Beach Hiking in Oregon on a Warm January Day

January in Oregon is historically cold and wet, but this year we experienced an unusually warm spell with lots of sunny skies. The coast offered the warmest weather so we packed up the car and headed out for an 8.5-mile hike along the beach, the hike was from Yachats (pronounced YAH-hahts) to Waldport. Here are some photos-

blog-2014-01-22-img01The day before our hike we enjoyed a night’s stay in one of the coastal yurts at an Oregon State Park.

blog-2014-01-22-img02Playing on the beach that evening at sunset.

blog-2014-01-22-img03The next day we began hiking from Yachats up the beach to Waldport. We crossed a number of streams that flowed across the sand and into the ocean. These little streams are wonderful for observing the dynamic power of water as it flows over and through the sand.

blog-2014-01-22-img04The beach was littered with driftwood, including this huge tree that had washed up.

blog-2014-01-22-img05Enjoying a fabulous walk on the beach.

Finding Solace and Fun at Asilomar – a Refuge by the Sea

Asilomar State Beach and Conference GroundsFamilies can find solace and fun along the rocky shoreline, living dunes and restful lodging at Asilomar State Beach and Conference Grounds in Pacific Grove, California.

The word Asilomar means ‘refuge by the sea’ and this beautiful place represent its name well.

The State Beach area offers many sandy coves to explore, fascinating tidepools and rock bluffs. The two-lane Sunset Drive provides a number of car turn-outs for those wishing a quick look. However, to maximize the experience take the entire family out to explore the one-mile trail that hugs the shoreline. Do not be surprised to see the head of a sea lion or harbor seal popping to the surface looking inquisitively back at curious humans.

Asilomar State Beach and Conference GroundsAt the southern end of the trail visit a beautiful beach area, or cross the road to enjoy a half-mile meandering boardwalk through picturesque dunes. Immediately a visitor recognizes the dunes look different from other coastal areas; it does because only native plants grow in this protected area. Once the native plants that grew here were almost lost, but through many years of replanting and stewardship the dunes today are an ecological masterpiece of native plant restoration.

A forest of beautiful Monterey pine trees greets visitors as they exit the boardwalk. Here sits the conference center and grounds with: a lecture hall, meeting rooms, overnight lodging rooms, and dining Asilomar State Beach and Conference Groundsfacilities. These structures fit nicely into the landscape and are dotted throughout the trees. Many of the buildings were designed by the famed architect Julia Morgan; she embraced an architectural style “to bring people back in touch with nature, and thus restore balance, health, harmony, and happiness.”

Deer are a common sight along the side paths at the conference center.

Brochures about the Coast Trail, the Living Dunes, and Julia Morgan’s Architecture can be obtained at the Front Desk of the conference center.

Sunset Drive can be very busy with sightseers during the summer and on weekends. The morning and sunset hours can be especially beautiful along the beach.

Reference: Julia Morgan’s Architecture Brochure

To learn more about Asilomar State Beach and Conference Grounds visit these web addresses:
http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=566
http://www.visitasilomar.com/