Oregon Coast Trip 2017

I got married in spring of 1992.I was 22 and my wife, barely 19. We were dumb and in love.

Life had never given us the circumstances to take a real vacation, just her and I.

After 25 years she said, she'd earned it. The understatement of all time.

We began planning early in the year and knew with child number three graduating HS in May, child number one getting married in June, me doing a float trip, plus all the other summer commitments we would have to look to the fall.

After several recommendations and much discussion, we decided on the Oregon Coast for the last week of October.

So on Wednesday the 25th we flew from SLC to Portalnd, Oregon.

Because I'm such a fan of food shows, I decided a visit to Oregon wouldn't be complete without stopping by VooDoo Donuts in Portland. IMG_3822.JPG

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In the end, one lump of frosted, deep-fried dough is kinda the same as another. Still, glad we did it.

Now it's off to Florence, Oregon.

The drive from Portland to Florence was several hours, but very easy as we moved toward the coast through a breathtaking forest. IMG_3829.JPG

After checking in we drove over to the beach. IMG_3838.JPG

IMG_3835.JPG The plan was to rent 4 wheelers the next day and do some cruising on the beach and sand dunes. We ended up knocking around the tourist shops and strolling through the downtown section of Florence. IMG_3842.JPG

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Then it was off to Heceta Head Bed and Breakfast.

This house is part of the living quarters to those who managed the Heceta Head lighthouse back in the day.

The bed and breakfast was nice. The views, on the other hand, were amazing.

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IMG_3894.JPG Apparently, I like bridges. I took photos of several. IMG_3896.JPG IMG_3897.JPG IMG_3898.JPG

While I don't have any images of it, after dark we hiked up to see the lighthouse, which is fully functional.

It was awesome to see these eight beams of light breaking the darkness.

Heceta Head lighthouse in the morning.

IMG_3910.JPG More Heceta Head images. IMG_3915.JPG

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Next, it's off to Yaquina Bay Lighthouse IMG_3933.JPG IMG_3933.JPG Bridge across Yaquina Bay. IMG_3930.JPG

Next is Yaquina Head lighthouse. IMG_3945.JPG From this viewpoint, we actually saw a pod of whales. Well, actually what we saw was their spouts. Probably a dozen or so. IMG_3948.JPGIMG_3951.JPG

This is a popular area to see tide pools, but the tide was in. Maybe next time. IMG_3960.JPG

Now it's off to Oceanside, OR and the Three Arches Inn.

Despite this telephone pole being right in our sight line, the view from our room was awe-inspiring. IMG_3965.JPG

The sunsets off the coast are mind-blowing. IMG_3967.JPG

After it got dark we walked over to the local diner for some grub. I was determined to try all the local food I could. Here's my first sampling of crab cakes.

I have only eaten crab once before and really didn't like it. These were out of this world . . . and that was just my appetizer. IMG_3968.JPG

I'm a blessed man to have spent so many years with this fine woman. IMG_3969.JPG

Oceanside beach the next morning. IMG_3971.JPG IMG_3972.JPGIMG_3973.JPG

Just a few hours later and the fog has rolled in. IMG_3979.JPG

After leaving Oceanside we went inland and visited the Tillamock factory. Then back to the coast for Cape Mears Lighthouse. IMG_3990.JPGIMG_3992.JPGIMG_3994.JPG

After the lighthouse, we took a little hike to Octopus Tree. This tree is so massively large this picture doesn't do it justice. IMG_3987.JPG

Now we're off to Rockaway Beach, OR.

The fog was so thick once we got here and we just walked through town looking at shops.

Nothing very remarkable except for this rock garden that is right on the main highway through town. The sign states that if there's a rock you like feel free to take it, just leave your cash in the box. IMG_4001.JPG

Sunday morning and we're off to Cannon Beach. This is one of the more iconic Oregon beaches so it's likely you've seen some of these sights before. IMG_4003.JPGIMG_4004.JPGIMG_4007.JPGIMG_4009.JPGIMG_4011.JPGIMG_4012.JPGIMG_4013.JPGIMG_4015.JPGIMG_4018.JPGIMG_4021.JPG

One of the many things that makes Oregon unique is its acceptance of dogs in usually human only locations. This photo was taken just outside a little sweets shop.IMG_3843.JPG With that in mind, I found this sign quite humorous. IMG_4024.JPG

That sign is right outside a combination bar/hardware store named, no lie, Screws and Brews.

With a name like that, we couldn't not go in.

Here I tried some oyster shooters. One oyster in a shot glass with just a touch of spicy cocktail sauce with the tiniest lemon wedge.

I was kinda nervous about these. So much so that I asked the waiter the proper way to consume them.

Bottoms up.

I was expecting kinda tough and chewy. Not even close. Another food home run. Outstanding!

Monday morning we got an early start and headed over to Kelly's Brighton Bay Marina for some crabbing.

IMG_4025.JPGIMG_4026.JPG Here I am with one of the keepers. Little did he know that I'd be eating him within the hour. IMG_4034.JPG

So here's how crabbing from the dock works. You take one of these collapsible baskets that have stink bait attached to the inside bottom. The stink bait is just dead fish in a net. We were instructed to step on the bait occasionally to keep it aromatic.

You tie your rope to the dock and throw the basket out and let it sit for 10-15 minutes and then quickly pull it back in.

I was on the dock for about an hour and a half so I probably made 6-8 casts and caught something every time. The law in Oregon is that you can only keep the males, which are identified by a marking on their underside, and those that are over 5 3/4" at their wide point. So of the 20-25 that I pulled in there was only 3 were keepers. IMG_4035.JPG

This dog has had way too much crab over his lifetime. He's so old and fat he can barely move. IMG_4036.JPG

After catching the crabs they're boiled for 16 minutes. Once they come out you clean them, which is essentially breaking the animal down. In the process, one will harvest the heart and eat it. Way good!

To break open the legs, which were not as hard as I would have expected, pull out the meat, dip it in the fluid that accumulates in the shell and eat. Fresh seafood is awesome!

IMG_4042.JPG It was so cold now we had to stop our crab feast, just to get warm. IMG_4043.JPG

Then we made a stop in Manzanita Beach and then to Astoria. For movie buffs, Astoria is where Kindergarten Cop and Goonies were filmed.

We, however, stopped to see the tower and the views of the Columbia River from the tower. IMG_4051.JPGIMG_4053.JPGIMG_4057.JPG

From Astoria it was a drive to Portland, stay the night and catch a flight back to SLC Tuesday morning.

Great trip. Great scenery. Great company.