Sometimes being early does NOT pay off. Sun/Mon 8/23-24
Some schools seem to be in session already, others not yet, and Oregon must fall into the "not yet" category because we still see lots of kids in state parks, and these parks fill early and rapidly. Sooo, we made sure to leave Carl Washburne St Park before nine and drove the short distance to South Beach St Park in Newport, Oregon. We picked a wide, somewhat secluded site in "G" loop, got all set up, and headed into town in Smartie.
This flea-circus corral full of 57 barking dogs is what greeted us on our return. Unfortunately, the people ignored Fluffys' barking, but about the time I was ready to hit the complaint button, the woman brought out a fly-swatter and got 'em to shut up, at least sometimes. Worse, there were still nice sites available in the park. Good grief, if you have to set up an entire 3-4 ft high ugly pen like this, why not stay home? We decided to make this stop a one-nighter!
On to the good stuff! We drove Smartie up Hwy 101 ... we wanted to see Devil's Punchbowl, something we always missed in past passes thru the area since we were hooked up. The tide was out, but filling in, hence still safe for day trippers to be in this scenic naturally carved bowl. For reference, there are people in the picture below (honest!), with a close-up below that. I understand in high tide, the water in this bowl can be quite dramatic!
Three girls look stranded, but they're not. When the water hit them, they screeched like they were being tortured. Considering the water temperature, that might be an apt analogy. Also, those are rocks, not sea lions. Interesting color markings.
South of the punchbowl, surfers rode the waves. Seeing surfers in cold Pacific water on a cool day makes Jimmy shiver! These guys are in full wet suits, of course. Lots more guys (not in photo) were paddling out.
Gray skies veiled our view of wonderful Yaquina Bay arch bridge in Newport, with its art deco touches. This bridge sees a whole lot of traffic daily. Fishing boats line the bay.
The always popular Newport sea lion floating docks bring scores of people to look at these goofy guys. They can be heard barking from FAR away. Kids love to stand and watch, especially if a sea lion makes a rude pbbfffffft-sounding noise! Hundreds of California Sea Lions (and some Stellar Sea Lions) have moved in, made themselves comfortable, and because of rocketing numbers, they're causing problems. We sat with a cuppa coffee overlooking the docks, watching and listening -- it was great fun!
Dude, move it! No, you get outa my face!
Before leaving the next morning, we hopped on our bikes for a leisurely go-round of the park, including the South Beach Jetty path. This marks Jimmy's first bike ride since his knee replacement surgery on June 11th.
He said his knee was a little stiff at first, but after pedaling for a while, the knee loosened up, and he liked being out on his bike. The wind was fierce and frigid.
A last look at this beach. The End.