While parking to try a hike to nearby waterfall, we saw this water pipeline cutting through the parking area. The most amazing thing about it? It's made of wood. The whole thing is made of wooden staves, with metal rings cinching everything tight. It was leaking in a few places, but the idea that this huge wooden pipeline was carry all that water under so much pressure was amazing. I read that it is part of a hydroelectric project.
In Winston, Oregon we did a drive-through safari park, but neither of us remembered to take any photos. My excuse is that I was driving, and didn't want to run anything over. I don't know what Carter's excuse was. Heh. After the drive-through portion we went to see their other exhibits, and one of us took this random photo of a flamingo and a duck, which is funny because we had just spent time driving among the rhinos, bears, and bison. But yep, here's a duck.
Before we turned north into the mountains of central Oregon, we dipped down into California to see the redwoods in Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park. It's impossible to capture the majesty of those trees in photos - they all looked much less impressive than they did in person. Also having Carter in the shot does help give a sense of scale. I found out later that some of the Endor scenes from Return of the Jedi were filmed in Stout Grove, which is the part of this park that we explored.
I don't remember exactly where I took these two - somewhere on the southern Oregon coast before we turned inland. The arch was especially cool - at high tide the waves supposedly crash through the opening. We were there at low tide, so it wasn't quite so dramatic. But still beautiful.
Mingus Park in Coos Bay is a cool little Japanese garden tucked away downtown. We stopped just for a chance to stretch our legs and take a break, but it was a lot nicer than I expected. Very picturesque. I think I had read that people sometimes get married there in the springtime, and I can see why.
We stopped at Muriel Ponsler Memorial Beach, to do a little beach-combing. We had heard that this was a good beach for that, as lots of things wash up there but it isn't a very popular spot for other activities, because it's pretty rocky. We found a bunch of potential jaspers and agates (we'll need to run them through the rock tumbler to be sure). We also found some cool junks of driftwood. All in all, a nice spot.
Next along the coast after Cape Kiwanda was Cape Perpetua. This was probably the most scenic stretch of the coast, and that's saying a lot - as every inch of the coast is gorgeous. I'd love to get back here sometime and try some of the hiking in the area. We were just passing through, but still made time for a couple of quick stops.
Next stop along the coast was Cape Kiwanda. There were a bunch of folks surfing there - in full wetsuits, as the water was freezing! At the north end of the beach was a giant sand dune (you can barely see it behind the big log on the beach). Lots of people were climbing the dune, then 'sandboarding' down it (picture snowboarding, but on sand). And it's hard to get a sense of scale on Haystack Rock in the ocean, but it was enormous - Wikipedia tells me it is 235 feet tall.
We visited the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport, Oregon on day three of our road trip. This is basically the only photo we got. I never bother to take any in aquariums - it's usually pretty dark, and the reflections off of the glass make sure that nothing ever comes out. But this one was pretty neat - some of the tanks had spots where kids could crawl underneath, then pop up in a bubble 'inside' the tank. This aquarium also had a really good tunnel through their big tanks - it had glass not only overhead, but part of the floor was glass as well. Carter really dug the touch-tank here - she learned that if you carefully slide a finger between the spines of a sea urchin, they will squeeze you finger and give you a little 'hug' (to figure out if you are food!).
One thing we saw in Astoria was wild seals and sea lions. They appear to have taken over this dock in the harbor. They were pig-piled on top of each and covered every square inch - in some places they were three deep. It was pretty loud (and smelly) right down at the pier - our hotel was fairly close to this spot, and we could hear them barking all night long. But between closing the window and the heavy curtains it blocked out enough of the noise for it be distant and fun, rather than keeping us up all night.