Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Oregon coast

I got out of the Seaside Comfort Inn by the 11 AM checkout time, and headed down 101 along the coast on another bright sunny day. US-101 really hugs the coastline most of the time, diverting slightly inland at times, so the drive alternates between fantastic Pacific views and forays into the redwood forests that end just before the sea. As many times as I've driven the coast between San Francisco and L.A., I'd never traveled the coast route up in Oregon, which is quite different.
The San Andreas fault comes up from the south and curves out to the ocean at the Oregon-California border, and there's another fault some miles off the coast in Oregon, and those plate movements have carved a much more rocky shoreline than in the south. Huge rock formations stand off most of the beaches in Oregon, making for stunning views. After passing through a number of beachside towns, and with the inner drive to cover lots of miles behind me, I decided to stop after only 123 miles at the town of Newport, which had a lot of resorts. I cast budgeting to the winds, and checked into the Hallmark Resort hotel, off the highway and right on the beach. All the rooms face the ocean, and my balcony faced a smooth beach extending out to the breaking tide. The setting sun lit up the room, and a walk on the beach after dark let me take in the waves and incredible number of stars before getting back to work in the room. Nice.

Continuing down CA-1 in the morning, I enjoyed another day driving down along the magnificent Oregon coast under a bright sunny sky. Just across the California border, I arrived at the home of my friend Scott around sunset, just north of Crescent City, CA.

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