Empty Beachs - miles of them

Trip Start Aug 01, 2010
Trip End Apr 30, 2011

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Flag of United States  , Oregon
Friday, April 8, 2011

Leaving the wine country behind us we continue north driving the Highway 101. This is redwood country and the trees dominate the roadside and intimidate the drivers - well they did me. The Avenue of the Giants winds through the trees for 30 miles.

We stopped for the night at Eureka where the weather has changed and the temperature dropped by 10 degrees. A heavy hailstorm caught us leaving the restuarant and I can tell you those hailstones hurt and I was very pleased to get it the car. 

We started the morning, in the sunshine, at Trinidad a small fishing community sheltering in a sweeping bay, the rocky outcrops are home to very noisy Harbor Seals.

We continue up the coast road through the Redwood National Park looking for but not finding any Elk, we stop at Patrick's Point State Park which has great sea stacks and an opportunity to get up close and personnel with the sea. The sea has been calm this week but this coast must be awesome in a winter storm.

Crossing the border into Oregon we stay close to the coast stopping off at the State Parks along the way. The whole coast is a series of small parks interpresed with just a few small towns struggling to get by on the tourist trade now that the fishing and lumber industries are in decline. At Gold Beach there are high cliffs cut bythe Rogue river which in the past deposited gold. All gone now but still a beautiful spot.

The coast is a series of bays, sometimes backed by lagoons, with sea stacks guarding each point. Many of the headlands have picturesque lighthouses. Unfortunately it is not possible to stop and visit each one as we would never get anywhere - so it is a quick stop at the viewpoint and a picture - mostly out of focus - I really should be better at this by now - must buy a camera with a telephoto lens...

Coos Bay is situated on a deep water port and was once a busy industrial town. It has a long and beautiful bridge spanning the harbor mouth. On the north side of the town the coast is a long wide beach backed by high sand dunes. The beaches are available for off road vehicles and in the summer this must be full of people charging about in sand buggies but luckily at this time of year it wa pretty empty although there are a number of very large Rv's parked up behind the dunes with sand buggies parked at the door.

The beach is empty and runs as far as the eye can see both south and north, it would be great to spend a few hours walking the shore but time is tight. I did have time to investigate a few of the half buried objects on the beach.  The remains of shipwrecks that must have been here a long time. All the Oregon beaches are littered with logs bleached by the sun and sea - they make for great photographs.
On the west coast beaches there are small flocks of birds which feed along the waterline - sorry do not what they are called, but they are fun to watch as they run along the surf line - what amazes me is that they always stay just an inch ahead of the water. They run backwards and forwards with the waves managing to keep out of the water and feed. Wonderful clever little birds I could watch them for hours.
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