Chinook and a Disappointing Sunset

Happy Birthday Don!

My “content advisor”, as Don likes to be called, and I made a plan for sunset last night.  It had been cloudy all day around Waldport and Yachats until evening.

Our work took us up the Alsea River to give our final good-byes to the couple who did a super job managing River Edge and Canal Creek Campgrounds for us this summer.

So we head north on Hwy 101 from Tillicum Campground into Waldport.

Watching from the Seawall
Watching from the Seawall in Waldport, OR

This is the time of year when my job (because Don is driving and I don’t want to crash) is to look back over our shoulders to see how many boats are in “the Jaws” of the Alsea Bay.  Don tries to look anyway.

Warning:  If you are travelling south on Hwy 101 out of Waldport, OR, watch for swerving cars coming at you.  Those are wishful-fishermen.

47 Boats
47 Boats in “the Jaws” of the Alsea Bay

As I looked, I couldn’t help but yell, “picture!”  After I peeled myself off the dashboard, I jumped out and took this pic from the seawall of the Alsea Bay, just south of Waldport.  There’s a pull-out where the guy sells firewood.  Don’s very responsive to my requests….or, he jumps at any chance to watching fishing…I guess that’s more likely. 🙂


Regardless, there’s salmon in them-thar-waters!  See the black mouth?  That’s a chinook.  We saw this as we came back down river.  There are lots of boats trolling in this part of the bay.

We saw a guy with a 28lb’er who landed it from the beach, in Waldport, the day before.

As I’m writing this, I’m thinking I’m committing a horrible sin.  It’s not like Alaska where there is more salmon than you can dream of.  If this post is gone this evening you’ll know my content advisor read it and disapproved. :-}

Anyway, the ocean was SO flat all day.  That’s probably why so many boats ventured out into the jaws.  That can get pretty hairy (dangerous).  There were also more than usual boats out in the ocean just south of Waldport.  As we came back to our campsite, we could actually see clear sky in the west!  We needed groceries badly so we made a plan to go to Newport, grab something for dinner, fuel up, then have dinner at an overlook for sunset photos.  My choice was Seal Rock but we might not have time to get that far.  It would be close but we can do it!  Ready, Go!

So we knew we were running late but we still had hope when we came out of Walmart and saw the giant, orange, ball peaking through the trees.  We could go down to Agate Beach for the sunset photos, then get fuel, then eat dinner at Seal Rock.  We can re-plan on the spur of the moment!  We do it all summer!  That’s what workamping is all about!

Then it happened.  A gallon of milk fell off the edge of the truck bed.  That killed our plan.  The lid shot off and milk went everywhere.  I blotted it off me and the inside of the truck.  By the time we were ready to leave none of the orange ball was visible.  So we reluctantly drove down 101 to the gas station.  Then I saw the orange ball again!  It was such a deep orange, with a definite border!  But it was too late.  We didn’t know our way to the oceanfront from there.  By the time we got to Nye Beach, the orange ball was gone.

Nye Beach Sunset
Nye Beach Sunset

It was still a pretty sunset, although the best part of it is still in my head.

Pink clouds, Yaquina Head Lighthouse in the distance, beach grass not moving in the slightest and the flattest ocean we’ve seen in who knows how long.

We ate in the truck and counted the boats as their lights popped up on the horizon.


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