"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood... And sorry I could not travel both. I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference." --Robert Frost

Thursday, April 14, 2022

Last Times on the Oregon Coast

Brookings, Oregon
Elks Lodge

Our time at Harris Beach State Park ended and they were full, so we made a short move to the Elks Lodge in town.  $25, W/E/Dump, #11. It's a very nice lodge.  It's one of the few that has been totally updated in the last few years.  The camping area behind has ample spacing, pavement, with a little grass and large trees behind. 
They have a large bar area, tables, a wall of windows overlooking a bit of the ocean and a game section.
3 pool tables, slots and darts.

This shuffleboard game was so much fun!
We got back together with my sister-in-laws Mom & her husband at the Elks for a great dinner.  Afterward we went back to the Fat Irish Pub for dessert.  
Sherri's birthday is a couple of days after mine so we celebrated both!
To end my birthday celebration, the next night, Steve and I went back to The Black Trumpet for dinner.  Steve had Cioppino and I had a delicious steak.  
We split a Creme Brulee.

Our very last day was a busy one.  We were up early to head back to the docks to grab some fresh crab.
Steve chose 2 and had them cleaned and packed up so we could have them later.
Down the road a bit was the "Largest Cypress Tree in Oregon".
It was on the same grounds as the Chetco Museum but it was closed.
We just walked around the grounds admiring all the blooming flowers.

Geez, I was only away from the truck for a few minutes.  Listen to Hurley as I come back!!
He always misses me.  Sometimes Steve does the same thing ;-)

Next up was a drive further north to eat lunch in Gold Beach.  Along the way we took all the pull outs to admire the views and walk on the beaches.

Lunch was at the Port Hole Cafe.  They are supposed to have the best Clam Chowder.  Steve thought it was amazing.  My Breaded Spicy Shrimp was yummy too.
There are many port holes in the restaurant.  This one gave us a great view of the Rogue River Bridge.
After lunch we took a drive to the other side.  The food was good but Brookings is a much prettier town and laid out nicer.

On the way back we stopped at a few more spots for more walks.  This was our favorite thing to do.

This is Kissing Rock.
One final view of the Brookings coastline as we drove off the next day.
More Elk in the marshes after crossing back into California.
We sure got lucky enjoying 2 weeks of mostly good weather.  Just after crossing the California border the rain started up.  It did make for some pretty misty pictures.

We stayed the night at the Eureka Elks Lodge and had enough of this and that left over from our Farmers Market haul to make a Crab Boil.  It was delicious!  What an enjoyable trip!  We'll be back in California for Easter before arriving in Placerville for Mother's Day.

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

The Magnificent Mile - Secret Beaches & Waterfalls

Brookings, Oregon
Harris Beach State Park 

This one mile section of Hwy 101 just north of Brookings that runs along the Pacific Ocean has the most magnificent coastline!
Our main destination today was Secret Beach.  You can only access this beach after a hike and then a scramble down a large rock.  It is important you get there at low tide and back out before the water rises above the trail or you won't get out until the next low tide!
Lucky for us low tide was at 7am.  We were up early and  drove straight to the trailhead.  It was a short hike through the dense forest of pines, cypress and dense foliage. I'm glad Steve took Thursday and Friday off as there were very few people out.

I took photography back in high school and one of my favorite categories was close-ups.  I just love the detail.  You'll see a lot of these in this post.

Looking down through a clearing to Secret Beach below.  You pass a waterfall just before this point.  There are so many creeks that empty into the Pacific and they create beautiful cascading waterfalls.
This waterfall turned and kept going!  I had a video but somehow lost it.
Bright green shamrocks and ferns.  The violin shape of the new growth on a fern is called the fiddlehead.  Some of these are edible.
It was a relatively easy hike.  Just as you get to large rock at the beach there is another waterfall that drops down and spills into the ocean.

The pine growing near the top of this rock was one of my favorites.
It was too steep to get down the wet, sandy rock, so Steve and Hurley stayed behind while I walked along the cove and between a rock wall to the other side.  The only way down to the beach is this trail.
See Steve and Hurley waiting patiently on the rock for me?
Well, Hurley, not so much.  He really wanted to come along.
Mine were the first footprints of the day.  It really was beautiful and peaceful.  This lower rock wall was shaped like a large sharktooth and was my second favorite part of this beach.
There are tunnels and caves that run through some of the rocks but I didn't have time to hike to the third and fourth beaches. We were there at a negative tide and the water level was already going through one of them.  What's a Negative Tide?  When the Earth, Sun and Moon line up, you get a negative tide where it is even lower. A Negative Tide happens twice a month.  There are 2 normal low tides and 2 normal high tides each day.
I was able to jump across the river on the rocks at the bottom of the falls so I didn't get my shoes wet.


Looking at the way these ferns grew made them look like they were spinning.
So much moss growing in these dark forests.
These delicate flowers are about a half inch long.
There are many overlooks and hikes along coast.  The Oregon Coast Trail runs 382 miles from the bottom of the state to the top.
Another famous spot is the Natural Bridges.  It's another short hike to the viewing platform.  As you can see from the picture below, you can hike on the bridge itself, but it is quite dangerous.  Narrow and slippery.  We chose to enjoy it from the viewpoint
It's not an official trail.  Go at your own risk.
Another pull-out brings us to Tunnel Rock.  I'm glad we went to Secret Beach first as we pulled in here and it began to sprinkle/mist.

Thomas Creek Bridge.  Oregons highest bridge at 345 feet.



The water really shot out of this fall.  Too bad with my new phone I lost some of my videos.
Whaleshead Rock.
Our final beach hike was down to Lone Ranch Beach after the Cape Ferrelo Viewpoint.

So many wildflowers hiking down to this beach area.

Hurley loved running through Lone Ranch Creek as it joined up with the Pacific Ocean.
The white sands painted pretty patterns as they blew across the wet sand.
As we walked over some large rocks a strange thing caught our attention.  It looked like a giant hand but it was just a very large tree stump in the distance stuck in the rocks.
Some tide pools with colorful starfish.
This was one of the largest colorful rocks.  There are some hand sized, but this boulder was about the size of a sofa.  I don't know what makes up the pretty colors.  I tried to look it up but found nothing.
We walked all around to the far end.  It was getting later in the day and we were getting hungry.  All the daytrippers packed up and children left behind their carefully decorated castles.
Happily, it was just a few minutes to our camp so we could get cleaned up and head back over to the Black Trumpet for my birthday dinner.  Seems like my birthday just keeps going!