After leaving Portland, we headed to Oregon's rugged coast. Our first stop was the little community of Oceanside, where Will and Mara had gotten married a few years earlier. George was really excited to return to such a beautiful area and show us some of it's unique qualities. We explored this neat tunnel through the cliff built in WWII that connects two beaches.
We also saw this beautiful Pacific sunset behind the sea stacks.
We continued down the coast stopping at scenic spots such as the Sea Lion Caves. Unfortunately the cave was having technical difficulties with their elevator so we couldn't go down into the sea cave, but luckily the sea lions weren't in the cave anyway. We were able to see them frolicking together in the surf - looks like fun!
Here's a couple of scenic lighthouses we went by.
About half way down the Oregon coast, the landscape changes dramatically from rocky cliffs to huge sand dunes. We had a great day exploring Oregon Sand Dunes National Recreation Area. There's a full mile of sand dunes before you reach the beach.
Once we reached the deserted beach we found all kinds of cool things: interesting stones, huge crab shells, and gnarled driftwood.
The walk back to the van evoked images of being lost in the Sahara.
We found some good free camping on the beaches.
And with beach camping, we enjoyed more gorgeous sunsets. It's my favorite part of the day. I feel like the whole horizon is a huge amphitheater where there's a new show every evening.
As we reached southern Oregon, the coastline turned rocky again, and we explored some of the beautiful natural arches and sea stacks that have been sculpted by the sea.