Saturday, October 16, 2021

The Northern Oregon Coast


Before we began our trip, our plan was to do the entire Oregon coast. From the California border all the way to Astoria. Of course, plans changed and we decided to set up base in Salem for our Oregon days. If we wanted to do the entire coast, it was going to be an ALL day adventure, with much of it in the car. We decided against another full day in the car and decided on a few must stops.

We began our adventure at Cape Lookout State Park. We did the Cape Trail first, then went to the beach to run with the waves. The trail was very muddy, but not overly crowded. The Pacific waters were cold, but that didn't stop the minis from dipping their feet (and legs) in. We spent more time than I anticipated at this state park. After stopping at other locations along the coast, this spot is one that has it all. Knowing what I know now, I would have been completely satisfied if that had been our only stop, as all others were filled with tourists, selfie sticks, and people trying to get their perfect pictures in front of famous landforms. I find all of that exhausting.

The views from Cape Lookout were amazing!

So many treasures on the beach! From giant kelp to jelly-like creatures, it was amazing!

Digging and zoomies on the beach. All because he took a swim in the ocean. Zeus loves running in and out of the ocean, no matter how cold it is!

Harrison, trying to throw dog poop away vs. a seagull on the dumpster. Harrison won after swaking at the gull. It seemed rather confused as it flew away!

We had a gorgeous drive down the 101. Our next must stop was Haystack Rock and Ecola State Park. In all honesty, this wasn't all that. There were soooo many tourists, with the beach lined with resorts. The little town is obviously prepared though and has plenty of public parking lots, large (and clean) public restrooms, and fun little shops to explore. However, I wish we had stopped at Tolovana State Recreation Area instead of Haystack. You can see this rock up and down the beach (since it's so large) and we probably could have avoided some of the touristy parts if we just stuck with state parks. 

In reality, Haystack Rock is just a few miles north of Cape Lookout, but it was completely different weather! While sunny, the temps dipped several degrees and it was VERY windy at Haystack Rock. 

Even though we were having a great time, the minis opted to be done with the coast after a quick stop at Ecola State Park. It's a beautiful area, but very, very touristy. Any hike we attempted after Cape Lookout was crowded and filled with people. We settled on a gorgeous mountain drive filled with pine trees back to Salem and a quick stop at In & Out Burger (a new favorite for the minis). I do hope we are able to drive the entire coast at some point, but the little bit we did do provided great views and scenery.