Fires in all directions! Our route changed after Styring’s because of the smoke and road closures. Instead of Glacier National Park, we opted to go to the Oregon Coast. The weather was sunny and nice with a few days of rain here and there. The rain made the fire fighters job a little easier!
We spent a week at a campground in Neskowin that had lots of “wild” rabbits, clearly interbred with pet rabbits. It was fun to watch their antics. They reminded me of our pet rabbits when the kids were young. One day, Bruce’s folks came over for lunch and delivered the latest mail. We visited Tillamook Air Museum and Tillamook Cheese factory while in the area. I recommend a visit to the Air Museum which is a wooden WWII blimp hangar large enough to hold 8 blimps! There were also lots of interesting planes and fire trucks on display. Cheese factory was really just a tasting because their visitor center was undergoing a remodel – past trips were more interesting with a viewing window into the factory and the cheese making process. We stopped for lunch at the restaurant where my “cows” painting was hanging. The painting had been sold during downsizing and this was a nice wrap-up of that story. We visited Pacific City and Lincoln City while in the area. Pacific City has a nice beach-front restaurant with a huge sand dune hill next to it.
Tillicum Beach National Forest campground is a favorite place that we hadn’t visited in years. There were no reservations available but we got the last walk-up site that fit the 40 foot RV! The site was on an incline that we couldn’t correct fully with our jacks and blocks. After 4 nights, I was ready to be level again! I felt like I was falling out of bed at night and walking like a drunk when I first woke up! The campground is on a bluff set in old-growth juniperish bushes and woods – the bushes have that windblown shape characteristic of the Oregon coast. We enjoyed our campfires and walking on the beach. Nice to have beach access from the campsite, just down a stairway. Since we have been to this location so many times, we didn’t do much sight-seeing in the area. There is always more I want to do — so we will be back!
Gold Beach OR:
A true bucket list item for me to share Jerry’s Rogue River jet boat trip with Bruce. I have been on Rogue River trips several times, staying far up river at Paradise Lodge. The scenery gets more and more beautiful the further up river you go. We signed up for the longest jet boat trip but the water was too low for the boats to pass so they shortened the trip to end at Agnes, which is the shortest option. It was fun but we definitely need to go back and do some other types of boating and hiking. Maybe I can get Bruce to stay at Paradise Lodge in the future! We encountered blinding rain right before the lunch stop at Agnes but we were dressed for it and there were lap covers to help shield us from the rain and wind. The cold rain made lunch taste so good! Rain hitting your face while riding in an open boat feels like large hail pellets! We lucked out and had no rain for the rest of the trip! The captain had a German short hair dog named Agnes that kept walking on the backs of the seats and sitting next to each row, she was an experienced fist mate.
Port Orford Heads State Park, Lifeboat Station Museum and Cape Blanco State Park were other highlights. The lifeboat station sits at the site of an old coast guard station. There are short hikes that provide unbelievable views. Cape Blanco Lighthouse sits in Port Orford Heads State Park and it is the furthest south lighthouse and on the western-most point of the state of Oregon. We climbed to the top of the lighthouse and saw the gorgeous glass surrounding the light. If you aren’t aware, I LOVE GLASS almost as much as I love rocks.
Getting here was a challenge on the curvy, windy and bumpy hwy 101. The RV GPS was trying to route us back to I-5 for miles…now we know why. Bruce was really tired by the time we arrived at our camping spot at Harris Beach State Park. Our site was barely big enough to get our RV mirrors out of the road and no room for the car. Easy solve to park the car a short walk away. Next time, we’ll choose a bigger site. There had been a large fire called the Chetco fire and it had just become 95% contained a few days before we arrived. Our hearts go out to everyone affected by the fire. The beauty of this landscape is so enhanced by the forest and we are thankful for those that protect it.
There are lots of rocky shorelines and beautiful beaches. Driving North, we saw great rocks standing guard over the coastline at Whale’s Head Beach, Natural Bridge, Arch Rock, and sand dunes at Pistol River. My pedometer reading was hitting and exceeding goals! This section of the coastline, North of Brookings is rugged and reminds me of the rocky cliffs on the north shore of Kaua’i, Hawaii.
Good tidepooling at Lone Ranch Beach. The search for real tide pools was so addictive that we kept walking further and further and we were rewarded. We hated leaving Harris Beach State Park area so it’s definitely on the do-over list.
Salt Lake City, Utah:
Quick 1 night stops at Klamath Falls, Oregon and Winnemucca, Nevada then arrived at Salt Lake City, Utah which will be shared in the next post.