And I wasn't finished yet.
|My home for two days|
The Central Oregon coast, between Newport and Florence, has been on my "return" list for many years. Boasting miles of fabulous scenery, interesting rock formations, historic lighthouses, and uncrowded beaches, I'd been scheming a spring visit. But it's a three-plus hour one-way drive, which makes for an extremely long day trip. Searching for an inexpensive lodging alternative, I discovered most state park campgrounds offer yurts. Trying to reserve a yurt, I found every weekend was booked for several months ahead. However, I could have my pick of Sunday and Monday nights. You know what? That's what vacation time is for.
|My yurt's spacious interior|
So I reserved myself a yurt at Carl Washburne State Park for the last Sunday and Monday in April. My hubby had to work, so it ended up being a solo trip. But that was fine with me. Planning to be running around taking photos, I could come and go as I pleased.
|Mossy coastal forest|
My chosen Sunday afternoon found me driving towards the coast in a rainstorm. Although the weather wasn't cooperating for my visit, I consoled myself knowing at least there'd be a warm, dry place to sleep.
But as I passed through the funky town of Yachats, something wonderful happened. The rain stopped completely. By the time I'd pulled into Carl Washburne State Park campground, things were already beginning to dry up.
The little yurt - my home for the next two days - was everything I'd hoped for. Essentially a large domed canvas tent on a wooden platform. it had a door that locked, and was equipped with heat and electricity. Inside, the yurt was furnished with a bunk bed, futon, and a table. It even had an outlet so I could charge my phone. Bonus!
|Lush forest near my campground|
After unpacking and arranging my gear inside this new cozy home, it was time to explore the nearby beach. The campground had a half mile trail through an amazing mossy coastal forest that led directly to the ocean's edge.
|Carl Washburne State Park beach|
Aaahhhhh! Now that I was finally on the beach, the stress from traveling melted away. There's nothing like a long walk in the sand to chill out jangled nerves. And having some fantastic scenery to photograph didn't hurt.
So many subjects. Like this seaweed-draped piece of driftwood.
Or this pearly pink-striped shell.
|Another interesting shell|
Or this bluish pair of shells.
|Sweeping beach views|
These eroded cliffs were an interesting blend of light and dark earth tones.
|A little color|
I even spotted some cheery yellow wildflowers growing nearby!
Still wearing droplets from the afternoon's rain.
|The beach's south end|
I wandered all the way down to the beach's southern end. The sand here was blocked by a tall headland.
|Velella velella washed up on the beach|
So I turned back, retracing my steps. On my return, I ran into a small cluster of Velella velella, jellyfish-like sea creatures, that had washed up on the sand.
|Velella velella before they begin rotting|
These organisms live in the ocean and float above the water, using a small sail on top of their bodies to propel themselves. Because this sail is their only means of locomotion, the Velella velella are at the mercy of prevailing winds. These creatures are sometimes subject to mass strandings on nearby beaches. Coincidentally, this very phenomenon happened in April. The local news reported that hundreds of these tiny creatures had been washing up on Oregon beaches.
|This one looks like he's leaking|
I saw numerous Velella velella stuck in the sand, slowly leaking blue fluid out of their bodies. Although eerily pretty, it was also a sad sight.
|Lovely ocean cliffs near Heceta Head|
My rumbling stomach cut the beach walk short, and I returned to my snug little yurt, to have dinner and plan the next day's activities. There was lots on my agenda - visiting the Heceta Head Lighthouse at sunrise, and taking in the tidepools and spouting waves at Cape Perpetua. Tune in to my next post and see what sights I find!
Sharing with: Our World Tuesday and Wednesday Around the World.