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 weren’t sure a travel trailer was the life for us, but after five years and well over 20,000 miles, it’s safe to say we’ve found our second home. The trailer has been particularly nice this year…pulling our home behinds us feels pretty safe.
The decision to travel this summer was not one we made lightly. Our most recent Oregon coast trip is only our second trip of the year since March…we’ve cancelled more reservations than we’ve kept. These two weeks spent along the Pacific Coast have been relaxing and rejuvenating and filled with gorgeous scenery.
Even this late in the summer there is still much color to be found. Hike any trail into the forest and you’ll find yourself surrounded by green.
Coastal fog rolls in and out anytime of year, lending a mystical feeling to distant views. It often clears up in the blink of an eye.
We’ve enjoyed many trips to the Oregon Coast and we’ve never failed to discover someplace new. From hidden trails to surprise picnic spots to a previously overlooked viewpoint, the coast never disappoints…but for now, it’s time to return home.
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!
If you enjoy walking on the beach near spectacular rock formations, the southern Oregon coast is tough to beat. Harris Beach State Park near Brookings is the perfect base for exploring this area.
Camping with longtime friends Kathy and Doug, we parked a truck at Arch Rock, then returned to Thomas Creek to walk the four and a half miles north. The walk starts on the cliffs and goes down to the beach a couple of times. Some of it travels through deep, dark forest, a treat for Mordor fans.
Kathy and Sue held up the Oregon Coast Path sign for a bit before the sun broke through toward the end of our trek.
The next day, we celebrated Doug’s birthday by driving north to Cape Blanco. We parked at the historic Hughes House and hiked two miles along the Sixes River and the beach to the lighthouse, built in 1870. Perched at the westernmost point in the continental United States, the lighthouse sends a beam 26 miles out to sea.
Tours of the lighthouse and Hughes House capped a beautiful, but very windy, day.
William Sullivan’s Oregon Coast hiking guide has maps and details of both walks. If you are hiking in Oregon, his books will help you find fantastic walks.
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.