The Wild Olympic Coast

Olympic Coast  009Olympic Coast  011Our first glimpse of the wild Olympic coast was at Ruby Beach, a popular beach with sea stacks and pink sands.  As with most beaches around here, giant driftwood logs were everywhere.

It was foggy, which we were about to discover was a common occurrence around these parts.Olympic Coast  010


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Pacific Northwest Lighthouses

Darkness reigns at the foot of the lighthouse.  Japanese proverb

seaside  063We cannot claim that we are very knowledgeable about lighthouses. But during our journey we have visited quite a few along the East Coast and now along the West Coast and we have definitely developed a love of lighthouses.seaside  059

Bandon  077yaquina  016The reasons that we love them are many.  Lighthouses are usually located in wild and rugged spots along the coast – places that are very scenic in and of themselves, they have a really strong connection with the history of their towns, the hardworking keepers, their families and their assistants are worthy of admiration and the lighthouses themselves are beautiful – the gorgeous Fresnel lenses, the architecture, the materials, the staircases…

seaside  031And the obvious, they have guided and protected all types of vessels and their crews.

Here are some sea captains looking out at the horizon trying to see the light.

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Outstanding Yaquina Head

yaquina  027yaquina  001yaquina  032Hector and I found the name Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area a bit unusual.  But we discovered that an Outstanding Natural Area (ONA) is a Bureau of Land Management designation established by Congress “primarily to protect unique scenic, scientific, educational, and recreational values.  Recreation activities focus on education and interpretation of the ONA’s unique resources”.  So there.yaquina  046

June reportedly has the most negative tides of the year in Oregon.  So we visited Yaquina Head’s tide pools during low tide on days when there was a negative tide. The weather was variable as is the norm around here, from sunshine to wind to rain. yaquina  035

As we walked down to the appropriately named “Cobble Beach” we encountered multiple groups of students with teachers and several rangers.  It was fun, but quite noisy.  Overhearing bits of the lesson, it sounded like a great day of learning.

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The Central Oregon Coast

waldport  020waldport  001Our second stop in Oregon was in the town of Waldport, on the Central Oregon Coast.

Best known for its beautiful bridge across Alsea Bay where the Alsea River meets the Pacific Ocean.waldport  002waldport  018 Continue reading

Beautiful Oregon

“There is no bad weather, only inappropriate dress” – Oregon coastal saying from the Pacific Coast Scenic Byway brochure

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Bandon  002We finally arrived in beautiful Oregon.

And, Island Girl, who was originally purchased new in Oregon (she wound up in Colorado where we found her) has returned home at least for a little while.Bandon  003 Continue reading

Land’s End

Perce  016Forillon  044The drive from Percé out to Forillon National Park on the eastern tip of the Gaspé peninsula is very scenic.  And it’s an exciting drive on a very steep road with multiple 10-15 degree inclines and one 17 degree incline.  They don’t much believe in switchbacks here.Perce  017

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Dunes, the East Point and a Bridge

PEI  107PEI  106Since we visited the northernmost and westernmost points of PEI, we head out to visit the easternmost point of PEI.  You even get a little certificate for having visited both ends – okay we’re suckers for this kind of stuff.  PEI is world famous for its Blue Mussels and mussel operations dot the coast.

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Green and Red PEI

PEI  155PEI  157PEI  152PEI  195Based on our first experience with the North Cape, we decided to tackle the Central Coast Drive on a couple of different days.

We headed to the Green Gables Shore on the North of the Central Coast Drive first.  This area is home to the Prince Edward Island National Park, located along 25 miles of the shore.  Cavendish, the hometown of Lucy Maud Montgomery, author of Anne of the Green Gables is located alongside the park.

The now famous House of Green Gables, once owned by her family and its Victorian surroundings inspired the setting for the book.  The house is now managed by Parks Canada.  And thus the Green Gables Shore.

There is a lot of “Anne” stuff all over PEI.   A major tourist draw. Continue reading

The Windy Side of PEI

PEI  061PEI  057PEI  058PEI  064The tourist literature divides Prince Edward Island (PEI) into three distinct coastal drives:  North Cape, Central (which includes the Green Gables Shore and the Red Sands Shore) and Points East Coastal Drives.  But distances on the island can be deceiving, since those coastal roads can be slow-going.  So it’s a good idea to build in time for activities along the way, or for gawking at the beautiful scenery.

We set out for the North Cape Coastal Drive (a bit misleading since this is Western PEI) first, which we’d heard was the most spectacular.  This is the (mostly) French Acadian part of the island and also has a Mi’kmaq community – on Lennox Island.

Like the rest of PEI, the area has  many picturesque farmhouses on beautiful patches of pastoral land all along the way.  We make a brief stop in Tignish, a fishing community.

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Pretty Peggy’s Cove

peggy 16peggy 1One of the great things about Halifax is that it’s surrounded by pretty little hamlets and lovely coves.   It frankly makes the choices a bit tough as to which direction to drive to from there.  We focused on the west side of Halifax and discovered some lesser known little coves as well as some better known scenic places.peggy 2 Continue reading