Downtown Newport, Oregon

An arch of the Yaquina Bay Bridge, designed by our local hero, civil engineer Conde McCullough.

Tara asked how much I knew about the coastal town of Newport. When I said, “Not much,” Tara insisted that it must be our next stop. After hiking Cape Perpetua, examining Devil’s Churn for signs of continental plates shifting, and climbing around tidepools, we had worked up an appetite. Our first item of business would be food. Since we were on the coast, it had to be seafood. Tara said they had heard good things about a place called Ocean Bleu.

We parked within view of the fabulous Yaquina Bay Bridge. While looking at the bridge, I noticed the mural off to the right. Tara said there were many murals in Newport, and we would go check them out after dinner.

Ocean Bleu @ Gino’s was an excellent choice for a meal.
Mural on the side of the restaurant.
Inside Ocean Blue @ Gino’s

Sated, and the weather still glorious, we walked slowly along the main street of Newport’s Old Town. I discovered that Tara was right about the murals. They were everywhere.

Whales on the side of Pacific Seafood.
Old Town main street.
These bold colours were eye-catching. Like 3D Piet Mondrian.
Almost all of the murals have an ocean theme.
We avoided the garish Ripley’s Believe It or Not!, but I liked the murals.
I am interested in stickers as well as wall art.
“Look, I wanted to be an individual, but my Ma wouldn’t let me.”

Tara had been talking about the sea lions and insisted we go take a look. I thought it was past sea lion season, but Tara insisted they would be there. As we got closer, we could hear them.

Between a building and a fenced off area, we found this welcoming yet unassuming sign, over a short dock. There was nothing to suggest tourist attraction except all the people hanging their heads over the rail.

We walked to the end of the short dock and looked around at Yaquina Bay sparkling in the rays of sunlight.

Bayside in Newport
McCullough’s Yaquina Bay Bridge
A fishing boat heads out to sea beneath the bridge.
It’s a large bay and can be shared by many kinds of vessels.
And the animals share the bay with the boats.

At last the tourists had thinned out a little and gave us front row seats to watch the sea lions. Their incessant loud barking is impossible to ignore forever. We watched the gigantic elders, who had been sunning themselves for so long they were dry. The biggest, fattest ones gave themselves lots of space on their floating docks and would not share with anyone, though there was room. We watched younger ones piling together on separate docks, and the youngest of all – a small black sea lion and apparently without allies, who tried unsuccessfully to find a safe place to nap.

Tara leans over to say hi to the sea lions.
As we walked back to the car, the colours of this building in the sun captured my attention once more.

Leaving the downtown area, we had to climb a hill, up and away from sea level. There were tsunami warning signs all over the place. Then I spotted a tsunami message I don’t think I’ve seen before: the predicted height above sea level determined to be safer than the downtown level. It was painted onto the road as we drove up the hill.

Cross this blue line for safety. The entirety of the town we had just explored was beneath this level, in a tsunami inundation zone.

We headed back to our yurt for the night. It had been a perfect day and in the end we had been doused in sunlight.

2 thoughts on “Downtown Newport, Oregon

  1. A wonderful tour. A splendid meal. I liked the artwork, including your Mondrian simile; and the sea lion sequences. Good for Tara who could not identify with “Look, I wanted to be an individual, but my Ma wouldn’t let me.”

    1. I’m happy to be able to share this great little sea town with you. I enjoyed it very much and I’m glad that Tara was my tour guide. Oh for gosh sakes, you’re right: there is no way Tara could identify with the sticker. ha ha ha! We had a couple of outstanding meals on this trip. I think I have pics for another. If so, it will go into my next post. I’m glad you know Mondrian: I wanted someone to get my simile.

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