We left Friday afternoon and took one of my favorite drives to the coast. If you get off of I-5 in Sutherlin and head out 138, you will experience one of the most beautiful road trips in Oregon. The Umpqua river is so wide in some places you are certain it must be a lake. You see endless crowds of moss covered trees and massive green cliffs that reach to the sky. There's a huge meadow that you can stop and stare at great elk, with their twisted, velvet covered antlers. We pulled over and 16 of them were gathered 20 feet from the road just munching away and staring up at us every once in a while. 138 takes you to Reedsport, a bright little town that leads you straight to the dunes. We ate lunch by the river there once, watching the boats and the birds. We headed up Highway 101 through Florence. I laugh every time I see the huge Fred Meyer, with the sand dunes towering up high right in it's back yard.
The town of Yachats (pronounced YAH-hots) is right smack dab in between the coastal towns of Florence and Newport. It is a quiet, beautiful town that sits right on the edge of the world. We chose a very affordable, pristine, family owned motel called Deane's Lodge. Small, brightly decorated rooms open up to a big common patio with barbeques and picnic tables. Our bathroom has a shower made from big glass blocks, and we have an old dresser in here that looks like it could have belonged to my Grandma. We almost ran to the beach as soon as we unpacked the car. We followed other families who were heading to the beach to watch the sunset, flying kites and chasing waves. The waves were silvery white and the sleepy sun lit up the sky in a rainbow of pastels. The sand is so fine that it squeeks under your feet. The moon came out and we stood there just breathing in the cold sea air. It was perfect.
There is a sea lion cave not far from here, and a lighthouse that we've been meaning to visit. North of us there is shopping galore. We packed our food, but one thing we will eat while we're here are the best fish and chips on the Oregon coast.
Yachats is a great option for a weekend Oregon road trip, and one of the best things about it? The journey to get here.