May on the Oregon Coast

May 13, 2009

May on the Oregon Coast
It was a dry weekend here in Eugene/Springfield and after all the rain we had a week or so ago, a great chance to get outside and enjoy it. I started the day without a plan other than go somewhere and take a good walk.
As it was so nice I decided to take the Miata and once it warmed up a bit, a top-down cruise would be nice. At first I thought I’d head up the McKenzie but then the idea of “do something different” grab me and I drove out to Fern Ridge Reservoir. I was looking for Osprey nesting but when I got there all I saw was empty nests and no birds.
Well, so much for that, so the next plan was to go over to Mapleton and hike Sweet Creek. As I headed towards the coast I began running into patches of ground fog in all the low lying valleys. By the time I got to the turn off at Mapleton it was thick dense fog that wasn’t going to lift for a while. So the Sweet Creek hike started to frizzle for me with the thought it would be cold and hard to see anything. Well what to do. I decided to go over and walk a beach for a while! Sure enough by the time I got to Florence the fog had cleared and it was a beautiful, cool but sunny morning. This was looking good!
I drove north up Hwy 101 and stopped off to take pictures of some the broad views as I started up the hill towards the Sea Lion Caves.

First View of the Ocean

I did get a couple shots of some sea lions at a turn-out just past the cave and the a few good shots of Heceta Head Lighthouse a couple of switchback further up the road.

Sea Lions near the Caves

Heceta Head Lighthouse

Hey, what’s that seagul doing in the wrong flock?

Nesting Grounds


I kept driving north and made several stops at some of the many picnic area along the way.

Strawberry Hill Day-Use Area

I finally ended up at Stonefield Beach, a quiet place that not many people stop to explore. It was low tide when I left the car and started hiking up the beach. There were many tide pools accessible and I spent a lot of time exploring them.


I found some tiny yellow snails that were pretty cool. The largest one I saw was barely a quarter inch long.

Tiny Yellow Snail

There were lots of muscles, barnacles and star fish on the rocks and all kinds of interesting life in the pools.


Starfish pool

Sea Urchin

I really love this beach with rocky sections, tide pools and some small sandy beaches. I even picked up a few heart shaped rocks to add to our growing collection at home.

Heart Shaped Rock

After a 2 or 3 hours of hiking and prowling the beach I was hungry so headed north again a few miles to Yachats. Most of my favorite places were closed but I finally did find a café that was open. I was thinking of a bowl of soup as it was still a bit cool but then the waitress said we have a razor clam special today. Yum! I’ll take an order of that, please. Wow, three nice big grilled razor clams, homemade chips and slaw, what a treat!
It was warm enough by the time I finished lunch to put the top down and cruise back to Eugene.

Dennis - Miata - Heceta Head




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May 13, 2009

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