I’m sitting here in my hotel after a long walk on the beach outside, patiently waiting for it to be time for the scheduled dinner reservations, and wondering how I went almost 42 years without seeing the Oregon coast. It’s beautiful here. I could add other descriptive words, but really, saying the words would do the view justice is like saying the world doesn’t need sunshine.

Unlike yesterday, the rain stayed away. After grabbing a local coffee, we ventured to Depoe Bay to see the Yaquina Head Lighthouse perched above the ocean on dark cliffs. Below, the Pacific sends waves crashing onto the rocky beach where seals lounge in the early morning sun. I couldn’t see them, but the wind brought their scent to me and the park ranger I met moments later confirmed the seals presence below. Out of sight, but not out of mind.

My group tour included a whale watching boat tour. I’ve never been a fan of such tours as I believe they really only serve to pester they whales and pollute the water, but I went because the tour company paid the cost of admission ahead of time. We viewed one gray whale on rocky seas before heading back. The best part of the tour was viewing the bridge from the smallest harbor on Earth (not sure if it’s true, but Depoe Bay isn’t exactly the Port of San Francisco).

We ate at Tidal Raves for lunch. The food was decent, but the ambiance was touristy and had little character. The only shining light of the place was the Pacific Ocean views. I’m not a fan of seafood, so I ordered a pulled pork sandwich. It was delicious as was the guy who refilled my water and made a joke about wishing it was vodka.

After lunch, when the tide had finally rolled back in, we ventured to Devil’s Punch Bowl. A sinister name for a large cave created by the tide over thousands of years. Its roof had long since collapsed allowing for some spectacular views of the high tide flowing back into the cave.

Along the same stretch of coastline, surfers wearing wetsuits and giddy grins ran towards the water with longboards as the tide came in. From the above cliffs we were perched on, the surfers were mere dots. The day had warmed and the rain stayed away, so the surfing commenced as we headed back to Newport.

Tomorrow we head south along the coast for a day of sea caves, lighthouses, and very tall trees.

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