|Bridge over the Rogue River at Gold Beach|
How many times had I breezed down Highway 101 on my way to “somewhere else” and wondered what was down a river road or how the beach looked at Nesika? How many times had I wished I’d been going slow enough to pull off at a viewpoint or could explore a waterfront area? Everytime. So, we decided that this time we would follow every nook and cranny, every pull-out, every road or trail that appealed to us. This was my birthday season mini-vacation.
We meandered south on a Sunday morning. Visiting with friends Elaine and Gene in Port Orford, hanging out at the harbor in Gold Beach, pausing for photos all along the coast, and stopping to eat our picnic lunch at a rest stop, we made the 107 miles to Brookings, Oregon, in about six hours.
|Cape Sebastian Overlook|
Our usual style is pretty frugal -- staying in hostels or mom-and-pop motels. But this time, we decided to splurge, to treat ourselves to a nice place, a real bed and breakfast. We chose a winner in Brookings’ charming South Coast Inn, www.southcoastinn.com, where friendly, knowledgeable innkeepers Michael and Cheryl Clines and mom Grace, showered us with hospitality and delicious food.
Their gorgeous gardens relaxed and delighted us, and the inn’s convenient location was great, serving as our base over the next two days.
On day one, we drove into Prairie Creek State and National Redwood Park, about sixty miles south, near the Klamath River, in California. We spent a beautiful, tranquil day hiking among the redwoods and taking photos. We ate our picnic lunch in the shadow of “Big Tree,” the largest tree in the park.
|The beginning of the trail|
|You can get a perspective on the size of the tree|
Our second exploring day was for beaches around Brookings. Though there was a bit of fog when we stepped out at Lone Ranch Beach, we could see well and were pleased with our beach walk and the challenge of some of the rocky areas. At Harris Beach Park, the sun was out and the fog had lifted. We saw a large number of family groups out enjoying the water and sandy beach area.
After dinner at Pancho’s on 101 in Brookings, we headed up the Chetco North Bank road to Loeb Park and found it to be a lovely place with campgrounds, river access, and a myrtlewood grove. That was a pleasant and surprising find, and we wished we’d had more time to hike the well-marked trails.
|Myrtlewood grove at Loeb Park|
The morning of our departure, we had a lovely breakfast and conversation with B&B mates who were driving the coast and circling the Olympic peninsula. Retracing our path north to Coos Bay, we took time to stop and see some things we'd missed on the way down.
It's amazing how a few days away, fairly close to home, can create a different sense of life and self.