The four of us left in the morning for our drive to the Oregon coast. Our friends wanted to show us more of the coastal area. Winchester Bay was our first stop. It is a small sea town located at the Pacific end of the Umpqua River. It is known for its fishing, both fresh and saltwater.
We stopped at Ziolkouski Beach Park in Winchester Bay. It has a wide expanse of sandy beach. This is where you’ll find a triangle that is a jetty formation. It consists of two jetties that consist of rip-rap structures jutting out into the ocean and then they connect with each other and this forms the triangle. As we walked along the beach there was a LOT of driftwood! A family was creating a fort with the pieces of wood. In the middle of the triangle we saw the oyster pods from the Umpqua Triangle Oysters.
After walking along the beach and climbing over the jetty to look at the oyster pods, we drove to the Umpqua River Lighthouse. The lighthouse was originally built in 1857 near the mouth of the river and the Pacific Ocean but it was destroyed by a flood in February, 1864. The lighthouse was rebuilt at its current location in 1891 and was finished in 1894.
Coos Bay is where we stopped for lunch. Coos bay is a city where the Coos River enters Coos Bay on the Pacific Ocean. This city is the most populated city along the coast. We had a delicious meal at the Portside Restaurant which is located along Coos Bay.
After lunch we visited Shore Acres State Park. This park was originally the summer home of Louis J. Simpson who was a lumberman and shipbuilder. It was built on a scenic bluff and then purchased by the state of Oregon in 1942 because after the crash of the Great Depression Simpson was bankrupt.
Shore Acres has a formal garden with plants and flowers from all over the world, a Japanese style garden, and the All-American rose selections. In the garden there is something blooming year-round. There is a trail that leads to an ocean cove called Simpson Beach and another trail that takes you to the cliff’s edge.
We were able to get a close up photo of the Cape Arago Lighthouse from the cliff’s edge in Shore Acres. The lighthouse was first erected in 1866 and the only surviving building is the third lighthouse. The lighthouse stands on Chief’s Island at Point Gregory and is now private property owned by the Confederated Tribes of the Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians.
When we finished touring the gardens we started back toward our campground. The route back is the same that we took yesterday so we passed the elk viewing at Dean Creek. Today we saw bull elks feeding. Of course we pulled over and watched them.
The sunset over the Umpqua River was beautiful this evening.
Today we drove over to the Oregon coast with Peggy and Ernie! Our first stop was the Oregon Dunes Overlook. There are trails that you can hike over the dunes to the Pacific Ocean.
After walking around the dunes we got back on route 101 and drove to the city of Florence which is along the Siuslaw River. We had a nice lunch after we parked and walked back into town.
Florence has sea lion caves where we saw many Stellar sea lions relaxing! These sea lions are also threatened.
Near Florence we could see from the scenic viewpoint off the highway the Heceta Head Lighthouse which has been restored. The lighthouse was first lit in 1894. In 1963 the lighthouse was automated and run by computers. The former Keepers house was turned into a Bed and Breakfast in 1995. Due to COVID the tours of the Keepers house and the lighthouse were canceled.
The views along the Oregon coast were beautiful!
At Cape Perpetua we saw more of the rugged Oregon coast. From the viewpoint you could see how the ocean has carved blowholes and other formations.
The Captain Cook Trail is a loop that we hiked and we could see Thor’s Well which is also known as the Drainpipe of the Pacific. At Thor’s Well you can watch the water come in and then shoot up! It wasn’t very high when we were there.
Devil’s Churn is a narrow inlet of the Pacific Ocean. It is a huge rock chasm which is a deep crack in the Earth’s surface. Devil’s Churn is believed to have formed from a collapsed lava tube going back many, many years to Oregon’s volcanic days. The ocean waves crash and then churn!
On our drive along the coast we also hiked the Giant Spruce Trail. We hiked through the dense forest to a Sitka spruce tree that is more than 500 years old. The giant spruce is more than 185 feet tall and a circumference of 40 feet! Pictures of the giant spruce are below.
Baker Beach is located north of the town of Florence. To get to the sandy beach, the trail is about half a mile through the grassy dunes.
As the sun was beginning to set we started back toward our campground. On our way we saw elk eating near the Dean Creek Elk viewing area. There are a series of pastures along the Oregon highway 38 that are maintained by the Bureau of Land Management. You can view elk almost everyday. Today we saw many females but no bull elks. They were busy feeding!
We had a such a good time exploring the Oregon Coast that we are going to different areas along the coast tomorrow!