We are at Harris Beach State Park where my son David has volunteered to work here.
We arrived January 1, 2017. The trip from Sutherlin to the coast (101) was not troublesome, but roads with snow and ice were present. Nothing our Dolphin (Miss Dory) couldn’t handle. It took us about 3 hours which is good to know so we can come visit David and Brook before they head off to another park in California.
It was really good to see the ocean. We watched this storm as we traveled south.
We came to the highest bridge in Oregon, the Thomas Creek Bridge, and they were working on it. One lane only.
The Thomas Creek Bridge is 345 feet high and 956 end to end. It is located between Gold Beach and Brookings. My view as we wait for the light to turn green:
So far it has hailed on us and rained buckets. So no beach walk yet. The sun comes out but disappears quickly. It’s lovely here though.
We are helping David get set up in his “host” space and he is organizing his trailer for living her for a few months. A new adventure in store for the kids and we are so glad to be retired and RVers to boot.
Life is good. God’s word tells us “Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom.” Ps. 90:12
In other words – Life is short – get wisdom and enjoy!
Can you believe it! The sky was blue and it was 60 degrees when we got up. So, off we went in Miss Scarlet to breakfast at the Sourdough Bakery for a bagel egg sandwich. We met at gal there from Cannon Beach. She was on her way to Bandon to a fiberglass travel trailer rally. She was very excited to own a vintage 13′ put-together-like-a-peanut trailer. It was fun talking to her.
Since the day was beautiful, it was time to get our feet on the beach and see the ocean.
My Verizon Samsung 4S does this nifty photo! Pretty cool, ey?
The day was so nice we decided to hike down the beach. The tide was out so we had a good, solid beach to walk on. I found some shells to add to my collection. There were a lot of broken sand dollars. Have you ever looked at one of these? They are so beautiful and intricately put together for something that comes out of the sea. God’s creation!
After our walk on the beach amongst the kids digging holes and flying kites, we drove up to the Umpqua Lighthouse.
We have been here so many times, but it still draws us in and teaches us new things about this area way back when. How Hank went to Florence in a row boat to pick up tourists and bring them back here only to have his boys take another row boat and transport the travelers up the river. Stuff like that.
I always check out the Coast Guard 1940’s room. My uncle Jim was in the Coast Guard back then, so I’m able to see something of what he must of had. I’m sad because I don’t have any history on his time in the CG and in WWII. He was lost at sea around the Philippines in Sept. 1942. He was 22.
After going through the museum and gift shop we walked over to the viewing area of the beach, dunes, oyster beds, the jetty and mouth of the Umpqua River.
Life is good. God is the creator of this beautiful world we live in.
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.
Last Sunday Dale and I decided to get out of Dodge. So we hopped in our Dodge (Big Blue) and put its wheels to rollin’.
Before we lef,t we decided to frequent one of our favorite places for breakfast in our area – Tolley’s. They have good food and their prices are very affordable. Just a friendly neighborhood soda fountain/cafe in the friendly town of Oakland.
Our day trip to the coast was a two part journey. We were on an expedition to find a camping spot for our month on the coast next year and to just get away and enjoy the day.
Winchester Bay was our destination. Friends are going to be camp hosts at the county park so we wanted to check it out. We really didn’t like the park. It is okay for those ATVers that come on the weekends to have fun at the sand dunes but not for a quiet vacation. We decided the place wouldn’t get any sun if the sun decided to come out and bless us with its rays!
On the way, we stopped at a popular tourist attraction, the Dean Creek Elk Viewing.
The RV resort across the street is an awesome park. The Salmon Bay Marina is around it on 3 sides. However, it is pretty costly. Nice, nice spaces with full hookups. Didn’t think to get photo’s as we have been here before.
After we checked these places out, we drove on down to the state park and found our rig would not fit there. So we stopped off to take photo’s of the Umpqua Lighthouse that guides ships into the mouth of the Umpqua River.
Our day was dreary with low clouds and a drizzle of rain. Just being out doing and seeing felt so good though. We decided to take this journey up the road to Florence, checking out campgrounds a long the way. Most National Forest Campgrounds were closed and the ones that weren’t were for tenters and those with ATV’s.
We decided Florence was a far as we wanted to go on this day. We had found a Lane Country Park on another trip so we thought we would see if their daily rate for the winter was different from their summer rates. Nope – $25 a day for full-hookups and electricity. This may be our destination. (Ken and Delores (across the street from us) go to another place a little farther up North so we are waiting for photo’s and information on that park.) for next year. This park is clean, with nice space and privacy. It would make a good home-base.
We were getting hungry -Tolley’s breakfast kept us going until about 3 – so we went into old town Florence. Janet and Ralph have a favorite place to eat here, but reservations are a must as we gazed at the over-full parking lot. We settled on The Bridgewater and had a delicious meal. Dale ordered the blackened oysters and I had their seafood chowder and a salad. Their bread was wonderful – hearty, nutty and homemade.
Wouldn’t you know it, but a yogurt shop was right across the street from the restaurant. We saw it going in to dinner and decided to save room for dessert! Yum.
We couldn’t get out of town without stopping at their Fred Meyer’s. The store in Florence is much bigger than the one in Roseburg. I stopped in at the meat counter to pick up some fish and the steaks we like (and haven’t had for ages). I also decided to see if they had a rain coat. I’ve been looking, without success, for weeks. I settled on a wind and rain resistant jacket. They had a much better selection of styles and colors. The coat was 50% off (always an incentive) and we had a 15% off coupon. So this $100 coat was $42.50. Now that’s a bargain and it is so warm. I tried it out yesterday in the rain and it worked pretty darn good.
Our drive home was in the dark, rainy night. Dale is a trouper, though, and got us home safely. It was a very enjoyable day.
Life is good. God is our Protector!