Thursday, August 2, 2012

Newport, Oregon, Its Bridge, Lighthouse, Bayport and Yaquina Bay

After lunch at Luna Fish House in Yachats, we drove back through Waldport where we saw that the tide had risen a bit and gave us a completely different (and better) view of the Alsea River/Bay Bridge.

The fisheries were actively working as evidenced by the workers
and trucks we saw all over the place!
The short drive from Waldport to Newport was boring and the big lunch, followed by ice cream took a toll as a dreadful sleepy spell fell upon both of us. 

We were happily revived once we came into the Yaquina Bay area. We turned into the Bay Front District and found it brimming with activity and not a parking space to be begged, borrowed or stolen.  The sites and smells were fascinating here. Fisheries and docks of the harbor are balanced by restaurants, shops and old buildings on the other side of the street.  By now the overcast sky had given way to the sunshine even though the temperature was still mild -- low 70's.

More crab traps... Did I mention that crabbing is real big here?

The harbor at Yaquina Bay

The bridge at Yaquina Bay, just south of Newport, is depicted on Newport's promotional signs and material.  It is quite beautiful from every direction.

The historical marker near here describes the Yaquina Bay area originally named "Cape Foulweather" in March 1778 by Captain James Cook.  Cook was unable to find any harbor along the Pacific northwest coast because of near constant heavy weather.  News of Captain Cook's voyage stirred interest in this area and is directly responsible for the Louisiana Purchase and ultimately for the dispatch of the Louis and Clark Expedition.

Ozzie was interested only in the big dog resting at its masters feet a short distance away.
Lexie said, "what dog?"

Whale watching is very popular all along Oregon's coast. 
Thousands of grey whale migrate in these waters.

Yaquina Bay Bridge construction began in 1934 as part of the WPA (Works Progress Administration) and was completed in 1936.

It cost a mere $1,301,016 to build and employed 220 men pouring 30,000 cubic yards of concrete and fabricate 3,100 tons of steel.  

The final link to Oregon's coastal highway is the Yaquina Bay Bridge.
This is one of the most picturesque bridge settings I've ever seen. 
The whole area on the west side of Yaquina Bay is another Oregon State Park.  I counted well over a dozen artists / painters / wanna-be's with canvas, brushes, palets and easels perched everywhere. 

This historic Yaquina Bay Lighthouse was active only from 1871 to 1874. It was relighted in 1996.
 It is now a location for weddings and is available for touring.

Returning to Newport once again along US 101, we made a last stop at Seal Rocks where we did not see any seals but did find the rock formations to be worth a few snapshots.

The heavy wooded pathway from the roadside parking lot to the shore.

Seal Rocks

Seal Rocks

The beach was brimming with people.  Also Seal Rocks.

Tomorrow morning we'll be leaving Waldport for more points north!  So far Wayne's back is holding up well.  He's being really careful too.

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