The Fort and The Shipwreck

Ah! Another bright and beautiful day! This day was actually a beautiful day, we prepared for a cold windy day like the last few. As we were leaving town we saw a sign for the Lewis & Clark Salt-works, we should have went but we didn’t. Continue reading “The Fort and The Shipwreck”

What Was I Thinking?

That thought goes through my head often. Especially when looking at my directions. Sometimes I have locations that when we get there I have no idea why I wrote them down. Or other things where I know I want to go to a place, but don’t bother writing down how to get to them! We only had a few stops to visit today, so a nice relaxing day. We start our drive looking for Cape Meares Lighthouse. But we ended up stopping at a viewpoint of Three Rocks, it was a scramble down to that. But I found a whole sea urchin thing!

Three Rocks

I had another area to visit, but I actually for once wrote down how long the hike was! The hike was too long for us…only 1.4 miles, so I crossed that out. Our legs were still trying to recover. We make our way to the lighthouse where we have a little hike… a very steep hike mind you. The lighthouse gift shop at the time didn’t accept any credit cards, so something to think of in case you visit. You are able to tour the lighthouse with a guide, and like he says please don’t touch the lens!

Lighthouse

There is a tree called Octopus Tree, I had read it was a bit of a hike to get to so we skipped it. Turns out it isn’t that far of a hike, which I just learned while trying to type this. Legs were dead from the original hike anyways. We were going to finish the loop to Tillamook, but the road was closed from the Lighthouse on. So we had to back track. Thankfully the towns on the coast aren’t actually that far apart, so it wasn’t that big of a deal. We get to Tillamook and get some food. Than go to the Tillamook Creamery, we really shouldn’t have eaten first!

Tillamook 1

I think it was the coolest thing! You get to /visit the plant and see the process of how the cheese is made and packaged! Did I mention the best part? It’s free! They have the history of the Tilamook Company, and they sell ice cream, food, and a bunch of other stuff. I had a scoop of the Oregon Dark Cherry and Huckleberry. They were delicious! Tillamook just needs to have little Tilly the Cow figures! We were sad to not see any.

Tilamook 2

We only had one stop left after that, a placed called Hug Point. This is where they why did I write this come into play. We hike down to the beach and look around confused, and didn’t stay long. Once we made it out to our hotel I looked up Hug Point, turns out you have to take a bit of a hike to see a waterfall :\ I need to write those kinds of things down. We get to our motel, Motel 6 in Seaside. Still reeling from the long hikes we’ve done we decided to spend the rest of our day at the hotel trying to recover. My bed in the hotel makes a lot of noise, I turned to my mom sand said it’s a good thing I don’t have any fun activities planned tonight, she was all why, so I started moving the bed and its so loud and creaky! Tomorrow we hit another photographers dream, Haystack Rock!

The 101.

The 101 is the road that runs along side a good chunk of the Oregon Coast. Sadly, the coast is not always visible from it, hence the “good chunk.” We were only slated for about 4 hours of drive time today so I let Mom sleep in, big mistake. We left sometime between 9 and 10 am. Our first stop was to be the Cape Creek Bridge, I thought I missed it, but as we drove to the parking lot for Heceta Head Lighthouse I noticed we had actually drove on and under it. It currently has construction on going on it. We get to the parking lot for Heceta and have a $5 parking fee, which is the fee for most of the State Parks day use areas.

4-Bridge

The area for the lighthouse has a nice little beach area in front of the parking lot. Looking way up the hill you see the lighthouse. I see different results for the actual length of the trail, but Oregon State says its a .9 mile hike. It felt like a 9 mile hike! We started up the hike and we almost made it to the first stop , where the lighthouse keeper house was, in one go. I actually had to stop and drop to my knees to let my legs recover for a few minutes. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it before, but if you heard the story before sorry for the repeat! I want to share the story of one of my biggest life disappointments that ever happened to me, and honestly I still haven’t recovered. I’m bitter about it. Many many years ago I had seen an ad for a light house keeper. You can’t imagine the excitement I had, I love lighthouses and all things nautical! I was so excited and confused and was wondering where we had a lighthouse at in Idaho. My mom was quick with the let down. She informed me I couldn’t do the job because I can barely clean my room as it is! I was like what does cleaning my room have to do with being a lighthouse keeper! ….yeah she was happy to tell me it meant some one who did light cleaning around people’s houses. Not my dream of running a lighthouse. I was seriously crushed I tell you! She thought it was the funniest thing, still does to this day.

Heceta Head Keepers House

Enough of my heartache, on to the body-aches! On the hike up to the keeper’s house, which depending on times , season, and staffing you can tour the house, but on the hike I saw some Calla Lillies! It’s always been a dream to photograph them, the grove that grows in Big Sur Cali, and I’ve never seen them in the wild, so I was ecstatic I love them and think they are so pretty! At the top of that section of the trail is also a gift shop and little picnic area. We had just missed the tour for the house and didn’t want to wait around so we headed up to the lighthouse.

Calla Lillies 7

When we eventually made it, after many stops and feelings of exasperation! The actual lighthouse was closed when we went, maintenance of something so we couldn’t go inside. But there were 4 different staffers around to help with things and info. One lady had a telescope set out on some birds that were on a big rock out in the ocean. That was pretty cool to see. Behind the lighthouse is a trail to take so you can get a cool view, said to be a better view. I made it up part of the way and gave up. The trail went way back into the forest and I didn’t want to see how far it went. We hiked back down. Thankfully the majority of hikes are easier going down then they are going up!

6Heceta Head BW

Went to the beach so I can take some long exposures. Unfortunately the sun was shining, and the equipment I have isn’t a strong enough stop, as it’s called, to combat that. But it was great for practice. After that we headed back up the road to our next stop. This next stop is something I’ve been dreaming about! Thor’s Well!…and Sprouting Horn, but mostly Thor’s Well.

4Vintage Scene

Thor’s Well is a hole in the rock that fills with water and empties back out. During high tide it is said to be a constant fill and drain, which is the photographers dream time. So of course I arrived during low tide. Ugh! If you stop at that visitor center first you can find a list with tide times, we came from the south so we didn’t see the center until after the Well. Thor’s Well is said to have been discovered by photographer Scott Gibson in 2007 and he named it Thor’s Well because it looked mythological. If you visit please be cautious, sneaker waves can happen really quick! I’m not an ocean savvy person so I used extreme caution and didn’t get as close to it as others. It was really great to see in person, I just wish it was high tide and sunset! Before you walk down to the Well you come across Sprouting Horn. Since we were there at low tide we had to wait for big waves for both the Well and Horn. For the Horn, water comes in and crashes, than comes out this hole, kind of like a geyser. Unfortunately again, for me, the low tide meant only a little bit came out. All my photos just look like a very poorly shot mist. But it was still cool to see. We also spotted a seal swimming around, they are so cute!

Thor's Well 10

We stopped at the visitor center and they had some cool stuff. They had a little walk area that seems to be like a little museum. With artifacts and items to check out. They also had binoculars you could look out into the ocean at. I bought a little flip book thing with Oregon wildflowers on it, and some trees and shrubs. Very helpful so I don’t have to use hundreds of different apps to figure out what I’ve been photographing! After that we stopped at Devil’s Churn which is a narrow inlet where the waves come crashing, especially in high tide. According to the map at the Center there was about two others things I wanted to see, but I didn’t see any signs saying where they were so we missed them.

2Devil's Churn

At this point in the day we had spent a lot more time doing things then I had originally planned. By the time we made it to Newport, where we had more planned, it was already about 5pm. We wanted to visit the Aquarium ($23), we only would have had an hour to see things, not enough time so we were pretty bummed about that. I got confused on which way to go so we actually ended up on some of the tourist streets with shops and restaurants. Most of the things were closed though. We stopped at Mo’s Original for some food.

5Yaquina Bay Bridge

At Mo’s we had a 5-10 minute wait for seats to open up. Even though we saw plenty open…but we finally got seated. Order our drinks and food. Our waitress kind of forgot about us or something. Food was already almost eaten before we got a refill, and she poured the wrong thing in mine while we tried to stop her haha. Mom had a cheeseburger and I had a shrimp sandwich which was ok. It reminded me of frozen shrimp though not fresh shrimp, kinda let down about that. Then we had to sit around and wait for quite a long time before our waitress would come out from the back so we could get our tickets. We then went to the candy store next door where the lady was really nice and friendly I got a mixed bag of candy. Mostly licorice, which I regret now haha some of them aren’t my taste. But they have yummy truffles and things like that. They had a giant Dum Dum sucker, but I was sad to learn it was just a big plastic thing full of 12 normal suckers and not one giant one!

I looked at my trusty/not trusty google maps to find out where I was supposed to go and we went to the lighthouse I was trying to find. The lighthouse was just on the other side of the road I turned down.  It closed at 4, so we only got to see it from the bottom. But we got a cool view of the bridge we had crossed. They have some cool bridges in this area. After that we headed to the next lighthouse where we were happy to learn the parking fee was covered by mom’s old people pass, aka the National Park Pass. This lighthouse is a really cool looking lighthouse! It was pouring rain driving to it, then it was only a sprinkle. All around the lighthouse were big rocks in the ocean and they were completely covered with birds! In the distance was a beautiful sight, the sun hitting a spot in the horizon that had a beautiful golden glow, and to the side strong storm clouds.

3Yaquina Bay Lighthouse

Now that the day was done, we headed off to our hotel America’s Best Inn. Check in was fast and easy, and the lady working the desk was really nice and friendly. The room wasn’t too bad, just a few cleanliness issues. But it was a welcome sight and we both slept well. Still hurt when we woke up though!

Lighthouse 3

PS- Sorry it has taken so long to post this! I’ve been without internet since Nov. Just finally got it again. If you want to see more/better photos from my trips check me out on Facebook at Black Honey Photography or follow along on Instagram @blackhoneyportraits

The Long Drive

Every year I try to think of things and places I want to see and photograph. And yes, the thinking hurts. I have to plan something I want to photograph, things my mother would enjoy, and include the National Park System. Usually I try to squeeze in as much as I can. After all it’s unlikely I’ll be able to come back! Continue reading “The Long Drive”