Goats Do Roam – Cascades Adventure

Encounters with mountain goats

Over 40 years ago we were on a cross country trip in the Olympic National Park here in Washington. We hiked in to Flap Jack lakes and camped the first night.

On our second day, we crossed Gladys Divide, we’d dropped packs on the trail to climb the rotten rock pinnacle of Cruiser. All went well until on the descent we saw a group of mountain goats eagerly examining our packs. Alternately glissading and sliding on the mixed snow & scree slopes, we chased them off — all but 2 who were discussing the liberation of my army surplus wool pants by pulling from the cuff or each leg.

We finally convinced them to depart and I re-packed my slightly longer pants. The next part of our trip took us across several large snowfields on our cross-country traverse towards a climb of  Mt Skokomish and Mt Stone. . The goats had followed us, and kindly waited for us to break trail as they were going in the same direction. Audrey insists I carried on a conversation with the goat directly behind me, thinking it was her. We found a beautiful alpine meadow spot to camp, and hung our packs high on of the few scraggly conifers making its way in this near treeless shale ground. No sooner had we finished our dinner and retired to our sleeping bags than we were disturbed by the goats rasp-like tongues licking the outside of our tent. This went on intermittently throughout the night – we’d bang on the tent interior walls and they’d cease for awhile, but then be back.

Next morning, we got an early start, and passed the goat group, peacefully napping in the snow just above our camp.

  • Download royalty free images of Mountain goats
    Mountain goats, licking salt from climber\
    Mountain goats, licking salt from climber’s pack
    Curious Mountain goats,

    Curious Mountain goats

    Curious Mountain goats,

    Curious Mountain goats,

    Mountain goats, licking salt from climber\

    Mountain goats, licking salt from climber’s pack

    Mountain goats, licking salt from climber\

    Mountain goats, licking salt from climber’s pack

    Curious Mountain goats

    Curious Mountain goats

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Newport Sea Lions

Newport boasts beautiful beaches and rock formations to its north and south, rivaling the better known coast of California near Monterrey and Big Sur. Several lighthouses such as Yaquina Head dot the often foggy headlands, marking safe passage to protected harbors. Drawn by the Yaquina Bay oysters and other plentiful seafood, California sea lions (pinnipeds) gather most days on sunny wharfs or offshore rocks. Their fur dries from slick browns to soft plush.

Newport appears about half way down Highway 101 on the Oregon coast. It boasts beautiful beaches and rock formations to its north and south, rivaling the better known coast of California near Monterrey and Big Sur. Several lighthouses such as Yaquina Head dot the often foggy headlands, marking safe passage to protected harbors.


Pinnipeds of the World
The sea lions (Zalophus californianus) are the major draw though – you can’t miss them, as you’ll hear their barking several blocks before you arrive at the pier that provides a balcony view. On several anchored wharf platforms, old bull sea lions hoist themselves out and enjoy the sun when it is present. Newport’s weather is mild but it does get almost 70” of rain each year, mostly in the winter months. Drawn by the Yaquina Bay oysters and other plentiful seafood, California sea lions gather most days on sunny wharfs or offshore rocks. Their fur dries from slick browns to soft plush. Smaller males circle the floating platforms, looking for a space to claim. It can be tense, and noisy as some bulls value their personal space, while others form huddles of furry duvets. Across the way, other sea lions haul out on the rocks below navigation markers. A marker notes that female
sea lions do not come north of California, only males.

Whales of the World

 

 

 

The Oregon Coast Aquarium is best known for having housed Keiko, the orca from the movie Free Willy , until 1998, when he decided to relocate to Iceland. Even without Keiko, the aquarium remains an excellent adventure for all ages, featuring sea otters, seals, and an enclosed coastal bird aviary including puffins. “Passages of the Deep” is a walkthrough gallery underwater where you can watch sharks, rays and halibut swim overhead.

The old Bay Boulevard hosts various restaurants and tourist sites such as an underwater garden, trinket shops and a good selection of Seafood restaurants,
many serving the famous Yaquina Bay oysters. The street is marked by several murals of maritime life, including Moby Dick. The Rogue brewery offers its fine selection of micro brews. Try their fish & chips!

While there are plenty of attractions that charge admission, our favorite Newport offerings are free – the large and active fishing marina, and as a consequence the abundance of California sea lions. You can wander among the fishing fleet, picking out gill netters, purse seiners, trawlers and a variety of other fishing boats. In a large public parking lot, piles of colorful crab pots and floats beckon to any passing photographer. The backdrop includes the distinctive Yaquina Bay Bridge designed by Conde McCullough and finished in 1936.

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