I thought I'd start today's entry with a little information about the Oregon coast and why it is so popular.
In 1967, Governor Tom McCall signed the "Beach Bill" which established public ownership (from the water to 16 vertical feet above the low tide mark) of the 362 miles of beach in Oregon. Modeled after the Texas Open Beaches Act, the Beach Bill provides the public with "free and uninterrupted use of the beaches". Of course, that limits development and prevents the claim of "private beaches".
In theory, you can walk from Washington to California along the beach and never trespass on private property. And, from what we've seen so far, there are plenty of beach access points.
This morning, we started off with a short hike from one of those access points. Between Heceta Lighthouse and the Carl Washburne Memorial State Park is an unmarked parking area on the east side of Hwy 101 where several hiking trails intersect. Across the road is the trailhead for the 1/2-mile Hobbit Trail.
The trail starts out in the woods among moss-covered trees, and it looks much like a couple of the trails we took on the northern coast of Maine last summer.
The trail descended through similar terrain until we came to a short tree tunnel.
On the other side of the tunnel was a dirt-wall chute that opened out to Hobbit Beach.
There were just a few others on what was once considered a "secret", secluded beach, but which is now quite popular. It was windy and cold, so we didn't spend a lot of time out there. But we did get a couple of photos.
Looking north ......
and south toward Heceta Head.
It was a nice little hike to get our day started.
Since we were in the area, we checked out the campground at Washburne State Park. The campground is on the east side of the road, while the "day use" area and dump station are on the west side of Hwy 101.
There were certainly some nice sites in the campground (mostly full hook-ups) and several were large enough for big rigs. But once again, it is very shaded and our cell service wasn't very good in there.
From there we drove north. Two National Forest campgrounds - Rock Creek and Cape Perpetua - are closed for the season and the roads were closed as well, so we couldn't check those out.
But the Cape Perpetua Visitors Center was open so we stopped to watch a movie about the area and to pick up a trail map. Here is the view from the deck.
From there we walked down the half-mile paved trail to the "Spouting Horn".
On the lower part of the loop, you can see a large hole out in the rocks known as "Thor's Well".
We were there a little after high tide and this feature is best viewed at mid-tide. It acts like a big drain and is pretty interesting to watch.
We moved on down the trail to a spot where you can easily walk out onto the rocks ....
and get up close to the tidepools.
While walking around, we stumbled upon a small group of Black Turnstones.
It was so windy, we had to turn our ball caps around backwards, and Linda found a sheltered spot to take a break.
We headed back toward the Visitors Center, but rather than walking up the hill, we proceeded north on the trail. It was slow going 'cause the trailside blackberries were looking too good to pass up. :)
Most of the ripe ones within an arms length of the trail had been picked, but we managed to find several to pop in our mouths. If Linda had a bucket, I probably would have finished the trail alone. :)
The trail went up by the highway and then descended again. Linda really liked this huge tree overlooking Cape Cove.
We continued down to the water's edge and walked onto the rocks among more tidepools. There was a sign warning to be aware of "sneaker waves", and it was soon clear that we could get soaked if we walked on the wrong rocks.
The next feature is called "Devil's Churn" which is a long, narrow section of rocks where the waves funnel in ....
and, well .... churn. :)
We watched one family scramble after wandering into the splash zone.
Heading back, here is a view of the Visitors Center up on the bluff between the trees.
FYI, there is a parking area at both "Spouting Horn" and "Devil's Churn", so you don't have to walk all the way down from the Visitors Center.
Back in the Jeep, we drove up the road just north of the Visitors Center to the top of the mountain. I hopped out to get a couple more photos looking south down the coast.
After our time spent at the Cape Perpetua Scenic Area, we drove north through the town of Yachats and stopped at the Tillicum Beach Campground.
This was a campground I was considering, but changed my mind after a conversation on the phone with the camphost. Upon driving through, I was glad we didn't go.
The back-in sites in the trees are nicely spaced, but most are a little short. The beachfront sites are open, but more suited to tenters. You can park RVs and have a view of the ocean, but those sites are basically parallel parking on the side of the road with vehicles parked end to end.
Rather than continuing north, we headed back south toward Florence. On the way, we made one more stop. We took a look at the Sea Perch RV Resort right on the ocean. The sites are nice, but at $50 - $60 per night November - April and $60 - $80 per night May - October, the sites should be nice. :)
Back home, we had some leftovers and again watched the Ryder Cup.
We only paid for our campsite through tonight, but we decided to stick around one more day and just take it easy. We'll move up to the Tillamook area on Monday.
Another fine day on the Oregon coast. :)