Heading Down the Oregon Coast

We’ve always heard good things about the Oregon coast, and we were excited to really spend some time exploring (most of) it.  We quickly discovered that there are about 74 State Park/Recreation areas along coastal Route 101 alone!  And of that number, about 16 of them have campgrounds.  Wow!!  The coast seems like an endless stretch of wild beaches – some broad and sandy, some rocky and rugged.  Sunset Beach State Park was a great example of how the tall spruce, Douglas fir and hemlock forest comes right down to the beach…The fine sand… rocks and tidepools… and the mist of salty air made for a spectacular setting.In the distance we could see Oregon’s northernmost lighthouse – Tillamook Rock, also known as “Terrible Tilly” because of its location on an offshore rock constantly pounded by the surf.A little farther down the coast, near the town of Tillamook, we hiked out to the promontory at Cape Lookout, with vistas of more beautiful beaches……the sounds of barking sea lions, and deep forest.  We were very lucky to have clear, dry weather – much nicer than we expected to find in the “Pacific North-Wet” in October.  The salal bushes still had a few flowers blooming, which made the bees happy.Despite the long, muddy, root-y hike out to Cape Lookout we still had enough energy for a short hike to see Munson Creek Falls in the late day light.The fall color wasn’t the best because the northwest had a pretty dry summer, but fall is my favorite season and I’m happy with any color at all.  Even these tiny mushrooms and pretty green leaves made me smile.  Beauty all over the place, great and small.

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