One thing that really made our R&R special, was the animals we met along the way. We are used to seeing some types animals at home. Besides the neighborhood cats and dogs, and a lovely assortment of wild birds, we have herds of goats and sheep, as well as the herders’ donkeys and camels. These are normal for us. Going to the US and exploring different climates and habitats was a fun experience.
A stop I forgot to mention, between Newport and Bandon, was an unimposing little roadside attraction on the side of the highway… near Florence Oregon. It’s the Sea Lion Caves. See, it doesn’t look all that big from the highway, but it really is worth a stop.
We walked in through this building, through the gift shop (obligatory), down stairs to the cliff face, towards a small shed holding an elevator. (A very modern elevator btw.)
The elevator took us down to sea level, into the cave. In addition to a number of displays to browse, including a very antique sea lion skeleton laying out as it may have been discovered when the cave was first found, there was a view into the cave itself… and lots of sea lions!
The people were fenced away from the animals as this is their natural habitat and interference is not the point… just viewing.
There’s also a lovely view out the other end of the cave towards a nearby lighthouse.
The same lighthouse, seen from the top of the cliff.
We wandered off to the other end of the site… which, btw, is a nice place for ocean viewing.. not just animal observation!
At the far viewing point we were able to look down at sea lions hanging out on the shore… there were a LOT of them!
We saw plenty of beautiful wildflowers as well. (Not sure why I forgot to mention this stop – I’ve been using the following photo as my desktop image and see it all the time!). Foxglove (digitalis) is one of my favorite wildflowers!
Another fun event at this particular stop, was a lucky meet-up with Brad’s brother and his family, also wandering through Oregon on vacation. We had sort of planned to meet up, but really didn’t think it would work out… heading 100’s of miles in opposite directions with small kids… figure the odds, but as we stood in line to go down into the seal lion cave, the door opened, and out steps our family! What fun! Again, they were leaving as we were arriving, and with kids (theirs are younger), there’s only so much waiting to be reasonably tolerated(!), but we managed to chat a bit, make later dinner plans, and help with family photos.
btw – I realize that my video (above) is a little bumpy, but if you want to see more, go to the website (http://sealioncaves.com/home/) and try out their webcam. I’m not having much luck with with it, unfortunately, but that’s common. I usually cannot get webcams to stream well through our internet… and time zone differences are an issue too… so we miss out on many of the interesting things friends tip me to, but I’ll offer it up in hopes those with better web connections can enjoy it!