yaquina head lighthouse

When we went to the coast two weeks ago with my dad and stepmom, we stopped at one of the oldest lighthouses on the Oregon Coast - Yaquina Head Lighthouse. It was built in the 1880s and is the tallest lighthouse in Oregon!

The area around the lighthouse reminded us of New England - an extremely rocky coastline and barren grassy peninsula. It's really impressive that people used to live out here with very few connections to other humans - they even had a garden, when average temperatures are probably never much over 70º!

The seaside cliffs off of Yaquina Head are full of all kinds of seabirds - luckily, Ruth brought binoculars! We saw all kinds of birds that we'd never seen before. There were also harbor seals relaxing on the rocks below. They're like sea lions, but smaller and very clumsy on land.

We also saw a whale! Just offshore is a reef that stretches to the south - gray whales like to feed around the reefs and we saw one bobbing around just past those cliffs. I even saw its tail as it dove back underwater.

I got a lighthouse pin to commemorate the visit! It's a replica of a pin that lighthouse keepers used to wear on their hats. I'd love to visit the lighthouse during one of the big whale migrations (December and April) - from up high, you'd be able to see lots and lots of whales.

Northwest Lies

Oh, the Pacific Northwest weather...it's perfect, right? Except during the winter - because during the winter, it's rainy every day and the sun doesn't come out from October through May. We were prepared for this...we have a spray to waterproof our shoes, we have jackets with hoods, a dehumidifier. Except...it's not true! I mean, I'm sure it will start raining at some point, because that's (supposedly) what it does here. But so far, other than a few weeks of drizzle in the normal early November autumn way, it's been exactly the opposite of what everyone always says.

The last two (or more?) weeks have been completely sunny every day, with milder temperatures than we're used to. It's very odd. We were looking forward to gray skies! And yes, there are still lots of trees with autumn leaves on them, even if it's nearly January.

We've even seen Mount Hood every day! (Picture it about six times bigger than this picture...my phone's camera flattens everything).

Our plants are happy for all the sun, at least. I'll be happy when it's rainy - a change of seasons is a good thing! Speaking of seasons changing, our favorite local fast food emporium has a new milkshake flavor -

Egg nog! It's delicious! We buy Silk's soy nog but the real stuff, at least in milkshake form, is really good too.

Until next time -