We made it to Oregon on July 1 and embarked on an incredible journey northward.
We knew the Oregon Coast was beautiful but we had only explored the more northern portion in the past. In previous trips we’d visited from Newport to Astoria. This time we intended to get to know the southern portion.
Just across the California/Oregon border, the vibe changes pretty quickly. One thing we noticed right away is that gas is much cheaper in Oregon and they pump it for you. We also appreciated the state parks that dot the coast…one after another. The entire coast is basically a big state park. We stopped at the first one, Harris Beach State Park, in the little town of Brookings.
We were here just one night but quickly decided we could have stayed much longer. Private sites, access to the beach, and right off Highway 101, this park is a gem.
We then moved up to Coos Bay and settled in at the trendy Bayside Landing. This RV park also has a fleet of Airstream trailers you can rent, along with modernistic cabins. Bocce ball courts, an indoor pool, and a gym added to the luxury. Because of COVID we didn’t really use any of the amenities but the setting was pretty cool. We spent the 4th of July here and the area fireworks were pretty great.
During our time in the area we explored the coastal towns of Reedsport and the nearby Dean Creek Elk viewing area.
We also caught a cool event in Bandon called Circles in the Sand. A small group of volunteers draw elaborate labyrinths during low tide. The designs only last until the next tide washes it away. We just observed the designs and people walking the paths from the cliffside above, as I was still transitioning out of my boot and didn’t want to push it.
The afternoon of the fourth we stopped at the Whiskey Run Mountain Bike area so Steve could spend a little time on the bike. While I waited at the trailhead with the dogs, he took a spin on the trails. I knew immediately when he returned about an hour later that he’d taken a fall. To be exact, it was an “endo” over the handlebars. A sagging shoulder and arm that couldn’t be lifted were the telltale signs of a broken collarbone. To the hospital we went.
After three hours in the ER and some X-rays, our diagnosis was confirmed. He was given a sling and some pain meds and told to see an orthopedic doctor in Eugene. And then he drove back to the campground. What a trooper!
The next morning we headed north to Florence and our first Thousand Trails campground. When we bought our first trailer last year we were given a zone membership to Thousand Trails network of campgrounds. The membership basically gives us free campsites at their campgrounds throughout the Pacific Northwest. We plan to stay at nine or ten of these during this trip. After one day of lying low and resting up, we were both ready to head back out and continue our explorations. We headed north to some of the most beautiful coastline we’ve ever seen.
First stop, the Darlingtonia Wayside, a roadside stop that features these cobra-like plants that eat insects. It was a quick stop, but really cool.
Next up was the Sea Lion Caves, a commercial attraction that has been a feature on the Oregon coast since the 1930s. We took an elevator down 300 feet into a seaside cave that houses over 150 Stellar Sea Lions.
The cave, one of the largest in the world, was originally discovered in 1880 by a sea captain and is the only known cave and rookery for wild sea lions on the American mainland.
Just north of the Sea Lion Caves is Heceta Head Lighthouse and Cape Perpetua Scenic Area. Sweeping views, rugged coastline, and Spruce forests make this area breathtaking and memorable. We were able to fit in a few short hikes, even with Steve’s arm in a sling and with my limp. We’ll let the photos speak for themselves.
Our final stop on the coast was another Thousand Trails campground near the town of Newport. This stop gave us easy access to more of the incredible Oregon coastline. At Thousand Trails Whaler’s Rest we could walk or ride bikes to the beach in about three minutes, so we took advantage of that.
We took day trips north to Depoe Bay and Lincoln City and saw whales spouting right off the beach every day. We also made the Rogue Brewery, which is based in Newport, a frequent stop and each found new favorite beers.
Leaving the coast was hard but our adventures now continue inland, first with a stop to see the doctor in Eugene and then on to the mountains. You can bet there’s more to come!