I sure wish there was a way to stay truer to our timeline with my writings here, but our desire to stay as close to nature as possible, and our thirst for experiencing said nature as much as possible, makes it an impossible task. WiFi and decent data connection is often non-existent, and our time is usually very full. At writing, it’s late April and we are camped in Bellingham WA, preparing our sailboat for our next adventure on the water. (Those details to come). What I’m writing about below took place March 10-12.
I left off where we were camped in the deep shadow of Humbug Mountain, where we wake not knowing what the sky actually looks like out there, and can’t “google” the weather because we have no cell service.
After breakfast we set out up the coast once again, retracing the route we took in Zippy (tow car) the day prior, and picking up the exploring where we left off. First stop was Cape Arago, near Coos Bay.
Soon after we arrived at our next campsite… Winchester Bay RV Resort in Reedsport. We typically aim for State and National Parks, rather than RV parks, but I liked this one. It was spacious, clean, and offered several amenities, and best of all our site faced the bay, as many of them do.
After settling in we made a bee-line for the Umpguah River Lighthouse. Then we headed up the Umpquah River because I was so taken with it when I routed myself down the river one fall day several years prior. This time of year though, was not as picturesque, since many of the trees were leafless. We also went out to the Oregon Dunes National Recreation area, and hiked a bit, but the light was not at it’s best, so I have no pictures to show.
That evening we enjoyed a sunset along the coast before planning our next day’s adventures.
In my research on the area, I found a hike that sounded irresistible… Sweet Creek Falls Trail. This is a 1.9 mile easy hike along a cascading creek. Dogs are allowed on the trail, but we opted to leave Sadie in the comfort of our shaded car. Her distance endurance is decreasing at a heart wrenching pace. The hike was truly enjoyable. My only wish in these situations is better view points. The only option is dragging thousands of dollars worth of camera gear down slippery slopes and even more slippery creek rocks, but in this case I opted out and stayed on dry land.
Next stop was Neptune’s Scenic Viewpoint, featuring Cook’s Chasm, Spouting Horn and Thor’s Well. Cook’s Chasm was formed after millions of years of pounding surf created a cave along the shoreline, and eventually eroded it farther down until the top of the cave collapsed leaving a chasm between the rock.
As the waves churn up that chasm at high tide, and coming crashing into the rock and a cave along the edge, they push a “geyser” of sea water through an opening at the top. This is Spouting Horn, and it’s impressive.
Along this rocky outcrop is another wonderful, deep hole in the rocks that seems to swallow the sea during high tide. It’s called Thor’s Well’s, and people come from far and wide to see and photograph this anomaly.
A word of warning- at high tide, and especially in stormy weather, the waves are incredibly powerful. Many lives are claimed annually along this rugged coast when unsuspecting visitors and knowledgeable daredevils get too close or turn their backs, only to be tackled and taken out to sea by this tremendous surf. Sneaker waves can come out of nowhere, even on less than stormy days. Best advice is to stay at a safe distance, and never turn your back on the ocean.
I photographed from a safe distance (and higher angle), but also broke out the drone for a more “unique view” of this incredible bit of nature.
On the way back south we pulled off to see Heceta Head Lighthouse, only to find yet another road closure. We got back on the highway and traveled far enough to find a viewpoint looking back on the lighthouse. When we pulled off, we looked over the edge and found the rocks below were covered with Sea Lions.
Our next destination took us north of Newport, to Beverly Beach State Park… very near my favorite Oregon Coast Lighthouse- Yaquina Head. I looked forward to sharing that one with John, since he enjoys them as much as I do. That and more beauty from the coast, coming up!! At this point we’re only about 500 miles from Bellingham WA, where Summer Breeze is stored, but we have several more wonderful stops to make in between.