We stopped in Eugene for groceries (Love that Trader Joe), Fuel (now down to $3.59 in places – No Complaints), and to have lunch with some friends that were attending the Olympic Track and Field Trials at U of O, on the way to the Oregon Dunes. Several years ago we visited the south coast of Oregon and stopped just short of the Dunes to go east to Crater Lake NP. Now we’re back to finish the coast. The Waxmyrtle National Forest Campground is ideal. Well designed (CCC no doubt), far enough of the 101 to be quiet, and practically empty here on the Thursday before the weekend before the Fourth of July holiday. We stayed for 3 days and it was still empty when we left on Sunday. Anyway, it was a nice campground and a good place to explore some of the sights around Florence and the Oregon Dunes. The weather was overcast, but isn’t that what Oregon is supposed to be like in June?
It’s Snowy Plover breeding season and that means much of the beach above the tideline is closed, but hey we all want a chance to breed, so we can deal with that.
We also found some Harbor Seals on the beach basking in the overcast.
You can see that seals have, like us humans, many differences in personality. The one on the right is keeping a wary eye on us, the one in the middle is sawing wood, and the guy on the left is scratching his head wondering just What the Hell are we.
The best place to see the Oregon Dunes is on the John Dellanback Trail which travels across the dune fields to the Pacific Ocean at Umpqua Beach
Unlike many dunes we have seen, the Oregon Dunes are firm steep sided ridges that are easy to walk on.
It was a misty cool day which meant we had the beach to ourselves. Oregon has many miles of beaches like this one. All are public and all have access of some sort. Some have parking lots right along the road beside the beach, others are set back from the road and may require a hike of up to 2 miles to reach the beach, but they are all beautiful and accessible.
The beach is Umpqua Beach and just a bit farther up the coast is Umpqua River Lighthouse….continued