What do they have in common? They both like water. No, that's not it. They are both team names for Oregon Universities? Yep, that's it! It's fitting that they are both named after creatures that love the water because Oregon is full of it. Many lakes and rivers, beautiful beaches, and very wet air. More on that later on.
I hit the road Saturday, April 28 and drove about 550 miles to a campground on the Russian River near Cloverdale, which is 80 miles north of San Francisco. Set up my tent and hit the sack.
A nice enough place, I spent Sunday airing out my gear and taking a walk down to the river.
Monday night I planned on camping at Harris Beach State Park near Brookings, OR. It was only about 300 miles away so I took my time to check out the strange stuff along the roadside.
Just south of Oregon is "Trees of Mystery". It's also where the air started getting wet.
With Paul waving me on, I headed to my campground.
I had planned to stay here two nights, but instead I took campsite photos while hoping the rain would end. It finally stopped and I set up my tent and read a book in my car until bedtime.
Harris Beach was named after the Scottish pioneer George Harris who settled here in the late 1880s to raise sheep and cattle. The park offers sandy beaches interspersed with eroded sea stacks. So I decided to check out the stacks the next morning before I left.
Very nice stacks!
Since I only stayed one night, I had three stops on my way to Bullards Beach State Park. In order:
My first impression of Loeb was the scent of the myrtlewood forest ... a crisp, bay leaf aroma. The park is nestled in a grove of these lovely trees. Many of the trees in the park are well over 200 years old. The Chetco River swirls and dances just beyond the park.
I really liked the campsites and this park in general. It's only about 12 miles east from Harris Beach, but feels world's apart. This is what a campsite looks like.
The park and campground are dominated by Humbug Mountain (elevation 1,756 feet) and surrounded by forested hills. The campground enjoys some of the warmest weather on the Oregon coast as the surrounding mountains offer protection from cool ocean breezes. Many visitors enjoy windsurfing and scuba diving. Hiking to the top of Humbug Mountain is a major activity. Here is a side view of the mountain and a campsite.
I stopped at Cape Sebastian to admire the view.
This campground is great just by itself, but a walk to to the tip of the cape gives you views like this:
I finally arrived at my campground for two nights:
Bullards Beach is a large, family-oriented park located just two miles north of Bandon. The campground is nestled among shore pines and well protected from the strong ocean breezes. Well known for excellent fishing and crabbing opportunities on the Coquille River, the boat launch facilities are well-used during the summer and fall seasons.
What I liked the most, however, was that the sun finally came out of hiding. I quickly dried my tent:
It started to look like rain so I got my tent fly ready.
Wednesday morning was not that wet, so I drove out to Sunset Bay State Park. Stopped by this place first. Can you guess where it is?
If you are a golfer, you have heard of it.
It recently surpassed Pebble Beach as the top golf resort in America.
My GPS was showing a shortcut to Sunset, so I followed it since they are never wrong. Looks interesting.
GPS is having fun.
Didn't make it. The road did not go through. Sheesh. Headed back to camp and took some pictures of flowers near the mouth of the Coquille River. Made me feel better.
I think this is a cool effect by using an open aperture and changing the focal plane.
I left Thursday morning, visiting seven campgrounds on my way to Florence and my campsite for the next four nights.
I stopped at William M. Tugman and Umpqua Lighthouse State Parks. I also looked at five campgrounds in the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. I carried my umbrella at each stop, and not just to look suave.
I fully deployed here at South Jetty campground in Florence.
Woke up this Saturday morning and it was cold and wet. But did it get me down? No Way! It was TACO TIME!!!
It's not all bad, though. I wrote the blog here:
Shot some pool:
And might go swimming later:
Look for these campgrounds to be posted soon on our website.
Regards, Park Ranger