Thursday, July 31, 2014
East Coast, West Coast – doesn’t matter. I still get up early regardless of the time zone. This morning was no different. I went to bed last night to the sounds of a fog horn in the distance and sea lions, and I awoke to the same this morning. I decided to get up and go for a walk.
Our hotel was on a small prominence that connects to a series of sea rocks by a small jetty. There were piers that jutted off to the north, and a beach to the south. An RV park was right behind the hotel, and a small cafe and a couple of fish places occupied the rest of the jetty.
Of course, it was foggy. So far it’s been foggy most of the time we’ve been on the coast. However, I’d take cool fog over the sunny heat of the interior just about any day. So, while I may complain about the lost views, I’ll delight in the cool comfort.
As I walked back I took note of the RV park behind the hotel. Many of these had an air of permanence to them, with fencing and other rigid external structures. I imagine that these are probably seasonal workers who work on the docks or in the fishing industry, then move to the next location when the time comes.
We packed up, then continued northward on Highway 101. Before we knew it we had left California and crossed into Oregon. We reached a lovely stretch of beach at Twin Rocks, and decided to walk a bit.
Laura was fascinated with the tide pools. There were several anemones seemingly out of water. These would draw into themselves, but when the tide came in they opened back up. The tide was, in fact, coming, and coming in quickly.
I was able to catch a couple of short videos within the tide pool itself using the GoPro mounted on a monopod.
There were barnacles and mussels attached to the rocks.
Not a selfie, but I did get a bit of video…
I could have stayed here all morning, but we had places to be. We continued on up the coast, stopping at various turn-outs. This was kind of like driving along the Blue Ridge Parkway. After awhile to start to pick and choose which turn-outs and scenic overlooks you want, and you don’t stop at all of them.
Lunch was in the town of Gold Beach. We found a nice little cafe with a great view of the Rogue River. Various outfitters nearby offered boat tours on the Rogue. A Coast Guard boat was in the process of mooring right outside our cafe.
The road turned inland for a bit, and soon we reached another tourist trap. However, it was impossible NOT to stop at this the Prehistoric Garden. After all, who could resist a towering T-Rex?
Of course, I had to pose with the dinosaur.
The “garden” was a collection of dinosaur statuary situated on a hill-side. We didn’t pay the $28 entrance fee, but we did stop in their gift shop, and carefully avoided making any purchases. We continued on.
There were more scenic stops along the way, and soon we reached the tourist town of Bandon. The Old Town section was lined with shops, and we took some time to wander into a few. One of the town’s landmarks was a lighthouse, so I knew we had to find it. This was on the other side of the Coquille River in a state park. We pulled in to take some photos.
The Coquille River Lighthouse sits at the edge of the river and a long beach. A long rock jetty juts out from the lighthouse. It had turned into a beautiful day, and the beach was active.
I decided to climb the lighthouse, but Laura opted to stay outside and read. A volunteer led several of us up into the light.
The lamp and lens had been removed, but there were views of Bandon across the river and the surrounding area.
I wandered back down to find Laura. She had picked out a nice bench overlooking the river, and with a great view of the lighthouse.
Back on the road, it wasn’t long until we reached Coos Bay. We checked into our hotel, which was right downtown, then called Laura’s Aunt Ellen to let her know that we had arrived.