For years we’ve eyed the handful of (nearly) oceanfront campsites at Harris Beach State Park, but reservations are competitive and we just aren’t that good at planning in advance…until this year. Reg lucked out and snagged site A-23, one of the better spots offering a glimpse of the Pacific Ocean.
We packed our lunch and spent one day exploring Tolowa Dunes State Park in Crescent City. A beautiful, mostly flat trail starts from the parking area off Kellogg Road and meanders through grasslands and in and out of forests, eventually reaching the Smith River. We stopped just short of the river, choosing to enjoy the peace of the Yontocket Indian Village Memorial Cemetery before starting back.
We were hoping for a longer walk when we chose the Hiouchi Trail in Jedediah Smith State Park, but a stern warning put a stop to our connecting with the Mill Creek Trail. As it turned out, we had plenty of obstacles to contend with on our path, so there was no need to go looking for trouble where we didn’t belong. For the record, I think everyone else we saw continued up the trail passed the closed sign.
We recently spent 3 days camping with friends at Oregon’s Humbug Mountain State Park. In addition to the laughter and incredible meals, Reg and I took the opportunity to get a little uphill practice with our backpacks. We will soon be lacing up our boots for another trekking adventure, and Humbug Mountain is uphill all the way…a good check to see if we’ve still got what it takes! We were rewarded with a surprise view at the top where recently removed trees and brush had previously hidden the coastline.
We continued south, stopping to stretch our legs at the Gold Beach Harbor where Reg proved you’re never too old to enjoy a jet boat ride. I also snapped a photo of what’s left of the historic Mary D. Hume. She was built in 1881, working the Pacific for 97 years before eventually returning to live her life out not far from where she was originally built.
Harris Beach State Park has been our home for the last 3 days. Always a favorite, this time it was a real test for Reg as he expertly backed into what must be the most narrow site in the entire park. We’ll soon head home, packing up the trailer for the last time this summer. It’s always a little sad, but more adventure awaits!
The camp host encouraged us to make the short walk to see the Umpqua Lighthouse not just during daylight, but also after dark. Intrigued, we bundled up last night and headed out to the coast, curious to discover what mysterious sights we might behold.Once the sun went down and dark settled over us, the signature beams (two white-one red) lit up the sky, continuously sweeping a circle overhead. As we turned and looked over the ocean we could see the light stretching out toward the horizon…visible more than 20 miles out to sea.