Sunday, June 23, 2013

More Oregon Coast

Now, if you have been following my progress on a map you should be completely dizzy by now...
Starting with sister, Jo, we traveled from Mendocino to Eugene; with sister, Mary, we went from Eugene to Florence, Oregon; with daughter, Janice, we covered Lincoln City to Tillamook, and now with cousins, Cherie and Jerry we traveled from Florence to the mouth of the Columbia River before turning inland.

We followed highway 126 from Eugene to the ocean then headed right for the beach.

  Neither Peppermint nor Gus had ever seen waves before...

And promptly decided they didn't want any part of them.  Sigh Me has such an aversion to water I decided this was not the time to do a walk.

Just a few miles north of Florence we came to the only park in Oregon dedicated to the preservation of one plant....


This area has been set aside as a botanical preserve so that you may observe Darlingtonia Californica, an unusual plant which traps and digests insects.  Also known as cobra-lily, Cobra-orchid, and pitcher plant.  Its range varies from an elevation of 6000 feet to sea level.

"Phew! Do you smell that?"

In just a short walk we came to a bog area that was totally filled....

with these very foul smelling plants.

'Insects are lured into the leaf opening under the hood by (a particularly nasty smelling) nectar on the colorful 'petal-like' appendages and the edges of the opening.  Once inside the hood the insects are confused...and eventually the insects are trapped...fall into a pool of liquid and are digested by the plant.'

Interesting but I don't think I want any in my garden.

  And just a few miles further up the coast we came to the Sea Lion Caves...

On a summer day in 1880 an inquisitive Captain William Cox piloted his boat through the Cave's western entrance and found himself in one of the largest sea caves in the world. 

With daylight penetrating the north, south and west entrances, Cox must have gazed in wonder at the flooded two-acre floor of the cave to the rock dome more than 12 stories above...

Captain Cox's discovery has given us the only known hauling area and rookery (outside rock ledges) for wild sea lions on the American mainland.

This is one of the largest sea caves in the world.  From the two-acre floor to the vaulted rock dome, this cavern is 125 feet high.

Rivers of molten rock from erupting volcanoes formed this headland about 25 million years ago. 

  This is the only known mainland home of the Steller sea lions.

We could hear a lot of barking but could barely discern a few bodies on the rocks below seems that most were swimming around outside.  

If you look closely you will see a few 'bodies' basking in the little bit of sun.
Finally, we were beginning to see some sun though it was not as warm as we would have liked.  
 We came across a few people who refused to let the brisk wind and cool air stop them from enjoying the view.

If it had been warmer I would have enjoyed exploring the many tide pools.    

We found one young man who had a fort built from driftwood...

You would think, by now I would be tired of this.
How many times can I say Ooh, Ahh, and Wow?
We'll see...

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