Story 3Sept2022: Guests at Coast

Yesterday (I am writing this on Sunday), we made the big loop of Beaverton to Lincoln City on the coast, going south on the coast, watching whales on the shore with binoculars in Depot Bay, and finishing with a fantastic dinner in Newport.

I got going at 6:15 and made potato pancakes from a King Arthur mix, adding only finely chopped onions and cooking in neutral oil (next time, butter!). The non-stick pan was a must. I had a bit of apple sauce and plenty of sour cream to put on them. The cakes were hot and well received. I recommend the mix–you do have to wait twenty minutes when mixing it, so it takes planning.

I returned the safety equipment, tools, winter coat, and first aid medical kits to the car. I had taken them out when the car went to the Volvo Spa but would not feel comfortable without them traveling in Oregon. There are many sections of Oregon we would travel to, and there is no cell service and nothing for miles. So the basics are back in the car.

We took the near direct angle through McMinnville and wine country to reach the coast. We passed the Evergreen Museum and water park that many folks love, and we visited with the family years ago. Yes, the one with the 747 on the roof that you jump out of and slide into a pool. Someday I will find the time to return there.

We reached the coast about noon and found Mo’s in Lincoln City, and I had the cannonball, local clam chowder in a bread bowl, while my guests had other seafood items. Next, we then headed to the beaches near Spanish Head.

There is a small river that opens into a saltwater march there. We walked about a mile to the ocean with the sea lions on the other side. Folks were spending the last Saturday of summer fishing in the sand. Crab traps were widespread, with one folk catching a huge legal Dungeness crab. Others were digging clams.

We reached the Pacific Ocean, and it was crashing three to four feet of waves on the beach. The tide was way out when we got there; there is a three-four foot tide there, and it started to come.

I was tired and sat on a log and watched the whales way out using the binoculars. I purchased them to look at the star and planets and night, so they are very strong and light. I could see the whales blow (I watched the whale-watching boats, and when they stopped, I knew I could see a whale as I focused my search in their area).

I called Susie from the beach, and she was happy to hear from me and that I was thinking of her at the beach. Susie loved our trips to the coast, but the sand was not something she could do anymore. I did push her on her walker for a bit on one beach. She loved the sights and the shops and watching the ocean from the warm and safe Air Volvo.

Next, we returned to driving, and after some planning (driving the wrong way), we managed to head south and stopped at Depot Bay. But before reaching Depot Bay, we stopped at the Devil’s Punchbowl, which is less impressive in a calm sea. I dropped off my guests and had to find parking. The area is the place for surfing, and folks in wet suits carrying boards were coming and going. I had to trudge with them up the hill. I saw about 3/4 of the way to a winery and entered. There, at The Flying Dutchman Winery, I had samples and bought two bottles of wine. I then found my guests, and they returned with me to the wine bar and had samples and were invited to drink samples in their garden with a few of the ocean.

A Depot Bay, we found a perfect parking spot, and my guest gawked, with everyone else, at the easy-to-see spouts and the backs and tails of whales. Again the boats hinted at the place to look. The whales spout and then drive back down for another five minutes to eat in the shallows (usually less than 50 feet). You usually see two spouts, with the last one usually including the must-take photo of the tail flip as the whale dives.

I stepped out of whale watching for the coast to the taffy place and got some to go. They do not have mixed bags, and I was a bit shocked to be grabbing them with my hands; I cleaned my hands with hand sanitizer to get the candy into a bag. So not a pandemic style, but still very good taffy. I then sat in the Air Volvo, AC on, and watched the whales eating taffy.

The day was hot for the coast, 72F (22.2C), and soon we had no coats on. The sun was out, and the sea sparkled at Depot Bay like a movie set. The sea was almost calm in the bay, not usual. The rolling seas are an interesting trip in a boat with the whale watchers often returning the recently enjoyed clam chowder to the sea!

We drove the lovely drive from Depot Bay to Newport, where highway 101 follows the beaches for a few miles. We found a parking spot in Newport by the tuna boats–not neat the tour section. The sea lions were there on a dock, barking and making a perfect tourist photo and annoying the local boat owners. The seals and sea lions are watchful as the waters are deep and murky in the harbor and can hide Jaws.

We do have Orcas out in the deeper waters, but the white sharks are the primary threat on the coast. Unlike on the East Coast, there is no tagging and buoy monitoring of sharks here. Knowing how many, where they travel, and sightings do not happen here on the Oregon Coast.

We discovered a top-quality restaurant across from the car, Local Ocean, and decided that we should just go with that. We were lucky and timed our request and got a table on the second floor in the corner looking over the harbor–perfect. The drinks were great. The food was perfect, and some of the best I and my guests have ever eaten. It was not inexpensive but top-notch.

I then drove home, forcing the nav to take us the more direct route of Philomath instead of reversing our course and crawling in the last weekend of summer coast traffic. We stopped at Philomatch to gas up and then drove home in the speeding traffic. Often being passed when flying Air Volvo at 75 mph! The extra-legal lane changes and folks seemly overly trusting pulling into traffic amazed my guests.

We arrived to find a crate delivered to the house upside down (the fragile makings were reversed). My guests and I carefully returned the create to proper alignment and placed it in the garage. My new 3-D printer from China has arrived! It may even be intact. I will open it on Sunday when I have a break from being a host.

I managed to get to bed at about 11ish and slept until Sunrise.

Thank you for reading. Again, my guests do not want to appear on the blog, so there are no pictures and little information about them.

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