Saturday, May 10, 2014

Mid Coast of Oregon

Staying at Bullards Beach was totally enjoyable.  One of the best maintained parks so far with more campground hosts and workers than we have ever seen at a state park.  A three mile walk from the campground on a well kept trail will bring you to the Coquille River Lighthouse built in 1896.

As we have said before, in Oregon you can drive to most beaches and there is no fee.  All the beaches are accessible to the public.

Route 101 is a scenic road with many stops at small towns and fishing villages along the way.

In this case , for Sunset Bay State Park and Charleston, just south of Coos Bay, you need to divert on a side road.  The small fishing town is quite busy with commercial fishing boats and oyster farm business.  This boat was unloading cases of crabs.

We found a great seafood store with a great variety of oysters( different sizes) and fresh fish.

Jan and I decided on a pint of fresh shelled small oysters and almost 2 pounds of fresh cod.  Two meals and both the oysters( raw and baked scalloped) and the cod were delicious.  The price was amazingly low.

We were surprised that a lot of campers were not aware of all that was around Sunset Bay Park and Charleston.   Just a short drive or a longer hike from the campground are Shore Acres and Cape Arago State Parks. 

This picture may be hard to see, but at this view we were able to see hundreds of seals.  One Elephant Seal, many California Sea Lions, Stellar Sea Lions, as well as others. I do not have a great telephoto lens, but we were able to see them close up with our binoculars.
Try double clicking to enlarge the picture.

Close by is the Shore Acres State park.  Once the estate of a lumber businessman, the grounds have been restored to great views of the ocean and these wonderful gardens.  At this time it was rhododendrons and some roses and other flowers.

Lots of work to keep the hedges trimmed and all the bushes and flowers looking showtime presentable.

Even a great pond garden.  Admission to Shore Gardens is free to Sunset Bay campers.

Close to Shore Acres is this view of Cap Arago Lighthouse.  Along the 363 miles of Oregon coast there are 11 lighthouses. Also 86 state parks with picnic spots and ocean vistas.

Oyster farms are serious business here.  These mounds of oyster shells in Charleston are baled like in the background.  The bales are loaded with baby oysters and placed out in the oyster farms.

Pacific oysters grow much larger than our east coast oysters.  They can be 6 to 10 inches or so.  But they are very clean, tender, and delicious.

A very short loop off Route 101 brings us to the Umpqua River Lighthouse.  It is maintained by the Coast Guard.

Along the 101 are many stops for calendar type picture views.  This view right on one of those pullouts was of Heceta Head Lighthouse just a little north of Florence, Oregon. 

Our destination was Tillicum Beach National Forest Campground.  Ed of the Ed and Carol blog had told us about this campground and what a great campground it is.  We were very lucky to get an ocean view spot, Site #12.  Speaking of 12, our cost for this wonderful site was $12 per night with our America the Beautiful Pass.

The path you see took us right down to a hard sand , flat beach that was great for walking. 

A great plus for both of us was the parade of whales that could be seen right from Lady Blue as in this picture.  They were happy to surface, blow tall sprays of water, and wave a fin now and then.

As you can see , they seemed to like staying just beyond the breaking waves, but inside the forming waves.

This picture we were lucky to take from inside Lady Blue.  We kept the memory of this sunset,because the next two days were quite rainy and wet.  But even then, we were able to watch the progression of whales and waves.

Lady Blue deserves the best of attention.  Since she was due for an oil change, we had scoured the internet for local oil change garages.  On Yelp, we came across a highly recommended family owned garage in Newport , Oregon called Steens. 

Lady Blue was quite happy as were we with the friendly service( Newport bills themselves as the friendliest town.) Just souith of town was a recommended state park called South Beach.
A great little site with lots of walking to the beach and the long jetty .
This is the walking or biking path to the jetty.  A number of fisherman were to the left on the jetty or the beach.  Ahead is the bridge for Route 101 that goes over the inlet to the marina and aquarium.  More on this perhaps next time.

1 comment:

  1. Try the nearby South Beach Fish Market. You'll like it. On the highway, ocean side not far north of the bridge. Easy RV parking.