Thursday, July 16, 2015

Oregon Coast: Charleston to Brookings

We started the day in Bandon checking out several birding sites - Coqueille Point and Face Rock View. Mom and Dad enjoy birding. Me, not so much. It's fun for about five minutes then I'm bored. I was worried today would turn into an hours long bird watching event, but the wind was blowing and it was cold and while Mom and Dad enjoy birds, they are more fair weather birders! Another benefit was that the first location, Coqueille Point, had beach access so I went down and walked alo g the beach checking out tide pools (didn't see any purple starfish!).

After we finished in Bandon we headed to Cape Blanco, which claims to be the westernmost point in the contiguous US. We thought that distinction belonged to Cape Flattery on the straight of Juan de Fuca in Washington. We took and entire day to drive out there then hike to the very westernmost spot. At the very least Cape Blanco is the westernmost spot in Oregon! And, the westernmost spot of our trip! It was also the windiest spot I think I've been! I walked around a bit waiting for Mom and Dad and at one point the wind blew me so hard I had to run because the wind was carrying me. It was crazy! We had lunch on the Cape then headed down the road.

These flowers looked like the sea irises I saw in Maine, not sure if they are the same or not. This flower was being whipped around by the wind when I snapped this picture, but thanks to the power of the iPhone you can't really tell!

Our next stop was Arizona Beach, chosen entirely because I could see that it had a huge parking area and I knew Dad could get in, park and turn around. There was a low bridge, I was worried it was too low, but he cleared it. There wasn't much to do at Arizona Beach - walk the beach pretty much, but first you had to get to it! There was a fresh water river flowing between the parking lot and and the beach! You had to wade to get across it. After we were across the walked the length of the beach, wading in the surf a bit. The water was much colder down here and the waves were rougher. It was also very hot in the parking lot, but freezing with a stiff wind at the waters edge.

After the beach US101 passed through 2 "state scenic corridors" which basically meant you had incredible views right from the road! I didn't stop to take any pictures but the road was going right a long the ocean almost the whole way!

Soon we arrived in Brookings. We were planning on staying at the Harris Beach rest area but it was closed. There were campgrounds we could call, but I figured Dad would want to park and call. I followed him into Brookings and he turned left, I figured he was going to the grocery store parking lot, but he didn't. He went up the street, into the neigborhood. Then he turned left again, I figured he was turning around to go back to the state park and sit and figure out where we were going to stay. Then he pulled into a church parking lot. I managed to hit all the potholes and the cabinets flew open and stuff dumped out on the floor.

While I was cleaning up, Mom called and The Seabird RV Park had room for us! Their advertised price was $18 a night (turned out that was wrong), which is a steal for full hook ups! Dad reprogrammed the GPS and we were off. I didn't bother with google maps, I'd just follow him.

We drove through town, across the bridge, then he turned left on to what looked like a road, with a very steep hill, but was really a pizza joint. Dad drove through the pizza joint's parking lot and I was thinking "This is a strange way to get to the campground." Then he turned left, heading for the back of the building. What? The entrance to the campground involved going behind a pizza place? Where were were going? Is this a Harry Potter type campground? Platform 9 & 3/4? I stopped and made sure he fit in the narrow looking passage between the resteraunt and the dumpster and when he did, I followed. Then he went out to the stoplight again. Ahhhh! We'd missed the turn and were turning around! By now I'd decided that I had my own GPS and I'd find my own way to the campground and stop following him!

As I was getting the campground pulled up on google maps Dad pulled through the light and was gone. I somehow managed to get the the Google Maps Lady to talk to me and tell me the directions (which I hate!). I turned too soon and I knew I'd done the wrong thing and went to do a U-Turn and get back on 101, when Google Maps Lady started telling me to stay on Couch Street... Ok...maybe I was in the right place. Turning on navigation took away my big picture view of the route so I had no idea where I was in relation to the campground anyway. As it turns out, I was not in the right place a Google Map Lady was attempting to help me out by rerouting me through a very run down trailer park neighborhood. So many potholes! The stuff I'd just picked up and put away was again all strewn about! The neighborhood I was in wound around and came out where I'd made my wrong turn and then as soon as I was on 101 I saw the sign for for campground!

The campground is more seasonal residents than over nighters. It's an interesting place! All the people we've met have been very nice!

Brookings is having their heat wave of the summer. It was 90* this afternoon! This after it was in the high 50s last night! The weather out here is crazy. One minute it's unbearably hot, then you drive 10 minutes and it freezing with a gale force wind. So hard to know what to wear when every hour the weather will be radically different!


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