Friday, August 18, 2017

Gold Beach, Oregon

August 13-17th 2017

During our drive to Gold Beach, we finally left the fog behind and was blessed with warm, brilliantly sunny days here on the southern coast of Oregon!

We have been in contact with fellow RV friends from The Villages, and low and behold, they coincidentally are nearby!  We made plans to meet up here in the Gold Beach area.  They have a smaller, 25 foot motor home so they found an camping spot right on the Rogue River.   We were at a nice campground called Honey Bear by the Sea, albeit RV’s were pretty close to each other.  We were, however, glad we were not buffeted by the incredible winds those who had fabulous views of both the sea and the brilliant sunsets, had to endure.

It was so fabulous to finally see the coast once the fog/smoke retreated

After pulling over at a scenic rest stop, we discovered a path leading WAY down to this beautiful beach.  The hike back up on this very hot day was pretty tough, but worth it.  

We met up with Carmen and Allen at a local restaurant and had dinner, catching up on each other’s travel stories.  On the way back to the park Norm and I stopped and watched the sun drop below the horizon in a blaze. 

Having experienced the taste of huge, perfectly ripened fresh blackberries on the side of the road the other day, Norm and I went blackberry picking at the campground.  Trying to escape the huge thorns, we filled our bellies as well as a couple of pints before heading off to Jerry’s Rogue River mail boat run tour.  We enjoyed the late afternoon boating up the Rogue River, stopping a few times along the way to look at a little local wildlife, most of which are pretty common in Florida. 

These Common Mergansers weren't so "common" to us.  We had never seen such a bird. 

We hit it off with another couple with whom we chatted throughout the ride, and also at the restaurant we stopped at, which was at the furthest point of our tour.  It was a lovely day, but a little boring. 

Every once in a while the boat captain/tour guide would through in an exciting 360 degree turn to give us a little thrill and get us a little wet!  It was more funny than thrilling, but the cool water felt really good.

 I had wished we had taken the jet boat ride trip option, but Carmen and Allen said it, too was boring and the extended trip with the intense sun and wind was just too much. I felt a little better. 

Gold Beach is the furthest campground south we are staying at on this trip. From here we will drive south in the car a couple of hours to California in order to see Jedediah Smith State Park which is also, we found, part of the Redwood National Park

These incredible artists were painting a mural on the Visitor's Center at Jedidah State Park 
The talent of these artists painting a mural on the Visitor's Center just amazed me.

The giant Redwoods dwarfed Norm!

It was extremely hot, so we took the dirt scenic drive among the majestic giant redwoods centuries old, stopping to take pictures and a couple of hikes along the way.

he parking spots at the few trail heads were packed, but we were fortunate to squeeze ourselves off the road and park among the bushes. 

We took advantage of the lovely trails meandering among the redwoods at the Jedidah State Park/Redwood National Park.
The road through Jedidah Smith State Park were awesome!  Tightly woven between the trees, it was a little nerve wracking and very dusty!  We were glad we hadn't already washed the car.

We stopped at a couple of small seaports, hoping to buy some fresh fish.  We didn’t have any luck, but we did enjoy hanging out with a herd? Gaggle? Harem? of sea lions about 50 feet from a pier. They barked and frolicked in front of our eyes!  I felt lucky, since the fog had become incredible thick along the coast and even if one went to the commercial “Sea Cave” tourist trap, I don’t think you would have been able to see them since reviewers say they are about 300 feet off shore. 

I was regretting not having gone on the seal tour nearby, therefore I was really excited to discover a huge group hanging out on a local pier.  We stayed and watched them frolic for quite a while. 

It was a very long drive home, but a great day.  We are so glad to have had the opportunity to see these huge trees!  Although further south in California at Sequoia National Park they have even bigger redwoods, I can still probably cross them off my Bucket List!

The remainder of our stay we took another drive to check out more of the coast.  

We just had to stop to check out the dinosaurs at Prehistoric Gardens in Port Orford, Oregon.  It looked rather interesting, but would be definitely worth our while to take the grandchildren when they get older.   

Cave Junction, Obrien, Oregon

August 17 th – 19 th ,2017 We were so surprised to see what looked like Customs down the road.  Did we take a wrong turn? I thought...