inthecompanyofnone

Residential Designer by Trade who also blogs about various topics. Just came back from a 6 month solo road trip which took me through 30 states and two international countries. Seeing the USA by road is amazing. It's so diverse in natural beauty and climate. Traveling solo allows me the freedom to go where and where I want without compromise. It's a sense of accomplishment to be able to travel in the company of none.

Tiny Home on Wheels near Glacier National Park

Tiny home on wheels

October of 2015, I pack up my car, ship out my horses, and drive to Whitefish, Montana to start a new chapter of my life. All is good until the fateful day of December 10, 2015, when my horse Moonie is entangled on a metal wire fence at the horse boarding…

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Mid-Coast Oregon: 6 Month Solo Road Trip

Mid-Coast Oregon Road Trip

My original route from Eugene to Portland, but I only made it to Lincoln.

Mid-Coast Oregon: After leaving the Sea Lion Caves I drive north on route 101 towards Portland where I’m staying at a tiny home on wheels for a week. I’m checking out mid-coast Oregon.  One of my goals on this trip is to see all Oregon’s coast. I’ve traveled from Brookings to Florence now I’m driving from Florence to Cannon Beach.  I stop at a number of scenic vistas to admire the view.

The Oregon coast is breathtaking, from rocky cliffs to miles of sandy beaches, it would take a lifetime to explore every nook and cranny. I only have a few days, but I have the memories and thousands of pictures to remind me of the beauty of this magnificent state of mind. I stop and explore as much as I can. As I travel up the coast I stop at many vistas including Heceta Head Lighthouse Viewpoint, South Beach State Park, Yaquina Bay State Park and D River Wayside State Park.

Named after a Spanish Explorer who was surveying the Oregon coast in 1775 the Heceta Head Lighthouse which sits high on a cliff is still in service. It is one of the most photographed lighthouses on the Oregon coast. I understand why, as it stands proud against the onslaught of persistent waves pounding the coast.

After leaving Heceta Head I drive up the coast stopping at Neptune State Park and Seal Rock to admire the views. I’m looking forward to walking on a long sandy beach. South Beach State Park fits the description. Located in the town of Newport it has miles of soft sandy beach and grassy dunes. The temperature is in the mid 50’s on a blustery day but the sun is shining as I get out of my car and head to the beach. Wow! I practically have the beach to myself. Well, it is chilly April weekday, so that could be the reason for the ghost town. The only creatures I find are 100’s of colorful jellyfish sunning themselves on the beach. As I walk along the beach I see a solo windsurfer flying across the waves. I stop and watch as he glides across the water.

It’s close to 3 pm and I’m only a quarter of my way up the coast. It’s time to drive. I say goodbye to South Beach as I ramble up the coast. I see signs of the Yaquina Head Lighthouse and turn on to the road. I get out of my car and walk around. The 93 foot high black and white lighthouse stands in solace, protecting boats from the rocky cliffs. There is a trail which leads up the hill behind the lighthouse. It’s calling my name so I follow it. The rays of the late afternoon sun catch the blades of grass turning everything a golden hue. As I reach the top I feels as though I’m standing at top of the world. What an amazing 180-degree view of the coast.

I stay for an hour enjoying the views, but it’s time to go. One of my favorite activities is watching the sunset over the ocean. In Lincoln, I stop at D River Wayside State Park to watch the sun sink into the ocean’s horizon. The blue sky turns intense colors of orange, pink, yellow and red. It reminds me of a painting. The sound of the waves lapping the shore as dusk turns to-night. It’s a peaceful time of day to reflect.

I didn’t make it up to Cannon Beach since I have a reservation in Portland for the night at an Airbnb tiny home. Instead, I head inland on route 18 to Portland. I will save that trip for another day.

 

 

Heceta Head Lighthouse

Heceta Head Lighthouse State Scenic Viewpoint

Newport mid-coast Oregon

Mid-Coast Oregon Newport

Bridge over Cape Creek

Jellyfish South Beach mid-coast Oregon

Beautiful color jellyfish on South Beach, mid-coast Oregon

Mid-coast Oregon,Solitude: windsurfer enjoying the waves

Mid-coast Oregon, Solitude: windsurfer enjoying the waves

South Beach, mid-coast Oregon

Solitude: South Beach on a blustery day

Mid-coast Oregon South Beach, Newport OR

Mid-Coast Oregon: Chilling at South Beach, Newport Oregon

Yaquina Head Lighthouse mid-coast Oregon

Yaquina Head Lighthouse mid-coast Oregon

Mid-coast Oregon Newport

Newport, mid-coast Oregon view from Yaquina Head Natural Area

Mid-coast Oregon Yaquina Head Lighthouse

Mid-coast Oregon Yaquina Head Lighthouse

mid-coast Oregon from Yaquina Head Lighthouse Natural Area.

Views of mid-coast Oregon from Yaquina Head Lighthouse Natural Area.

Sunset at D River Wayside State Park, mid-coast Oregon

Sunset at D River Wayside State Park, mid-coast Oregon

Sea Lion Caves: 6 Month Solo Road Trip

 

Sea Lions Caves Coast

Looking up the coast from the Sea Lion Caves

After staying a few days in Eugene, I say goodbye to my gracious hosts of the Airbnb Robin’s Nest. I’m on the road again, checking out mid-coast Oregon on my way back to Portland via Route 101 aka Oregon Coast Highway.  First stop, Sea Lion Caves, 91560 Highway 101, Florence. I find it very easily since it’s on the cliff overlooking the ocean. I find a parking spot and pay the $14 admission fee. The ticket saleswoman tells me that this is one of the largest sea caves in the world. I’m impressed. One would never know that fact from the road since it’s 300′ below the highway.

Sea Lion Cave Stairs

Stairs lead to the Sea Lion Caves below

I can hear the squawking of seals as I make my way to the elevator, which will take me down to the cave far below. Years ago before there were elevators, people hiked down the stairs. I guess going down isn’t as bad as going up but I’m glad for elevators. The elevator door opens to a dimly lit platform with stairs leading to the dark cave below. As my eyes adjust to the darkness, I see jail cell bars which separate the humans from the wildlife.

Sea Lions Cave Florence Oregon

The famous Sea Lion Caves

Boy! The sea lions are talkative! Their voices echo throughout the cave. What an amazing sight to see, hundreds of sea lions in their natural habitat. I watch taking video and photos with my iPhone, careful not to have the flash on. After a few minutes, I head back up. As I reach the top, I once again refocus my eyes to the sunlight.  Thank goodness for sunglasses. I follow the cliffside path which leads me to a viewing station. Close to the craggy coastline the water is a magnificent turquoise blue. Sea lions frolic in the turbulent waves. They must be strong swimmers to avoid getting pummeled by the powerful waves and rocky cliffs. It’s close to high noon as I get into my trusty Prius and head north on Route 101 to check out other sites.

Sea Lion Caves ocean

Turquoise waters Sea Lion Caves

Silver Falls State Park, Oregon

I’m 5 months into my 6-month solo road trip and I still have so much to see and do. I feel as though I’m in the movie European Vacation when they are rushing through all the sites before their vacation ends. At the same time, I like to relax and…

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Hawthorne District, Mt Tabor Park, Portland OR

Mount Tabor Park

The next couple of days I’m exploring the Hawthorne district of Portland and Mt Tabor Park. I’m looking forward to my new adventure. My legs are sore from horseback riding the previous day, but I get out of bed and stretch. Feeling a little bit better, I jump in the…

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Horseback riding Sauvie Island Oregon

I love Portland, Oregon: The beauty, the culture, the diversity, the architecture, the people, and the recreation. I could go on and on, gushing about it. It’s one of my favorite US cities. In 1990 and 2002, I briefly explored Portland, but not in detail. This time it’s different. On my…

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Portland Oregon: 6 Month Solo Road Trip

After leaving Parkdale, Oregon in the Mount Hood Valley, I book a Japanese influence apartment on Airbnb for a couple of nights in the Boise area of Portland. It’s close to the interstate and in an older neighborhood. The tree-lined street is steep. I find a parking space near the house.…

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Mount Hood, Oregon: 6 Month Solo Road Trip

Historic Route 30 Columbia River Gorge: 6 Month Solo Road Trip

6 Month Solo Road Trip: After spending two weeks with Mark in southern California I say goodbye and I drive the long road trip to Bend, Oregon for a doctor’s appointment. From there, I drive through the beautiful Hood River where cherry trees are in full bloom. For a week…

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San Clemente CA: 6 month solo road trip

San Clemente Pier

After leaving Redondo Beach we head south towards San Diego to the town of San Clemente which is between Los Angeles and San Diego. At the last-minute I find accommodations on Airbnb and find a private suite in San Clemente. It has instant book which is awesome. The owners are out-of-town but…

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