The Ultimate Road Trip: THE SILVER SNAIL : A solo woman's full-time RV adventure
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Seal Rock Oregon


Route 101 hugs the coast here, and though it can be busy with fast-moving vehicles, it was okay with me. I wanted to spend some time on the edge of the earth. Right across the 101 from my water-view campsite was Seal Rock State Park with it's rich tidepools and large rock formations. I could ride my bike into Newport and was also in close proximity to Yachats and my second favorite section of the Oregon coast - the Cape Perpetua Scenic Area. (Now that I've seen the entire Oregon coast a few times, Samuel Boardman State Park in Brookings still holds the #1 spot for my most favorite section.)


Newport is fairly crowded with tourists, which I wasn't really in the mood for. I was looking for some peace and quiet with nature. Walking the road up to Yaquina Head gave me a good dose of that. The Nye Beach neighborhood was a little more laid back than the busy old port area and the Sylvia Beach Hotel there is an appealing place for book lovers. Under the shadow of the Yaquina Bay bridge, the old port area of Newport is an interesting blend of touristy trinket shops and working waterfront, with a healthy dose of world-famous chowder houses mixed in. I didn't spend too much time there, as it was frequently mobbed, but it was handy for an occasional chocolate-covered ice cream bar or iced mocha.

The Oregon Coast Aquarium is definately a gem of the coast with an array of Pacific marine life including sea otters, auks, octopus and glowing jellyfish. On the north side of the Yaquina River is a beautiful drive to the small town of Toledo. Newport is also home to Rogue Ales, a craft brewery that makes a wicked Dead Guy Ale.

If you are driving Route 101 and passing through Newport, you have to get off the 101 to see anything interesting. Route 101 is just a thoroughfare with hotels, gas stations and fast food joints, and you'll wonder what the fuss is about. But head west to find Nye Beach and down under the bridge to find the old port, and you've found the character of Newport.

Yachats is a tiny beautiful town with not much to do but walk the coastal 804 trail and enjoy the slow pace of natural things. Straddling the Yachats River, the estuary and beach makes for a great place to walk at low-tide too. Probably my favorite seaside town on the coast. It's at the north end of a spectacular coastal drive and a short drive south from Seal Rock.

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Out of the blue, on July 2, I received an email from my subletter in Maine saying he had just received a notice to vacate the building by the end of the month. The entire building was being vacated for code violations. So, like a rocket on the 4th of July, I left the west coast and headed home. It was the right time - I was ready to go.


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All images and words © Sharon Pieniak
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