Thursday, July 9, 2015

Somebody Pinch Me

It's like we're living in a post card collection. Not living in a single post card - a whole bunch of them!

Every place we go (and we did choose a pretty amazing route for starters) is incredible. I worry I'm going to wear out all "those" adjectives in my posts.

With full and partial hookups, good showers, generous space, and beautiful locations, the Oregon State Park campgrounds along the coast are perfect places to stay. They are also full on the summer weekends. Cancellations do occur and if your timing is right (congrats BFF on scoring both Bullards and Harris Beach!) you can spend more than three or four days. We would definitely have booked more time here in Bandon, OR, if we could have!

Bullards Beach State Park is just over the Coquille River north of Bandon by the Sea, OR. The weather has been perfect for our three days here, making getting out and seeing the sights especially enjoyable.  Leaving behind those triple digits in SoCal, I didn't think I'd ever welcome the warmth again. But after just a few weeks of fog and clouds, it's been a treat to have some days of bright sunshine :-)

Our site is at the beginning of the C loop, gets great Internet, is sunny most of the day, and if we had satellite we have open skies on three sides. There is also a steady stream of kids, dogs and bikes to keep all of us entertained. It's nice to see families having a good time outdoors. Tessa falls in love multiple times a day.

 Relaxing in the backyard with a good book  (I don't know how he can see that little screen)
Tessa's first time out with the Trkes. She did great.
The small road off the campground follows the small peninsula between the Coquille River and the Pacific Ocean. It ends at the Coquille Lighthouse, decommissioned in 1939, but still maintained and open for daily tours. 

Coquille River Lighthouse

Expecting a cascade of blonde hair?
It is a cute little lighthouse, but the draw here is the huge, flat, blustery, foggy, goes-on-for-miles beach with rows of crashing gray waves on one side and piles of smooth gray driftwood on the other.

I'm sure it is spectacular every day, but on a day without another person in sight there aren't words to describe its power and beauty.







 
After our time on Bullards Beach we headed into Old Town Bandon. Several eateries and cute shops and folks enjoying vacation. Our favorite was the boardwalk along the marina. There are multiple types of local art on display, with the backdrop of the Pacific Ocean and fishing pier making a unique gallery setting.

Several pieces honoring the local tribe

Different size and style, each a tribute to a loved one

One of my favorites of

over a hundred art pieces by all ages
 We wrapped up our second day's outing with a drive around Beach Loop Road. Although there were a couple dozen properties for sale along this section of ocean view homes among the forest, the one we fell in love with was not one of them.

Wednesday morning we headed south to Cape Blanco Lighthouse. I've seen and read about the spot in Nina's blog for a couple years and couldn't wait to see it in person. Knowing she wouldn't be there I didn't plan to take the tour and leave Bill and Tessa waiting, but I was still excited.

At the most western point in the contiguous US, Cape Blanco sticks her face out into the Pacific and catches the strong winds nearly every day. Our visit was no exception, but the sun was shining bright and we could see for miles which is not always the case.

Did I mention living in a post card?  Once again the "wow's" continued as the lighthouse came into view. And then some more as we looked out over the beach below. There were quite a few people for mid week, and one guide took a good size group for the next tour while we chatted outside with the other.





 
I perused the visitors building (they just moved to the larger one this week), read some of the history of the over-one-hundred-year-old working lighthouse, and bought my first souvenir sweatshirt since we launched. Had to, I was that excited to be there.

A couple and young girl arrived in a Model T as we were walking back to the Jeep. I laughed at the parking of the very old vehicle followed by the immediate pulling out of smart phones :-)


They drove it from Port Orford today
It was still early so we turned north, passed Bandon, and ended up in Coos Bay for lunch. We'll pass through again on our way north, but not to stop and look around.

Saw our first car dealerships since Ukiah, making it feel like a really big town, and the large Mills Casino with an RV park right on the water. Bill found a deli on BringFido.com and we enjoyed a couple of sandwiches before taking in the local farmer's market next door. City Sub has a great selection and brought Tessa three doggie meatballs to enjoy. Is it still a "doggy bag" if she brought some home?

Picked up a large bag of fresh blueberries and a couple tamales, exercised great control in not picking up some lovely smelling beeswax candles, and headed out. The produce was sparse and I was nearly cashless (have to remember to carry that stuff now), so it was a small-haul.

As if all the dogs and kids haven't been exciting enough for Tessa, this gal wondered into our camp.


I love that we haven't been ready to leave any place so far, and at the same time are excited to see what's next.

This is our life? Pinch me!


27 comments:

  1. I know the feeling, how many times can you write Wonderful, Beautiful, Wow I'm so lucky, before it wears outs? Each place is special, even the dumps! I generally make reservations, and we usually stay at least five days to a week, coming and going midweek so we are settled on weekends. Enjoy!

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    1. I was hoping to reserve that way as well, but with the Oregon state parks booked over every weekend, we're having to move to private options for at least Fridays and Saturdays. It hasn't been too much of an issue, but I'd much prefer to stay a week or more at one spot. We are in no hurry :-)

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  2. I'm ready to drop everything and come stalk you so that I can see these places... Lol... I love the pictures of the light houses and gorgeous beaches... Give my love to Tessa. 😊

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    1. Yes, we have had several threats of stowaways! She sends kisses and wags :-)

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  3. I have heard so many great things for many years about the Oregon coast but we have never got out that way. With our Snow Bird lifestyle & our limited time allotment in the States each year it doesn't look like we will ever get ourselves there. Enjoy your travels to the max & savour those wondrous days of fulltime freedom:)).

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    1. Glad to have you and Kelly riding along with us for this trip. We are soaking it all up, and already looking forward to coming back and seeing more.

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  4. Glad you are feeling"Wow", a beach to yourself is the best. It looks like Tessa has her own Wow going on too. Happy traveling!

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    1. Yep, a whole lot of Wow going one over here :-)

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  5. One year in and it's still WOW to us! I'm glad you are enjoying it! I'll have to remember the fido website.

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    1. I love hearing that Debbie :-) The app has found us some great places to share with Tessa, including entertainment venues.

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  6. Yeah, I know I've worn out the superlatives...but geez...this life has so many awesome moments! You are forgiven as I hope I am too! ;-)

    If you are still in the area, the tidepooling and Victorian garden at Cape Arago are quite nice.

    We are planners (Hans would be a stressed out mess if we did not have reservations, especially at peak times; and I would be too, by association) so we get the good spots most of the time at OR state parks. BUT, that means planning months in advance. So far it has worked out for us and in almost 3 years on the road we have rarely been disappointed by a park.

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    1. I actually didn't think we'd plan as much as we have, and may do less after the summer rush. But it has definitely reduced the stress for our new life style. Having great reviews like yours have been a really big help too :-)

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  7. I just love your excitement with your new life. You sound exactly like me. I too wear out the superlatives. The experiences I have really are that fantastic. Even today with all the trails and our inability to go anywhere we want any time we want, it is still such a fabulous life. I don’t know how people read outside on those tiny little screens either but I do know that I’m taking notes on your trip up the coast. That was where we were headed when the doctors put the brakes on. Any beach with no one else on it is enough to make me do a serious happy dance. Lucky lucky you!!

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    1. This route has turned out to be a perfect start for us. You are going to love it when you guys get here. I couldn't believe we had that huge beach to ourselves (given all the tsunami warning signs it was sort of eery for a bit). I am indeed so lucky.

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  8. Bandon is one of our favorite spots on the Oregon coast -- then again, pretty much all of the Oregon coast is spectacular! (Yep, more superlatives -- but also true!) So glad you're having such a glorious time and that the weather is beautiful for you. It's a wonderful life, we couldn't agree more! :-)

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    1. I've been enchanted by it for years of reading of other's experiences. It definitely didn't disappoint and we will go back and spend even more time in the future. It's easy to forget it's hot or rainy so many other places.

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  9. We just started year six and I still feel like I need to be pinched! It never gets old. This wonderful life sure is one of post card after post card. So very glad you two are enjoying your new life:) Your smile and excitement is felt as I read your words:) Your photos are so beautiful:)

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    1. Thanks Pam :-) It's still so very new for us and I love hearing it's just as wonderful years down the road.

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  10. We love, love the Oregon Coast. It's one of our favorite places to be in the summer time. I know exactly how you're feeling about taking all this beauty in. People ask when we're going to stop traveling ... I guess it'll be when we can't.

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    1. We get the "how long is your trip?" and just say "Until we don't want to do it anymore." Feels pretty awesome! Haven't found an ugly spot here so far :-)))))))

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  11. After nearly seven years I still feel so thankful to be living this lifestyle. Whenever we discuss settling down in one place again it makes me sad. One day health problems may force us to do so but until then we're just enjoying discovering new favorite places and revisiting old ones.
    By the way, we hated the Oregon coast our first time there. It was cold, dark, rainy, and humid and made us miserable. When we went back last summer the weather was much better and we fell in love. Sometimes you have to give places another chance:-)

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    1. I've read posts from others about places I've been and didn't like. Seeing it through their eyes has made me want to go back and give it a second chance - and now I can :-) We're fortunate this summer has been so nice.

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  12. Absolutely loved the beaches in Bandon, yet the entire Oregon coast is marvelous. Wonder if you found any agates on the beach?

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    1. We haven't found much, not even more than a couple shells. Did find a couple geodes along the river which surprised me.

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  13. I'll bet it was pretty exciting to know that Nina and Paul had been to the same light house. I probably would've been giddy too :-)
    I have a kindle and love it! I've adjusted the font to a bigger size though. When Jessica saw the size of my font she actually gasped and made a funny comment. I laughed and told her I have 'old lady eyes' and I'm not 25 anymore... I like to bring it to the gym and read while on the treadmill.
    Thanks for taking us along on your adventures. You can use all the 'awesome adjectives' you need to!!

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    1. Thanks Rene! It was weird at Cape Blanco because the head guy in the new greeting center didn't know Paul or Nina, said he'd never heard of them. Also, no "beast" at the campground so Paul may have moved while she's in France. We'll hope to meet up with them down the road. I love my Kindle as well, but Bill reads on his IPhone! Hurts my eyes just to watch him :-( With the Paperwhite it's great to adjust for the different lighting here on the coast.

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    2. I have the standard Kindle but I may trade up to the paper white. I just wonder if I can transfer the books from one to the other... Guess I'll have to research that one... Yes, an IPhone would be hard to read!

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