Saturday, February 22, 2014

Newport beach hike

So, a month ago on Baker Beach I found myself involuntarily in a sinkhole of chest deep cold water. Unfortunately, my camera was stowed safely away in my waist pack, which was underwater along with my ample waist during my sinkhole visit. Sorrow then came to my house after the hike, because the little adjustment wheel on the camera that adjusts everything no longer adjusted anything. While I've been taking pictures, it has been a tedious process as I have to make all the camera adjustments through the menu screens and not all the adjustments have menus. It was like having a Nikon!

Watch out for sinkholes
This ostensibly sad and tragic little tale does have a happy ending, though. Last Thursday, the UPS truck stopped by and dropped off a nondescript cardboard box containing a shiny brand new camera. It's not waterproof, though, so I'll have to still work at avoiding those nasty sinkholes in the marshes.

The air was filled with the sound
of clicking camera shutters
The camera came with Dollie and I on a recent visit to Newport on a sunny and more importantly, a sinkhole-free day. From the edge of Old Town, we grabbed the Yaquina Beach Trail, a rocky path that followed the north bank of the Yaquina River. Overhead,  the spidery web of the Yaquina Bay Bridge hummed with the whoosh and clank of highway traffic. Below the bridge, the air hummed with the smooth and beautiful click of new camera shutters (Dollie also had a new camera: thank you, Santa Claus!) getting used for the first time.

A large bridge unsuccessfully hides behind a dune
After taking pictures of the bridge using every camera setting known to man and maybe a few that were not previously known, we continued onward along the wide river. As the trail petered out, we walked on jetty rocks to the beach at Yaquina Bay State Park. From this point on, it would be a beach hike as we headed north.

My view for 7.7 miles
The tide was out and we had acres and acres of sand to walk on. As an added bonus this was hardpack sand, just like my abs (in my dreams!) and would remain easy to walk on all day long. The sun was out but the temperature was cool with a mild breeze. It was just perfect for hiking and there were plenty of beachgoers out enjoying the Oregon coast.

Faster hikers than Dollie and I
While we enjoyed a nice beach hike, there weren't a lot of things to see other than sand and sea. Newport was on the cliffs above the beach in the form of hotels and we could see the hotel we stayed at when we cycled the Oregon coast several years ago. A row of nondescript knee high rocks covered with barnacles attracted a crowd as tourists are so easily amused. Kites flew overhead, rustling as they swooped over passing hikers. One big kite was dragging its unwilling human across the sands.

Yaquina Head
Directly north of us was Yaquina Head but no matter how far we walked it seemed like it was always a long way away. We had started with a notion of hiking all the way to the head but at 4 miles, we still had not reached the end of the beach. So we ate a windblown lunch on a log and then headed back to Newport.

Yaquina Bay Lighthouse

On the way back, we paid a visit to the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse. Situated on a small knoll above the beach and river, the historic lighthouse provided a magnificent view of the Yaquina River reaching the sea, shepherded by the rock jetties on either side of the river. From there it was a walk back under the Yaquina Bay Bridge to our car and not stepping into a sinkhole made this a successful hike.

Sun and sea
For more pictures of this hike, see the Flickr album.


  1. We hiked the same beach area about 2 years ago when the barge from Japan's sunami was grounded on the beach. Beautiful area. Glad to see you are avoiding sinkholes and quicksand!!

  2. You know, they have a piece of that dock at a viewing area as a tourist attraction