Saturday, March 28, 2015

Just Riding Around the Coast (mostly pictures)

Location: Bullards Beach State Park (el 35 ft); Bandon, Oregon

(click pictures to enlarge)
(all pictures taken with Nokia Lumia 929 Cell Phone)

The only thing on the agenda today was to find Walmart and get my prescriptions refilled. The nearest one is in Coos Bay about 20 miles north of the campground. Highway 101 cuts inland between Bandon and Coos Bay, so the road was lined with pine trees on both sides. It got boring after the first mile. But there was good news. I checked my food app on my cell phone in search of a fine dining restaurant that served Mexican food. Wouldn't you know it, sure enough, there was a Taco Bell on the way to Walmart. Figured it would be a good day to get a quality lunch, visit walmart, fuel up and drive back along the county coast road on the way back to the campground.

It took a little longer than normal to get the prescription filled but it didn't bother me too much. I picked up a few things and visited with an older lady with purple hair that was waiting on her pills too. We discussed the freedom to do strange things when you get to a certain age. No, I will not be dying my hair purple. 

This is some of the reef off the coast by Coos Bay.

More reef

Nice view

It won't be long before that tree on the right will be on the beach.


No swimming here with the waves and rocks.

The two people sitting on the lower right side of the picture was what looked like a mother and her teenage son. They appeared to be whale watching.

More whale/beach watchers

Sometimes the scenery is distracting

Another beach access

The road opens up to the ocean and beach

I got back to the campground around 3 or so. After putting up the walmart stuff, I sat down in the Lazy Boy recliner and the next thing I know it was 4:30. It was a very peaceful nap. Those kind of naps can only be done by a very experienced napper. Younger, less experienced nappers, will nap too long and mess up their night time sleep cycle. If they stick to it and practice more, they will be able to accomplish the perfect, peaceful nap. I have also noticed over the years that professional nappers are generally of the male gender. I'm figuring that most females are just not wired properly for napping. They usually say it is a waste of time or some such nonsense. Oh well, I had a very peaceful nap and the true nappers out there will appreciate the significance of that. 

Sunset was around 7:30 and I had hopes of a decent one so I headed to the beach area about 6:30. I should have waited a while because there was a very chilly north wind blowing and the temperature was dropping. The clouds didn't cooperate like I was hoping and the sunset was just so-so. I was able to get some other pictures while I was waiting. Nothing else to report.
This is part of the beach at the campground. This spot is next to the north jetty of the Coquille River. That is all debris that has washed ashore.

More beach with driftwood

This is the old Coquille River Lighthouse. It was put in service in 1896 and taken out of service in 1936 when it was replaced with an automated light and fog horn located at the end of the south jetty.

It was trying to be a good sunset

Looking along the north jetty. On the left is the tip of the south jetty and the Coquille river is in between. The tide was coming in

This was the best shot of the sunset. 

This is looking alongside the old lighthouse. On the left, you can see the new, automated lighthouse/foghorn.

Ya'll take care of each other. I'll Cya down the road. 

Friday, March 27, 2015

Goodbye California, Hello Oregon

Location: Bullards Beach State Park (el. 35 ft); Bandon, Oregon

(click pictures to enlarge)
(all pictures taken with Nokia Lumia 929 Cell Phone)

I put California in my rearview side mirrors this morning and moved on to Oregon. It has been 3 weeks since I entered California but it seems much longer. I saw The Reagan Library, the giant Sequoias and Redwoods, the Golden Gate bridge, the beautiful coast and miles of fertile farm land in the very large central valley. I also learned that not everyone who lives in California is a "left coast wingnut". Except for the traffic around Los Angelas and San Francisco I couldn't tell the difference between it and any other state. I wasn't able to see Yosemite due to bad weather and will have to put it on my future list. It is a pretty good state, all in all. 

Before fueling up yesterday I drove a little bit south of Crescent City to get these 4 pictures. The fog was hanging around for most of the day. 
Nice overlook area as you look north to Crescent City. I think the shape of the coast is like a crescent and that may have helped name the town.


I couldn't decide which picture to cull so I just left both in

I continued on U.S. 101 into Oregon and followed it to this campground which is about 1/2 mile off the highway. There are plenty of trees in the campground so there is no traffic noise. I had a heck of a time getting into this campsite with trees on all corners. After jockeying back and forth for about 5 minutes I finally got her situated without any damage  and that is always a good thing. I'll be here for 3 days before heading farther north up 101. I got set up in time to drive back into the town of Bandon to get some groceries and see parts of the coast. The cost of gasoline dropped about 70 cents a gallon as soon as I left California.

I was a little concerned about the fog but it turned out not to be a problem. It made everything look more interesting.

It was a short haul of only about 120 miles so I packed a lunch and found a nice pull-off to enjoy my sandwich with a great view.

The only other people in the pull-out were the two senior citizens in the lawn chairs behind their car. One was playing a guitar and the other had binoculars looking for whales. Great way to spend the day.

The campsite looks innocent enough but it gave me fits today trying to back in. It was just one of those days, I hope.

I drove down to the jetty. To the right side of the picture is the Coquille River as it empties into the Pacific Ocean. 

Looking across the river to the beach on the other side. The campground is in the distance but can't be seen.

Several people were enjoying the beach by the jetty. Someone said it was Spring break.

I found a pretty good bench. The view was great, but it wasn't too comfortable.

Beach views from near the city of Bandon, OR.

More views

This is a view at Face Rock. Can you see the face? I left the people in the lower right in the picture to give perspective to the size of the rocks. I have learned they are called "Sea Stacks".

Someone did a great job at creating a "crop circle" in the sand. 

Not much else to report since I just got here. I'll do some exploring tomorrow. 

Ya'll take care of each other. I'll Cya down the road.  

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Rainy, Lazy Weather and Future Travel Plans Made

Location: Sunset Harbor RV Park (el. 14 ft); Crescent City, California

(click pictures to enlarge)
(all pictures taken with Nokia Lumia 929 Cell Phone)

Today is day 6 in this park and I've been reminded again that staying a week in the same campground is too long, sometimes. My feet and fifth wheel hitch are itching to move on down the road. This stay hasn't been as bad since it set into raining on day 2 and just stopped yesterday afternoon (day 5). It was a good rain though with on very brief periods of heavy rain and wind. Mostly it was a light rain that came in waves as the clouds moved in from the ocean. The daytime highs were in the mid to upper 50's with lows in the upper 40's. Nice temperatures. I could easily track the rain bands on Accuweather radar to find the times to go into town for shopping or exploring. There was even a little freezing rain that fell. It wasn't hail and wasn't snow, it was right in between which added a variety to the weather. I may not have even know about the freezing rain except it happened while I was in the shower and I could see it hitting the skylight. Liberty is safely tucked behind a high, dense hedge which protects her from the wind. This is the perfect camping spot when weather is blowing in from the ocean. The rain was nice; I liked it a lot. It is hard to remember the last time it rained on us. It may have been the dirty rain on the moving day to Choke Canyon State Park. If so, that was 2 months ago. That may help explain my behavior. Ignoring the fear of men in white coats coming to get me, I took a short walk in the rain. I didn't get soaking wet, but just enough. Although the air here is very clear, this rain was perfect for clearing and cleaning everything. The nightly benefit of the rain is that the raindrops falling on the roof of Liberty sure makes for a peaceful way to fall asleep. It may not be as peaceful as being under a tin roof, but it is mighty close. 

As I mentioned in the last post, I needed this down time to let time catch up to me. I lazily let that happen. No, no, no, I'm not using that as an excuse to be lazy. Well,,,,,, maybe a little. I did use the time to figure out my travel plans for the next few weeks. When I left Louisiana back in December for this western swing, my long range destination was Crater Lake State Park in southern Oregon. I had heard and seen pictures of the blue water and wanted to see for myself. I remember how shocked I was to see the blue waters of Lake Huron last year and wanted to compare the two. When I say "long range destination", that doesn't mean taking a straight line to that place. That would be too much like vacation time where a family has to get there fast to enjoy the destination before having to return home just as fast to be back at work. Being retired, I could go in any direction at any time but my ultimate goal was to see Crater Lake. I am about 150 miles away from it, as the crow flies. It is still very early in the Spring season and many of the roads in Crater Lake park are still snowed in. I had been checking online about the weather condition in the park and thought about heading there when I left here. The rain event that came through here over the last few days was a snow event up in the mountains around Crater Lake. In fact, one of their webcams was blocked by the recent snowfall. I don't mind driving in snow, except when towing Liberty, but I don't like camping in it. 

With the mountain snows in mind, I looked for a different travel route. Traveling the Oregon coast was also on my "to do" list. Geographically speaking, the coastal area is relatively flat for a short distance before the land rises to the mountains of the Cascade Range. This flatter, coastal area is warmed by trapping some warmer air between the ocean and the mountains. So, I put off seeing Crater Lake for a while and decided to head up the Oregon coast to at least the Washington state line. This means I will have to stay in some campgrounds near the coast. I will be forced to walk on the beaches while doing some beach combing or I will be forced to visit some spots that overlook the rocky cliffs and shoreline. I guess I can apologize early about having so many ocean pictures in the upcoming blog posts. If ya'll get tired of them, just let me know and I'll turn around and face east to take some pictures of trees and mountains.

So, moving day will be Friday and I have reservations at a couple of Oregon State Parks along the coast. I plan to take my time as I go up the coast so the spring weather can get a little warmer before I turn and head inland. Warm weather and crossing high mountain passes sort of go together like grits with sugar and butter. (my yankee friends may have to  google "grits". :)

The pictures today were taken as I wandered around Crescent City during breaks in the rain. The skies aren't bright blue but the darker clouds seem to add something to the pictures. I think I will be able to look back on these and quickly remember the good feeling of the cleaning rain. 
This is the Battery Point Lighthouse. The road is only passable during calm days at low tide. There wasn't a bench to sit on, but there was plenty of driftwood that served the same purpose. 

Another view of the Battery Point Lighthouse

This is a concrete jetty that helps protect the harbor. They have placed a "danger" sign up to entice people to walk along it while at the same time protecting the owners against legal liability if someone gets hurt. Win/win, uh? 

Notice the cable that is anchored to the right side of the concrete. I'm guessing it is used during very bad weather.

This was an area with a lot wave action. There were some that went over the entire concrete. After dozens of attempts at trying to catch one in action, I gave up and settled for this one. 

Looking back along the jetty towards the lighthouse. The sky was changing constantly while we were in between rains.

The sea lions have taken over this floating dock. I'm not sure what they would do if a boat tried to tie up. About half seemed to be asleep and sunning themselves while the other half was barking. Maybe they take turns. :)

This picture shows the low lying clouds as they moved over the hills to the south of town.

I found a "thinking bench" on the spit of land near the end of the harbor.

It was a very comfortable bench and I enjoyed it for about half an hour or so before another patch of rain came along. That is Freedom parked in the lot in the background. I was the only one around which is usually a plus.

The view from the bench

Looking back at the bench as I climbed a little higher

Following the path up while looking back towards the bench

A little higher still, but can still see the bench.

The rocky outcrop

Nice views from atop the outcropping.

Another view. Yep, that is the bench down there. :)

Looking back over the city. In the left center is a Coast Guard cutter next to their small outpost. 

Ya'll take care of each other. I'll Cya down the road.