Thursday, May 09, 2013

Newport, Or. and Whales, Monday, May 6, 2013

Today we were moving 111 miles north to Beverly Beach State campground about 6 miles north of Newport, Oregon.  Leaving Coos Bay, we passed huge piles of sawdust that had bulldozers on them pushing the sawdust.

From 2013-05-06 woodchips
  We were not sure if the sawdust was being loaded on ships or if there was some type of processing of fiberboard being done.

Continuing north we passed through the areas we had been in yesterday until after going through Florence.  The dunes were no longer along the ocean and rocky shoreline were again in view.  The ocean was in view much of the way.  As we neared Cape Perpetua I told Tom that the National Forest had a Visitor’s Center with RV parking so we decided to stop.  Getting into the parking lot was a little tight and I was beginning to regret my suggestion but we successfully got parked.  In the center were different displays one was of plants in the region.  Those yellow bushes that we had been seeing along our ways were there- Scotch Broom, so I learned – and another yellow low growing plant – Gorse.  Both of these plants are very invasive and not native to the area.  As I was talking with a Ranger he suddenly noticed out the windows facing the ocean whales.  End of discussion we were out watching the whales which was believed to be a cow and calf gray whales.  Exciting!

Eventually, we got back on the road and continued to Beverly Beach State Park Campground.  Another very nice public campground situated in a wooded area within walking distance to the beach.  After getting situated and eating lunch we drove into Newport.  We found the Hatfield Marine Science Center which is part of Oregon State University and went in.   Admission was by donation but there were many interesting displays.  An octopus is the first thing seen upon entering.  There are pools with anemones, starfish, abalones and sea cucumbers that we were allowed to put our hands into and touch the animals.  Outside the Center was a piece of a concrete dock that washed ashore in Oregon from the Japanese Tsunami that occurred in March 2011.  Hard to believe that something that massive could be pushed across the ocean.

From 2013-05-06 Dock
From 2013-05-06 Dock

A stop at Fred Meyer for a few items and then back to the campground.  We then walked out to the beach and walked along the ocean.  This was a nice firmly packed sandy beach with a few rocks.  Another couple pointed out whales in the ocean.  We couldn’t believe that we again were seeing whales- twice  in one day.