Thursday, August 24, 2017

Continuing Along the Oregon Coast: Newport and Lincoln City

In my last post I mentioned we'd continue up the Oregon coast spending week days at state parks and weekends at private parks thanks to the extreme popularity of Oregon state parks in the summer. Our next stop was a few nights at South Beach State Park in Newport, OR.

We've stayed at this park before (Sept. 2014) and this time around enjoyed lovely perimeter site D5. Though the park was full every night and the roads are packed with an almost continuous stream of vehicles and people walking and biking, having a quiet area facing a forested sand dune right behind our rig gave us a bit of a reprieve from the masses surrounding us.

Forested dunes separate the campground from the ocean, so it's just a short walk from camp to the beach. With several miles of trails in the park, both paved and natural, plus a very long lightly used beach, it's easy to spend time in nature without having to drive at all. Bonus: the mosquito's our friends ran into in June were pretty much gone by the time we arrived in August!

Rosie watches squirrel TV from the RV.

Rosie staring down a squirrel behind the RV.

Gull working on a difficult meal.
Kite surfer taking advantage of breezy evening conditions at South Beach State Park.

We did do a couple of hikes outside the park, the first being a nice little combination forest and neighborhood hike along Big Creek at the north end of town.

Pretty Big Creek trail.

The second being a few miles at the Beaver Creek section of Brian Booth State Park just south of town.

Beaver Creek has both hiking and paddling trails.

Ona Beach State Park turned out to be an interesting beach walk when I found shell fossils.

Fossilized shells.

Shell castings.

More shell castings.

Many months ago when we made our reservations on the Oregon coast we weren't even thinking about the eclipse, so when our reservations in Lincoln City happened to fall in the path of totality we considered ourselves very fortunate. There was no price gouging at Wapiti RV Park and the park was not as full as they had been expecting.

Lincoln City, like the rest of the country along the path of totality, had been preparing for massive eclipse crowds for over a year. We were scheduled to leave Lincoln City on the day of the eclipse but when we got an email from the Oregon State Park system asking us to cancel our reservation on August 21st and to stay off the roads if possible we elected to spend an extra night at Wapiti.

The best hike we did in Lincoln City was Hart's Cove. It's a 5.5 mile out and back that starts out going down, down, down through typical lush coastal forest to a wonderful view from Cascade Head. Of course, what goes down must come back up...so it was a terrific workout with some fantastic coastal views.

We started the hike all bundled up in a stiff breeze.

Some massive old growth trees along Hart's Cove trail!

After 2.5 miles of forest we break out onto the headland.


We expected to come out onto a meadow...but found ourselves wading through waist high and taller  grasses.
Our distant view included a couple of arches.

Pretty Hart's Cove...

even has a small waterfall.

Beautiful example of a tree growing on a nurse log.

Sometimes when hiking an out-and-back trail I see things on the return that I missed the first time through,
these bright orange fungus were impossible to miss as we made our way back through the forest.

Another log was covered in shocking orange shrooms!

Walking among giants.

We had gorgeous sunny days leading up to the eclipse, but the morning of dawned foggy. We anxiously awaited the 9:05am start...and the skies cleared up just in time! Excitement built as everyone in the park watched the show overhead and all around us as the skies darkened and the temperature dropped dramatically. The temperature drop made the fog approach once again...but fortunately not enough to obscure the eclipse! Though my final photo does not do the big event justice, we did get a fantastic view of the corona through our binoculars.

The sun came out right on time for the eclipse to start and a party atmosphere ramped up
as the moon began covering the sun.

Total eclipse via point-and-shoot camera!

The coast did not receive as many eclipse visitors as they'd hoped and feared...probably due to the high potential for clouds and fog. Leaving Lincoln City on August 22nd we did endure quite a lot of traffic heading north, but that was due to a four car accident blocking the two lane highway. It ended up taking us 4 hours to go 76 miles! But that's all behind us now...


20 comments:

  1. Great shot of the kite surfer and I love Hart's Cove. South Beach SP is in a great location, but it sure does pack in a lot of people, nice to get a spot with some privacy. You had a great spot for the eclipse, and with perfect skies you really lucked out with your accidental routing! Wonderful forest fungus :-)

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    1. Even though the state parks are terribly crowded, the proximity to nature makes it worth it!

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  2. Love seeing you in a vest!! I miss my 60 degree temps! We've been lucky so far and have only been in the 80's, but...mid to upper 90's begin tomorrow for several days. I am not a happy camper. What a great find with all the fossils! Very cool! So glad the fog lifted for the eclipse. If I was a serious eclipse person, I don't think I would do the coast. Someone mentioned with their photo (which looks like your and ours) that the corona wasn't as large with the naked eye as the photo shows. I have to agree. Enjoy the beautiful, cool coast!

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    1. I hear you...once we reach Portland it's supposed to be 100 degrees! YUCK!

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  3. You really lucked out with clear skies for the eclipse.
    I think the state parks on the Oregon coast had the most kids on bikes we have ever seen in one place!

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    1. The OR state parks are crazy busy...I am so grateful for ample nature trails to get away from the crowds!

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  4. Nice pictures! Love that you caught the total eclipse.

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  5. It's my dream to follow the Oregon coast one day. It's amazing! I have so enjoyed all your posts Lisa.

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    1. Thanks Gay! You'll have to pull yourselves away from Moab one summer!

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  6. Hart's Cove looks like a beautiful hike. We had heard that hiking on Cascade Head was wonderful, and now I see that it truly is from your photos. On the list for our next Oregon coast journey! Those fossilized shells you found are very cool. So is your eclipse photo!

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    1. The nice thing about Hart's Cove is lack of people! Nearby Cascade Head gets busy!

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  7. Lucky that you just "happened" to be in Lincoln City for the eclipse! Did you guys hike up Cascade Head too, or just down to Harts Cove? Love the views from on top of Cascade Head! See you soon! :)

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    1. Nah, just Hart's Cove...way fewer people on Hart's Cove trail!

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  8. I had been following all your Oregon coast adventures and these are places we have to discover especially that I have not seen a single raindrop in your photos. I know the coast is beautiful but we were there during rainy spring days. But your photos cooled me off as we sweat it out while we were in Tucson.
    Im happy for you, you got to see the great eclipse!

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  9. I had been following all your Oregon coast adventures and these are places we have to discover especially that I have not seen a single raindrop in your photos. I know the coast is beautiful but we were there during rainy spring days. But your photos cooled me off as we sweat it out while we were in Tucson.
    Im happy for you, you got to see the great eclipse!

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  10. By the way, the bright orange and yellow mushrooms are "chicken mushrooms". They are edible and very tasty with a texture of cooked chicken breast. We have hunted and eaten them for years!!! We simply clean them and sauté them lightly in butter.

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    1. Good to know! I just might have to try them some day!

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