December 1, 2012.
Winter at the coast is always an adventure. Aaron and I set out for a day trip to the coast, with a hike stop on the way.
Drift Creek Falls
3 mi. | 340′ ele. gain | 2 hr.
We arrived at the trailhead in the late morning. It was a typical overcast Willamette Valley day. We hadn’t done much hiking together and I’d never been out here so I thought it would be a nice, easy way to stretch the legs before reaching the coast.
The trail was lovely, and the highlight was the long suspension bridge over the creek. Why they decided to build this impressive bridge way out here, I have no idea. It seemed like a big undertaking when there are a zillion waterfalls you can see with much less effort around the coast range.
Oh yeah, the waterfall was pretty too but I was preoccupied at admiring the bridge.
Onward to Newport. Our next stop was Yaquina Bay, where we walked along the shoreline and tried not to get swept out to see. The ocean was raging. Large waves crashed into the rocks near the shore and the water was frothy white. We took the lighthouse tour and got to see the cool inner workings of the structure. I could not imagine being a lighthouse keeper back in the day, especially amid a massive winter storm. Crazy!
Next we went to the Oregon Coast Aquarium and looked at all the fish, jellies and other critters. It was nice to get out of the weather for a little bit and have the chance to look at a bunch of sea life up close.
Lastly, we set out on another walk. At South Jetty, a sign warned us before we stepped foot on the beach:
Keeping a close eye on the ocean, we walked around for about an hour and explored just a short way up the jetty. The sea was angry today and I didn’t want to sacrifice myself to the water gods. It started to rain harder and we knew it was time to bail.
What a fun date at the coast! Hiking, sightseeing, storm watching, fresh ocean air. I am glad to have found someone who appreciates these things like I do.