Heading down the Southern Coast

Trip Start Nov 11, 2010
Trip End Dec 18, 2010

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Flag of United States  , Oregon
Thursday, November 18, 2010

We are really doing a 'flying survey' of the coast but it will give us some ideas of places we would like to revisit.  We are continuing to hurry south with the threat of a major storm with snow moving in on Saturday.  Not the way we had envisioned traveling this route but the late harvest got in the way!

It rained quite heavily over night but the high winds did not materialize - making for great sleeping weather!  We have some of Dave and Lisa's DVDs with us, so last night we watched about 11 episodes of Will and Grace, the1998 season. What a hoot!  We were glad to have some DVDs with us as we had no Internet, no cell phone, no TV...... while in this park!!!!  

I've just finished reading a great series of books by Jack Whyte, a Canadian author who writes about the Arthur legend era.  An absolutely great series - I started reading in May and it has taken me until now to finish - Don is about two books behind!  Dave sent me south with a new series by the same author and I am really looking forward to getting into it.  In the meantime I'm reading Tears of the Rain by Ruth Ann Stelfox.  Ruth Ann was in Liberia for two years on missionary work and this is her diary of her experiences.  I met Ruth Ann when in Welling AB.  She and her daughter Bev prepared the really great meals that were taken to the fields for the harvesters.

We packed up and got on the road just as a heavy shower passed through, but soon drove into sunshine as we headed south.  Much of today's coastline was separated from the ocean by a narrow band of trees so we were driving through coniferous forests for the most part. 

The coastal sand dunes start at Florence and we walked the beach and explored the sand on this part of the coast in April.  South of Florence, the dunes have been designated as National and State Recreational areas, mainly functioning as day use parks.  We drove into a couple to get a better view of the ocean and the dunes, especially the Umpqua dunes near Winchester.  The dunes there are spectacular, some rising to a couple of hundred feet.  Along this part of the coast the sand dunes and the forest battle. The trees are gradually losing as they are buried under the moving mountains of sand.  After checking out the dunes we headed up to the lighthouse where we had a great overview of the oyster beds behind the breakwater and of the turbulent waves crashing into the waters flowing from the mouth of the Umpqua River.  This is a beautiful area and tourists and locals alike enjoy it.  We shared the parking lot with a woman sitting in her car watching the ocean alternately with reading a book and ongoing other visitors. This is a favored whale watching spot so she may have been hoping for a spotting.  

After lunch we headed south to Coos Bay/Charleston Area where I managed to get Don off the beaten path by suggesting there was a super warehouse of RV parts.  It turned out to cater to 5th wheels and trailers but the side trip did get us out to the fishing village of Charleston and as far south along the coast as Sunset Bay.  At this point the shore starts to get quite rocky - I expect to see more of this tomorrow.

We decided to call it a day at the most westerly point of Oregon - at Cape Blanco State Park near the lighthouse and overlooking Port Orford.  Again a beautiful park, this one located on top of sea cliffs that look like chalk and tower 200 feet above the ocean that allow you to look down on black sand beaches.  Tonight was a night for a good bottle of wine and dinner before settling in, this time with Internet but no TV and little phone reception.

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Bob on

It is always a toss up whether to travel the coast in the winter or the summer. The winter storms have incredible beauty if you can weather the rain, and if it gets to be too much you put it in drive & carry on.

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