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

Koosah Falls: Solo Road Trip

Koosah Falls, Oregon

Sunday, March 8-14, 2015, My solo road trip is not just about self discovery but a search for a reason to stay. I like Bend since it offers many activities but I’m not thrilled with the high desert aspect. I’m searching for lush greenery, sun in the summer, snow in…

Continue reading

Sailing in the Bahamas: The Glass Window Bridge, Eleuthera: 6 Month Solo Road Trip

Day 20 I wake up to the sounds of the water gently lapping the boat. I lie for a moment feeling the movement then get dress and head up for breakfast. The Captain tells us our itinerary for the day which includes hiking to the Glass Window Bridge. This is…

Continue reading

Day 2 of my 6 month solo road trip: Chincoteague Island, VA

I awake to sunshine streaming through my hotel room. What a glorious day. I look at my map and see that I’m within 30 miles of Chincoteague Island, VA. I was trying to make it there last night but sleepiness took over. At least I’m close and can leisurely get ready. I grab my computer and check Trip Advisor for hotels in Chincoteague Island. I find one that is on the water and very reasonably priced called the Waterside Inn. I call and make a reservation. Due to being off season they have plenty of rooms. I pack, have a quick breakfast consisting of my Super-food shake and breakfast bar and I’m ready to head out.

IMG_0122

View from my hotel room at the Waterside Inn

As soon as I get outside the cold temperature hits me, it’s frigid in the 30’s and windy. It’s the South I don’t expect these temperatures here. Burrrr…Quickly I put on my gloves and hat along with the rest of my winter gear. I arrive in Chincoteague around 1pm. Wayside Inn let’s me check-in early. The room is comfortable with a first floor balcony overlooking the Chincoteague Channel.

After I’m settled, I check out the grounds. There is a 220′ fishing pier,

Fishing pier at Waterside Inn

Fishing pier at Waterside Inn

 pool and remnants of a rose garden. The jacuzzi is upstairs overlooking the water; that will be nice for later on tonight. Well it’s 2pm and I’m feeling a little restless so I head for Assateague Island where the wild ponies are. As I’m driving down a road I see cars parked on the side so I pull over and investigate. I see them in the brush about 150′ away.

Small herd of wild ponies

A small herd of wild ponies

They are small maybe 12-13 hands and their bellies are big from the salty marsh grass. A brown and white pinto stallion is walking towards me. His herd is small maybe ten mares of various colors. It’s funny they are wild but not 100 percent free. They have sections of the island to roam while the rest is fenced off.  I watch for a while then head to the beach for a walk.

The sandy beach is long as I make my way down. The wind has picked up and the sand is blowing, hitting my face. It feels like I’m being pelted by razors-ouch. It’s sunny but frigid, I last about 15 minutes before I head back to the warmth of my car. As I sit in the car a seagull lands on the hood and walks up to the glass and peers in at me.

Seagull having lunch on my car

Seagull having lunch on my car

Then he proceeds to eat the leaves that have built up at the bottom of my window wipers. Apparently not a care in the world because he decided to hang out on my car for at least 10 minutes. It must have been the warmth of the engine and free food which made him linger. I finally started the car and proceeded to back up; silly bird, he thought he getting a free ride as well. Finally he flew away and I was free to go.