Southbound down the Oregon Coast

Coffee morning on the beach

Sunset Bay, one of my favorite beaches

Bill and I brought our coffee down to the beach to enjoy the low tide. Sunset Bay is a nearly perfect semicircle cupped in sandstone bluffs and fronted by a sandy sloping beach. Seagulls were feasting on a quadrapus, a couple of Canada Geese were wading, and we found a fossil fall, Katy chiton, giant chiton (gum boot), and a dead mossy chiton. I’m excited by the mossy—their inner shells are lavender-turquoise-green. Lovely little kite shapes that I’m going to incorporate in the Cormorant Woman mask I’m carving.

Bill headed back to camp and I went rock hopping toward the ocean. I saw a group of folks way out. They had five-gallon buckets and were intent on gathering something.

Turns out they were a group of first grade teachers out on the low tide rocks early on a Sunday morning collecting critters for the first grade salt-water tank. A mom with her little-littles was finding treasures nearby. The smallest gifted me with a tiny purple snail shell. We looked at it together, noticed that it was alive in there and put it back on a rock. I went back to camp happy.

Dedicated first grade teachers
Sunset Bay — textures and shapes

Mid-day gardens and pinnipeds

We left the trailers and drove to Shore Acres and Simpson Reef.

The gardens are always lovely and it was fun to introduce Mark and Jess to them.

There were several elephant seals and the usual assortment of Stellar’s and California sea lions and harbor seals hauled out on Simpson Reef. Not a very big group and there weren’t any surfers. Can’t have everything.

When we got back to camp, the folks across the street were cleaning off their campspace with a yard blower. Cleaning the forest. Well huh.

Hooking up and heading south

Yes, they were blowing the forest clean

We hooked up and headed for Bandon via Seven Devils (which I’m pretty sure some precogs named after me and my six siblings. Hi mom and dad!) and Beaver Hill.

We took the low road into town to view the twig art and found easy parking in the dirt lot across from the boat basin.

Brave Horatio and Daydream Believer found a friend. We had our own teardrop row.

Fish tacos at Tony’s for lunch of course. Then a stroll around old town. I’ve never seen anyone eat so much sugar—I thought Jess and Mark were so healthy. Ice cream and fudge and cookies. They explained that they are on vacation.

We dipped into Washed Ashore. I love introducing new people to my favorite places.

Off to look at the lighthouse and Coquille bar. Not very rough today.

We took Beach Loop out of town. You can’t just pop into Face Rock Wayside when you’re towing a trailer, even tiny teardrops. There just wasn’t room to park.

We had pretty weather all the way down the coast. We braved the wind out to Cape Blanco. Crazy strong as it is most of the time. The lighthouse was closed. Around Humbug Mountain, past Prehistoric Gardens, and on down the coast. All our fruits and veg were grocery store purchased so we breezed through the bug station and into All Star Liquors. 

Raising the tone of All Star Liquors parking lot

I still couldn’t convince Bill that we should pay $600 for the brandy in the Lalique bottle or $300 for the (much cheaper) pear brandy with the blown-glass pear inside. Sad. I expect they’ll still be there next time I visit.

On to Jedediah Smith campsite 8. Mark and Jess were next door in number 6, complete with an amazing Redwood that we could all stand inside. 

Jedediah Smith State Park — Redwoods!

We made a campfire at our site and dined on fish, zukes and onion (Jess does em with bay leaf and basil oil—delicious), and an avocado, mango and onion salad. We drank a gorgeous bottle of Cadence Red Blend gifted to me as a graduation present—thank you Barbara B—that was mighty fine wine!

Guitars and whistles came out. We sang, washed dishes, enjoyed the fire, and got scolded by the camp host for our “noise” though it wasn’t yet 10 and people often pay us to sing. We continued quietly, quietly talking and giggling around the fire before tucking in.

We heard owls—so lovely!

“Why it ain’t no bigger than a bar of soap!”

Spring Trip to the Redwoods in concert with Daydream Believer, day 1

Last night was First Friday, but we bailed out early (about 10:30). Jess and Mark said the last folks left by 11:30, so they got some sleep too.

We hooked up Brave Horatio and were on the road by 7:30, having breakfasted on muffins and lattes. 

Beautiful morning—we traded a few texts to keep track of each other and met for lunch in Cottage Grove.

Brave Horatio parking with the big boys at a rest stop on the way to Cottage Grove

As we drove in I realized that Opal Whitely grew up in Cottage Grove. Brave Horatio was, kind of, home.

On the way out of town we passed an Opal Whitely mural. Next time we’re going to try to get a picture of Brave Horatio by the mural.

Highway 38 through Drain was still very much showing signs of its struggle with the big snow last winter. It was clearer than when were through a month ago but there were still many trees down across every single slope and ample evidence of all the slides.

The weather started to cloud up on the coast side but it was beautiful as usual all the way down. I love the McCollough bridges on the Oregon Coast and always like the approach to my home town—Bandon.

Low tide at Sunset Bay

We didn’t quite go that far today. We stopped for the night at Sunset Bay State Park. Very small campsites and close together—nice nonetheless. The campground is tucked on the land side an easy stroll from Sunset Bay—my favorite beach.

I’ve enjoyed picnics and other day trips to Sunset Bay, but, since we lived less than 20 miles away, I’d never camped there.

I took off immediately to check in with my folks. Dad was at the beginning of treatment for esophageal cancer. They couldn’t join us for the campfire dinner we’d planned months ago, but I was happy to be able to exchange hugs and deliver soup.

While I was gone, Mark napped and Jess and Bill went into Charleston and bought delicious lingcod fresh off one of the boats. We had amazing fish tacos for dinner.

Mark, Jess , and me eating pistachios around the campfire

The Sunset Bay Campground host was an elderly lady from a southern state. She did a double-take when she saw Brave Horatio and exclaimed, “Why it ain’t no bigger than a bar of soap!”

Another comfy night cuddled up warm in Brave Horatio.