Sunny Coast and Thor’s Well

It was time to head north and begin making our way toward home. We said goodbye to our awesome yurt, and goodbye to the pretty marina, near where we had stayed at the Umpqua Lighthouse State Park.

This was taken the morning before, but even with clouds its still pretty. It’s the mouth of the Umpqua River as it empties into the Pacific Ocean.

As the previous days forecast foretold, it was a very cold morning, but the sunshine was a delight. We couldn’t help remarking once more about how great our weather had been for the whole trip, when only rain and clouds had been forecast before we left. We had a lot of miles to cover on Highway 101 going north along the Oregon coast.

We spotted some dragons, and I just had to get photos with them.
Isn’t she special? I want her at my house!

I had somehow stumbled upon a great radio station at 94.9 MHz out of North Bend. I lamented to Pedro that we would soon lose signal as we drove north, so my man – determined to take care of his woman – immediately went online and found that they have an online streaming app. Viola! We listened to 94.9 The Tee for the rest of the day, even when we were far out of range.

I saw signs to a Visitor’s Center of some kind, but missed the turn, so we parked at the next available stop. We enjoyed the views of the ocean, and puttered around and found a trail and followed it till we discovered it led beneath the highway to the Visitor’s Center, which was convenient.

A Douglas Squirrel holding up a stick. It’s the first squirrel of this type that I’ve seen. I had to look it up.
Look at the tufts on its ears! So adorable. I don’t know why it doesn’t push that silly stick off its back.
The view from the Visitor’s Center.
These two pieces together form the bottom jawbone of a Blue Whale. Holy Moly!

Heading back to the trail, we saw signs pointing to Thor’s Well, which we decided must be found.

This sign mentions “Spouting Horn,” but “Thor’s Well” was painted onto the paved paths, with an arrow.
This feature looked very much like the Devil’s Churn we had seen two days earlier. There are no stairs down to this one though.
The trails here are in good condition and extend for miles. I will make a mental note to come back one day specifically to hike the trails.
From the trail, we spotted people out on the rocks. They helped put the crashing waves into context.
The people seemed unconcerned.

Pedro and I continued to walk and follow the signs to Thor’s Well, and we began to realize that the people out on the rocks must be standing at the well. New people came and carefully picked their way out along the rocks to that spot, and now and then, someone would eventually make their way off the rocks and back to the trail. Once upon a time, when I was a weather forecaster, I lived in Eureka, California, which is right on the coast not too far south of here. We forecast marine conditions as well as atmospheric conditions and warned people to stay away from the waves. Every single year, people got washed off the shore and into the sea. Every single year.

The beauty and power of the waves are mesmerizing.
The people seemed too far out, and it made me nervous.
Pedro and I are discussing the dubious wisdom of the folks on the rocks.

Anyway, we kept following the trail and sure enough, they were standing at Thor’s Well. It’s a hole in the rocks that allows sea water in through an opening in the bottom. In higher tide, the waves pour over the top into the “well,” making a magnificent drain effect. In low tide – which is what we have here – incoming waves can ram into the openings at the bottom, and blast directly up through the “well.” This is what the people were waiting for: a big water spout to gush up into the air, right in front of them.

Dangerous. Dangerous. Dangerous.

Here is a series I took, while watching them. You can see a woman turns to help an elderly companion climb closer. Another woman has left the trail and is headed out toward them, while a young man leaves.

An elderly woman in the blue coat loses her balance and reaches down to hold a rock and steady herself, while a younger woman goes over to help her. The spout is just beginning to rise.
The spout erupts right in front of the man….
…and then splashes down on the rocks, while the man watches and the two women are not even looking at it.

I just couldn’t look away. Two men were sitting in benches on the trail, watching this show. One of them said to us, “That does not look safe.” We agreed.

We continued along the trail and came to the end, at another “churn.” This one called Spouting Horn. We watched that for awhile, and it didn’t spout, but it did make some really awesome BOOMs. We played on the rocks, safely distanced from the water. The spring sun is so warm, we were having a good time. Then we turned around to go back to the car and continue our journey north.

Pedro strikes a pose.
One last look at the fools on the rocks.

We were close to my Cherokee friends that had recommended the Shore Acres gardens, so went to find their home. Because of the pandemic, our Mt. Hood Cherokee meetings have been on Zoom. I haven’t seen my Cherokee family since March 2020. It was so good so see my friends in person, and hug and catch up. I introduced them to Pedro and then we sat outside in the sun beside a fire, and talked. From their back yard on a high cliff, they have a view of the sea through the forest. It’s spectacular. I had so much fun chatting I didn’t take a single photo of the view or the house.

We said that we had just come from Thor’s Well. My friend said, “I hope you didn’t get close to it. People die there all the time because they get too close.” Just as we had suspected.

Pussy Willows are one of my favourite signs of Spring.

After the visit it was getting late and we had to stay inside the car and drive for a while. We drove until evening, and we began to get hungry again. Pedro was in a seafood mood, and suggested Mo’s, a popular local chain restaurant. We found one in the Taft district of Lincoln City, Oregon.

Sign over the road to Mo’s
The view from our table while we waited for seafood to be delivered. We watched the tide rise here, gradually submerging the beach, while people walked their dogs in the sand.

It was getting dark by the time we left, but such is the case in late February. Darkness comes before the night.

We stopped one more time to capture the enchanting sunset.
It was a peaceful scene on the edge of Tillamook Bay.
This duck had been enjoying itself until I took too much interest in it.

We finally checked in to our last rented room of the trip in Gearhart, Oregon. It was only an hour and a half from home, but we were extending our trip just a little more. We would head back in the morning.

8 thoughts on “Sunny Coast and Thor’s Well

  1. Wow what a magnificent natural wonder and also a dangerous one if people aren’t mindful! Unsuspecting visitors can easily be swept right into the maelstrom when water rushes violently over the rocks and funnels into the hole! 🙈 Thanks for sharing and have a good day ☺️ Aiva

  2. When I was little, my mom always warned me not to get too close to any beach even though the waves were rather calm. She became paranoid because of all the news of people who got washed away and lost their lives. It was only many many years later when I finally managed to overcome my own fear of the sea and did some snorkeling at some of the best spots to do that here in Indonesia. I think you and Pedro made the right decision not to follow those people. That Douglas squirrel looks soo cute!

    1. Bama, you took your mother’s words to heart. I’m afraid you missed some fun times of playing on the beach as a kid, but you overcame the caution and made it into the water as an adult. Good for you! In Indonesia it seems important to have a good relationship with the sea, since it is everywhere! Sadly, there are things my parents taught to me that I also had to grow up and think more about before I realize I have a different approach. Ah well. I’m glad I spotted that Douglas Squirrel. It’s the first one I have ever seen and it looks so different from other squirrels I have seen.

  3. I’m so happy to see that you were having such a lovely time together. That’s horrible how stupid people can be. But let’s concentrate on the good. You fixed the weather again! 😉 Plus that little act when Pedro searched for the radio station online – this is exactly something that amore would do as well. ❤ We've got a couple of the good ones. Not to mention what AMAZING dragons you found, especially knowing how much you love them. And you got to see your friends again too. Just perfect.

    1. Yes, there is so much good in this post, and you are right to focus on it. Such fabulous dragons for the dragon girl. I just adore my friends that we met. The last time we saw each other was at a party at my house – so long ago! I certainly don’t have parties anymore when we are all scared to gather. And yes, from what I know of your amore, he would have done the same thing to try to make you happy. It’s such a special thing to be loved. ❤

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