A Breathtaking Drive up the Oregon Coast

My wife, Carrie, and I were in Portland.

We had 2 days to get down to San Francisco.

So, we decided to drive.

Best. Decision. Ever.

 

A sunset over the Pacific Ocean in Heceta Head, Oregon
A sunset over the Pacific Ocean in Heceta Head, Oregon

 


Highway 101 from Oregon to California

Carrie and I had 675 miles to drive in two days and didn’t want to rush. So, on day one, we took our sweet time.

Along the way, we stopped at sand dunes, lighthouses, diners and bridges.

By the time we went to sleep, we had covered a mere 177 miles.

 

The sand dunes of Yaquina Bay, Oregon.
The sand dunes of Yaquina Bay, Oregon.

 

Smith River Train Bridge at 6:53 am
Smith River Train Bridge at 6:53 am

 

Just another lovely view of the Pacific Coast on Highway 101 in Oregon, USA.
Just another lovely view of the Pacific Coast on Highway 101 in Oregon, USA.

 


The Search For Lighthouses

I have long-dreamed of driving down the Pacific Coast via a lighthouse tour.

With no maps to guide us, we followed a myriad of signs pointing us towards the ocean.

In total, we visited five historic lighthouses on the journey.

 

In another 15 minutes, we reached the Haceta Head Lighthouse.
In another 15 minutes, we reached the Haceta Head Lighthouse.

 

I'm probably so excited because we just went to the top of the Yaquina Head Historic Lighthouse and saw the actual light.
I’m probably so excited because we just went to the top of the Yaquina Head Historic Lighthouse and saw the actual light.

 

The Umpqua River Lighthouse is on US Coast Guard grounds.
The Umpqua River Lighthouse is on US Coast Guard grounds.

 

Battery Point Lighthouse was our first stop in California and also the last lighthouse we would visit.
Battery Point Lighthouse was our first stop in California and also the last lighthouse we would visit.

 


An Early Wakeup.

After an uncomfortable night sleeping in our rental car, Carrie and I resumed our drive down the Oregon coast just after sunrise.

With the early-morning light shining through the trees of Highway 101, she spotted a turnoff and pulled in so I could snap a photo.

We never could have imagined the stunning sight that awaited us…

Sometimes it pays to get up early!

 

Sunrise.
July 27, 2013. 6:21am

 

I stopped for this one
I saw this foggy bridge and knew we had to stop.

 

Carrie pulled over and made me take this photo.
It was 7am and we were still exhausted. In the past hour, I had asked my wife, Carrie, to stop our car several times so I could hop out and snap a photo.
This time, I decided not to ask.
That’s when Carrie said, “Greg, I can’t believe we’re not pulling over…”
So we did and I snapped this shot. Thanks darling, for continuing to be my patient and loving inspiration!

 

 


Gotta cross the water somehow

I can’t even count how many bridges we crossed on the journey.

These were a few of my favorites…

 

The blur in this photo of the Big Creek Bridge comes from the curve of the top of the car window.
The blur in this photo of the Big Creek Bridge comes from the curve of the top of the car window.

 

I love the art deco feel of the Yaquina Bay Bridge.
I love the art deco feel of the Yaquina Bay Bridge.

 

A little slice of history called the Driftcreek Covered Bridge - Lincoln County - Oregon, USA.
A little slice of history called the Driftcreek Covered Bridge – Lincoln County – Oregon, USA.

 


One Final Push

Our last day of driving was a marathon.

Sure, we managed to stop and take a few things in; but mostly, we just drove.

 

Sunset over the Pacific Ocean from the Heceta Head Lighthouse.
Sunset over the Pacific Ocean from the Heceta Head Lighthouse.

 

We found a T-Rex in the Prehistoric Garden.
We found a T-Rex in the Prehistoric Garden.

 

We made it back across the Golden Gate Bridge just after sunset; though this photo was actually taken two years earlier.
We made it back across the Golden Gate Bridge just after sunset; though this photo was actually taken two years earlier.

 


What is your favorite road to drive?