Monday, September 1, 2014

Florence Oregon

August 29-30, 2014

Another early start heading into the strange world of Casino camping.  I stopped on the south side of Lincoln City at a free dump station that I located on the internet.  It was a great find, an EZ-off/on from route 101 and a short walk to a nice bakery for a coffee and cinnamon roll to put me at ease for the journey.  
The ride, of course, was beautiful, I'm actually getting tired of saying that, but it is.  It was a handful though, a very twisty, up and down road with scary drop-offs to the Ocean far below.  The Oregon coast is all public domain, endless state parks which all had no vacancy signs out front. 

A road side pull off that I couldn't pass by

We arrived at Three Rivers Casino about 11 AM to find another huge open RV parking area with lots of openings.  No amenities as usual, but minutes from all forms of shopping in Florence Oregon. We drove to "old town Florence" to start, about a mile from the campground which is very nice with lots of bars, cafes, restaurants, a marina and assorted shops. Next was a visit to the Casino to sign up for a players card entitling us $10 credit on the slots which we promptly lost. These Casino's, no matter the size, are all the same.  They are kind of sad, filled with seniors and poor to middle class looking people with limited budgets hoping for a lucky spin and the jackpot. 

The classic Siuslaw River Bridge at Florence designed by
Conde McCollough

A sculpture in Florence harbor

The Florence Harbor

Cape Foulweather 

Twinkles taking a break

A rainy Saturday morning made for a more restful day, we are not accustomed to many rainy days.  While Twinkles stayed in to do some sewing, I visit the Pioneer Museum in Florence.  It's another organization run by perky senior volunteers, who do a fantastic job.  The weather did eventually clear in late afternoon and we went back to the old town area to the "Traveler's Cove " for a mexican dinner on their scenic outside deck overlooking the Siuslaw River.  The old town section of Florence is quite nice with the old buildings with signs on their history while the new town area is mostly cheap strip mall architecture. 

Painting of Florence Harbor

Nice old cash register

In the museum sewing room

Sunday was partly sunny so we went south on the coast to Cape Perpetua which is part of the Siuslaw National Forest.  We took the Cape Cove Beach and Devils Churn trails with many tidal pools.  The surf was huge and crashing into the rocky shoreline at "Devils Churn", pretty exciting stuff.  It was low tide and we were able to see many large sea Anemones. Oregon has parks all along the coast with frequent scenic pullouts, picnic areas and campgrounds, some have a day use fee, some do not.  Basically one big giant park !

To Cape Cove Beach and Devils Churn

Beach view from the trail

The parents were not concerned

Exposed mussels at low tide

Waves were pounding

Green Anemones were abundant

Crystal clear tidal pool

We stopped at several other pullouts for more great views and beach walks and then stopped at the Heceta Head Lighthouse area.  Heceta Head is a hill that rises to 1,000 feet above the ocean with a Lighthouse that was put into service in 1854.  The Lighthouse was restored in 2011-2012 to bring it back to near original condition. It remains an operational Lighthouse, but the light is now electric and fully automated.  There is also a very scenic beach area there and a great viewpoint of the classic highway bridge above.

The rocks along the base of the Heceta Head

Beautiful sea rock formations viewed from the Lighthouse trail

The Lighthouse Keepers House, now a Bed and Breakfast

View of the Lighthouse from path

View of the coast from the Lighthouse trail

The English made Fresnel Lens in Lighthouse, you weren't
allowed to the very top platform

Looking out the Lighthouse window

Heceta Head Lighthouse 

For the bridge lovers out there, Oregon has a string of five really impressive bridges along route 101 designed by Conde McCullough.  It seems that bridge engineers get much respect and credit when they build good stuff and his were truly special. 

View of the bridge from the Lighthouse trail

View at ground level under the Bridge

I have to say, the last two Casino's, Chinook Winds in Lincoln City and Three Rivers here in Florence have been great places for RV overnight or longer stays. I only wish we could have taken a pile of their money away !  We are not giving up though, next stop is the Mill Casino in North Bend, Oregon.  We have reserved a full hookup site there for a couple of days to get cleaned up again, have to do that once in a while.

Twinkles and Slick

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