Friday, January 04, 2008

The Oregon Coast- Lincoln City, Taft, Boiler Bay to Depoe Bay

The central Oregon Coast has a lot of unique qualities that I enjoyed. Starting with Lincoln City and "The Worlds SHORTEST River". 440 feet in length, it connects Devils Lake to the Pacific Ocean. I caught it at low tide, and it hardly qualified as a creek in my book... Still, the site is a state recreation area and home to two of the worlds LARGEST kite festivals (go figure ;). There are "drive on" beaches in the general area, to add to the allure.

At the south end of town is the historic Taft district, bordering the Siletz river. I enjoyed wandering around the district, stopping in to watch some glass blowing, exploring the beaches, and grabbing a couple of unique geocaches. I had a good chuckle to myself, thinking of Morgan, as I saw her restaurant, and then a great window decal on a parked element :).

Always balancing the cons of "Boondocking" against the pros, I spent the night at Chinook Winds Casino. Some yahoo parked a few spots down was feeling no pain, and was literally howling at the full moon for the most of the night. None of us fellow campers had the nerve to confront him...cause, as far as I'm aware, nobody had any silver bullets (can't be too careful ;)! Funny thing was, he was off by one night, and there would be a (possibly rare?) lunar eclipse on the full moon, the next night (8/27/07). Never a dull moment on the road, I like to think.

After a poor nights sleep, I made my way to Boiler Bay, and then to Depoe Bay. Whales! I mean, LOTS of whales. I had not realized that Oregon had "resident" Gray whales! They do migrate south to Baja, but drop out of the northerly migration, spending the summers here. It so happened that the whale watching society had set up docents at Depoe Bay, and as I stood with them talking, several whales up within the outer bay, sometimes as close as 50 feet of the seawall! Incredible! I just had to retrieve the geocache "Yarr, there be whale" (gc11mho) which was within 100 feet of the docent's table. We (one of the docents and I) called a biologist who had a Zodiac tour going, and directed her to the closest whales within the bay. I have since lost her card, so cannot post her name or boat, but she is evidently legend around here, so wouldn't be hard to locate.. She runs a 16 or 18 foot zodiac out and encourages her groups to beat on the boat to interact with the whales when they come up (they are evidently attracted to the vibations). I had the docent ask her to schedule me on her next trip out, but it ended up that the wind kicked up and I was the only client scheduled. I had to argue with her to NOT go out with just me, since the $20 fare wouldn't even pay for her fuel. While I was at the harbor waiting for her to come in, I witnessed a harbor seal performing to a fisherman who was cleaning his catch, trying to entice him into a handout. It was hilarious to watch, the seal would roll onto its back and slap the water with its flippers, splashing up a storm and sometimes nearly clapping for the fishermans attention. The fisherman would have nothing to do with the seal though. A bit later I did see a couple of kids who had been around that were teasing it into its act with a fish carcass.

Oh, BTW, Depoe Bay is billed as the SMALLEST Harbor in the world.