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Published: October 11th 2009
As promised, Terry and I returned to the head rock with pedestrian tunnel in Oceanside, OR. And yes we both made it through, as the photo testifies. We enjoyed the private beach at the end of the tunnel. Our thanks to the Rosenberg family who started digging it in 1926 just so they could enjoy that beach!
On our road trip by car we discovered the Sea Lion Caves between Florence and Newport. We descended 200 feet by elevator to watch what appeared to be 200 sea lions on a rock roaring loud enough to be heard a mile away.
We took a beachside hike where we found Cook's Chasm and a blow spout, both caused by tidal erosion. The tidal pools provided homes for many ocean critters. The hike led us to a coffee house, right there in the midst of this beautiful nature setting. They are everywhere in WA and OR. We met Al Green there, a native who with his dad worked 7 lumber mills on the nearby river for 30 years. Al declared that this summer's weather was the nicest he has ever seen in OR.
Oregon offers incredible beach access. Most shoreline is
allocated to a series of state parks, keeping it free from commercial enterprises (except for the coffee house) and human abuse. Even at high tide the remaining beach area is huge, and there is little ocean "refuse" except following storms.
Our favorite restaurant in the Florence area was the Seafood Station. Owner Tim rehabbed a gas station into an interesting little restaurant, and the food is all fresh and homemade. He claims to have the best calamari in the state and I cannot confirm or deny this, but loved it and the clam chowder.
The Newport Sea Aquarium showcased sea lions and really cute sea otters all doing their own tricks.
It was hard for us both to leave the gorgeous OR coast and we plan to once again enjoy its rugged beauty. We headed for Bend, OR, a high desert mountain town of about 5000 feet elevation, and hoped for its hallmark temperate climate. But we left our lucky streak behind and instead awoke to 6 inches of snow the day after we arrived. Terry spent his 68th birthday brushing snow off the Element. I reminded him that at least we don't have to shovel a
driveway. We decided against a hike we planned at Bachelor Mountain and took care of some business and shopping. There was a Trader Joe's which increased the shopping appeal.
The High Desert Museum in Bend has a raptor center for injured animals. Several birds of prey were presented, including owls, falcons and eagles. The ranger provided a testimony to the strength of the eagles’ talons by recalling this event: When an adult eagle was being shown by a ranger a child frightened the eagle and it bore down on the hand of the ranger, causing all the bones in her wrist and hand to break. The eagle’s maximum strength is 700 psi (enough to pickup a full grown mountain goat) while a human’s maximum is 70 psi (or thereabouts). Can you see why the eagle is high on the food chain?
We headed then for Crater Lake. There are no words to describe this stunning, deep turquoise lake surrounded by mountains. It was created millions and years ago when a volcano erupted and then collapsed, leaving a crater 400 feet deep. It eventually filled with 200 feet of water, making it the deepest lake in the U.S. It
is a national park and thus protected from all commercialism and human invasion. We hiked the rim for a few miles.
Then to Grants Pass and on to Redwood National and State Parks. As we drove into a campground our hitch lock broke causing the car to move toward the side. We were real lucky that the campground owner saw this happen and ran at full speed to alert us. The grill was damaged and some paint scraped. We were thankful that it did not happen going down the road! Nearly all the men in the campground came to assist, all with different ideas on how to dislodge the car without damage. Terry handles these situations well and just did what he knew would work! And it did!
Everything is huge in the redwoods. Some trees reach 300 feet high and ten foot tall ferns line the creeks, seemingly from another era. Logging has destroyed many acres or these giant trees, and it will be another 250 years for the replanted seedlings to grow to a modest size.
We’re looking forward to meeting up in Redding, CA with RV friends we met in Jasper National Park last
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