Thursday, September 4, 2014

Coos Bay Oregon

September 1 - 3, 2014:

A good RV rule is stay off the roads on holidays, such as Labor day, we knew that but did it anyhow.  So many RV's are on this Oregon coast and along with the boaters and the ATV crowd, it's crazy.  The Oregon coast between Florence and Coos Bay, about 50 miles, is a giant sand dune area and play box for the ATV crowd.  We took a ride out into the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area near Florence before leaving and watched a few young maniacs blasting up and down this steep sand dune.  There are sand machines of all types, sizes and price ranges and it is another whole sporting sub culture.  We then drove to a more serene area, parked along the beach, walked up over the high dune and onto a magnificent beach. 

A tough walk over the dunes to a huge beach

ATV's blasting up the sand dune

This kid was doing wheelies uphill with ease

The ride was uneventful to the Mill Casino in North Bend, Oregon passing thru several small picturesque coast towns.  The Mill Casino has a very nice full hookup campground along with a huge dry camping area.  The dry camping area originally was free, but they now charge $15 a night.  The full hookup campground is pretty filled so I think in their case it made good business sense.  I can see many of the big Casino's doing this in the future.

This cute woman was a legendary Bootlegger in the area,
an amazing story

The Mill Casino

The road coming into North Bend Oregon goes over another great Conde McCollough designed Bridge, then you pass under a classic "North Bend" entrance sign.  Downtown North Bend has a rather interesting, historic downtown area and a dock area with a newly redone boardwalk area.  We haven't been impressed much by the Oregon boardwalks, nice scenic views perhaps, but they don't even qualify as boardwalks by New Jersey shore standards.

The Coos Bay Bridge

The North Bend welcome sign
The French after WWII gave each US state a "gratitude Train car",
this was the one given to Oregon that is located in North Bend.
Wonder why North Bend ?

Mural in downtown North Bend

In a antique shop window, I can relate

Nice North Bend Boardwalk sign

On Tuesday morning it was time to explore the city of Coos Bay.  Coos Bay is only a couple of miles further down route 101 south and is about twice the size of North Bend.  The two cities combined are the largest urban area on the Oregon coast.  Coos Bay also has a boardwalk with an old Tugboat, harbor views and historical signs. Coos Bay in it's prime was the largest lumber port on the coast.  North Bend and Coos Bay are both situated on Coos Bay which leads (15 miles) to the Ocean and the channel is maintained for large ocean going vessels.  Coos Bay also has a interesting downtown with several buildings on the National Register and a classic Egyptian theater that is under restoration.

Historic Tioga Hotel in Coos Bay

Historic Chandler Hotel in Coos Bay

Historic Koos No 2 Tug Boat on Coos Bay Boardwalk

A current Tug or Tow Boat at Coos Bay dock

The Egyptian Theatre

Egyptian Theatre sign, Twinkles confirms that this is the
old spelling

After checking out a quilt store in downtown, we head to Charleston on the coast passing by what seemed like a thousand road signs for fresh Tuna.  Charleston is a serious fishing town with mountains of Oyster shells.

I liked this boats name

I liked this one to, Oregon Promise, but it appears
that it's days of promise have passed

A huge mound of Oyster shells

A few miles outside of town is the Bastendorff Beach County Park where we took a walk along a jetty to the beach with raging surf.  They allow you to boondock on this beach area for 24 hours according to the sign, not sure if it is enforced, as we saw a couple of campers who looked permanent.    

On Tuesday evenings, Coos Bay holds concerts in their Mingus park where they have a nice stage set and good viewing area.  It was well attended, appeared that most of the local folks were there for a band called Copper and the Jam.  The female vocalist is a native of Coos Bay, obviously well known and quite good, very entertaining, but not my style of music.  Lots of interesting people watching though and few good photos.

The stage and band

A pretty nice concert setting, not Red Rocks, but decent

Wednesday morning I went to a shoe store in Coos Bay, a locally owned independent store will good quality stuff.  I needed new sandals and wanted Keen's that they had in stock.  The salesman /store owner was a hoot, he started showing us literature on the new Keen Sandal that will be available next spring, a unique design that could be the new cool shoe to wear.  It was great, this stuff doesn't happen in the chain type stores.

On the street in front of the shoe store was the Wednesday Coos Bay's farmers market which was one of the best we have seen, anywhere !  We bought fresh strawberries which we thought was really special in September.

Nice Tomatoes

After the shopping spree, off to the coast again stopping at all the scenic viewpoints from Sunset Bay State Park to Cape Arago State Park.  We did a short hike near Shore Acres State Park along the edge of the headland well above the ocean.  The view was spectacular with the huge pounding surf on the rocks below.  Shore Acres State Park was the site of a summer retreat built by Louis J. Simpson in the early 1900's.  Simpson inherited a Lumber and Ship building business empire, became one of the most prominent people of the area, mayor of North Bend, and even ran for Governor of Oregon.  The original house burned down and he didn't fare well in the 1929 stock market crash. The property eventually was taken over by the state.  The Botanical gardens there were a major surprise.

Coast view

This tree probably won't be in many future photos

The Oregon coast is beautiful and wild

Fascinating to watch the power of the surf

Most unusual rocks formations in the Sandstone

Sea life exposed at low tide

The Botanical Gardens at Shore Acres Park

Hundreds of yelping Seals and Sea Lions out on this
Island at Simpson Reef viewing area

Around every bend is another vista like this

Twinkles would not climb inside for me

The Tsunami warning and evacuation route signs here are a bit unsettling to me after our conversation with the civil defense volunteer back in Astoria.  If and when the big one occurs, it is going to be a horrific event. 

At any time ?

These signs are at every beach area

I can't believe the summer is ending, but if we keep going south it could be an (almost) endless summer.  Our plan is to move south and east across Oregon to Nevada to Utah to New Mexico and Arizona, keeping just ahead of the cold until we reach our winter sabbatical on December 1st in Tucson, Arizona. 

Next stop is Gold Beach, Oregon:

Twinkles and Slick

1 comment:

  1. Oregon looks beautiful! Definitely have to try and get there at some point. Heard you got to visit with Miranda, Beth and Tristan, you need to post some of those pictures.