This is by David.
The find of the morning was the Green Salmon Bakery in Yachats, which for those who are interested in these things is spoken with a silent “c” namely “Ya – Hats”. This may be the only example of the “silent c” phenomena that I have encountered in over 50 years (although I must confess I have done one or two other things in the last 50 years other than look for words with a silent C, and so may have missed a few). Anyway back to the Green Salmon – where there were no green salmon. But there was mega-brilliant coffee and cakes to die for (and may have had ingredients that were so yummy that they hastened the demise of the eater). They also had internet so we caught up with the world, people watched and stuffed ourselves a little bit.
The Oregon coast is a bit reminiscent of Wales in many ways in that the sun does not shine too often, there is a stiff breeze and the fog rolls off the sea and becomes low cloud on the hills at the side of the ocean. The land is verdant, and must be really spectacular in the winter when big storms roll in. Today was calm but cloudy/foggy. We went to Cape Perpetua and climbed up to the viewpoint at the top of the cliff. This was built by the Civiliam Conservation Corps in the 1930s – a make work scheme funding by federal taxation to help break the grip that the depression had on the nation. There is lots of evidence of the CCC in this area which shows how desperate the depression must have been.
The forest at the top of the cliff was classic temperate rain forest, as the pictures attempt to show. Memories of Cradle Mountain in Tasmania came to mind. The views up and down the coast were obscured by fog but just occasionally the clouds would clear and we could see for many miles.
There are repeated signs advertising (or possibly warning of) Elk in this area. We saw an Elk on a roundabout in Bend (at the side not on the road but just strolling around like a cow in India) but the Elk signs here seem to guarantee that the Elk stay away. We peered around from the top of Cape Perpetua and saw not a single Elk.
We then went down to the coast and ambled around looking at small waves breaking on the lava cliffs and outcrops. Spectactular in the rough but a bit predictable in the calm.
We found a quiet spot out of the wind and read for an hour. Please note those of you who cannot believe that I can stay still for more then 2 minutes (away from my desk that it), that we read silently and peacefully for at least an hour and then only moved because of the promise of seeing Sea Lions.
Down the coast was a place that described itself as being “Sea Lion Caves”. This is a tourist attraction but we held our noses and went in, and they explained that there was a 200 feet lift that tourists took from the hillside down to a cave, and that we could then see Sea Lions basking in the cave. Just before we paid our money they explained that today there was a “petit problem” in that there were no Sea Lions in the cave. However, in a spirit of generosity, they offered a discount to us because there were no Sea Lions. That is a bit like London Zoo offering a discount to come in to see the animal enclosures when there were no animals. We politely declined even though we were assured it was a very nice cave, and made our excuses.
Bernie drove back to Yachuts along the stunning coastline. In fact Bernie has done all the driving as driving does not quite work for me yet. I am getting there but holding the steering wheel all the time remains a bit painful.
Once back we read, had tea and then went for a walk to explore Smelt Sands. On god day I am sure this is very pretty but by this stage the wind had got up, cloud was rolling off the sea and it was not too attractive. So we ambled back to the village and found the local “pub” which advertises itself as a pub and inside felt like a pub. An informal group of musicians arrived to play some standard blues numbers in the corner and we drank beer. Lots of good things here!
Then back for a meal of smoked fish and salad and bed. A much more enjoyable day than we expected.