Tuesday, January 8, 2013

2000-Oregon Vacation (Faith's 1st trip to Oregon)

This was the year we took Tim's girlfriend (and future wife) with us to "meet the family".  What we didn't know was it was a few short months before my Mom suddenly died in her sleep.  She was in a quadriplegic state for 32 years after a car accident.  Can't imagine living like that for so long, or taking care of her like my Dad did for so long----but I'm glad she did!  She was much loved!!!  Glad I took this last group picture of us!


One of the things we always did on our summer family visits to Oregon was head to the coast for a couple nights.   This gave Mom and DAd a little break from us and all the commotion for a couple days and we got to enjoy one of Oregon's treasures.  We usually ended up around Lincoln City---about 45 minutes away from our base of Dallas, Oregon, where my family lived. 

This year we stayed at Ocean Terrace Condos.  They aren't fancy, but the views are pretty spectacular.



We always enjoyed wandering around the beach there, too. 

 Lots of drift wood to search through as well as rocky outcroppings where we'd find lots of tide pools to explore.




Some star fish around the tide pools.


More of the beautiful Oregon coast by Ocean Terrace Condos.


About 15 miles south of Lincoln City is Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area.  It extends out from the Oregon coast about one mile into the Pacific Ocean.


 Cobble beach is compiled of millions of round basalt rocks that produce an applause-like sound as the waves roll in.  We love walking down the stairs to the "beach" and listening to the waves.  We also found that if you toss the rocks, they bounce off each other like little rubber balls.  Frequently we see seals on the off shore islands and sometimes we even see whales spouting in the distance.


With the help of my zoom lens, watching the seals and whales is a little easier. 



The lighthouse there stands 93 feet tall at the westernmost point of the basalt rock. It was first lit on August 20, 1873 to guide ships along the coast.

Although we've been here many times, this was the first time we were there when the lighthouse was open and we got to go inside.


A relatively new addition to the park is the tide pool area--Quarry Cove. 

Yes, it use to be a quarry.  Now they're put walkways through the area and during low tide, you can explore the tide pools.



On down the road a bit is Newport.  One of the places we like to go here is the Hatfield Marine Center.   It is a marine science research and education center next to Yaquina Bay. It's operated by Oregon State University in cooperation with five state and federal agencies co-located on site. Named after the former Oregon Senator,Mark Hatfield, the HMSC occupies a 49-acre site in Newport.  There are lots of free things to do here: take guided estuary hikes, watch short movies about the ocean, watch the feeding of the octopus or other sea creatures, touch the animals in the petting pond, check out the aquariums of local fish, and much much more.  It's been around much longer then the nearby Oregon Aquarium which has a hefty entrance fee.



 Right up the street from the marine center is one of our favorite places to dine---Rogue Brewery!  Their burgers are the best---not to mention the fish and chips or the Rogue beers!


After dining, the "kids" wanted to try crabbing.  There are piers behind Rogue and also on the other side of Newport Bay.  We were able to rent crab traps and buy bait from a nearby store.


They even got a few crabs!  


On the way back north, we like to stop at Boiler Bay.  It's a great place to watch for whales. 



Boiler Bay was named after the vessel J. Marhoffer which ran aground in the small bay—then known as Brigg's Landing—on May 18, 1910. The remains of the vessel were left in the bay, including her engine boiler. Today, the boiler can still be seen at extreme low tides.



After our 2 nights were up, we headed back to Mom and Dad's house in the Willamette Valley.  I love riding around in the valley checking out all the flower farms!



Not far from these farms is Silver Falls State Park.   It is the largest state park in Oregon with an area of more than 9,000 acres, and it includes more than 24 miles of walking trails. Its 8.7-mile Canyon Trail/Trail of Ten Falls runs along the banks of Silver Creek and by ten waterfalls, from which the park received its name. 


Wild Foxglove growing in the park.


Riding back through the Willamette Valley.


We also like to travel up into the Cascades to the crystal clear cold streams and lakes.  One of our favorites in Clear Lake.  


 We usually rent a row boat and spend a couple hours on the lake.


With water so clear, you can see all the way to the bottom of the lake in many areas.




They regularly stock the lake with trout so fishing can be pretty profitable. 


 A short distance from Clear Lake is Sahalie Falls.  It's only a 100 yard walk from the parking lot to the railed viewpoint of the falls. 


A short walk along the white water McKensey River leads to another waterfall. 



This area also has one of the many scenic drives of Oregon.   The highway is part of the McKenzie-Santiam Pass Scenic Byway.  Along the highway is Dee Wright Observatory.  It is an observation structure at the summit of McKenzie Pass, about 5,325' high. The structure is an open shelter constructed with lava stone, located in the midst of a large lava flow, and offers an exceptional view of numerous Cascade peaks.   The viewing windows are cut to specifically highlight the neighboring mountains.  The observatory was built during the Great Depression by a Civilian Conservation Corps crew at Camp Belknap near Clear Lake. It was completed in 1935, and named for the construction crew’s foreman.



This wheel points the the many mountains seen from the observatory.



Back in the valley, we enjoyed our time at Mom and Dad's house.




Even got to watch my old 2 room grade school being moved to a nearby church.


For 25 years we always went to Oregon for our big vacation.  This ended up being the last of our regular 2 week vacations to Oregon in the summer.  It was hard living so far away from my Mom and Dad, especially since they weren't able to travel out to see us.   Even though these were mostly vacations to visit family, I loved every trip and look forward to going again. 

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