It’s Been So Long Since I’ve Seen the Ocean, Part 1
By Dwip October 5, 2014, 4:04 pm Comments (0) RSS Feed for this post

Guess I should.

So, in a fit of insanity brought on by my crazy sleep schedule lately, I decided to take a 50 mile trip over the mountains to Newport and the Oregon coast. This has been a while coming – despite our many, many trips to the coast when I was a kid, I think it’s probably been ten years since I’ve been back, and about five since I’ve seen the ocean in any capacity.

I just needed the right day to fix that. That was today. Oh man was that today.

As I said before, it’s about a 50 mile trip over the Coast range to get from Corvallis to Newport, and most of it looks about like this, because if there’s one thing Oregon knows how to do it’s trees. It was kind of surprising to me not only how well I remembered the road but how little of it has changed. All the parts that got abandoned years ago are still there in roughly the same repair they were, all the dinky little hamlets are the same, and so on. It’s a little surprising because I felt like the 80s had never left when I went there in the late 90s, and that was true in its time just as it’s true today.

My first stop was the South Jetty at the enterance to Yaquina Bay. That’s it there, with the North Jetty and a random boat in the background.

I was just talking about how nothing’s really changed about this whole trip in the last 20 year except the cars, and the same is more or less true of Newport. What’s also interesting is that even ten years removed, I pretty much remembered everything up to and including the peculiar smell of the ocean. Kinda weird.

This is South Beach State Park as seen from near the jetty. It’s about a mile long stretch of beachfront and campground, which sounds like a lot but is actually completely unremarkable given that enormous amounts of land near Newport is state park or BLM land, and by law all the beaches are public property.

I’m pretty bullish on how awesome Oregon is in general, but definitely one of the big reasons is how great we are with the whole conservation and state parks thing.

This is looking along the South Jetty from about halfway down its length. It’s fairly traversable for the most part, although some of those rocks get exciting at times.

I hit Newport at about 9:30 in the morning, so the sun was still pretty low, and everything was just warming up so there was a lot of fog from the ocean. Thus, this picture of South Beach from the jetty.

Also, these waves.

This guy was pretty patient about letting me sit there and take pictures of him 5 feet away. Seagulls are kind of assholes in general, but I give this one a pass.

This is the Yaquina Bay Bridge from the jetty. You can see how crazy the fog is – the bridge isn’t very far away from me.

This is the view south from Cape Foulweather north of Newport, named by Captain Cook. We’re looking south towards Newport.

Frankly, I can’t do this picture justice in the width afforded by this blog. here is a full sized version.

I stopped here kind of randomly while looking for something else, and man am I lucky I did.

This is Devil’s Punchbowl, which you can see as the penninsula in the middle of the last picture. This is the view from its attendant beach just to the south.

Devil’s Punchbowl is for some reason known only to them a really huge deal for surfers, who were out in force on this 70 degree October morning.

This little structure has one of those no trespassing signs, though how exactly you’re supposed to get up to that rickety deck thing ten feet up the cliff from the beach I have no idea. Slightly out of frame at the top of the cliff is a whole bunch of really nice houses and condos and things.

Dogs in the mist at Devil’s Punchbowl. The air is warm and the water is not, and you can see the results.

This is a random cool rock formation at Devil’s Punchbowl. In the background you can see the steepest stairs known to man climbing the cliff face up to the overlook area. These things are some serious work to climb.

We’re on top of the cliff now, looking back over the same stretch of beach. I’m glad I decided to come in the morning – the light and the mist really adds to the ambience. I cannot stress to you how lucky I am to have gone on a day like today – there’s a good chance of the weather being crappy at Newport any time of the year, but it sure wasn’t today.

There are the occasional rocks out in the ocean a ways, as well as this random surfer who stayed stationary there for a while doing…something with a paddle. I don’t know what. I’m not a surfer.

This is a Coast Guard HH-65 Dolphin on its way from wherever to points north. It flew extremely close to us – I could see it even more clearly than the camera can make out.

There it is flying north, towards Cape Foulweather in the background.

This is water draining off a rock in one of the tidepools. There were a bunch of these, but I thought this one was really neat.

And finally, this is the punchbowl itself. It’s not particularly exciting here, though I’m given to understand it’s spectacular when the weather is rough.

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