Thursday, May 24, 2018

Sea Lion Cave and lunch at Mo's

On Monday we played tourist by going over to the Sea Lion Caves. It is a commercial attraction with a $13 admission fee. Quite honestly, I was not impressed, but the fact that you got to take an elevator down to an observation area was probably worth the fee. It would have been a very long stairway, and the views were breathtaking.

There was a pretty nice bronze sculpture that kids could climb on.

From there we walked down a steep paved path to a room created in the upper level of the cave. 

From there we were able to overlook the ocean entrance of the cave and the rocks where the sea lions gather and rest when they are there.

Note: I took the color saturation of this image way down because it had odd purple and green reflections. This has happened before in cave pictures and I don't understand it.

We had been told the sea lions would not be in the cave when we bought our tickets, but that we could see them in the rookery from one of the outdoor observation platforms. 
At this level there was also an informative six minute movie about the cave, and a pass through to a place where you could see the beach to the North and the Heceta Lighthouse on the cliff.

This image was taken with my full zoom capacity. Craig says it looks like something one might use as a Christmas miniature.

We went back through the cave and up to the observation area. From there we walked down another paved path to an overlook from which we could see the sea lions on the rocks below.

There were a couple of large bulls and many cows, but we could not make out any pups.

In the quieter water a short distance from the rocks we saw a group of sea lions swimming together in a group. Some seemed to be just floating.  I had never seen such a gathering before. Were these animals that were kicked off the rocks?

We have seen many seals and sea lions on docks on the California coast, and on the rocks when we were on our wildlife tour boat ride in Alaska. It is always a treat to see animals in the wild.

Old Town Florence consists of several blocks of spiffy older buildings that house the usual collection of galleries, gift shops and restaurants. On Tuesday we went for a morning walk there.

Early in the season I enjoy browsing through the shops to see what is new. I know I'm going to see the same things at shop after shop in every coast town. The Galleries often offer unique work from individual artists, but it is mostly production work aimed at the tourist market. I still enjoy looking, and I often see some really nice things. I particularly like the glass pieces, because even if they are production work, each is also individually unique.

Siuslaw River Bridge:

Craig was intrigued by the bridge, and went off to take some pictures of it while I looked through the shops.

It was designed by Conde McCulloch, and opened in 1936.

The tide was out and the rotted supports of the old pier and dock were visible. At least that is what I assume these water worn poles were.

After our walkabout, we went to have lunch at Mo's Chowder House on the dock.

It was as good as we had been told. Craig had the Cod "Fish and Chips" and I had the Halibut. The Cod was very good, and the Halibut was even better. We both had a cup of New England Style Chowder that was just perfect in taste and creamyness. We would have loved to have tasted the Marionberry cobbler, but were both stuffed!  Great lunch for $37 (including tip). 

Our next stop was the Florence Pioneer Museum. Well worth the modest entry fee ($4 each, cash only). 

I am currently reading books by Jane Kirpatrick. She wrote 26 or more novels based on real women of the pioneer times of Oregon. They are novels, and are "good reads." I found my first one at the High Desert Museum in Bend, OR, and have gotten a couple more for free through our Amazon Kindle account. 

The Pioneer Museum is very well done. The displays are clean and comprehensive and all objects are clearly marked with the names of the local donors. It was a nice enhancement to the history I am reading.

It seems that every museum with exhibits from the 1800s has at least one of these clocks.  

I always notice them because a similiar clock is part of the very small number of items that I have from my own family.

My mother was not a keeper or collector! Neither am I, but I rescued our family's clock like this from a basement storage room when I was in my 20's. It was in pieces and the case had been painted. I restored the wood and eventually had a good clock maker fix it. It is well over 100 years old and now sits on a table in my daughter's home.  It is fun to see its sister clocks show up time after time in museums from coast to coast and even up in Canada.

Not all of the exhibits were from the pioneering days. This collection of spices and seasonings resembles those in a kitchen of the 50s. I recognized some of the brands, and in fact a fresh can of Colman's Mustard is still in my pantry. 

Remember the Green Stamp books?  

History is a continuum.  I am glad we live now and not 1818!


  1. When we went to the Sea Lion Caves, there were lots of pups and tons of them in the cave. I could have watched those pups play for hours. Their favorite was King of the Hill. So funny. I'm glad we live now too. Very very glad.

  2. Oregon Sand Dunes is another great visit. If south bound. South Beach SP is a good stop also, with the old town of Newport. Check out Canyonway book store.

    1. We got totally lost hiking in the Oregon dunes a few years ago. It was almost scarry, not being able to find a way out. But we did. We are going to Portland next and then up to the top of the Oregon Coast and working our way South. I'm sure we will be stopping at another Mo's.

  3. I have read all of Jane Kirkpatrick's books.

    1. Sara Donati is also a good writer that you might enjoy. Her Into The Wilderness is a first of six. Starts after the Revolution in New York State.


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