On August 20th, we headed north from Brookings to Florence, OR. Our RV spot at Woahink Lake was just about 20 miles south of the path of totality. Everything we read and saw on the news made it seem as though we would not be able to get much closer since so many had travelled from far away to see the eclipse. On the morning of the 21st we got up early and decided to drive north just to see how close we could get. We were surprised to find the coastal area relatively uncrowded, and continued north until we got to Newport, OR just inside the path. We spread out a blanket on the beach and set up the tripod to catch some good pics of the eclipse, but were shortly unable to see anything due to the fog. So we packed up and drove about a mile inland, where we found clear skies (and wifi) in a Starbucks parking lot nearby. We later learned from a couple we met at Zach’s Bistro that many folks who initially planned to watch the eclipse from the coast headed hours inland as the weather was expected to prevent a clear view. We just got incredibly lucky to be in such a perfect spot for the eclipse. It really did get dark outside, even the streetlights came on! Johan got some great pics.
After the eclipse, we had lunch at Zach’s and then headed for the Newport Aquarium. Spoiled and from Southern CA, we were unimpressed with the aquarium and got back in the car for more sights along to 101. The Yaquina and Heceta Head Lighthouses have interesting histories; we were surprised to learn how difficult the conditions were for the keepers of the light houses; long hours, foul weather, and the constant welcoming of tourists, not to mention unannounced visits from the lighthouse inspector. (Imagine if someone stopped by your home unannounced a few times each year to see how clean it was being kept!?) I also didn’t know (although it makes total sense) that every lighthouse has a flash sequence. Yaquina Head has flashed its unique pattern of 2 seconds on, 2 seconds off, 2 seconds on, 14 seconds off, 24 hours a day since 1873. It’s difficult to see, but the picture of the ocean and large rock near Yaquina Head Lighthouse has a little spray coming out of the water – that’s a whale swimming with her baby!
On our final day in Florence, we took the kayak out for a ride on the Siltcoos River which connects with the Pacific Ocean. I am neither a good swimmer, nor a good rower (paddler?) and so naturally as we connected with the ocean I panicked and insisted we head back to the calm water of the river. In my defense it was foggy and I’m certain the tide was going OUT, so when Johan got out of the kayak to take a picture and let me drift out to sea I didn’t find it funny. Later we ate at Homegrown, a place with good food and some of Oregon’s signature microbrews.