Northwest by North, Day 9: Coquille Point to Portland

I woke yesterday, semi-determined to get to Tillamook in time for a few samples of cheese and ice cream.  It didn’t happen that way, for two reasons.  I get Tillamook products at home and the major sites that appeared in the interim, were too good to pass up.  I spent about an hour at one of the Oregon Coast’s centerpieces:  Coquille Point, just south of Bandon’s Old Town and others rocks and islets caught my eye, as far as the Sea Lion Caves.  I also wanted to get to Portland before midnight, which I did.

So, here are about eight shots of the venues from Day 9.  The O-Coast has lots more to offer, between Florence and Cannon Beach, as well.  Maybe someone will post on those in the days and months to come.

The above four are a taste of what awaits at Coquille Point, which is a major part of Oregon islands National Seashore.

I drove down along Seven Devils Road, next, and enjoyed the solitude and sanctity of the three beaches which are part of the Seven Devils State Park.  Few people would join me along the shore, from here to the Oregon Dunes, until later in the afternoon.

After a delicious lunch at High Tide Cafe, in Charleston- just west of Coos Bay, I checked out the harbor of the O-Coast’s commercial hub.

 

Then, after a latte, it was time to call on the California Sea Lions of Cape Arago and nearby Simpson Reef.  This species is the smaller and noisier of the two which gather along the Oregon Coast.

My next major stop was at Oregon Dunes, which are barrier sand dunes that stretch from just south of Reedsport to near Florence.

I walked the 1/2 mile round trip of the Dellenback Trail, which offers a taste of the three types of topography in this area- spruce forest, fresh-water marsh and high dunes.

I caught another urban break in Florence, spending a few minutes at the bay and its small vegetable and fruit stand, picking up some kiwi-lime marmelade.

Lastly, for now, is a shot of the Sea Lion Cave, north of Florence, near Heceta Point.  This is billed as “America’s largest sea cave”.  I would not know about that, but it is large enough to fit nearly a hundred Steller Sea Lion cows and pups, every Fall and Winter.  Sean, the cave docent, knows a wealth of information about the five species of sea lions, their interrelationships and their migration patterns.  He has also kept abreast of the flotsam coming east from the Fukushima Earthquake and Tsunami.

The Steller sea lions shown above are the largest sea lion species.  They are quieter than their smaller cousins to the south, but a full-grown bull can roar like a lion.

Below is the viewpoint from which Heceta Point Lighthouse is visible, on a clear day.

As I don’t have mastery of turning off the flash on my Samsung as yet, I could not photograph the sea lion cave itself.  So, here is a file photo, courtesy of the park. (Copyright of Sea Lion Cave).

After this, the combination of fog and diminishing sunlight sent me forward, with an “eyes only” appreciation of the beauty of the north coast, from Yachats to Tillamook.  I got into Portland and will enjoy the hospitality of small, but comfortable, Budget Lodge, just west of downtown.

The joys of the City of Roses will be posted as “Day 10”.

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