Oregon… as I reflect on the beauty and almost savage coast I feel certain I could live there. It is a fantastic mesh of the things I love (evergreen trees, coastal tide pools and wildlife). But the rocky sheer cliffs make access to the beach a challenge for those of us who are height aversive. The descent is formidable down these steep, sandy, rocky, drift log (the giant size of driftwood) covered pathways. It is worth it and frustrating when you have done the one mile down and another up to see the tide pools to see the ADA beach access off in the distance. Ah well, the challenge route proved to be a plethora of coastal diversity. From red and orange Sea Stars to jumbo sized Sea Squirts, all colors of seaweed and kelp, even the bobbing heads of sea otters.
On a side note I don’t know if I have mentioned some of the phenomenal items about the Pacific Northwest such as: Sunrise 5am-ish, Sunset 9pm-ish, (really look it up), Air Temperature low of high 50s and high maybe 70 degrees Fahrenheit, Pacific Ocean temperature 55 – 60 degrees, breeze constant, wind strong in afternoons, and humidity none a true Southern person would notice.
Umpqua Lighthouse State Park was a cool respite from the famous US Highway 101 tucked high along the coast in the evergreen forest. The park is small but you can descend down to the pacific to the Oregon Dunes Day Use area which is evidently a nirvana for ORV (Off Road Vehicles) peeps. There is an amazing huge area of dunes for these four wheeling folks to test their skills. I could only imaging the amount of sand you would have embedded in your skin after a day of riding. Until that day I had always wanted one of the Razor – car edition – four wheeled beast of a machine.
From the Umpqua campsite we explored the coast line to see Stellar SeaLions and Seals.
So as you know I always have a wildlife viewing wishlist. This park provided STELLAR JAYS! Where? Well by the dumpsters off course. These members of the Corvid family are a beautiful cousin to our own Blue Jay just bigger and in my opinion more ornate.
Harris Beach State Park this park is a jewel even though we had the most awkward campsite ever. Why awkward because the septic port and the picnic table were beside each other. Normally for you non-campers the hookups tuck neatly behind your camper so you don’t view the water hose, power line and the worst the septic hose. The campground was beautiful and within 25 miles of Redwood National Park in neighboring California.
Redwood NP (Visit RedWood National Park: the Visitors Guide) You must visit the Hiouchi Information Center and drive Howland Hill Road winds ten (gravel) miles through the old growth forest, as does the paved Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway. Do Howland Hills Road on a weekday in the morning and you will have these amazing trees all to yourself! This road is rough and not fit for RVs or any trailer take the SUV or other such vehicle. The road winds through the trees and beautiful creeks and streams. This two-way road is worth the dust and pullovers to let an oncoming vehicle pass.
Words cannot do justice to the immense size and stately presence of these Redwoods. You feel dwarfed in their presence and honored to stand among them. The red of their rough bark feels soft to the touch and the dark green foliage are so incredibly beautiful together. Redwoods are a must see – probably multiple times.
Oregon Photo Album: https://photos.app.goo.gl/qZr2o9GxkRwAaHVF8
Off to the Land of Big Trees – (California)