The added benefit to friends visiting is you get to renew your amateur Interpretive license.
We took our friends to the highest point on the Oregon Coast – Cape Perpetua Scenic Overlook.
Even if you can’t walk very far there’s a beautiful area to see from a bench; just 30 feet from the parking lot. Parking requires a fee or day use pass. Seniors can use your America the Beautiful or Golden pass by displaying it on your dashboard.
The more mobile patrons reported stunning views around the corner at the old stone shelter. But from here you can look straight down to the Devil’s Churn area. Yes, that zig-zag trail is a steep one. (If you can’t stand the height you get your interpretive guide to take a photo to look at from your couch afterwards.) 🙂
From here you can see the Visitor’s Center and Cook’s Chasm south of Devil’s Churn.
Read more about Cape Perpetua Campground and tidepools here:
It is always cooler on the coast than it is in the Willamette Valley (I-5 corridor from Portland to Eugene). Many times, when it’s hot in the “valley”, it will be foggy on the coast.
Although it’s not the best time for whale watching there’s plenty to see on the Central Oregon Coast when it’s foggy; as long as you don’t focus on the fog.
If I am standing in the fog, I like to get my “head out of the clouds” and go for a drive on Hwy 101.
Most of the time, the fog is patchy along the Oregon coast. As the highway rises, we climb out of the fog to enjoy azure blue skies and the warmth of the sun. Hiking in the Cape Perpetua Scenic Area is a great option – but today we’re going to Florence for groceries and fuel (the cheapest fuel in Oregon).
We stopped at the overlook of the Heceta Head Lighthouse, just north of Sea Lion Caves, on this foggy morning. We could not see the lighthouse until we drove back by later in the afternoon. But I enjoy seeing how the cormorant chicks are growing. The chicks aren’t as dark and shiny-black as their parents. The common murres are still there but I can’t tell if any of these are chicks.
Of course, there’s always the option of driving inland, up a river, for other un-foggy options. This photo was taken near Blackberry Campground, 18 miles east of Waldport.
The elk calves still have their spots and feed in open fields with the rest of the herd.
I’m not sure if the cow on the left is the mom but she’s not happy with the calf (ears down). And the calf is talking to her (mouth open).
At 8 to 10 weeks the young otters start exploring outside their den and are introduced to solid food. That one’s not too old to forget that mama has yummy milk though.
River otters are active day and night; around humans they tend to be more nocturnal. Otters spend their time feeding and at what appears to be group play.
They also dry their fur, groom themselves, and mark their territory by vigorously scratching, rubbing, and rolling on the ground. River otters are active year round, and, except for females with young in a den, are constantly on the move.
They tend to follow a regular circuit that is covered in one to four weeks. Males can travel 150 miles within a particular watershed and its tributaries in a year. A family may range 10 to 25 miles in a season.
As they frolicked up the river, past a great blue heron, they left our sight. At one point we started hearing a high-pitched bark or, it was more of a chirp. I thought it was an osprey but there was nothing in the sky. The sound seemed to come from different places, first one side of the river and then the other. We couldn’t see the otters anymore. The heron didn’t fly away immediately when the chirping started but eventually did. We’re sure it was an alarm sound from one of them but not sure which one was in trouble or how.