Down the coast in one day, part 2 of 3

We enjoyed this Pacific Northwest coast during the past two winters, because it’s warm without getting hot.

Which is precisely why we are enjoying the summer here! It’s often foggy in the morning, clearing by noon, and a high temp for the day of 65 degrees.

We popped over to Portland last week…and found ourselves suffering in 85 degrees…in early June!

Whew.

So this day down the coast started with fog, alright, but it didn’t seem to be aware of the forecast that sun would be showing itself by noon….

We found ourselves 65 miles south of Tillamook and it was still a heavy fog.

DSC_5759We weren’t gonna let a little mist get in our way! This view was from Otter Crest. A ranger in the gift shop perched high on this outcropping said she’d been watching a gray whale for a couple days that seemed to have arrived to stay in their harbor for a few months…but it disappeared an hour ago. THEN she saw a pod of four Orcas come cruising past and take a turn or two around some reefs before continuing north! We missed them by an hour…

To the south from this elevated vantage point, we could make out the fascinating shoreline past Otter Rock all the way to Devils Punchbowl.

DSC_5761Despite the fog, the sun still managed some very kind and useful appearances, especially at the Otter Rock beach. Cool place at low tide, that offers an easy walk into the Punchbowl through an arch at the bottom left of this photo.

DSC_5770You really don’t want to push your luck with the tide while inside the Punchbowl, because it gets water from an opening to the sea where you see water to the left in the photo below, and your entrance from the beach is below sea level…which fills quickly once the tide rises just a little!

DSC_5804I’d love to be here at high tide following a big storm at sea…can you imagine the wave action in the Punchbowl? They say it was a sea cave whose roof collapsed.

Our trip was still far from over, and our surprises continued in a new form. Along this coastline, nature is usually noteworthy for its geology and interaction with the ocean.

At Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area, we stopped in the information center parking lot to walk Ross & Ryan in an area that was somewhat protected from the wind that had become pretty extreme.

We weren’t the only ones to recognize that fact. A pair of Peregrine Falcons figured that out several years ago, and have been raising an annual brood of chicks here ever since.

A man was set up in the parking lot with a camera and a zillion dollar lens to monitor four youngsters who are within 10 days of fledging, he said.

You can see their white baby down in tufts, and three can be seen squawking their concern about food (the fourth has his tail to us, but he or she could still be heard!). DSC_5821

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