Slogging up the Oregon Coast

We said goodbye to our Vancouver Island friends and made our way up the Oregon Coast.  The warm, sunny days of California now well behind us, we entered the rain zone of the Pacific Northwest in early Spring.  However, we were still glad to be in Oregon, which we refer to as ‘California Light.’  While the Beaver State may not have the same allure and fanfare as its southern neighbour, Oregon is a wonderful place to travel through.  The State Park system is one of the best in the country, the coastline is spectacular, there’s lots of terrific inland places to see (Crater Lake, Bend, Mt Hood), there’s quality breweries and restaurants everywhere, shopping is tax-free, and its one of the most dog-friendly areas in the US.

We’ve already pretty much travelled everywhere in the state so for this visit we decided to tough it out on the coast, despite the wet forecast.  It was a good decision.  The weather wasn’t too bad.

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We drove up scenic Highway 101 from Winchester Bay, through Reedsport, past Dunes City, Florence and camped at Carl Washburn State Park.   This area has some of the most rugged coastline along the Oregon Coast.

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Washburn State Park, unlike SPs to the south, welcomes dogs on the trails and on the beaches {California, we’re still steaming about your goofy park policies…]  We had 2 days of glorious sun, which was a bonus.

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We ended up spending 3 days at Washburn SP, hiking the trails and beachcombing along the miles of sandy shores.  Despite a bridge being out and a trail ‘officially’ closed, one of the campground hosts told us that we could still pass through and make our way to the Heceta Lighthouse, the oldest on the Oregon Coast.   It was a muddy slog through 8 miles (return) of steep, undulating trails.

Standing 205 feet above the ocean, the 56-foot tower was first illuminated in 1894; the automated beacon, seen 21 miles from land, is rated as the strongest light on the Oregon Coast.

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After cleaning up from the hike, and even after more than 300 days of travel, we’re still eating well back at camp.

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At the end of the all the beach walks and trail blazing, the Bear was totally exhausted…

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Having decamped from Washburn, we carried on north along the 101 through Yachats (great little brewery), Newport and on to Lincoln City.  The Bear was not amused by the loud barking California Seals that were fighting for space on the dock.

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After looking around Lincoln City, we moved back inland and stayed at Champoeg State Park, south of Portland.  We finished our time in Oregon with some power-shopping near Portland, then moved on to Washington State for the final push home.  It’s been an uneventful last few days of rainy weather along the boring I-5 and into the Olympic Peninsula (which would be beautiful if it wasn’t socked in).  We’re now just hours away from returning to Canada.  First stop: Vancouver Island to check out the housing situation around Victoria before heading up to the Okanagan.  The adventure continues!  Stay tuned…

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4 thoughts on “Slogging up the Oregon Coast

  1. Almost home! And now the next adventure – finding a nest – continues. For very selfish reasons I am hoping it will be near Victoria 🙂 🙂 But I can totally get why you would love Kelowna. What a memorable trip this was – once in a lifetime experience. Much love Monica

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  2. Nice! I’ve always wanted to trailer down the Oregon Coast with my horse but the times I travel, like now – April …..and October tend to the rainy side. I’m glad you got some sunshine!! Looks good and by the way, welcome back to Canada and good luck with the house hunting. My personal favourite over the Island…..Vernon, BC. High on a hill overlooking the lake. The Okanagan would appeal to the foodie and wino in you! LOL

    Liked by 1 person

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