Sunday, July 8, 2012

Driving up the coast & Sunday in Astoria

There's no WiFi in our cabin at Fort Stevens State Park, so this blog post is being brought to you by the Marlin Street Laundromat!

Yesterday we traveled up the coast from Florence, OR to Fort Stevens State Park.  We made a few stops on the way - first just a couple miles north of town to see a small bog that is full of this special kind of carnivorous plant.  The place was FULL of them!

Next we went to Sea Lion Caves.  It was pretty fun, and Rebecca LOVED it.  First we looked at the sea lions on the ledge from up above.  The wind was really whipping our hair and we were glad to have jackets.  Then we took the elevator down into the cave.  There were lots and lots of sea lions and sea birds, and the smell was pretty intense.  We had a good time watching them swim in and out, fight, and generally act like sea lions.

Inside the cave viewing area

Surfing sea lion

Sea lions on the ledge

cute birds with red feet

For lunch, we drove into Otter Rock because the map said it was a good place to spot whales and Jeff said he would eat a banana slug if we spotted a whale.  We're looking for one now, because we DID spot a whale!  I didn't get any pictures because all we really saw was the spout and some of the whale's back, but they were out there.  We had kind of a tough time eating lunch because the picnic area was overrun by aggressive squirrels - one got on the table about 6 inches away from us.  I couldn't decide if we should try to smack the squirrels or the people who were feeding them.

Devil's punchbowl with people in it
There were lots of surfers on Beverly Beach, but we went down to Otter Cove beach instead to see if we could get inside the Punchbowl formation.  The tide was coming in, so we didn't make it, but we did see some amazing tidepools.  We spotted sea stars and urchins, and these were the most easily accessible pools ever.  Otter Rock was a great stopping place - and it even had a winery and a coffee/ice cream truck.  We drank a bottle of their wine last night and it was yummy.

Devil's punchbowl formation filling with water

Here's the entrance - we couldn't get in

About 2 minutes after this picture, the waves starting washing over this rock!

Beach with tide pools

Touching star fish

When we got to camp, we checked into our cabin (which is really nice - I'll post pictures next time) and met up with the Greens.  Connie also arrived in time for dinner.  We had fresh corn & beans from the Florence farm market, hot dogs & brats, plus the wine.  And s'mores for dessert.  We liked that there are people who drive a cart around the camp delivering firewood to your door!

This morning, we went into Astoria to check out Sunday Market.  It was amazing - tons of vendors.  We had tamales for second breakfast and then falafel for lunch before we left.  Items the group purchased included peas, potatoes, berries, cherries, dates, yarn, ceramic tiles, tea, chorizo, and bread.  There was even a trolley to ride back to our car.

OK, time to check the laundry!
I'm not sure when I'll be posting again - keep checking.

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