Day 30 (August 29)
Central Oregon Coast – Seal Rock State Park & Cape Perpetua Scenic Area.
Misty windswept seaside forests. A rocky beach full of mysterious white pods. Giant ancient trees. A myriad of coastal rainforest plants. We’ve many wonders to experience en route to Coos Bay today.
A lush wooded path to the the beach leads us down to the water. We are drawn in by this magical place…
It’s low tide when we arrive at Seal Rock State Park.
I cannot pinpoint specifically why this particular area speaks to me, yet Seal Rock ends up being one of my favorite beaches among the dozens that we will see in the Pacific Northwest.
The beach is covered with these little milky white capsules. Some googling brings us to conclude perhaps these are squid eggs sacs?
Although this bridge is a 1990’s replacement, the original was yet another of the Highway 101 bridges designed by Conde McCullough, and some of the original architectural features still stand.
A two mile round-trip hike brings one to a giant 600-year old Sitka Spruce, deemed a “heritage tree”.
The diversity of plant life here is remarkable.
Fantastic coastal rock formations include Cook’s Chasm, the Spouting Horn, Thor’s Well and Devil’s Churn. We are quite lucky to be on the coast right at high tide to experience the latter three in their full glory.
Take care in this area – sneaker waves can be deadly.
Bonus points: The little coffee window at the Devil’s Churn information station serves awesome espresso and makes a mean Mexican chocolate mocha. Good coffee is literally everywhere in the Pacific Northwest!
A ranger at the Cape Perpetua visitor center mentions that the blackberry bushes growing here are a non-native weed species, and encourages us to pick as many as we’d like. We happily abide, and come away with 1/2 Nalgene bottle full of plump delicious blackberries.
We’ve just one more day driving south before turning north again to make it to Portland for Labor Day weekend. How naive I was to think that we could see the length of the Oregon Coast in 6 days!