Since I haven't really explored much in this part of Oregon my brother and I took a day and went exploring. Our main attraction was to visit a couple of lighthouses and do a bit of shopping in Bandon. I found the shop Cranberry Sweets and I highly recommend them and will likely be adding them to my list of places I'll order from. I went kinda crazy in there but oh my it was yummy AND they had samples of just about anything you wanted to buy. While walking along the bay (and using the cleanest public bathrooms I've EVER seen), we found these great carvings and a couple calla lilies I couldn't pass up. We also had to make a stop at an Ace Hardware to pick up a new space heater as mine had crapped out and it was COLD at night.
We stopped by the Coquille River Lighthouse (est 1896) to take some photos and just have some time out of the truck. What a sweet little lighthouse. We had a great weather day though for our exploring.
We also made a stop at Umpqua Lighthouse (and Coast Guard quarters) est. 1857 as the first lighthouse on the Oregon Coast. There were no tours when we were there so all we were able to get was a couple of photos of the lovely blooming tree in front and all the chain link fence around it.
As we always do, Kent and I scoped out campground options while we were driving around. Since Riley Ranch is now off the list we wanted to see what other options there were that would allow access with the sXs to the Dunes. We were thrilled to find a number of camping options around the Winchester Bay area including Windy Cove (county run), Umpqua Dunes and Half Moon Bay. Very excited to know we can reserve and hopefully do some more playing off season (I dunno is there really an off season there) at the Dunes. Below is the fisherman carving at Winchester Bay (and if you look to the left in the back there is a fancy RV Resort.
It was great fun exploring and there is so much more down there to see. More visits I guess! On to our next camping stop at our favorite South Beach State Park where we scored what we decided were the primo spots (for us anyway) even though they are the farthest walk to the beach (G15 and G17). Kent has a trailer that is quite a bit longer than mine but he fit in quite nicely as did mine and he was able to unload his side by side so he could camp with some space (no where there to ride but that was fine). I was also able to get my Moon Shade out and figure out a way to utilize it. My trailer awning just covers the dog pens so we have no where out of the rain to sit as you can see by pics 2 and 3 below). I was very happy how the shade attached, set up and held up even during the downpours and the winds.
Meanwhile Epic was doing pretty well but I did have to figure out how to tell him that his favorite beach activity OF ALL TIME (fetching balls on the beach and playing in the ocean) wasn't going to happen. I have to tell you that it definitely was also a damper on my beach time not being able to watch him (and Sterling and Josie all run on the beach off leash and just have fun). He still got to go (on the longest flexi I have) though. No matter, the first walk to the beach was cold and really windy but we still got our walk in!
This is my brother on a walk where we had virtually the whole place to ourselves (must have been a weekday).
We had one day that we saw many surfers and paddle boarders out there.
This was a huge tree that had (obviously) washed up and had all these creatures on it. I have no freaking idea what these are so put in the comments if you know! There were thousands and sadly I'm sure that if the log didn't wash back out they would perish.
The tunnel of trees we walked through to get to the beach. Also skeeter heaven (as there is a lot of marshy area so walk fast)!
Since we couldn't walk and let the dogs go we did one trip where we just found a great spot in the sunshine to sit and hang out. Interesting enough, Epic did great while just digging in the sand and of course Josie joined in. My brother and Sterling have a super special bond so Sterling (who was exhausted from the walk already) stayed out of the way of the others. I have to say though I think the first photo is my all time favorite.
We had one spectacularly craptastic weather day where it blew and poured rain so no beach that day but a road trip with the dogs. We loaded up and headed to Tillamook where Kent and I both wanted to stop at the Tillamook Creamery and do some shopping. Well we also had lunch and the some of the best cheesy goodness you could ask for! We also hoped to see the Air Museum but alas it was Monday and closed - so next time (I've been there but knew Kent would enjoy).
That trip also involved a stop at Depoe Bay for salt water taffy (sadly it and the chocolate from the place I always go was so old it was pretty bad). Not to worry when we tripped down to Newport Bay I got fresh stuff!
I'll leave you on this post with a little glimpse of camper life with 5 dogs and a small camper. We had to make some adjustments because Epic wasn't able to jump off the bed without possible side affects.
I'll finish up South Beach and our trip home in the next post.