Ogallala, NE to Guernsey, WY

This section of U.S. Route 26 and Nebraska Highway 92 in Western Nebraska is one we “discovered” a few years ago and have driven a few times. It’s a good road with everything you could want in a road: it’s historic (it was part of the Mormon and Oregon Trails), it’s not an Interstate and it’s usually not crowded.

Also, while our home, St. Louis, was once the Gateway to the West, today you won’t find anything close to wide-open spaces and a sense of being “out West” until you’re another three- or four-hundred miles west of Missouri–or maybe even more, depending on the State you’re in. When going through Nebraska, for me the West begins at Ogallala.

Highlights along the way include–

Notes on Oregon including “Best” Tide-pools and OR State Parks with Cabins and Yurts

From Frommer’s (4/2018)

  • The best places to observe sea lions are–
    • the Newport waterfront
    • Sea Lion Caves north of Florence
    • Cape Arago State Park outside of Coos Bay
  • The best months to visit tend to be September and early October, when the weather is often fine and the crowds are gone.
  • At Depoe Bay you can arrange for a whale-watching excursion
  • Three Capes Scenic Loop: loop drive between Tillamook and Pacific City. 35-mile byway off of U.S. 101, begins just west of downtown Tillamook and leads south along the coast past Cape Meares, Cape Lookout, and Cape Kiwanda to end near Pacific City. Together these capes offer some of the most spectacular scenery on the northern Oregon coast. To start the loop, follow Third Street south out of Tillamook and watch for the right turn for Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint. You can also access the loop from the south at Pacific City.
  • Tide pools: All up and down the Oregon coast, beautiful and amazing creatures cling to rocks near the shore and are nourished by the surging waters of the Pacific. Tentacled sea anemones, sea urchins, and starfish inhabit rocky the tide pools that you can visit, including some at Cannon Beach.
  • Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area: Towering sand dunes stretch for some 50 miles along the coast between Florence and Coos Bay. The dunes can be accessed at marked turn-offs all along Highway 101 between Florence and Coos Bay. There is a $5-per-car day-use fee within the recreation area.
  • Coos Bay tries hard, but it simply is not the sort of Oregon coast town that [the writer for Frommers] would recommend to visitors. South of Coos Bay, however, you’ll find three state parks and a protected marine estuary that preserve some of the most breathtaking shoreline on the entire south coast.
  • Sunset Bay State Park Picnicking and camping are available, and there are lots of tide pools to explore
  • Shore Acres State Park in Charleston: formal gardens and sunken lily pond built atop the cliffs overlooking the Pacific remain, and are a rare and wondrous sight in coastal Oregon. From the gardens, you can walk down to a tiny cove with rock walls, sculpted by the waves into unusual shapes, rising up from the water. The water off the park is often a striking shade of blue, and Simpson Beach, in the little cove, just might be the prettiest beach in Oregon. There is a $5 day-use fee here.

“Great Tidepooling Spots” from OregonLive.Com

  • Haystack Rock (Cannon Beach)
  • Hug Point/Arcadia Beach
  • Cape Kiwanda
  • Yaquina Head – Quarry Cove and Cobble Beach
  • Seal Rock State Park
  • Yachats State Park
  • Cape Perpetua
  • Neptune State Park
  • Heceta Head
  • Sunset Bay/Shore Acres/Cape Arago (southern end of the state)
  • Coquille Point
  • Harris Beach

Oregon State Parks Cabins & Yurts

  • Yurts are $43-$47 a night
  • Cabins are $42-$91 a night, depending on location and whether the cabin is “rustic” or “deluxe”
  • Official website at oregonstateparks.org