You do know that PCH stands for Pacific Coast Highway, right? Just so we’re clear.
Today is actually Day Three, but due to unforeseen connectivity problems last night I didn’t get to write about Day Two. Now we’re settled down for the night on Day Three and I have Wifi and a few minutes to write, so I will!
Today was kind of grueling. We did a lot of driving but we saw a ton of great stuff along the way. We woke up early and got a pretty early start. Neither of us were very hungry so we just hit the road. Our big goal for the day was to see the Seal Caves in Florence, so we just started heading that way.
First up, we came across a really nice looking lighthouse at Yaquina head. Our annual national park pass saved us the $7 entry fee (score!) and we decided to bypass the tourist info center and just go straight to the lighthouse. We ended up being the only ones there and got to wander around in peace and silence for about half hour. Mainly, it was a lighthouse, but I had a good time reading about the family that used to live there full time in the late 19th Century. It’s not very long ago that plucking dead people out of the sea was a common occurrence. Maybe it still is.
One of the things that struck me about the lighthouse was the hugely corroded metal finishings around the edges of the house itself. It looked like it may have been copper, and if so, it must have been ancient. Looked as green as the Statue of Liberty.
After leaving the lighthouse we got hungry and Courtney found a nice cafe in our guidebook a few towns down the road. We had a great breakfast and the best scones either of us have ever eaten at Cafe’ Stephanie in the Nye Beach area of Newport, OR. A very inviting and friendly little hole in the wall.
Speaking of guide books, Moon guides have been doing us great service and are highly recommended.
After breakfast we burned many miles to get to Seal Caves in Florence. This is another one I will need to write more about later. the basic gist of it is that you go through a gift shop, walk down a 400 yard path to an elevator buried in the rock, take it down 200 feet and you find yourself in the largest natural sea cave in the world watching sea lions drift in and out calling out to their mates. It’s fucking amazing.
Seal Caves done, we made many more miles and eventually stopped at Don’s Main Street Restaurant in Reedsport, OR for some awesome sandwiches and pie, thanks again to Moon guides and kept on.
Pretty soon we had hit Oregon Sand Dunes state park, or something of the sort. Eventually, the gorgeous coastline of Oregon gives way to giant sand dunes and they are just as spectacular. Even more wonderful is that many areas allow off roading and other 4×4 delights.
After seeing several 4×4 trucks up on the dunes, and seeing a tourist information map showing entry points, I convinced Courtney, must against her better judgement, to go do a little 4x4ing. We found a suitable entry point, hit the gas and promptly felt like we were going to get instantly stuck. I did a quick U-turn and with my sense of adventure (and manhood) feeling much lessened, headed back to the main roads. No worries though, I would get my fill of off roading on Day Three.
One of the notes I made for myself along the way was “Rain, rain, rain.” Not more more to say than that. It has rained basically the whole way. Sometimes hard, sometimes soft, nearly always constant. We’ve been lucky so far in that every time we have stopped to do something outdoors it has not been bad at all.
In Crescent City we stopped at Walmart to pick some cheap binoculars. I should note that so far we’ve stopped at two Walmarts and both have been nicer than more department stores I’ve been to. The one near our house in Renton is a shithole of epic proportions.
Our destination for the night was originally Eureka, but we decided that driving in the dark we would miss too much if we pressed on, so in Crescent City we called the Ravenwood Motel in Klamath, which came highly recommend and booked a stay. Gary recommended we eat in Crescent City since “everything in Klamath is closed”, so we stopped at Pizza King for some good pizza and plenty of local weirdo drama.
Finally, we pressed on to Klamath, found our room at the Ravenwood and called it a night. We were both asleep by 10 so we could be up by 7 for… Day Three.