Posts Tagged With: camping

Patrick’s Point Escape

With our trailer following behind us, we were making good time as we headed down California’s North Coast.  And then, just a hop, skip and a jump from our destination, we came upon a traffic jam, causing Reg to hit the brakes.  Twenty minutes later we were on our way and saw no visible signs of a cause for delay.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Our destination was a private campground across the road from Patrick’s Point State Park, the only place we could find when hunting for a last minute reservation.  We checked in and were given a sheet of rules listing all the offenses that would cause us to be required to leave.  A little over-the-top, but since our camping buddies weren’t joining us, we figured we could restrain ourselves from causing too much of a ruckus!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Patrick’s Point State Park hugs the cliffs of Northern California, offering spectacular ocean views and a network of forested trails.  Had the weather been a little nicer, we may have spent more time exploring.  We did drive through the campground and the sites looked amazing.  Good incentive to reserve early for a return trip.

Categories: California | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Discover The Cape Arago Beach Loop

Just a short detour from U.S. Highway 101 in Coos Bay lies a beautiful stretch of the Oregon Coast where three state parks await your discovery.  The parks are easily reached by car, but the best way to see the sights is by foot along the cliff top path, an 8.5 mile walk out and back.

Cape Arago State Park, located at the south end of the loop, provides picnic tables, views and hiking trails down to tide pools.  A highlight is the viewpoint overlooking a noisy colony of seals and sea lions.  We were lucky enough to see the occasional spout from a whale swimming about.  Be sure to bring your binoculars!

Simpson Beach, a secluded cove with a sandy shore, is breathtakingly beautiful and a perfect spot to wiggle your toes in the sand or dip them in the surf.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Directly above the cove is Shore Acres State Park.  Originally home to timber baron Louis Simpson and his family, the estate home is long gone.  The remaining Gardener’s Cottage is surrounded by 5 acres of formal gardens, open to the public and well worth a stroll.   Be sure to stop and smell the roses!

Because we were lucky enough to have secured a campsite, our walk ended where it began…with our return to Sunset Bay State Park.  Make your reservations here early…this is a popular spot to escape the summer heat and, of course, to watch the sunset.

Categories: Oregon, Oregon Coast, Road Trips, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

An Ongoing Beacon For Photographers And History Buffs

The Coquille River Lighthouse was first lit in 1896 and continued to guide ships to safety off the coast of Bandon, Oregon until it was decommissioned in 1939.Bullard Beach State Park provides the starting point for a brisk 5+ mile round trip walk to the lighthouse. You’ll find plenty of opportunity for beach access along the way. Several parking lots are available those less adventurous.These days the lighthouse opens to provide a glimpse into the past…a brief history lesson for visitors, campers and history buffs. It also serves as inspiration (for photographers) from either shore of the Coquille River.

Categories: Oregon, Oregon Coast, Road Trips | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

A Whale of a Good Time at Yaquina Head

When smoke continued to choke the Rogue Valley last week, we decided it was time to live dangerously. We hitched up our trailer and headed to the Oregon Coast…without reservations! Spontaneous and risky! And successful. Arriving early on the last day of a three-day holiday weekend allowed us to easily find a full hookup spot at a first come – first served campground.

Our favorite outing of the week was a trip to the Yaquina Head Lighthouse with friends and fellow campers, Lan and Jeff. Managed by the Bureau of Land Management, the lighthouse has the distinction of being the tallest (at 93 feet) on the Oregon Coast. Free tours of the lighthouse are available most days. Space is limited, so check in at the Interpretive Center to get your tickets.

As great as the lighthouse tour was, the stars of the day were the resident gray whales that linger off the coast near Newport from May through October or November. They swim surprisingly close to shore and put on quite a show for us throughout the afternoon.

Scanning the water, we were continually rewarded with a glimpses of a water spouts, followed by gracefully arched backs of the diving whales. The sight of a fluke (when the tail sticks straight up) never failed to raise a cheer from spectators.

Although the whales were swimming just beyond the rocks, capturing them with my camera lens was impossible…so, while we have no photos, we do have many memories of a beautiful afternoon spent at the Yaquina Head Lighthouse and surrounding Natural Area.

Categories: Road Trips | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Goodnight From Harris Beach State Park in Oregon

We are enjoying a four-day escape from home where work has begun on a new roof for our town home. Longtime friends, Kathy and Doug, drove their trailer up from California, joining us to camp and explore Oregon's beautiful Coast. We finished dinner just in time to rush down to the beach and catch the setting sun.

Categories: Road Trips | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Umpqua Lighthouse State Park. We’ve been there…

…or have we?  When Reg reserved our “one night stand” at Umpqua Lighthouse State Park on the coast of Oregon, we both had a pretty clear memory of our prior visit and a mental picture of where we’d be staying as we headed up the Oregon Coast.

When Reg pulled into the campground I commented that it was much more forested than I remembered.  Without another thought we checked in, quickly set up camp and headed out to explore the ‘hood.

Following a one mile trail that looped around Lake Marie, Reg marveled at our surprise discovery.  “I never would have guessed this lake was here,” he said as we watched children splashing in the swimming area.  

When the camp host told us the Lighthouse was just a short quarter mile walk from our campground, we began to have reservations about our reservation!  Perhaps we were not where we thought we were…

Slightly disoriented, we arrived at the Lighthouse and realized why everything felt so unfamiliar.  As it turns out, we’ve never been to Umpqua Lighthouse State Park before…until today that is!  A chat with a crusty old sea captain type who was selling admissions to the Lighthouse Museum cleared up our confusion, reassuring us that we weren’t completely losing our minds.  It seems our memories (and where we thought we had a reservation) are from (we think) Heceta Head Lighthouse, just north of here…where there is no lake and the campsites are not quite so forested!

Categories: Road Trips | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Very tall, very old things

On our way to the Boy Scout Tree in California’s Jedediah Smith State Park today, our camera found several other old, tall living things along the trail, including a former Scout!

Categories: Road Trips | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Newberry National Volcanic Monument Rocks

 

The skies opened up as we parked atop Lava Butte - our first stop of the day.

This was not what we had in mind when we scheduled four days at Tumalo State Park, just north of Bend, Oregon. However, with so much to see and do, we headed out early and hoped the weather report, which called for just a 30% chance of afternoon showers, would be accurate. Silly us!

We would have preferred sunshine, but the view wasn't bad for such a cloudy day.

Lava Butte is located within the boundaries of Newberry National Volcanic Monument. The monument was created in 1990 to protect more than 54,000 acres of lakes, lava flows and spectacular geologic features, remnants of long past volcanic activity in Central Oregon. The butte was our first stop on a rainy morning, a morning that got progressively brighter as we continued to explore.

A narrow road spirals around the butte where ten parking spots are located. Visitors are assigned a time slot and given 30 minutes to spend up top.

Even with gray skies, the view was pretty amazing.

Lava fields extend for miles. A pathway from the Visitor's Center led us up, down and around the ancient piles of lava.

A series of stairs, ramps and railings led us into the cave, but they soon disappeared and we were left with just our flashlights to guide us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It didn't take long before the light dimmed, then disappeared completely. Flashlights are a must!

One of the more unique adventures we discovered at Newberry Volcanic National Park was the walk through the Lava River Cave. Surprisingly, this is a self-guided walk through a pitch black lava tube. We were told the path extended a mile into the cave. Reg exchanged his car keys (for collateral) and ten dollars for two park service flashlights – you can bring your own but make sure the batteries are good and strong! We were educated about bats…although, lucky for me, we didn't see any…and sent on our way.

I've must admit…we didn't walk the entire way to the back of the cave, so I can't tell you what lies at the end of the trail. There weren't many other brave souls making the journey that day and I started getting the the heebie-jeebies.

So…my suggestion to you would be that you plan your own visit sometime soon and find out for yourself what's found the end of the trail…then let me know!

 

Categories: Road Trips | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Lake of the Woods: Relaxation in the Cascades

All is quiet the day after Labor Day at a Lake of the Woods beach.

Mount McLoughlin dominates the Cascade Range during our kayak cruise. A bald eagle watched us at one end of the lake.

Lake of the Woods is the crown jewel of lakes in the southern Cascade Mountain Range within an hour or so drive of Ashland, Oregon.

At 4,949 feet elevation, the natural lake offers relief from summer heat with swimming, boating, fishing and other fun managed by the Lake of the Woods Resort.

We hitched up the trailer on Labor Day and headed for Aspen camp, one of two National Forest Campgrounds on the lake.

The resort was a short walk away from our quiet, deserted campground. We resisted the restaurant but found firewood at the camp store.

The lake's level fluctuates just two feet during a normal year and water temperatures warm to the 70s at the surface. Brook and rainbow trout as well as Kokanee salmon swim in its waters.

Fish Lake was our destination on a nearly seven-mile stroll from North Fork Campground, just a short drive away. We found a greasy spoon cafe that fit the bill perfectly.

Brown Mountain is a backdrop for Reg's stroll.

Fall was in the air as nighttime temperatures dropped into the 30s.

The trail from North Fork campground to Fish Lake follows the North Fork Little Butte Creek.

A boardwalk keeps Trekkers dry during the wet spring months.

 

Categories: Road Trips | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Oregon Coast: A cool summer getaway

 

Beautiful Eel Lake greeted us as we pulled into William M. Tugman State Park.

Smokey Bear made an appearance at the ranger program where kids of all ages enjoyed hearing his story.

When the temperatures skyrocketed a couple of weeks ago, we hitched up the trailer and headed for the fog and cooler temps that the Oregon Coast is famous for.

Having spent only two nights at one campground on our maiden voyage last June, we were eager to test our hookup skills on our second adventure – a seven night/three campground coastal tour.

Our first stop was a two-night stay at William M. Tugman State Park, located just south of the town of Reedsport and the Oregon Dunes Recreation area.

The campground was clean and neat, thanks to the friendly staff and many volunteers who keep the place running like clockwork. We were pleased to find that fires were allowed in the fire pits and wood was available. Eel Lake offered fishing, boating and swimming in addition to a well maintained 4-6 mile (depending on which source you choose to believe) shoreline hiking trail.

Lighthouse tours are available from April through October if you are able to climb to the top and don't have a fear of heights.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A day trip down the coast landed us at Cape Blanco State Park. The westernmost point of the 48 states, it is also home to the Cape Blanco Lighthouse. This coastal beacon has been in use since 1870, longer than any other in Oregon.

We were fortunate to arrive on a crystal clear day. I poked my head out an open door at the top of the north side of the lighthouse for a quick shot of the coast.

If you look really hard you'll find me, feeling small, near the front of the turtle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I could see the turtle more clearly from a distance.

We spent two nights at Turtle Rock RV Resort, aptly named for the massive grouping of rocks that resemble…you guessed it…a turtle.

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Hour at our campsite. Life is good!

Sunset Bay has got to be one of the most beautiful spots along the Oregon Coast. Knowing there were hiking trails, seals and sea lions to see and the beautiful gardens of Shore Acres to explore, were looking forward to the three nights we scheduled here. However, as luck would have it, the fog rolled in early on day one and became our constant companion.

An interesting piece of trivia we found posted at the beach of Sunset Bay.

The sky finally cleared as we finished dinner on our last night so I grabbed the camera and we hurried out to the beach. Would Sunset Bay live up to its name? We watched in awe as Mother Nature put on a magical show for us!

Sunset Bay did not disappoint!

 
 
 
 
 

 

Categories: Road Trips | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: