Wednesday, August 1, 2018

More from Newport: Lighthouses, Beaches and Another RV Repair

If you enjoy visiting lighthouses, Newport is the place to be. We toured Oregon’s tallest, the Yaquina Head Lighthouse, on a foggy day, but since I reserved tickets on line we went anyway.



The tour guides dress in period costumes and ours played the role of head lighthouse keeper who was interviewing us for a job at the lighthouse. It was actually quite entertaining and informative.


The 114 steps carrying a jug of pig oil up to the light every day would have been challenging.


We each got a short peak inside the lens. This is from underneath.



After our tour we walked some of the trails and went down to the beach.


Volunteers with scopes let us view some of the birds that nest in the summer on the rocks. With the fog it’s hard to tell, but the white rock is really brown, just covered with bird droppings. It smells horrible!


With the camera Jim was able to get a closer look at this colony of common murres. They are a noisy bunch.


Seal heads kept popping up in the water.


This black oystercatcher had a youngster nearby.


Those are some long legs.


Cormorant parents caring for their young.


Wish we had seen this guy get up on that rock. It couldn’t have been easy.


On a clearer day we decided to walk across the bay bridge again to Yaquina Bay State Park and the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse. 

Looking down from the bridge.


The bridge from the other side.


The Yaquina Bay lighthouse is thought to be the oldest structure in Newport, the only existing Oregon lighthouse with the living quarters attached, and the only historic wooden Oregon lighthouse still standing. The living quarters building is open for self-guided tours but you can’t go up into the lantern room. Although decommissioned in 1874 it was restored as a working lighthouse in 1996.


They had a nice view.


Another state park, South Beach, is about a mile walk from our site without having to cross the bridge. There is a huge beach and jetty where you can walk for miles.



It wasn’t a great day for photos but we just bundled up and tolerated the wind and fog.




We stopped to chat with the windsurfer guy. He was new to the sport and had some trouble getting his kite up in the air. We hoped to see him get out on the water but we were getting cold standing around waiting.


We didn’t bring cameras, but one day we walked over to the nearby Oregon State University Hatfield Marine Science Center where the visitor center has some good exhibits. A volunteer came by while we were looking at an orca skull and told us a lot of interesting information. One thing we didn’t know is that there have never been any reports of an orca killing a human in the wild, only under the stress of captivity. They also have a nice trail behind the building along the estuary where we saw a number of shore birds.

Yesterday we drove about 8 miles south to Seal Rock and Brian Booth State Park for our last look at the coast. Took a walk through trees and along the beach but didn’t see any seals.



It was close to high tide so we didn’t get to see the tidepools.


But there were plenty of gulls.



This rock is covered with them, too.


Wind swept trees.


Leaving their mark.



Our last stop was the Beaver Creek portion of Brian Booth State Park. We hiked the marsh trail until it became so overgrown we had to turn back. The visitor center was closed on Tuesday but I recommend going on a day when it’s open since the trails are poorly marked and maybe someone there could give some directions.


Came across this “witness post” sign in the water. Had to look it up since we have never seen one before, but apparently it means there is a survey marker nearby, probably hidden in the vegetation.



Last Saturday we drove off to dump and the electric step would not retract all the way. Just coincidentally a friend had their step go out a few weeks ago and told us how easy it was to replace the motor. Although Jim wasn’t convinced it was the motor that was bad, he ordered a new one from Amazon, it arrived Monday, and he removed the old and replaced the new in about 10 minutes. It’s so unusual for a repair to be so easy, but this YouTube video made by the late Lynne Braden was a big help. It is working perfectly now and there was no cussing or bloodshed during the installation.

The old one was pretty grimy, and given that the manual says to lube multiple pivot points on the step once a month, and ours got done maybe once or twice a year, we were lucky it lasted almost 12 years.


We really enjoyed our time in Newport. The city has a nice recreation center which we used a few times, and we went to see the new Mission Impossible movie, which was especially fun to watch on the big screen  given some of the spectacular scenery. Our parking lot “campground” wasn’t the best but the location can’t be beat and we got our coast fix for awhile. Today we moved inland to Silverton as the temperatures are dropping and we have to be in Portland next week for an eye appointment for Jim. Besides, the cool dampness and lack of sun was finally starting to get to us.


  1. Ya'll are certainly bringing back many memories of my five years in the Pacific Northwest. That is a fantastic area of great scenery.

    1. We love the rocky Pacific coast. So different from the FL Panhandle beaches.

  2. Where are all the lube points?..I just spray some motorcycle chain lube on the areas I see moving...My stairs are getting into their/it's 30's....
    On fire inland everywhere...
    I have level #2 get out of Dodge notice today, in the Chelan area...
    I'm stayn'..

    1. Here's the manual which shows the lube points.

      Didn't realize there were fires up your way. Stay safe!

      Didn't realize there were fires

  3. I wish Goldie had a motorized step :) I wonder what the alcoholism stats are for lighthouse keepers...especially during winters. I couldn't do it without the right beer...

    1. Jim wishes ours didn't have a motorized step. In fact if the motor replacement didn't work he was going to replace it with a manual one.

      I had to look it up. Yes, alcoholism and suicide were common among lighthouse keepers.

  4. While it is wonderful to cool off, the coast can be a little too cool especially with the dampness. Tough to get a perfect spot with the right temps:) That oystercatcher is one strange bird with those long legs. I bet that fat guy got up that rock at high tide. Now he needs to wait for the tide to rise so he can get back in the water. I guess this is called dieting!!

    1. Our towels didn't dry the whole time we were on the coast except when we did laundry and put them in the dryer :-)

  5. The fog and cold there looks like a different world from central Oregon where it's been over 100 degrees. It's nice to see an RV repair go so smoothly!

    1. And Jim didn't even need your help for the step repair!

  6. Beautiful photos! I think the inland heat wave has passed for now anyway. Will you have time to visit Jim M at Lake Harriet? Are you heading up to Anacortes this trip or is the future unknown? Enjoy! Love following your journeys!

    1. Not going to Lake Harriet but will probably be in Anacortes sometime the week of the 20th or so. Will email you later.

  7. Great adventure along the coast. That was Lynne from Winnie Views in the YouTube video, still helping ...
    Looking forward to your visit to Anacortes, we would fish there oh-so-many years ago

    1. Yes, we knew Lynne. I think she would be happy to know she is still helping.

  8. I love that the guides are in reinactors. Sounds like a wonderful tour that you get to be so close to the lens. They are so beautiful. Fabulous picture of the young oystercatcher. Those really are some legs. I take it that was a seal and not a walrus “relaxing” on that rugged rock. He looks very big. Seems kind of sad that there is only one wooden lighthouse remaining. But glad it is. Interesting information about the orca. Why isn’t that sort of thing on “the nightly news”? Sorry you missed the tide pools but your pictures of the coast are beautiful. Thanks for the heads up about the lube needs of the steps. I’ll check with my lube man but I don’t think we do this. Glad it was an easy fix for you. Safe travels!

    1. Your lube man might be on top of these maintenance issues. Mine tends to procrastinate quite a bit!

    2. My lube man says too many things to lube and so far no problems in 14 years so if it's that easy to replace, he'll just wait until he has to. How's that for rationalization??? I'll match my procrastinator against yours any day! HA!!

    3. Thanks, Sherry, you gave us our laugh for the day! And Jim said he really likes David's attitude :-)

  9. We loved visiting at lighthouse.
    We can relate to the weather. It rain just about every day we were there, and the fog was something else many of the days. We still enjoyed the West Coast

    1. We love the coast but that damp fog wears on us after awhile.

  10. Silverton has a neat old movie theater downtown. Silver Falls State Park has great trails and gorgeous waterfalls. The Oregon Garden is spectacular. Have fun there, Patricia and I had Silverton on our short list of places to retire.

    1. Thanks. Went by the theater last night while we walked around town but Mission Impossible is playing, which we just saw. The state park and the garden are on our list. Looks like a nice little town and we liked both of the breweries.

    2. Mike, where did you decide retire?


    3. Into the motorhome. Seriously. We are back in Oregon now and contemplating a home base somewhere in the smaller communities between Portland and Salem. Checked out Molalla just today in fact. If we have trouble selling the MH, we will likely make another circuit wintering in the SW and try again next year.

    4. Let us know where you end up.

  11. Happy to tag along in your travels to cool places! Sounds like you two are enjoying your summer. Cheers! Maureen

  12. I really enjoyed my brief visit to Newport and seems it has so much more to offer than I saw. Nice to have those cooler temps but along the coast you pay for it with fog and drizzle. Glad your steps were a quick fix, and that mine are manual.

    1. Can't complain too much about having to replace the step motor since it's worked fine for almost 12 years but it's something you never have to deal with on a manual step.
      Newport is a good base. Lots to do in the area.

  13. Although the cooler temps sound wonderful right now, the ongoing gray days, fog, and dampness would weigh on the spirit after a bit, I suspect. Not unlike these long, hot days are doing to those of us in So. Cal. Glad Jim had no issues with replacing the step motor.