We are currently in Winchester Bay camped at Salmon Harbor. We decided to get away from the heat coming to Sutherlin and headed to the coast for their cool temps. And cool it is. We had sun for maybe a couple hours on Monday and Tuesday and none today. Long pants and sweatshirts are in order for this weather. We, however, are enjoying our time here – clouds and fog included.
This is my first time away since landing on our lot in the Timber Valley SKP Park. Dale has been out and about backpacking. You can read his adventures on the John Muir trail here. And his Lost Coast adventure here.
I can never pass up a photo of Fireweed. It reminds me of my time in Alaska. This was in the gardens outside the Estuary.
Today we went to Charleston to see what the South Slough Estuary was about. We had heard about this place from friends. I’m so astonished that we have passed this place many times and not known what it is about. But first, we had to stop for lunch.
We had seen a restaurant a while back that we missed (ha!) across from Chucks in Charleston so we decided to stop here for lunch, the High Tide Bar and Grill. Yelp had given it some good reviews and if we checked in at Yelp we got a cup of their “awarding winning” clam chowder free. The atmosphere was more “restaurant” than “bar” and we had a table at the windows looking out at the river. Dale ordered the Cajun tuna and I had tuna tacos. The food was good; the staff very friendly. Prices were a bit higher than normal.
After lunch we headed to 7 Devils Road and the Estuary. They have an Interpretive Center so we checked that out. Since these marshes are freshwater and saltwater, there is a lot going on with plants, tides, birds and animals. They have enough information to make one aware of what is happening in this area.
A stuffed blue heron was one of the many “stuffed” animals around the room. Dale is interacting with one of their “lessons” on how the water is filtered through sand, rock, silt etc.
We started our hike on the “10 minute trail,” which was a loop back to the center. We walked through dense forest and coastal shrubs. It was kind of eery! The trail was maintained well and wide. Morgan was able to go with us and she enjoyed being out of the car and into the thick forest.
We came to a Y and decided to take the trail to the South Slough Pilings.
These are from when a train came here to pick up logs out of the river.
Our wide trail narrowed to just a deer trail and finally ended at the waters edge. We are on a spit with marsh water on both sides of us.
There were many platforms to access to view the marshes. Sadly, we didn’t see any wildlife.
This area is where the ocean meets the rivers and plants and animals (on top of the water and in the water) adjust to salt.
This was the Tunnel Trail.
We came to a huge platform that looks to be very old. I imagine the scene from here was awesome but the trees have since grown tall to see much of anything.
We took Hidden Creek Trail back to the road. This trail went UP and followed the creek. Morgan was able to get a good drink on the way. We also came across a boardwalk.
This way were were able to walk across the marsh. Huge Skunk Cabbage surrounded the boardwalk in places.
A slug finds a drink on one of the big leaves.
I think we walked a total of 3 miles. The dense shrubbery kept the wind off us and we enjoyed exploring new territory. We have to return here to hike the North Creek Trail. Morgan wasn’t allowed on that trail. We have something to look forward to the next time we come this way.