Since I was off today, we decided to drive out to the coast to attempt to see some of the gray whales that are migrating south to Baja, as I mentioned here. Ecola State Park, on the northside of Cannon Beach, is one of the “Whale Watching Spoken Here” sites organized by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, meaning that they have trained volunteers positioned at these 26 sites along the Oregon coast from Dec. 26 – Jan. 1 (11:00am – 1:00pm) to assist the public in viewing the whales.
When we arrived, however, there were no volunteers. So a park ranger told us where the best viewing point was and that the key is too watch out in the water for blows, then bring up your binoculars to get a closer look. The sky was mostly blue, the air crisp, the winds cold and strong. We spent about an hour watching, Patrick stating “I give up” many times through, and unfortunately, we did not see any whales. We can try again in March when the whales migrate back north (although an episode of Oregon Field Guide says that late summer is the best time, when whales feed in the waters off the Oregon coast). But all was not lost. Ecola State Park is beautiful, and any drive – despite the small amount of snow and traffic through the coastal mountains – to the ocean is worth the effort. Here are some pictures: