Friday, September 14, 2012

Oregon Coast: July 20th

On the morning of the 20th we packed up our camp and headed towards Newport where we spent the morning at Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area.  There was a lot to see and do for being a fairly compact area.

The first thing we did was drive and then walk down to Quarry Cove to look for life in the tide pools.  There were TONS of hermit crabs and other little crabs in the rocks.

We also saw a few anemones, a sea urchin and some starfish as well as a LOT of barnacles and muscles.

Of course the things Ellie thought were most interesting were the muddy sand and throwing rocks into the water.

 And we of course grabbed a quick family picture.  Admittedly we forgot our tripod, so this picture is amazing in that the camera fell off a rock immediately after snapping this photo.  The camera was fine, thankfully.

After we were done playing down on the water, we headed up to see the other sights at Yaquina Head.  We spent a lot of time looking at these seals which were all over a few different rocks out in the water.

We also really liked these birds which looked and sounded a lot like a colony of penguins - only these guys could fly.

A fish and wildlife volunteer was at the lookout post with spotting scopes so we could see the birds and seals, and he and Steve enjoyed talking raptors.  He even told us that they have a pair of peregrine falcons  over by the visitor center.  Ellie just liked playing on the wooden deck and stairs by the scopes and flirting with the the people there.

Next we walked over by the lighthouse, which was beautiful.

And lastly headed to the visitor center.  Where, I am proud to say, I pointed out a spot way up on the rocks to Steve and we realized we had spotted one of the peregrines the wildlife expert told us about.

The visitor center was neat, but Ellie's favorite part was coloring a picture of whales the front desk gave us.  The girl loves to color.

After spending quite a bit of time at Yaquina Head, we wanted to spend some time looking around Newport and hitting the beach.  The first thing we did in Newport was hit Mo's.  Mo's is a chain of seafood restaurants along the Oregon Coast and they have world famous clam chowder.  I don't like seafood.  I LOVE their chowder.  So, whenever we hit the Oregon Coast we hit Mo's if there is one nearby.  We all enjoyed our food and Ellie LOVED the chowder too.  Then, after lunch, Ellie was soooo exhausted we decided to drive for a while to let her nap in the car some.  She passed out so we hung out in the car watching the water at Boiler Bay and then drove up to Depot Bay to check out the whale watching headquarters there.

This is how poor Ellie felt.  Luckily she napped some more in the car after we checked out the shops in Depot Bay.

After Ellie had napped and we'd looked around Depot Bay we headed back to hit the beach.  Ellie enjoyed climbing on the rocks.
 And standing in all the little tide pools.  They were just empty with sand and water, and fairly cold, but she couldn't get enough of them.  Our only problem was that she kept sitting in the water when she squatted down to play in the pools.  We eventually ditched her soaked pants and just let her have at it rather than fight the losing battle.

Then, of course, she ran on the beach with Daddy.  These two make me smile.

And when we spotted a crayfish, the biology teacher came out and Steve couldn't wait to show it to his girl.  Ellie thought it was pretty interesting too.
 And, Ellie had to engage in her favorite activity to do anywhere.  It was really cute to watch her pick a rock, run all the way to the water's edge, throw the rock in, and then run before the water could get her.  She did this over and over until we started getting worried about dinner and a cold, wet Ellie who was EXHAUSTED by the end of our time at the beach.

And here is another view of the Yaquina lighthouse from the beach we were at.  The Oregon Coast really is gorgeous.

When we got back to Beverly Beach State Park we set up camp again and had dinner.  We then introduced Ellie to roasted marshmallows.  She loved them!  I mean, she is my child after all....  But after such an exciting (and cool and wet) day, this is still the happiest picture we have of her right before bed.
I love how curly her hair is here from the ocean air.  And the tired finger in the ear.  On the bright side, after such a long day with virtually no nap, Ellie did much better sleeping in the tent on her own.  We did have to move her from where she fell asleep on our sleeping bag right inside the door, but she slept much better in her bag that night, which meant we were all better rested the next morning and ready for our 3rd and final day on the coast.

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