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Published: September 9th 2014
Steller and California Sea Lions
Simpson Reef Overlook, Cape Arago State Park, Oregon
We woke up to another chilly, overcast and slightly foggy day again. I'm not sure what happened to summer but I sure hope it returns soon. Although our drive had to begin with the top up again, it's still fun driving the Miata on all of the narrow, winding roads around here.
At North Bend we turned off of Hwy. 101 at Virginia Avenue and followed the signs towards Ocean Beaches. The Cape Arago Highway (Hwy. 540) begins here and runs along the bay, past Charleston and out the peninsula.
After driving about ten miles we found the road closed! We turned into a state park campground there and the girl at the gate told us she heard that if you drove around the barricades you could make it all the way out to Simpson Reef before the road was really closed for repaving. So off we drove around the barricades into Cape Arago State Park and in just a few miles we were thrilled to find hundreds of Steller Sea Lions and California Sea Lions off of the Simpson Reef Overlook.
The noise was incredible and there were so many of them that until you looked through
Oregon's oldest and highest lighthouse
binoculars, areas that looked like brown and grey rocks in the ocean turned out to be hundred of sea lions packed together all over the small islands. Here's a short video of the Sea Lions:
We worked our way back towards North Bend but turned off early onto Seven Devils Road and took an even narrower, winding road through the forest and onto Hwy. 101 again near Bandon. South of Bandon we turned off of the 101 again to visit Cape Blanco, the western-most point of land in the United States and the site of Oregon's oldest (1870) and highest lighthouse. The wind was incredibly strong up there but we still managed a short hike along the cliff-tops to see the views and get some photos.
Around lunch time, a wrong turn in Port Orford brought us down to the harbour-front and the docks to find "Griffs on the dock". This is a small, seafood shack that is a mix of museum, souvenirs, fishing tackle and restaurant. We both had some great fish (red snapper) and chips at very reasonable prices.
Our next stop a few miles further south was within the Samuel H. Boardman
Griffs on the dock
Great fish & chip shack in Port Orford, Oregon
State Scenic Corridor. This is a series of viewpoints along Hwy. 101 with hiking trails through old-growth forest, along the cliff tops and up and down the bluffs. We found some incredibly beautiful hidden beaches below us, as well as a more tourist-available path to see a natural rock archway out in a deep azure cove.
After this it was just straight driving until we crossed the border into California and made it to Crescent City for the night.
Tot: 0.465s; Tpl: 0.017s; cc: 14; qc: 69; dbt: 0.0223s; 1; m:saturn w:www (18.104.22.168); sld: 1;
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