Thursday, July 31, 2014
We had arrived in Coos Bay, Oregon and checked in at our hotel. Now it was time to visit Laura’s Aunt Ellen. Ellen is Laura’s mother’s younger sister. Upon retirement, Aunt Ellen and Uncle Larry sold their home in the desert in California, bought a large RV and spent several years traveling around the country. We were privileged to have them stay with us for awhile. When it was time to settle down from that adventure, they chose Coos Bay. Uncle Larry passed away two years ago, and this was the first chance we’d had to visit Aunt Ellen.
We found the house with no trouble and spent a good bit of time catching up. We had an early-ish dinner at a local Mexican restaurant, then set out to see what we could find. It was still early evening, but since it was now clear I asked if there was a spot we could watch the sun set over the beach. Ellen had the perfect location.
The town of Coos Bay is on the eastern (inland) side of the peninsula along the bay. Like a mutant amoeba, it expanded and swallowed up the surrounding communities into its city limits, including North Bend and Empire. Aunt Ellen lives near the Empire area, which is closer to the coast. This put us in a good position to reach the beach before sundown.
We drove down the beach through the community of Charleston. Unlike our Charleston in South Carolina, this was a small fishing village with a large marina and several restaurants. One had the word “bacon” displayed prominently on its roof. We drove through the marina to look at the boats.
Eventually we reached Bastendorf Beach and entered the park. We drove on in and found a parking place where we could walk out onto the beach. There were a few people gathering for the evening sunset, but it wasn’t crowded.
To the south we saw a lighthouse. I assumed that this was the Coquille River Lighthouse we had seen yesterday.
Aunt Ellen said that it couldn’t be Coquille. We were too far north. She and Laura continued walking along the beach, then headed back to the car. I hung out on the beach, watching several surfers take to the waves in the golden light of the setting sun.
I joined Laura and Aunt Ellen back at the car, retrieving my tripod from the trunk of the car. I waited at the top of the dunes as the sun set.
I kept snapping as the sun set. I was able to catch the “green flash”, but it wasn’t at the very end of the sunset. Rather, it was while the sun was still half visible. I was watching for something different after the sun set, and didn’t actually see this until I was processing photos.
After the sun set we headed on back to Aunt Ellen’s house. We relaxed a bit more in front of the TV, then Laura and I headed on back to the hotel. We would spend all day the next day with Aunt Ellen, so there was more time for family.