When I have out-of-town guests, I head north to Cape Perpetua and Yachats. I enjoy sharing two of my favorite places on the coast. In fact, when folks in Florence want to get away, they often head to Yachats. While Florence is a town at almost 9,000, Yachats is still a village at just under 700. Yachats has lots of charm and lives up to its slogan––the gem of the Oregon Coast.
Since I had books to deliver at both Cape Perpetua and Yachats on July 26, I packed a lunch and made a day of it .
Cape Perpetua happens to be the highest point on the Oregon Coast that visitors can drive to. The cape rises to 802 feet. The Cape Perpetua Scenic Area also includes 26 miles of trails and a Visitor Center that is an interpretive center to the flora and fauna of the area. Along the shore are Native American shell middens, tidepools, and blow holes also called spouting horns where the ocean blows up through holes in the basalt.
You could spend days here, but if you have one day, I recommend stopping at the Visitor Center, hiking the 2-mile easy round-trip trail to the Giant Spruce (the second largest and possibly the tallest Sitka spruce in Oregon), and driving up to the top of the cape to see the view and hike the short trail to the stone shelter. It was built in the 1930s by the CCC and served as a lookout for enemy ships during World War II. Today it’s a great place to watch for spouting whales, enjoy a sunset, or see approaching storms. I also recommend stopping at Devil’s Churn especially in winter to hike the paved trail down to see the narrow fissure where the water flows in and out. At low tide, sea stars and sea anemones are exposed and at high tide frenzied water rushes in and out all at the same time. It’s totally wild in winter. Add the naturally occurring foam that bounces high in the air in the wind and it’s quite a sight.
While I was there, I dropped off six copies of Crossings: McCullough’s Coastal Bridges at the Visitor Center and then drove up to the top and hiked out to the stone shelter. It’s always a grand view seeing many miles up and down the coast.
In Yachats, I dropped off 4 books at Mari’s Books, one of my favorite bookstores. Run by Mary and Mari, they seem to epitomize the friendliness of folks in Yachats. Judith’s Kitchen Tools next door is tiny but has great stuff from all around the world and one of my must stops.
I wandered over to 3rd Street and checked out some of my favorite places. Toad Hall—a gift shop with “decorative accessories for body and abode” is where I’ve found some of my favorite earrings. The Little Log Church and Museum, built in 1930 from local logs in the shape of a cross, was renovated by community volunteers in 1993. I didn’t stop in, because Thursday is the one day it’s closed.
The Commons, a renovated school, is the happening place in Yachats. Major events are held there as well as the Farmer’s Market on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. between May and October. I find great produce, crafts, and more. One of my most coveted treasures is a beautiful felt pin cushion I bought there by the maker. And, of course, Fog Wash soaps, knitted wash clothes, and crocheted pot scrubbers are quintessential Yachats products I’ve bought there that I give as gifts and am never without.
As I wandered around town, I passed quaint houses, some with yards filled with wonderful flowers. I wandered to the small state park and watched the waves and the gulls lined up on the fence all facing the wind. This really is a charming town. Then I went back to my car and headed across the bridge and turned onto Yachats Beach Access Road, where I stopped to eat my lunch on the edge of the ocean with a view of the Yachats Inn. In 1979, my late husband, Walt, and I stayed in one of their knotty pine and big view window rooms and made the decision to move to the Oregon Coast.
On other trips to Yachats, I’ll end the day at either The Drift Inn or at Ona’s for dinner. I’ve gone to Drift Inn for years and never had a bad meal and Ona’s, much newer, is run by the folks who operate the Heceta Lighthouse Bed & Breakfast and so far so good.
I come to Cape Perpetua in the winter to check out waves at Devil’s Churn, in the spring for whale watching, and at very low tides for tidepooling. It seems like these all take place in the morning, so I always end up in Yachats at Green Salmon Coffee and Tea warming up with wonderful coffee and great pastries. They serve breakfast and lunch as well—all with environmentally sound practices.
One of my favorite places in Yachats is the tiny whale park, where a small grassy area has a whale tail and if you wait a couple of minutes, water bursts forth representing the whale’s spout. This park shows the quirky side of Yachats, as does the La de da parade each Fourth of July. My friend, Jan, sums up Yachats quite nicely, “It’s quiet and relaxing with friendly people and great places to eat.” With Cape Perpetua nearby, what’s not to like!
TO BUY JUDY’S BOOK
Crossings: McCullough’s Coastal Bridges can be yours for $24.95 plus $4.99 shipping. Order from Pacific Publishing at http://www.connectflorence.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. It is also available on the coast in bookstores, museums, and gift shops; in Eugene at the airport, the historical museum, and several bookstores; in Portland at Powell’s and the Oregon Historical Society; in Made in Oregon stores throughout the state; and more and more bookstores, libraries, and museums in western Oregon.
The half-hour interview with Dr. Veronica Esagui for the “Author’s Forum” program on public access TV in the Portland Metro area ended it’s two-week run June 1-14, 2012, but can be seen on YouTube in two parts: Google Judy Fleagle YouTube.
September 17, 7 p.m., Bandon––I’ll be giving my PowerPoint presentation at the Bandon Public Library (1204 11th Street, 541-347-3221)
September 29, 10 a.m.–4 p.m., Florence––2nd Annual Florence Festival of Books–an authors and publishers fair held at the Florence Events Center (715 Quince Street, 1 block east of Highway 101). I’ll be there with two books! (If all goes according to plan.)
October 13, 11 a.m. Oregon City––The historic Arch Bridge designed by McCullough reopens in Oregon City on the weekend of October 1314. I have been asked to be part of the festivities and will be giving my PowerPoint presentation at the Museum of the Oregon Territory on Saturday. The actual bridge reopening celebration will be on Sunday.