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.
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.
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.
Heading back to the trail, we saw signs pointing to Thor’s Well, which we decided must be found.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
It was getting dark by the time we left, but such is the case in late February. Darkness comes before the night.
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.