Yesterday was the day of our whale watching trip! "Whale watching" sounds a bit more exciting than it was (and we knew it would be). See, we learned that lots of different kinds of whales migrate up and down the Oregon coast. In the summer, they're returning to Alaska with their whale babies and swim up the coast slowly, very close to shore, sometimes just hanging out in the shallow water and eating. In the winter, it's another story - they swim a few miles out to sea, moving fairly quickly, and don't linger near the shore. So in the end, we didn't see any whales up close. But we did see whale activity!
Here's Matt looking for the water the whales blow out when they surface. There were whale guides standing at lots of state parks along the way - the guide at our park helped show us where the whales were and told us how many there were and how quickly they were swimming. It was really interesting!
The park, Boiler Bay, was really beautiful! It's right on Highway 101 and the cliffs overlook the beach - the guide told us that in the winter, the beach is a lot narrower than in the summer because of the pounding waves. It was low tide when I took these pictures, but there was hardly any beach to walk on.
It was absolutely freezing on the cliffs - high 30s, the coldest of the year, and super windy! We weren't totally prepared, so we hopped in the car to the whale watching center a few towns south on Highway 101, in Depoe Bay. After looking for more whales from the comfort of the indoor observation deck, we left for our final destination - Newport!
Newport is a cute seaside town that still has a large fishing industry but also has nice things like breweries (Rogue is based here), an aquarium, candy shops, and a cute walkable harborside street.
Not surprisingly, there are tons of seafood restaurants and fishmongers. We decided to eat at the Rogue Brew Pub, right across the street from a shrimping company on the harbor. It was really tasty, but we ordered way too much food! Matt got tuna and chips, spinach artichoke dip, and I got a salmon fillet sandwich and clam chowder. All of it was locally and sustainably caught (and probably brought in on the docks across the street!). We didn't finish nearly all of it. Oh, and we obviously had Rogue beers!
After lunch, we went to the aquarium across the bay, but I'll save those pictures for another post since this one is long enough already!