The Southern Oregon Coast

When I woke up today it was foggy and drizzly.  But after breakfast (veggie scramble, sausage, fresh homemade apple-pear juice, and fresh apples and Asian pears from the orchard), I drove to the coast, and by the time I got there, the sun was out.

Until about 1:30.  Then it started clouding over and spitting rain.  And later in the afternoon it was raining heavily.  More rain is predicted for tomorrow.

But let's talk about the sunny part of my day.  (A few pictures now, more to come later.)

At Dave and Leena's suggestion, I headed to Coos Bay, and turned north, crossed the bridge, and made a left.  This took my onto the Trans Pacific Parkway.  (It is true - that is the name of the road.  It does cross some water, but it absolutely does not cross the Pacific Ocean.)  It took me to the south end of the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area.  I had to disturb this fellow in order to get to the envelopes so I could pay the day fee.

But that accomplished, I found my way to an area of dunes that I had all to myself.  And I learned something: dunes are cool!

After enjoying the dunes for a while, I headed on a little further to the beach, and then I took a hike around a lake, and then I moved on to my next area to explore: Cape Arago.  This was one of the best places on the entire coast for viewing the ocean.  My first stop was at Sunset Bay, a nice protected beach.

Then I stopped to see the Cape Arago Lighthouse.  But it was this that was truly spectacular.  I keep watching this video and I keep being amazed.  It was even more amazing in person.  (You can see the lighthouse at the far left edge of the video.)

At another viewpoint, the barking of the sea lions was almost as loud as the roar of the waves.  Unfortunately, the videos I tried taking didn't come out well.

  Finally, the far end of the road for more great views.

From there I drove to Bandon, with a detour to see the Coquille River Lighthouse. 

It hasn't been in use since the 1930s, and they let you climb to the top to look out.

Bandon is a cute town.  It has a small old-town area with nice shops.  I had the Halibut and Chips my coworker told me I must get.  They were as good as he said.  Then I walked around the town and watched some crabbers attempting to catch some crabs on the dock (one guy explained that they have to be 5.25" across and they have to be male, otherwise they throw them back -- and I didn't see anyone catch anything they didn't throw back).  They use raw chicken legs or turkey legs for bait.

No stop in Bandon would be complete without a visit to the cranberry shop, so I did that.  And the chocolate shop.  Let's just say that samples were tasted and purchases were made.

Bandon also provided additional opportunities for ocean viewing, and I took advantage of these, because when you're on the Oregon coast, you are compelled to look at the ocean and it's impossible to take too many pictures.

It's also obligatory to see as many lighthouses as possible.  Unfortunately, I missed a couple on the way down the coast, but there was one more just a few miles south of Bandon at Cape Blanco, the westernmost point in Oregon.  Unfortunately, I underestimated the distance, and it was a long drive in what became a heavy and steady rain, just to get a few pictures of a lighthouse.  I could just as easily have downloaded some pics of this lighthouse off the internet and posted them here.  But I didn't.  honest.  I actually took these pics.  Really.  You can tell because all the pics on the internet have bright blue sky.

From there it took almost an hour and a half to get back to the farm for salmon dinner (Dave caught it himself), salad and potatoes from the garden.  And three of Dave's homemade wines: blackberry, strawberry-rhubarb, and plum-cherry.  (This last tasted almost like a brandy.)  He isn't legally allowed to sell it, but he said for a donation I could take some home.  He was also making some more plum wine.

Total miles today: 180.

Tomorrow, I'm off to Ashland.  I'm planning a scenic route, but just how scenic will depend on the weather.