Exploring Oregon Was A Whale Of A Trip
Whale!” exclaims the narrator......
Whale!” exclaims the narrator. Outside the hotel room, I heard my wife exclaim. As her voice wafted in through a window, I wondered where she was and what sort of trick she was doing. After our late night ride along the Oregon coast, I lay in a semi-conscious condition in the hotel, attempting to catch a few more winks. Back behind our hotel room, the youngsters’ voices joined hers, shouting over their first sightings of whales — “out there.” I was startled awake when I discovered they were talking about genuine whales and urging me to go out there before I missed them — no joke!
That’s also a good thing I relocated because I’d never seen anything like it before. I never anticipated to be so fortunate on our trip to the Oregon coast with a group of Montana mountain people. After stumbling out my motel room, down the hall, and around the building, there it was, much to my surprise. Right, as large as life and to our full astonishment.
A pair of whales were making their way down the rocky coastline below the motel we were staying at in Seaside, Oregon, in close proximity to the shore. To locals and those who reside near the country’s coastlines, this may not have seemed like a big concern.
However, watching a whale spouting astounded me, my wife Evie, and our children, Ash and Rob.
We were on our way to the coast on a hut exploration trip, which I’ll write about in more detail in another piece. We began our journey in Washington, where we studied the Mt. Tahoma Hut System near Mount Rainier. Our next destination was to the Oregon State Park in Beverly Beach, where we saw what they had done with yurts. Our third trip was in eastern Oregon, where we examined the Wing Ridge Ski Tours hut/wall tent setup in the Wallowa National Forest. They were putting together some very fascinating stuff, and we’ll have to talk about it more later.
Seaside, Oregon, a true high point of the tour, brought a level of magic to the excursion that I had not imagined. Our coastal basecamp was the Seashore Inn, a fantastic resort located on the beach. It was the kind of site where you could clamber over the rocks and straight down to the water’s edge when you went around to the “sea side” of the accommodation. As previously said, growing up in Colorado and Montana, the prospect of really obtaining a hotel room directly on the beach was one of those fantasies that seldom came true.But it was the surprise of seeing genuine whales working the seas just off shore from that location that completely exceeded my expectations.
Our small family had driven late into the night to get to this Seaside locale, and had dropped into the motel room in the early hours of the morning. Following the finding of the whales, the kids discovered a beautiful indoor pool second thing in the morning, much to our joy. They sat down to play and unwind after their long travel the day before. We also discovered that we were within walking distance to Seaside’s gift shops, coffee shops, and restaurants, a genuinely wonderful, calm, “right on the seaside” town.
For the two days we spent in that amazing area, we had our own piece of Pacific Ocean beach just around the building corner from our room. Once the tide went out, the kids discovered starfish around the rocks under water, the most magnificent small multi-colored sea urchins, and an endless collection of sea shells along the shore. The whales, genuine spouting whales swimming straight out in the adjacent seas, were the icing on the cake.
We just remained a few of days in that small slice of paradise, exploring the region around Seaside. We marveled at the formations at Canon Beach, drank in those spectacular vistas out to sea, and marveled at the crash of the waves on the cliffs as we explored the neighboring coastal gems. Unbelievable fragments of a world that residents of the Rocky Mountains could never have imagined.
We grabbed our stuff on the third day, dragged the wet kids out of the pool, and resumed our investigation of the Pacific Northwest’s huts and yurts. We explored the lovely yurts of the Oregon Parks system during a quick stop-over at Beverly Beach, checking out a yurt they had set up for camper rentals.
That was definitely something to keep in mind for a future visit to the region — a yurt on the Pacific coast, picture that.
Our journey eventually brought us away from the coast and inland to Oregon’s far northeast corner, back up into the Wallowa region and the Wallowa Mountains. Roger Averbeck of Wing Ridge Ski Tours took me on an expedition up near the Eagle Cap Wilderness outside of Joseph, showing me his winter ski tour lodgings. Back up in the woods, just down from pristene mountain sides and bowls, he provides fully equipped and insulated wall tents, ideal territory for the extreme backcountry ski enthusiast.