Baltimore – May 2018 – Views of the City

A couple of days in Baltimore allowed us to check out the sights, most from the ‘Top of the World’ observation deck on the 27th floor of a building situated along the harbor

First up though is a statue in West Mount Vernon Place, with Baltimore’s 175′ Washington Monument in the background.

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Meanwhile back in the observation deck; a view of Federal Hill with the Inner Harbor in the foreground and the Outer Harbor in the distance. Fort McHenry would be in the distance.

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The famed Oriole Park at Camden Yard. Built in the early 1990s it was the first retro stadium constructed, setting off a stadium building boom.

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Another harbor view with the still active Domino Sugar factory.

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Much of Baltimore is very old, but there is some new development near the harbor.

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Including a high rise with views of oil tanks in the distance.

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Baltimore has more row houses than any other city, it seems 90% of the city lives in them.

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The ‘Seven Foot Knoll’ lighthouse – built in 1855. In the foreground is the top of the National Aquarium.

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The historic Power Plant. Built in the early 1900s it was re purposed into commercial stores in the 1980s.

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The USS Constellation. Built in 1854 and used for 100 years, she is a center piece of a museum.

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New York City – May 2018 – Sights Around the City

A couple of days in the city with some highlights.

 

The Staten Island Ferry

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The Statue of Liberty

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Statue in front of Bowling Green (Customs House)

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Madison Square Park in bloom and Met Life Building

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St Patricks

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Relief on 50 Rockefeller Plaza

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By the end of the day I was back in Jersey City and Hoboken, both of which offer great views of Manhattan. This view shows some of the posts from an old pier in Jersey City back across to lower Manhattan. The buildings are lit up from the clouds just beginning to break when the sun was setting.

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This view of Midtown from Hoboken across a pier.

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A view of the Newport neighborhood with the Hoboken Terminal in the foreground.

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Vancouver – September 2017 – Views of the City

Vancouver is Canada’s 3rd largest city, and with height limits on skyscrapers has numerous fairly tall ones, without the massively tall buildings blocking views of the mountains.

In addition it is a center for cruise ships heading to Alaska. Personally I have no desire to be on a boat with 3000 other people.

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The harbor has steady seaplane traffic

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The harbor front area is lined with condo buildings.

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The Olympic Cauldron

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8 Bit Orca

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One of the cruise ships going under the Lions Gate Bridge.

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An evening view from the ‘Vancouver Lookout’ observation deck.

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St Johns Newfoundland – Late Summer 2016 Road Trip – Day 10

At 7:30 a.m. the restaurant on the ship opened for breakfast and we were waiting. The breakfast buffet was overpriced; the hot food was only warm and not good. Since we still had a couple of hours to go we went for another walk on the top deck to get some exercise. We walked eight lengths from one side of the ship to the other side guessing that it equaled one mile, not to mention a great sunrise.

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At last – Newfoundland! Driving off the ship onto the road, we followed an old drunken Newfoundlander in a truck who swerved to the right nearly off the road and over the center line in front of oncoming cars, but fortunately we were able to quickly get past him, hitting neither him nor any moose, of which there were plenty of warnings.

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The 90 minute drive into St. Johns, Newfoundland went without incident. As soon as we reached town, we headed back out to the east to nearby Cape Spear to be at the easternmost point in Canada and North America (no more further east landmarks on this trip!).

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Because of its proximity to convoy routes during the Second World War, a gun battery was installed at Cape Spear to defend the entrance to St. John’s harbor. The bunkers and gun barrels offer a sheltered view of the ocean. Barracks and underground passages leading to the bunkers were built for the use of troops stationed there. The gun barrels and bunkers are still there which we explored a bit.

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The Cape Spear Lighthouse is the oldest surviving lighthouse in Canada, operating since 1836. The structure consists of a stone light tower surrounded by the lightkeeper’s residence. In 1955 a new lighthouse tower was built on the site using the active light from the original lighthouse. The historical park gave us a glimpse into the life of the keeper. Glass chimneys were kept upstairs of the keeper’s house so that the lightkeeper could clean and replace them on a three hour regular schedule. The life of a lighthouse keeper seemed isolated and hard.

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Next we drove to Quidi Vidi (pronounced by the local residents, as “Kiddy Viddy” a neighborhood in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. The neighborhood is named for both Quidi Vidi Lake and Quidi Vidi Harbor – known locally as “The Gut”.  Located in Quidi Vidi is the Quidi Vidi Battery Provincial Historic Site, which had significance as a battery during the War of 1812.

Quidi Vidi was known for once being a historic fishing village dating back to the 1600’s and still maintains the look of a fishing village today. This tightly tucked in a ravine village is also home to Newfoundland’s largest microbrewery, the Quidi Vidi Brewing Company which seems to be the only business in the town.

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St. Johns is listed as the oldest English settled city in North America but there is dispute in that Jamestown, VA could be the oldest English settled city also. Our next stop was at Signal Hill which overlooks the city of St. Johns, high on a bluff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and St John Harbor.

Due to its strategic placement overlooking the harbor, fortifications have been built on the hill since the mid 17th century. The final battle of the Seven Years’ War in North America was fought in 1762 at the Battle of Signal Hill, in which the French surrendered St. John’s to a British force under the command of Lt. Colonel William Amherst. Lt. Colonel Amherst renamed what was then known as “The Lookout” as “Signal Hill,” because of the signaling that took place upon its summit from its flagmast.

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Historical military barracks are nestled in the hill and the tour guide explained the life of a soldier stationed at the Queen’s Battery Barracks during the 1860’s when the barracks were built. The barracks furnished fold up cots and British styled table and benches of the era and a fireplace. The guide showed us the high-waisted trousers and short jackets worn with a tunic and leather shoes that the soldiers had. The shoes had metal plates fastened with ten tacks to prolong their wear since each soldier was only issued items annually.

Large cannons set at the front of the barracks protected the harbor below. Ruins of gunpowder storage once stood within thick walls and thin roofs in case of accidental explosions. We hiked the trail back up the hill to see Cabot’s Tower.

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Located at the highest point of Signal Hill, overlooking the entire city and the ocean, Cabot Tower is a Gothic Revival style of architecture. Built of red sandstone, it is a two story, 30 foot, square structure with a three story, 50 foot octagonal tower. The first transmissions received in North America by Marconi were at Signal Hill, St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador in 1901 and Glace Bay, Nova Scotia in 1902.  In 1933, a Marconi station was opened on the second floor of Cabot Tower, which operated until 1960. In 1920, one of the first wireless transatlantic transmissions of the human voice was made there.  A few items honoring Marconi were displayed on the second floor the tower.

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We walked onto the open deck of the roof of Cabot’s Tower for a look of the city. It was extremely windy, so windy in fact; it was difficult to open the door to get back into the building. As soon as we entered the building again, the staff closed off the roof for safety reasons.

Leaving Cabot’s Tower and driving into the city allowed us to see the colorful houses. Each wooden-sided home was painted a bright color different from its neighbor. The city of St. John’s is well known for its jellybean row houses that started in the 1970’s as a way to inject new life back into the declining city. Residents jumped onto the idea whole-heartily and spread the colorful palette outward so that the majority of the city is a jellybean row house street.

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We found our boutique hotel, The Jag, in downtown St. Johns near the convention center. After check-in we walked the streets a bit and opted for an early dinner since we missed lunch. We went to Green Sleeves, an open bar cafe with pub grub, with a beer and burger for dinner. They servered us in a Rolling Rock glass etched with the familiar 33 words which begin “from the glass lined tanks of Old Latrobe” but because we were in the bilingual country of Canada these words were also etched in French on the glass. I explained to the waitress the significance of Latrobe to our family, I asked her if I could buy the glass as a souvenir.

After checking with the bartender she said that if the glass was not there when she returned to clean up, oh well. We got the hint and the glass seemed little compensation for the very long wait that we patiently had for our food order.

It was fifty minutes before our food arrived. The restaurant gave us a discount on the food and apologized for the delay while they catered the wedding upstairs. When we got back to our hotel, the housekeeper knocked on the door to deliver us chocolates. It was a nice gesture and a good ending to a busy day, and as example of how our trendy hotel in far off Newfoundland was the best of the trip.

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Boston – Late Summer 2016 Road Trip – Day 6

Our cloudy, somewhat rainy day in Boston started out with breakfast for 3 at the Busy Bee Diner, an old city diner owned by Greek immigrants with strong Boston accents on Beacon Street in Brookline. The narrow place had bright turquoise seat booths and an extensive menu.

Our order came with a surprising amount of food of eggs, potatoes, toast and blueberry pancakes. The food was not served all at once so we each ate our serving as delivered but, all in all, the food was great and the prices were cheap. It was a great start to our busy day.

The MBTA train took us to Haymarket Square for us to walk to the North End to see the house of Paul Revere and a statue of him on his horse. We learned that day that Paul Revere left the Old North Church and first took a boat across the Charles River to Charlestown before he set on his famous ride on horseback.

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The Old North Church and the Paul Revere house are now part of the city’s oldest residential neighborhood in Boston since 1630. The North End is famous for its Italian heritage and restaurants, with numerous bakeries full of tempting desserts sat in some of the windows as we passed by.

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From the North End of Boston, we walked to Charlestown to see the Charlestown Naval Yard where the USS Constitution, a wooden-hulled, three-masted heavy frigate of the United States Navy was docked.  Built in 1797, the USS Constitution was most famously named by President George Washington after the Constitution of the United States of America.

We started with a quick look at the Charlestown Naval Yard Visitor Center which is part of the Boston National Historical Park. The USS Constitution is the oldest commissioned warship afloat in the world but was under restoration and closed for us to board.

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Also displayed is the destroyer, Cassin Young, equipped with torpedoes, guns, and other weaponry. The USS Cassin Young refitted and modernized in the yard’s dry-dock, represents the type of ship built in the yard during World War II.   Our self-guided tour allowed us to explore the main deck of the radio room, officers’ dining hall, galley, laundry, and captain’s deck. The Cassin Young was the last ship hit by kamikazes in the vicinity of Okinawa before the Japanese surrender. During the war, there was a tremendous explosion amidships but the crew contained the damage, restored power in one engine and got the ship underway within twenty minutes. Casualties were 22 men dead and 45 wounded. The ship is now maintained and staffed by the National Park Service and volunteers.

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Afterwards, a walk along the harbor towards the city took us to take the train to Harvard. Harvard University has the Mark I, the first programmable computer. Grace Hopper was a programmer of the Mark I who coined the term there is a bug in the system. The term ‘bugs in a computer’ had been used before, but after Grace Hopper wrote in her diary “first actual case of bug being found” the term became really popular, and that’s why we are still using it today.

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The Science building is home to the Harvard Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments, which showcased machines dating back from 1400 to the present in astronomy, navigation, horology, surveying, geology, calculating, physics, biology, medicine, psychology, electricity, and medical, such as: telescopes, clocks, microscopes, compasses, sundials, and the Grand Orrery by Joseph Pope of Boston. This mechanical model of the solar system was acquired by Harvard with funds raised by a lottery in 1788. The celestial dome is supported by bronze figures cast by Paul Revere. This large wood and glass structure reveals the planets rotation inside.

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Most of the items were presented in glass modules that reminded me of a time capsule. The collection now has more than 20,000 objects.

The level above the Putnam Gallery is the Special Exhibitions Gallery that featured Radio Contact: Tuning in to Politics, Technology, & Culture. This exhibition examines the evolving technology and cultures of listening, tinkering, and broadcasting. Radio introduced millions to jazz, the comedy team of Abbott and Costello, Edward R. Murrow, and the shock therapy of talk radio. Radios, transmitters, phonographs, receivers, and antennae were some of the items displayed.  Iconic radio shows, and 50’s music played aloud as we looked at the timeline of communication.

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As we walked through the grounds of the campus, we saw a beautiful church with stained glass windows now used as a dining hall, but we opted to leave the Harvard campus to find something to eat.

Our choice, Mr. Bartley’s Burger Cottage at Harvard Square, was full of a wacky decor of posters, bumper stickers and funny signs and has fed celebrity customers to include Johnny Cash, Jacqueline Onassis, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Bill Belichick, Al Pacino, Adam Sandler, and Katie Couric. This restaurant is famous for its burgers and also the unusual names for their burgers. Ours included “Our Next President (God Help Us). The Viagra, Caitlyn Jenner (You Go Girl), and Taxachu$ett$, were a few of the titles of other burgers.

Afterwards, we walked the street finding the Curious George store on the corner so we curiously walked in to see the kind of merchandise for sale.

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The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) was our next stop to see the campus museum. The MIT museum had a lot of hands-on exhibits from how the internet worked, how holograms were made, and robotics. There was a section of kinetic sculptures that required the visitor to activate the mechanism for them to move. An example of such art was the “Machine with Wishbone,” a sculpture of wheels, gears, chains, and a small motor that was pulled by a wishbone stepping forward strapped to the machine. Arthur Ganson is the designer of this art in motion and was artist-in-residence at the Mechanical Engineering department of MIT for awhile.

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I saw another mechanical sculpture that lubricated itself by a moving conveyor to the top of the structure and pouring it on the gears. A lovely exhibit of scraps of paper moved up and down in a wing-like motion of a bird by pumping rods connected to a turning axle. I really enjoyed watching these machines that were so ingenious and fun to watch. We saw most of the museum but left to catch a bus to get to the Christian Science Center before it closed.

The Mapparium is a three-story-tall globe made of stained glass that is viewed from a 30-foot-long bridge through its interior designed by Chester Lindsay Churchill. It is an exhibit at The Mary Baker Eddy Library and part of the Christian Science Center building. Built in 1935 and based upon Rand McNally political maps published the previous year, the Mapparium shows the political world as it was at that time.

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The tour allowed us to experience the Mapparium in an accurate geographical relationship to each other, in a concave reversal of the Earth, viewed from within. Standing on the clear catwalk within the globe places the eye at the same distance from every point on the globe.

The illuminated 608 panels of the globe built to scale of approximately 22 miles to the inch were originally designed to be replaceable as the political boundaries of the world changed. There have been several points in the Mapparium’s history where the discussion of updating the map arose. The final time was in the 1960s, when it was finally decided that the Mapparium was a priceless work of art and history, and so should never be updated.

A modern sound system and light system of 206 LED light fixtures can be programmed to produce up to 16 million colors. Our guide controlled the background and lights producing different effects. The hard spherical surface of the globe reflects sound and forms a remarkable whispering gallery so that visitors standing at opposite ends of the bridge can speak softly to each other and yet be heard as if they were standing next to each other.

The Boston Public Library McKim Building in Copley Square opened in 1895, it is a stone building built by the people and dedicated to the advancement of learning. Below each second-story arched window on the three façades are inscribed lists of the names of great historical writers, artists, scientists, philosophers, and statesmen.

Upon entering the building you are met by two stone lions on pillars and paintings of the muses in niches that lined the upper floor. The next floor hung murals by John Singer Sargent as we walked into Bates Hall, the great reading room, with an apse on each end and a series of double coffers in the arched barrel vaulted ceiling of the room. A series of green lampshade desk lamps provided light at each library table.

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The library has an impressive collection of art, manuscripts, early editions of Shakespeare, and Defoe, records of colonial Boston, and volumes of John Adams’ personal library. This branch has the Norman Levanthal Map Center but it was not opened; disappointing to a map junkie but at least the walls of the cafe were covered in large maps.

There was also a nice garden with a fountain in a courtyard surrounded by an arched walkway.

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The train took us back to Brookline for an early dinner at Fairsted Kitchen on Beacon Street. We did not want to eat tapas for dinner again but the restaurant did indeed turn out to be another tapas restaurant (must be a hipster thing). We tried pickled vegetables, Israeli salad, meatballs, and pork kabobs. The portions were very small and costly. We were still a bit hungry so we got frappes at Emack and Bolio’s ice cream store and waited for the train to take us back to our hotel. It was great to spend the day in our daughter’s hometown of the last 6 years.

Mystic, CT & Newport, RI – Late Summer 2016 Road Trip – Day 4

If you really want to test a marriage tell her we are leaving the hotel at 5:45 AM to beat the traffic into and through the city. True to course we were in the Holland Tunnel at 6 AM, eventually making our way to Park Avenue, before cutting across 79th Street to the Henry Hudson Parkway to get out of the city. It was interesting sailing up Park Avenue with little traffic, and few people on the street.

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Once on the Henry Hudson Parkway it was fortuitous that we were leaving the city as you did start to see traffic backed up coming off of the GWB and onto the Parkway. But the view of the bridge, albeit brief, was excellent with the towers gleaming in the morning sun.

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We made a brief stop in New Canaan, Connecticut for coffee and hot chocolate at Zumbach’s Coffee. An interesting little shop who specializes in grinding their own beans, they had bags of them everywhere.

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After crossing much of southern Connecticut we arrived at our next stop, at Mystic, to see the Mystic Seaport.  Subtitled The Museum of America and the Sea offered a glimpse into the whaling industry and the importance of shipping to the area.  We were free to roam the shipyard to stroll through the recreated 19th-century seafaring village, comprised of dozens of real 19th-century buildings brought there from parts of New England and staffed with historians and craftspeople.

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Also onsite is a cooper’s shop that made barrels, the rigger’s shop that made and installed the ropes on ships.  The rigger shop was a long building with ropes stretched and looped; it had spools of hemp or manila to make rope for the rigging on the ship as in early times there, but today, rigging is made of wire or chain.  The final buildings in the village were a home and general store open for tours, as well as a small ship.

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There was a large shipyard where repairs are made indoors to ships. This enormous building offered a bird’s eye view of the carpenter’s shop and massive yard to hold the ship. Currently there is restoration work being done on the Charles W. Morgan.  The ship, owned by Mystic Seaport and docked at the Seaport’s Chubb’s Wharf, is the last wooden whaling ship in existence and the oldest commercial vessel still afloat. This ship had not sailed for nearly 100 years.

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Prior to the 16-week voyage that set off on May 17, 2014 along New England, the Seaport had spent $7.5 million on the vessel’s restoration.  Built in 1841, the Morgan is a legendary relic of the whaling age that sailing historians consider priceless.  Now as of our visit, the Charles Morgan is again in repair for more work not allowing us to board the ship. We did visit the museum of artifacts and the history of whaling in America.  Whale teeth and baleen were part of more than 100 whaling-related artifacts, images, and documents, including logbooks, photographs, scrimshaw, ship models, souvenirs, and sound recordings.

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From there it was another hour drive to Newport, Rhode Island, a tourist town that capitalizes on the millionaire mansions from long ago such as the Breakers. Initially we parked in town and had lunch at the Red Parrot. Lunch was excellent, as we sat at an open window looking upon the street, which was filled with traffic and scooters the entire time, with the harbor just down the street.

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We made our way to the Cliff Walk area, finding parking on a street and starting the hike along the path. The first mansion we came upon is the Breakers, an east coast summer palace owned by Cornelius Vanderbilt located on Ochre Point Avenue in Newport with a view of the Atlantic Ocean.  As we continued along the paved cliff walk that snaked along the edge above a rocky ocean beach hoping to see the millionaire mansions, but, only saw surfers catching waves riding into dangerous water near boulders.

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Finally giving up on the cliff walk, our route took us back to the street for a front view of the mansions until we reached the car. A drive along the ocean drive in Newport while seeing cliffs, beaches and marinas filled with small boats.  Eventually we had enough of Newport and headed for our home for the night in New Bedford, Massachusetts, a Residence Inn.  The hotel fed us a complimentary dinner of meatballs and Italian sausage.  We laughed thinking that our best meal thus far was a free meal from the hotel.

Oregon Coast – Spring 2016 Road Trip – Day 12 – Florence to Lincoln City

Our morning drive took us to Florence, Oregon, on the coast, where the Suislaw River meets the Pacific Ocean. The most noteworthy structure in Florence is the Suislaw River Bridge, a concrete arched piers and finials near the center with arches between, providing an interesting design we have not seen before.

The west bank of the river was a dune of sand that stretched for miles, which we followed until we found a parking lot that allowed us to climb the dunes. From here we watched a sea lion romp in the water near the river’s edge.

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Just north of Florence we paused for a brief walk at the Darlingtonia State Park, a bog with insect eating carnivorous plants. Why go there you might ask, but it was on our list, so why not. The Darlintonia California also called the cobra lily because of the resemblance of its tubular leaves to a rearing cobra, complete with a forked leaf that resembles fangs or a serpent’s tongue thrives in the bogs of Northern California and Oregon.

The plants nectar hidden under its hood attracts insects and the use of lubricating secretions and downward-pointing hairs force their prey into the trap. The slippery walls and hairs prevent the trapped prey from escaping.  We did not see the cobra lily eat a bug but wished those plants had eaten more insects as the area was filled with insects along with the unique plants.

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The Sea Lion’s Caves located about 11 miles north of Florence, Oregon is a privately owned sanctuary for sea lions and birds. A steep walk down a path took us to an elevator that dropped us 200 feet further into the cave.

The cave is in the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest sea cave in America and is the year round home of the Stellar Sea Lion with the height of the cave is equivalent to a twelve story building and the length of a football field. The cave also served as a museum of facts and skeletons of sea lions and seals.

While a bit smelly we were able to learn the difference between a seal and a sea lion is that the sea lion walks on its large flippers and have visible ear flaps. Seals have small flippers, wriggle on their bellies on land, and have indentations instead of ear flaps.

The sea lions use the caves along the Oregon coast to rest, molt, and mate in the rookeries during the breeding season. The months of May and June are the time for the bulls to meet females. Behind a grated fence, we stood to see the sea lions lying on a large rock within the cave.

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The elevator took us up to the top of the cliff again where we walked the trail to the other side of the grounds to a viewing point. Below the cliff we saw a hundred or more sea lions lying on the rocks at the ocean shore.

A cow sea lion lying on the rock seemed on the verge of giving birth. This lying cow snapped at all sea lions that came near her. Meanwhile, bulls pecked at each other and there was a lot of activity among the sea lions and seals on the rock.

A bonus was a whale further out in the ocean that surfaced blowing water from its spout.

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A short drive away, follow by a steep half-mile trail lead us to Heceta Head Lighthouse. A volunteer from Florida who was training at this park gave us some history about the lighthouse and the area.

The lighthouse was built in 1892 and still works today. At 205 feet above the ocean, the lighthouse is one of the most photographed on the coast. The light at top of the 56-foot tower was illuminated in 1894 and the beacon can be seen 21 miles from land; it is rated as the strongest light on the Oregon coast.

We climbed up a trail behind the lighthouse to peer into the lantern at the top of the lighthouse. The view was spectacular.

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Afterwards at Devil’s Churn, we scrambled over rocks to see tidepools at the rocky coast. We wanted to see Spout Horn, a spot where the waves bursts through the hole of the rock creating a loud noise like a whale spouting.  We waited for a while but did not see the waterspout but it gargled and churned continuously with some small bursts.

A stop at the Blue Whale Cafe in Yachats, Oregon provided lunch of fried fish and shrimp for us. The name Yachats comes from the Siletz language, and means “dark water at the foot of the mountain.”  Then we were off to see the Alsea Bay Bridge Center to learn about the 3,000 ft. long bridge. The Alsea Bay Bridge is a concrete arch bridge that spans the Alsea Bay on U.S. Route 101 near Waldport, Oregon. Oregon has a number of beautiful old bridges along the coastal route.

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The Yaquina Head Lighthouse stood on the cliff that overlooks one of the largest murre (sea bird) colonies on the coast. The birds sit upon the top of a huge rock. The lighthouse is 93 feet tall and was built in 1873. Its area is swamped with birds.

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Down the trail is access to the beach with lots of tidepools filled with sea life, monitored by a park ranger who gave us guidance on where to look and what to look for. We saw hundreds of urchins, anemones open and closed, crab, sea stars, barnacles, and more. It was fun identifying these creatures in the tidepools among the rocks. The rocks tested our balance while walking on barnacles and slippery seaweed. In addition we saw an eel in a tidepool. The beach was covered in black smooth stones that shifted with each step we took.

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Next stop going north was the Devil’s Punchbowl State Natural Area, a hollowed rocky basin surrounded by tall round rock walls. The Devil’s Punchbowl is partially open to the Pacific Ocean allowing waves to enter and churn sometimes violently inside the bowl. The bowl is thought to have been created when two caves carved by the ocean collapsed.  As we walked around the area, we saw strange large squirrels that looked like a mix of a squirrel and a groundhog. Even better we were able to observe a whale blow its spout out in the ocean.

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Further up the coast we came to Otter Rock and Depoe Bay for more whale watching then down to the World’s Smallest Harbor. Depoe Bay is a 6-acre harbor that the city promotes as the world’s smallest navigable harbor. This harbor is also the fishing trip scene from the 1975 movie “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.”  

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Finally we checked into our hotel, the Pelican Shores, in Lincoln City for the night then went to the Chinook Winds Casino for dinner in hopes to find a spot to eat and watch the Stanley Cup finals. It took a little convincing to get the staff to turn on the hockey game and allow us to sit in the non-dining room to watch the game. It was a bit surreal sitting in this large dining room by ourselves watching a small TV, but the wait staff was very accommodating; made even better as the Pittsburgh Penguins won against the San Jose Sharks by a score of 2-1 in overtime. We were happy with our dinner and the game so we splurged for dessert.

Our room’s balcony provided a pretty view of the ocean and again we saw a whale swim by spouting water.

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We went for a walk on the beach and on the way back we met a couple sitting on the beach at their campfire. Their fire was not a pile of logs but a heavy round stump with four slits cut like a pizza. The center hole of the slits was doused with lighter fluid. The couple dropped a lit match into the center and the stump smoked for a bit before burning from the inside out. Streams of light from the fire in the center beamed outward through the slits. Fire and smoke rose through the center hole creating its own chimney. We talked with the couple for a bit who said the fire burns slowly and makes enough light from the burning embers for almost two hours. The fire glowing through the slits of the stump had a really wild look.