The forecast for the Oregon coast called for cool temperatures, heavy rain, and 65 MPH winds. Let’s go camping! That’s right, we love to camp and aren’t afraid to go any time of year. Well, as long as we can stay in a yurt during the cold and rainy season. Luckily, most Oregon State campgrounds have yurts and with enough forethought, you can reserve one. They are a really popular option and we usually reserve yurts for the fall and winter months in the spring or summer since they fill up fast. They come equipped with electricity, light, heater (important), bunkbeds, futon, and a table. You must cook outside, which is a good thing. I am sure they would all smell like bacon if people cooked inside.
So this last weekend we loaded up our vehicle with sleeping bags, food, beer, toys and games, and propane grill and headed towards Lincoln City. We initially planned on bringing our kayaks, but the thought of kayaking in 65 MPH winds and pouring rain sounded a little too extreme for this weekend getaway, so we left them safely in the garage. Maybe next time.
We arrived at the Devil’s Lake campground around 9:00pm and found the camp hosts asleep. Okay, where do we get our key? We made our way to the yurt and checked the front door and found it unlocked. Inside was our registration information with a note saying to get our key after 9am in the morning. We unloaded our gear and setup “camp.” It doesn’t get much easier than yurt camping. No tents to setup in the dark and the convenience of electric light and heat.
The next morning we awoke to rain. Lots of rain! I initially tried to cook our breakfast on the picnic table, but found it a bit too wet with the pouring rain. We have a portable canopy that if setup, it would have protected our picnic table and breakfast from the pouring rain. But, it was hanging out in our garage with the kayaks. So, I moved our propane griddle onto the front porch of the yurt and finished cooking under the shelter of the small porch roof. After breakfast we took turns going to the campground showers. Hot showers while camping! After spending the summer camping at primitive campgrounds where we had to boil our own water if we wanted a “hot shower,” this seemed like luxury.
With a break in the weather we decided to explore the Central Oregon Coast. We first went to the beach just a couple of blocks down the street and next to the D River, the world’s shortest river. The storms hitting the coast had created some massive waves and we had to be very careful as we walked down the sandy beach. But after having to climb up the sandy cliffs as a sneaker wave came all the way up to the cliffs edge and dangerously rolled the large logs around the beach, we decided it was time to get off the beach before we made the 5 o’clock news.
After our beach adventure we went to one of the Oregon coast’s most famous restaurants for lunch, Mo’s. Mo’s often has large lines and they will sit you right next to strangers. But the lines move quickly and the seafood is excellent and quick.
The rains and winds had started again so we decided to head south to Depoe Bay for some excellent storm watching. When the swells are large and coming from the right direction, they will pound against the rocky shoreline in Depoe Bay and shoot water up and onto Highway 101. Great entertainment! As we entered Depoe Bay we were lucky enough to find an angled parking spot right where the water will shoot up onto the highway. A great place to park if you want to see the show and not get soaked. Unfortunately, the swells were coming from the wrong direction and it was only creating a light spray as the waves crashed against the cliffs. We headed over to the Whale Museum, which sits at the entrance to Depoe Bay, the world’s smallest harbor. Inside, they have an assortment of whale bones and information on where to spot the whales.
Back at the yurt that evening, the winds and rains really picked up but we stayed warm and dry playing games inside. Throughout the night, the bands of the storm would roll through creating pouring rain and strong winds. Not a good night to be in a regular tent, but a perfect night to be camping in a yurt.
The next morning we had breakfast at another famous Oregon Coast restaurant, Pig ‘N Pancake, and then loaded up everything and headed towards home. Along the way we decided to stop at a few Willamette Valley vineyards and take some photos of the fall colors. The pinot noir grapes were still hanging on the vines and the sun would occasionally break through the clouds to create amazing scenery from the vineyards up on the hills. A perfect ending to a great weekend getaway.
[singlepic id=1045 w=580 h=460 float=center]
Nice Pics, Jason and I remember taking you to the Oregon coast during the fall/winter season because of the storms. Thanks for a 500 mile away memory trip.
Sure thing. Storm watching is always fun. Especially if you can be warm and dry during the storms.
Many of those photos did turn out nice. Now, if the new Panasonic GF2 would just be released… 🙂
Hi, I happened to run across your blog and just wanted to say hello. My husband and I are also from the Pacific NW (Portland) and are also planning a RTW in 2012 (hopefully January or February departure). It is so wonderful that you are able to do this as a family… what an amazing experience for a child to have. Best of luck to you as you pack and prepare (I know what it’s like… a lot of work!)
Thanks Kim. I bookmarked your blog on our links page and look forward to reading about your RTW adventures.