when we woke up in brookings to beautiful weather and changed our travel plans to move up the coast versus heading inland, i decided to have an extrended travel day, stopping often to enjoy the beaches, scenery and some historic lighthouses. since isaac has not interest in such things, he rode with derek, and the girls and i set out for our day of oregon coast shenanigans.
our first stop was the meyers creek state beach. it seemed to be low-ish tide, allowing beach goers to get up close with some of the giant rocks at the edge of the waters, so at first we just planned to walk down and take some pics.
they had a lot of fun on the hard packed sand part of the beach, drawing their names, making obstacle courses and collecting rocks, but the best part was the driftwood lodged in soft sand, further from the waters.
eventually, i talked them into getting back on the road, despite anna’s protests. we had a long drive, especially considering all the stopping, and we hadn’t even got an hour at this point. just a bit further up the coast, we happened upon a little turnout where there were two guys working on some paintings of the coastal landscapes. we stopped to check that out, but i only took a picture of the landscapes, not their paintings. that would seem weird.
the coquille river lighthouse is at the end of a long stretch of kid-friendly beach, which not all oregon coast tends to be. so, before we left the area, we had to check it out. while anna looked for cool beach combing finds, hazel and i hung out in the soft, less ominous sand, away from the waves. her favorite spot.
so, after two beach stops, two lighthouses, lunch and a thrift store (not shown), we made our way to meet up with derek in florence, oregon. we actually spent one night in a casino parking lot because we couldn’t get a site at the campground we wanted for the first night. early the next morning, we were able to move in, and we even had hookups, thankfully. once we were settled in, we piled into the car to head to local beach and possibly further explorations.
we tired of the beach pretty quickly. the blowing sand kept getting in eyes and it was chilly. while we had a captive audience, though, we drove a little further north, to check out the heceta head lighthouse. when we arrived, we learned it was a 1/2 mile hike to get to the actual lighthouse, and it took a bit of cajoling (threatening) to get all three lidkids on board with going up, but eventually we made it.
while derek and the grumps started back down and planned to visit the gift shop, anna and i hiked on a bit to get a different view of the lighthouse. we were only in flip flops, because our day never intended to end up on a trail in the woods, so we didn’t go far, which worked out, because after this viewpoint, the lighthouse disappears from view for the rest of the hike.
on our way back, i made derek stop at a spot on the highway where you can see the heceta head lighthouse from the road for a pic, which i’m sure the kids wish i would have settled for instead of the oh-so-long hike up to the actual lighthouse.
we also discovered the wonder that is fred meyers. it’s a grocery chain out here in the pacific northwest that also has decent homegoods, clothes and toys. but like legit brands. not like walmart. it’s pretty amazing. and. they had lego minifigs. in stock. and not ransacked. so i did a bit of groping and scored myself the two minifigs ive wanted from this set. hooray!
one day, when derek got off work, we drove a little further up the coast to check out somes spots in cape perpetua. it’s an area filled with some very dramatic part of the coastline, that at high tide makes for some exciting crashing, spraying waves.
as we walked up, we first spotted the spouting horn and cook’s chasm. as the waves slam up and back and around, they are forced through a hole in the rock, causing water and mist to spray out of the top of the rock.
a little further along, another crack in the coastline provided some of the biggest waves and crashes. we watched person after person stroll too close and get splashed, one girl getting completely blindsided by an epic wave. we steered clear, especially after one surprise splash had a few drops that reached hazel’s pant leg and she completely freaked out.
one of the other iconic features of the area is thor’s well, but it’s best viewed an hour or so before or after high tide, while the other stuff is best at high tide, which is when we went. not wanting to wait around, we settled for a zoomed in view from higher up, at the overlook. basically, it looks like a giant drain hole, the waves that crash over it are swept in, making it seem super surreal.
basically, it was another big crack where water crashed and sloshed and sprayed and slammed around. it all looked very deadly. the kids were happy to just set up shop on the rocks and play some random minecraft game, while i took some pictures and just watched the dangerous waters.
aaaaand… for the last adventure. the place we were staying is just north of the oregon sand dunes, so we saw more than our fair share of dune buggies and giant sand dune traversing vehicles and tour groups and such all heading to and from the beach. on our last day, derek took anna out to do a bit of recreational sand dune adventuring.
and then, our time in florence was over. we actually were only there for a few days, so i feel like we crammed in a lot. off to portland(ish)!