Tag Archives: hwy 101

Who doesn’t enjoy blue sky?

I guess even sea lions get cabin fever now and then.  Give them blue sky and calm seas and you may see them outside of Sea Lion Caves; north of Florence, Oregon, on Highway 101.  Just north of the caves there is a pullout; the vantage point for the “most photographed lighthouse on the Oregon Coast”.  The lighthouse keeper’s house is a bed and breakfast:  Heceta Head Lighthouse

heceta head lighthouse
Heceta Head Lighthouse

Park your car, get out and listen.  If you can hear the sea lions barking, look over the rock wall to the cliffs below.  These are a mix of California and Stellar Sea Lions.

sea lion haul out
Sea Lions Hauling Out

They complain a lot but they like to snuggle.

sea lions
Mom! He’s touching me!

On the other side of the cliff, closer to the caves, another group of sea lions climb the steep cliff; hugging the side to get to the top.

sea lion rock climbers
Sea Lions are great rock climbers

Fall on the Oregon Coast

We took a drive to Florence, OR, for Veteran’s Day.

hwy 101 central oregon coast
Blue sky drive on Hwy 101 between Yachats and Florence

What a beautiful day it was!  I’m glad we went yesterday because today is cloudy and cold.


Off-shore winds were making some pretty spindrifts over the waves.

oregon coast sea lions
Sea Lions – soakin’ up the sun

I guess the sea lions get cabin fever too.  They were all out soakin’ up the sun; either on the rocks or out in the ocean.  This is just north of Sea Lion Caves at the Heceta Head Lighthouse overlook.  The wind was just right so that we could smell their stinky breath (or bodies?) from way up on the ledge.  Imagine what they smell like in the confined space of the Sea Lion Caves!  I love watching them crawl all over each other and listen to them bark as they step on each others toes.  Other viewers cheered them on as the sea lions climbed up the cliff and hung on through the crashing waves.  How do they do it without fingers and the proper rock climbing equipment?

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wD0SADiph5g]


You know how your eyes adjust to darkness?  After they’ve adjusted you can see pretty well.

Then, when a light is turned on, it is way too bright and your eyes almost hurt.

Yaquina Bay
Yaquina Bay

That’s kinda how it is every time the sun shines on the Oregon Coast (at least in the winter).  lol

Kayaker on Yaquina Bay
Kayaker on Yaquina Bay

I didn’t really think about it until a friend said, “It’s SO bright when the sun shines here!”

Yaquina Bay Jetties
Yaquina Bay Jetties

So I just got to wondering if our eyes adjust to the longer nights and the dim light of overcast days.

Yaquina Bay Bridge (Newport
Yaquina Bay Bridge (Newport)

So I just wear sunglasses when the sun shines.

Yaquina Bay Observation Deck at Parking Lot
Yaquina Bay Observation Deck at Parking Lot

And enjoy how blue the ocean and sky are on those days.

Yaquina Bay Lighthouse
Yaquina Bay Lighthouse

The lighthouse was closed today (Christmas Eve) but I didn’t want to waste an opportunity to photograph Yaquina Bay from the height of the north side.

Coast Guard Tower
Coast Guard Tower

When the lighthouse is open, do they let you climb the lookout tower?  That would be cool!

Sea Lion mom focuses on her ONE pup

The weekly photo challenge is: ONE

Heceta Lighthouse Overlook near Sea Lion Caves
Heceta Lighthouse Overlook near Sea Lion Caves

Aside from the beautiful view of the lone lighthouse on the point, we stop here to listen and watch the sea lions (at the bottom of the photo).  By the way, this is on Highway ONE-oh-ONE on the Oregon Coast.

Sea Lion branded: 412Y
Sea Lion branded: 412Y

I love how they lay all over each other.  They look so comfortable in spite of the rough, hard, rocks they use for nap-matts.

2 branded Sea Lions: 440R and 364Y
2 branded Sea Lions: 440R and 364Y

Although the large number of sea lions in the group amazes me, I like to look at each ONE.  I’ll find the history on the 3 brands I found.  I saw 3 or 4 more but couldn’t get the whole brand.  I like the expression on the one at the top of the above photo.  It makes me think of the sound that Scooby-Doo makes when someone says something silly.

Sea Lion pup kissing mommy
Sea Lion pup kissing mommy

Of course the sea lion mom has to focus on the ONE; after all, she IS a mom!  But for the pup, she is the only ONE that matters.

The Coast is Clear for Thanksgiving!

The Oregon coast is clear this Thanksgiving week!

heceta head lighthouse
Most photographed lighthouse on the Oregon Coast

What a beautiful day it was yesterday!

Sea Lion Rock at Heceta Overlook
Sea Lion Rock at Heceta Overlook

Don’t forget to look over the edge after you enjoy the lighthouse view at the overlook north of Sea Lion Caves on Hwy 101.

sea lions oregon coast
Sea Lion Mosh Pit

The biggest group were the Stellars and they were pretty vocal.  There are lots of little ones climbing over.

branded stellar sea lions
Stellar Sea Lions – 2 branded

I saw 3 branded Stellars in all.  I can’t quite make out the brand on the one in the bottom center of the group above; can you?

Stellar Sea Lion 955R
Stellar Sea Lion 955R

I’ll update this when I get a background on 955R:  This is a female branded in 2011 on Rogue Reef, Oregon Coast.

branded stellar sea lion
Can you make out this brand?

Here’s another brand I can’t quite make out.

sea lion mammary glands
Sea Lions have 4 mammaries

I learned something new about sea lions!  While seals (pinnipeds without ear flaps) only have 2 mammary glands, sea lions (or eared seals) have 4.  I guess the subject never came up.

sea lion hug
Group hug!

Did you know that sea lions can move up to 19 mph on land and 30 mph under water?  So, don’t think you can out run a sea lion on land!

California Sea Lions
California Sea Lions

There was a smaller harem of California Sea Lions who staked out a couple napping spots of their own.  The Californians have the bump on their forehead.

sea lions in ocean
Circling the wagons

The ocean was a beautiful color yesterday too.

Vintage Cars on the Coast

I don’t keep track of all the car shows going on along the Oregon coast.  So I’m not sure where they are going.

Seal Rock
Seal Rock

Maybe they’re just cruisin’ up Hwy 101 for fun and not going to a show?

After I missed a photo of a really pretty woody towing a teardrop and with surfboards on the roof Don pulled over to let me get some good photos.

no cars on Hwy 101?
When does THAT ever happen?

And they stopped!  We must have seen 30 cars before we decided to pull over at Seal Rock!

We’ve never seen highway 101 deserted, both directions, for 5 minutes in JUNE!  So we got back on the highway. 😦

Intermingled with RVs
Intermingled with RVs

A few more straggled by.

Alsea Bay Bridge
Alsea Bay Bridge

I prefer to see them on the road rather than sitting in a car show.  I think it’s amazing that they are still drivable and imagine the roads they had when they were first built.

The Alsea Bay Bridge is undergoing some maintenance.  One of the four lanes will be closed all summer until it is complete.  Right now it’s one southbound lane.


Lookin’ for Love

We saw a few sea lions outside the caves when we stopped just south of Heceta Head Lighthouse last weekend.

sea lions swimming - sea lion caves
Synchronized Swimming

It was a beautiful day for sunning.

Sunning Sea Lions - sea lion caves
Sunning Sea Lions

Looks like this big Sea Lion has travelled from California to British Columbia, and back over the last 9 years, lookin’ for his own territory.

Branded Sea Lion - 151Y - Sea Lion Caves
Branded Sea Lion – 151Y

According to Bryan Wright with the state of Oregon:   This is a male from the cohort we branded on 7/12/2004 at St. George Reef, CA.  He’s been seen at least a couple times most years – early on at Sea Lion Caves but more recently in Washington (Carroll Island, Bodelteh Island) and British Columbia (Wouwer Island).  Interesting that he’s back down here – maybe he’s on his way to a rookery to try holding a territory.

Google map: http://goo.gl/maps/uXGpB

Thanks Bryan (and Shawn)!