Fort Stevens SP to Carl G. Washburne State Park, OR
Thursday, September 19, 2013
Another gorgeous, sunny day, low 60s

Today's drive continued down the Oregon Coast Highway, Rt 101. This stretch was endowed with frequent pullouts and we made lots of stops to admire the beautiful beaches and overlooks. There really aren't too many coastlines that compare with Oregon's.

The 1960s School Bus Conversion Notion Still Popular in this Area

The Tillamook Cheese factory is a big-time tourist stop. They have huge parking lots and hordes of visitors crowded the tasting room, plant tour and retail shop areas. We took our turn in line and the glimpses into the manufacturing and packaging areas really were pretty neat.

Tillamook Cheese Factory is a Popular Tourist Attraction

Continuing down the coast we admired the massive rocks rising up from the surf and forming massive cliffs above the coast. The rocks are basalt that bubbled up from undersea seeps of volcanic lava. Mother Nature eroded the softer stuff that surrounded the basalt and these rocks remain.

Remains of Volcanic Basalt Undersea Flows make Beautiful Islands off Oregon Beaches

There are huge dunes, too. They are featured in many state parks and recreation areas and are favorites of the ATV crowds. The road also passed through lots of little waterfront beach towns that reminded us of old-time New Jersey.

Question: How Big is this Oregon Beach Dune?

Answer: These People are Standing among the Trees at the Top.

Whales frequent this area of the coast to feed. We were fortunate to see a couple of the big guys at one of the overlooks south of Depoe Bay. They surfaced many times but they were pretty far away and Bill barely managed to capture them on camera.

Hey! Its Really Hard to Catch the Whale's Tail when You're Zoomed All the Way

We camped at Carl G. Washburne SP, just north of Florence, OR. This is a nice park just across the highway from the beach. We walked the half-mile trail to beach. Incongruously, the trail passes through pretty heavy rainforest on the way, transforming to wind-blown evergreens and shrubby stuff and, finally, a beautiful, wide beach that seemed to stretch on forever. There was virtually no one on the beach.

Mushrooms and Mosses Rule the Rain Forest Just a Quarter Mile from the Beach

Deserted Beach Seems to Stretch Out Forever

Back at the campsite we prepared a dinner of sautéed veggies and store-bought chicken tetrazzini.