, July 12, 2012

Foggy, Overcast Oregon Day

When we awoke, the river valley we are located in was covered in fog from about 20 feet high and above.  With no Internet, no TV, it did not take us long to eat breakfast, drink our coffee, and out the door we went.  I did stop at the office and told them about the Cable not working, and they assured me that they would look into it. (note: it was working when we got back!)

Our first stop was the town of Lincoln City, within minutes of where we are, so that we could get something at the store, and hook into the 3G and see what we wanted to do today.  It looked like the best stuff was to the south...but the sky looked blue to the north.  We took the chance and headed south, hoping that the fog and overcast would clear up.  Well, for the most part, it never did clear up, which means pictures won't be as nice as they could have been.

Just past the inlet of the Siletz River, and with the ocean at low tide, I took the following shot.  A sign says that Lt. [James] Theodore Talbot camped here in 1849.  So I looked him up (it's the Librarian in me...) and found that he died at the age of 37 from tuberculosis.  At age 18 he traveled on the second expedition of John Freemont.  He kept a very detailed journal of that trek, and pretty much of all of his life from this point on.  He also went on the third expedition, and at one point headed up the main group while Freemont took a smaller group.  In 1848, Talbot was assigned to Fort Vancouver, and while there, was assigned to lead 10 men to "examine" the Oregon Coast, which led him to this place.  Now he was at the ripe old age of 23!  To make a long story short, he eventually was assigned to Fort Sumter, North Carolina.  In early April he was dispatched with a letter to President Lincoln, and on April 8th he returned to Charleston, but General Beauregard of the new Confederate Army would not allow him to go to the Fort, and by 11 pm he and his companion, Robert Chew, a clerk in the State Department, were on a train back to D.C.  On April 12, the Fort was attacked, and the war had started.  A year later, Talbot was dead, but had lived a life for the past 20 years that many could only dream of living.... I have found much historical information with many of the things we have seen along the road, while many just past by not giving it much thought.

As we proceeded just a bit down the road, I get a much softer "could you stop....llamas over there..."  Sure enough, there were three llamas out in this field, no fence, no houses, just tall grass and llamas.  We think a fourth one was laying down by the two which were together. 

A few miles further down, and around a few corners, and there was a large turnout.  Now we were into the fog and overcast, as this picture shows.  At least there were a bunch of large sea gulls for the dogs to chase....while still on their leashes....but they tried to get away, and they did enjoy the large area of grass to run and play and, well, do what doggies do on grass. 
This is the view to the north over the fence...did not even try the view to the south because it was real thick over that way....
Next we came to Depoe Bay where there was a turnout right in the middle of the town, and at this turnout was this memorial.
Later, research told me that Roy Bower and Jack Chambers were out fishing on October 4, 1936, headed home as a storm had come up.  A troller, the Norwester, was having problems and Roy and Jack, just minutes from home, saw their boat, and went over to help.  The storm raged all night....and that morning the Norwester pulled into port all battered up, with all hands safe.  Roy and Jack had been able to tie the ship up to a offshore buoy.  Their ship, the Carl Lou, was found awash later that day...with Roy and Jack on board, dead from exposure.

The bottom plaque says this: "It is not true.  Life is nto slain by death.  The vast, immortal sea shall have her own, shall garner to her this expiring breath.  Shall reap where she has sown." 

Beyond the wall where the memorial stands is this can see the rugged rocks.  These rocks, when the tide is high and the waves are large, will blow water up into the air above where the waves hit the rocks below.  Today was not going to be a day where this could be seen...but I have seen this in other places along the Pacific Coast Line.

Further down the highway we came to another turnout.  The most interesting thing at this turnout was the boat which was going down the coast line.  Not very big to be out in the ocean, in my opinion....but heck, I wouldn't want to be on a boat out there if it was an ocean liner.....unless I was at the helm.

We then went down a road that goes between the highway and the ocean for a few miles.  Very few cars were along this road, a part of the original route of 101, and it was a one way after we passed a few homes that were along the way.  We then came to this bridge, which was built around 1915 for $25,000.  A few years ago they did an upgrade on the bridge, but they did not say how much that cost.  The bridge was named for the “Father of the Coast Highway”, Ben Jones, and was designed by Conde McCullough, who designed many of the Oregon Coastal bridges, including many which we had already taken pictures of, including the Coos Bay Bridge.

We drove a few more miles, and before we re-entered highway 101, saw this view to the south.

And this one to the north.  Yes, that is a structure up on that hill, but it is not a house, it was museum type of thing that the state or county runs.  We decided to keep driving because it looked a bit busy.
Back on highway 101 we were getting closer to one of my goals....another lighthouse.  When we pulled into the parking area of this Bureau of Land Management site (which was free to us since they honor the National Park Card), it was a bit foggy still.  And the wind was blowing real strong from the north.  So we decided to sit and have our lunch.  

After lunch, it was till windy and foggy....but the closer you get to the lighthouse, the clearer the lighthouse gets.
Unfortunately it was Wednesday....they don't do lighthouse tours on Wednesday, so going inside was not going to happen today.  This is the Yaquina Head Lighthouse which is within an  "Outstanding Natural Area", which are designated areas protected and managed by the Bureau of Land Management.    

As I got close to the "ocean" side of the lighthouse, I heard a bunch of I looked out I see this very large rock, and the rock is moving!  There were hundreds and hundreds of birds on it!
 Below is a close up of just a portion of the rock just so you can see what I mean by hundreds and hundreds of birds!

The type of birds around Yaquina Head are the Common Murres, Tufted Puffins, Pigeon Gullemots, Pelagic Cormorants, Brandt's Cormorants, Glaucous-winged gulls and Western Gulls.  The Murres and the Gulls are the most seen birds out on this rock.  The Puffins are on the rock, but on the ocean side of the rock.

I walk over to the southern side of the lighthouse and I see seals laying out on the rocks, and a few on the sand.

So off we went further south to Newark, where we saw our last lighthouse for the day.  This is the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse, which was built in 1871.  This is the only existing lighthouse in the state in which the living quarters are housed in the same building as the light.  Very few of this type were built on the entire Pacific Coast.

And as we left the Yaquina Bay State Park area, we saw another bridge that we had to get a picture of.  This is also another Conde McCullough bridge, and is said to be one of the most recognizable of the U.S. Route 101 bridges designed by Conde McCullough.
It was also nice to see the blue sky again.

With that we headed back through the fog to the motor home.  We talked about how this was the second time we had poor Wi-fi in an RV park, and Marcia suggested that we find and stop at a Radio Shack to see if they have something to help out with that.  There was one on the way back to the RV park, and they did have what is called a Super USB WiFi Antenna by C. Crane.  When we got back, I did try it out, and it did give better Wi-Fi reception. 

Also, Marcia tried out the scooter at the Yaquina Head Visitor's Center.  It worked fine.  I think that with one of the LED lights out on the monitor for the battery, that it did not let us know that the battery was running low.  This is something we will just have to watch on our own until we either get home, or find a place which might be able to help us out on fixing it.  It is good to know that it still works fine.

Tomorrow we head up to the Tillamook area where we hope to stay through Sunday before moving on.


  1. I have been trying to label a bridge that I photographed a couple of weeks ago somewhere on the Oregon coast. We stopped so many times that my memory just would serve. So I started surfing the Net and came across your wonderful collection. Looks like you two had a great time. Love your RV; just beautiful little rig. Perfect for a couple. We might get that sort of thing some day.
    The bridge I shot is smaller and arched and is located at some small state or county park almost right on the beach. You can walk under the bridge on a well maintained path to get to the beach. If I send you the pic, do you think you can help me identify it?

    1. Stu, how about trying to search Google Images for Conde McCullough bridges and see if you might be able to find it that way. My guess is that Conde McCullough probably designed the bridge. I don't think I could help, due to Marcia's MS, we stayed off of all beaches. Good luck. --Dave


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