Friday, November 30, 2012

Newport weekend

Come visit the Oregon coast!
One late November, thirteen years ago, Dollie and I got married. In hindsight, we should have gotten married in the summer as it can be difficult to stoke the fires of love when on an anniversary campout on the coast with all that "wonderful" November weather.

Surf's up!

But camping stupid is what we do, so we piled into the car and negotiated all the mudslides, floods, and fallen trees that makes driving to the coast so interesting. The weather was awful what with gale force winds and heavy rain prompting the National Weather Service to issue a weather alert and flood warning inland with a high surf and a high wind advisory called for the coast.

Normally, this is the sandy Yachats Beach
As we approached Yachats on the way to our Beverly Beach yurt rental, we stopped to take some pictures of a very rambunctious ocean at Yachats Beach. Normally there is a sandy little beach here but on this day, the beach was entirely submerged by the heavy surf. We literally were staggering like losing boxers as we took pictures while getting cuffed around by the wind.

At least the wind blew the clouds away
At Beverly Beach Campground, just north of Newport, we attempted (and failed) to get a good night's sleep while 60 mph winds shrieked like a school of rabid banshees and the rain pattered on the canvas walls of the yurt like overly caffeinated rodents. Since the campground was set in the forest, I was cringing all night long at the thought of falling trees.

There's no place like foam
However, no trees fell and the rain stopped, the wind eased up a bit, and the following morn dawned sunny and clear. It still was blustery and cold so armed with windbreakers, Dollie and I set off for an early morning hike on Beverly Beach.

When in foam, do as the foamans do
Unfortunately, we didn't get very far as the tide was still pretty high and large waves were chasing us all the way to the cliffs lining the beach.  The ocean had been churned to a froth and the wind was blowing the foam probably all the way to Astoria. Also unfortunately, another storm system arrived by the time we returned to the yurt with the wind shrieking loudly all over again.

Stormy day at Devils Punchbowl
Having most of the day to kill, we hopped in the car and did some sightseeing on the coast to the north with the first stop being Devils Punchbowl State Park. By now the storm had arrived with a vengeance and once again we were trying our best to admire the view while battling the wind.

View to Yaquina Head in foul weather

Not staying outdoors for too long a time, we quickly sought shelter in the car.  It was fitting that we drove up to the appropriately named Cape Foulweather. There were impressive views all the way to Yaquina Head underneath gray skies. We went into the souvenir shop and I muttered something to clerk about the nasty conditions outside and he dryly noted "Yes, it is foul weather". I bet he says that a lot.

Dollie, celebrating our anniversary
South of Depoe Bay, we stopped at the Rock Creek Wayside near Whale Cove to take pictures and videos of the waves crashing on the rocks. We were standing on cliffs about 50 feet above the surf yet the grass we were standing on was covered with sea foam in testament to the wind's fury.

Marina, at Depoe Bay
At touristy Depoe Bay, the wind finally let up and allowed for a short walk along the beach promenade. There are a couple of spouting horns below the promenade and they were in full spouting glory due to the tempestuous conditions. Crowds of tourists gawked at the spray of water emanating from the horns, although I noticed none stayed very long.  

W-w-welc-c-come t-to was c-c-cold!
Returning to Newport in the evening, we walked downtown on rainy streets while the car tires hissed on the wet pavement. There were piers and docks in between all the waterfront shops and restaurants, we went to go stand and shiver on wet planks for the next hour or so. Why? To see the Christmas boats of course!

The Coast Guard entry
The gaily lit boats circled around Yaquina Bay, most had a party and a drenched Santa on board to wave and  yell out "Merry Christmas" to poor people like us standing on the cold and rain-soaked docks with chattering teeth. We were glad to return to our heated and dry yurt, I think I even slept through the howling pack of wild demons that were the night's windstorm.

Newport, on a rainy night
We cut the trip a bit short and returned back home a half-day earlier than planned. Lest any of you readers think that I was committing wife-abuse by making Dollie go camping in such adverse conditions, I will point out the trip was her idea; I'm just the victim here.

For more pictures of this wet and wild weekend, visit the Flickr album.

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