Monday, December 31, 2007

In search of the Big Gray

We got up early this morning and headed for Lincoln City and drove south on Hwy 101. It is Gray whale migration time. We were told by some ardent whale watchers that about twenty an hour swim south to Baja California this time of year off the Oregon coast. They are out 4-6 miles from shore during this migration. We know the spots to look...Depot Bay and Yaquina Lighthouse which are on the way to Newport.

We went over the mountain in 29 degree temps and saw 5 spin outs. On the coast side it was 40 degrees and sun...pure sun, but there was an easterly wind and it was cold. Brrrr.

We did our watching from outside and inside the car. It is hard to see the whales. You look for spouts and then get your binoculars up on them. I thought I saw two, but they were unconfirmed. Six miles out is 2/3 the way to the horizon at 100 feet up and that is about our elevation at the two spots we seriously looked. The lighthouse is a bit higher, but you are way out from the shore. This is a National Park and I can use my Golden Passport there...saves five bucks for a great visitor center (nice restrooms) and a look at some funky birds in the area...and whale if you are luck enough. There were lots of people looking.

At noon we headed to downtown Newport to see if the Sea Lions were out...they were, but not on the familiar dock close to the shore. They were barking at us from the island about 1/4 mile away. They are nasty, but really good swimmers.

We ate at Mo's which has become a custom. This is the original Mo's. They have about half a dozen others up and down the coast. We get clam chowder. Aleene and I split a fish taco lunch. One thing you can depend on at the water front is that there is fresh fish. Then we drove back home.

It is about 180 miles round trip and the drive east over the mountain was not frosty this time. Coming east on Highway 18 we spotted Mt. Hood (80 miles away) basking in the sunlight. It is totally snow covered and looks ghost-like this time of year. What a great way to end the day.

1 comment:

SLB said...

What a great way to spend the last day of 2007!!