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Escape to the Oregon Coast

I wanted to escape the heat and smoke, so since Mom and I were headed to Corvallis, Oregon for a Family Reunion, we decided to add a day to the trip and take a drive to the Central Oregon Coast for some cool weather. It was a good call!

Mom and I were able to add a day to our hotel stay in Corvallis, Oregon so that made it easy to get up in the morning and drive southwest on Hwy 34 to Waldport. It took us about 90 minutes to drive the southern part of our loop from Corvallis down to Yachats and about 60 minutes to drive the northern part of the loop back to Corvallis. Although it would have been shorter to take Highway 20 in and out, we thought it would be nicer to see different part of the country on our adventure.

I got my start fighting fire for the United States Forest Service on the Siuslaw National Forest and was stationed at Waldport in the mid 70’s, so it was fun to drive through and see how it had changed and grown a little since then.
We headed south on Hwy 101 through Yachats, then down to see the Devils Churn, a blowhole in the rocky shoreline. The fog was hugging the coast and a light wind was blowing. It was enough for us to bundle up a little to get a little bit for our ½ mile walk down the trail to Devil’s Churn.

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Unfortunately it was low tide so that hole wasn’t doing any blowing but we got to see the waves crashing against the rocks and feel the mist as that water cooled us off. I took a short video to give you a feel.

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There were so many different types of colorful flowers blooming everywhere we went. We saw them alongside the road as we drove, along the paths we walked and even along the sidewalks in the towns.

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We drove north on Hwy 101 to Newport, then drove down alongside the Yaquina Bay. “Yaquina” originally referred to an Indian tribe and sadly, the language of that Yaquina tribe is now extinct so I do not know how Yaquina tribal members would have pronounced Yaquina. The people who now live in this area pronounce Yaquina something like “yah KWIN ah” or “yah kwin nah.” Today, Yaquina also refers to a river, a bay, a headland, and an abandoned town along the central coast of Oregon where this tribe had formerly been.

After finding a parking spot, we wandered by the stores and fish markets, but we were aiming for Mo’s Annex for lunch. We just had to stop for some of Mo’s famous clam chowder for lunch.

We sure lucked out when we got a table next to the window that overlooked the bay where we could watch the happenings. Seagulls were flying around and stopping for a while on anything that they could find that was unoccupied.

We watched a fishing boat come in after a successful morning of fishing, counting at least 18 halibut as they unloaded the boat. The gals cleaning the fish were real experts and finished that task in no time. After our lunch, we met one of the successful members of that party with her haul. She was very happy with her catch of the day, as she should be!

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We then continued our drive along the Yaquina Bay to Oregon Oyster. This is a pretty good sized oyster farm on the bay that has been in existence since 1907. Mom and dad used to stop by whenever they were in the area and pick up oysters but this was the first time that I had been here. They were bringing in a bunch of fresh oysters when we arrived and we got to watch an expert shuck them as we waited. It was tough to make a decision on what size oysters to get but they sure knew their oysters and after quizzing us on what we wanted to do with them, helped us make the decision. We had brought an ice chest and ice for these oysters, loaded our prize up and headed back via Highway 20 to the hotel room in Corvallis.
What a wonderful adventure we had and we were back to the hotel room in time for Happy Hour!

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Sources:
http://coastvisitor.com/
http://www.newportoregon.com/
http://www.moschowder.com/index.php
http://yaquina.info/
http://www.oregonoyster.com/
http://www.comfortsuites.com/hotel-corvallis-oregon-OR077#listpos1

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