Pacific Northwest 4/5

If what came before was the storm, this day was the calm, clarity, and fresh air afterwards.

We had a great time in each other's company, appreciating that we were all there together in a beautiful setting and in (nearly) good health.

November 24, 2019
South Beach, OR to Port Orford, OR

Sea Lion Caves, Florence, OR

This stop was unplanned. I didn't know it existed. It just sort of popped up as we went down the coast––a conveniently placed little "tourist trap" that we decided to embrace. It was spontaneous and endearing. The sea lions weren't even there (it was totally off season), but the views, the giant sea cave, the little gift shop, and the thoughtful rain check ticket that's given for a time when the sea lions are there was all very appreciated. We came away enjoying the stop (we ended up spying at least two sea lions as they came in with the waves, but they opted not to stay for long).

I would recommend this stop even for the awesome sea cave and views of nearby lighthouse, Heceta Head Light. The people and the gift shop there were nice too. Bet it's even more amazing when the giant squalor of sea lions decide to show up for the party.

Sitcoos Beach, Oregon Dunes Recreation Area, OR

I knew what this place was about when I planned it, and yet... I didn't. I had hoped to hike and photograph a unique mixture of dunes and pines trees. What we ended up exploring was an extensive beach with large, rolling dunes tufted with grass. We didn't go very far, but spent lots of time here taking ridiculous group photos and sitting around for the sunset. As if I needed more on my list to come back to, this place is certainly up there. If I lived nearby I'd be here all the time.

There was hardly anyone out, so we again pretty much had a massive expanse of waterfront and sand dunes to ourselves. The weather was perfect. The sunset that we waited around for was amazing. This might have been my favorite moment of the trip.

We got dinner half way between the dunes and our AirBnB in Port Orford. We woke up early the next morning, packed up the car, and inadvertently caught a beautiful sunrise along the Battle Rock Wayside Park. Dark clouds broken by golden light rays spread along the horizon. I wanted so badly to walk the beach here, but knew we needed to start putting in the miles.