Tag Archives: bob creek

What’s to see when it’s foggy on the Central Oregon Coast?

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.

Bray's Point on Hwy 101 - Overlooking Bob Creek Wayside
Bray’s Point on Hwy 101 – Overlooking Bob Creek Wayside

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.

Bray's Point - Hwy 101 - looking south
Bray’s Point – Hwy 101 – looking south

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).

Cormorants and Common Murre Nests
Cormorants and Common Murre Nests

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.

Beaver in the Alsea River
Beaver in the Alsea River

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.

Elk herd with this year's calves
Elk herd with this year’s calves

The elk calves still have their spots and feed in open fields with the rest of the herd.

Sassy Elk Calf
Sassy Elk Calf

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).

Cinco de Mayo Grilling

This is how we do it on the Oregon Coast!

You need a shellfish license to collect your mussels.  Make sure the mussel is alive by tapping on the shell.  If it stays open, it is dead, so throw it out.  Then discard the ones with cracked shells.  Put the live mussels in a bucket of clean, fresh, water for 15 minutes or longer.  This causes them to pump out the sand.

Then rip the beard off.  The beard is the weedy part growing near the shell joint.  Next, just put them on the hot grill and close the lid.  When the shell opens, they are ready to eat.  They are barely done, soft and tender, when they first open.  Some like to cook them a few minutes longer to make them more firm.  Do not eat the mussels that don’t open.

Mussels on the Barby
Mussels on the Barby

They don’t really smell that appetizing until you get them out of the shell.  But they are SO yummy!

Black California Mussels for Dinner
Black California Mussels for Dinner

There is a hard part that you’ll avoid eating but, basically, the whole thing is edible.  Melting some butter with garlic for dipping would have worked out better than what I did but they are a little salty and didn’t really need anything else for flavor.

Ancient Lavaflows at Bob Creek Wayside
Ancient Lavaflows at Bob Creek Wayside

We harvested our mussels from Bob Creek Wayside, on Hwy 101, between Cape Perpetua Campground and Rock Creek Campground on the central Oregon coast.  Don carried the knife.  I carried the camera. We ended up going different directions because he likes to cross the creek to get the best mussels and I didn’t want to get my shoes wet.

Goose Barnacles drip from Mussels
Goose Barnacles drip from Mussels

Bob Creek is a fun place for tidepooling too.  I like the way these goose barnacles look like they are dripping out of the mussels.

Sunny Day at Bob Creek Wayside
Sunny Day at Bob Creek Wayside

We’ve had 70’s – 80’s on the coast for our Cinco de Mayo weekend!

Tidepools at Bob Creek
Tidepools at Bob Creek

I had to really hunt to find one sea star.  I’ve seen a lot more in the past.  Maybe it’s not their migration time?  🙂

Tube Weed
Tube Weed

Tube Weed is hollow.  It dries out quickly and turns bright white.   I keep wanting to call it Angel Hair.

Giant Green Anemone
Giant Green Anemone

Don says you can eat the anemones too but the trick is cleaning them.  At least that’s what a cooking show said.  We didn’t try.