Today we learned that Oregon beaches often have “Coastal Fog”. We had been planning a trip to the Oregon Coast for the past couple of weeks. Today was to be the day.
We started early, about sunrise, heading up I-5 toward Salem, then northwest toward the coastline at Lincoln City. On the way we stopped in McMinnville at a quilt shop…..! (I think Jo has done a review of this one)
While Jo was enjoying the quilt shop, I scouted around a sporting goods store for replacements of two disc golf discs that I had lost on some of my recent outings. How can you lose a big brightly colored golf disc, you ask….Well a tree ate one, and a large mud puddle swallowed another one.
Onward to the Oregon Beaches
After picking up Jo, we started again toward the coast. The morning was beautiful with bright blue sky, and leaves starting to turn to their fall colors.
Arriving in Lincoln City, filled with anticipation of a beautiful drive along the Oregon beaches we noticed a bank of fog toward the west. At about a quarter mile from the beach, the fog became pea soup. You could just see enough at the beach to confirm that it was the beach. Confirmation was better accomplished by hearing the crashing surf. We drove back east for a quarter mile and the sun was out with bright blue sky above.
Deciding to move a little further south toward Newport, we moved just a little more inland and lost sight of the fog bank entirely. Taking a beach road and thinking that everything would be ok…..we had just found a spotty area of fog, our attitudes improved…….until we got to about a quarter mile from the beach. Pea soup again !
Jo started calling Chambers of Commerce to cities to the south. The typical response was “We are socked in…..we expected it to burn off by now”.
We decided to try driving north towards Tillamook (where we visited the Cheese Factory while staying in Portland) Same story. As long as we stayed back from the beach, there was plenty of sun, blue sky, and a truly beautiful day. A quarter mile from the beach, FOG!
We stopped for lunch thinking that we might have some clearing if we just waited for a little bit. Not so! The beaches were all “socked in”.
Looking for an alternate plan, Jo remembered that there was supposed to be a barn quilt tour around Tillamook, similar to the tour we made in Illinois last spring. We started to see quilt blocks on old barns as we drove into Tillamook. After stopping for brochures with maps of the tour at the visitor’s center we spent the rest of the afternoon “hunting barn quilts”. I have to admit, I didn’t get too much from the quilt blocks themselves, but I really enjoyed watching Jo having a good time. I did enjoy the “hunting” also.
“There’s supposed to be one just around the next curve….There it is !” or “That’s a neat old barn….wonder why they didn’t put a quilt block on that one”. Jo has lots of pictures she will be posting for all of you quilters.
All in all, it was a fun day in spite of the fog. (It was still there when we passed within a quarter of a mile from the beach on the way home.) And of course, we arrived back at camp after dark. But that’s one of the advantages of staying for a month in the same area. We can try again to out smart the fog along the Oregon beaches. Next time we will call ahead before heading out. It seems that coastal fog is common this time of year, and it often covers just the beaches and about a quarter mile inland.
Try Again – Oregon Beaches
After keeping an eye on the Web Cams along the coastline, we found our window for a second trip. This was more like it. Lots of surf, lots of spray and pretty good visibility. At least there was no fog this time.
We drove the coast road from Lincoln City to Florence, stopping to view the pacific coastline from numerous overlooks. The huge rocks (called sea stacks) were impressive as the waves broke over them sending water and spray high into the air. The Oregon coast is dynamic and powerful, and we would not have been happy if we had missed it.
We are looking forward to moving on down the Pacific coastline into California as well.