Beautiful Oregon

“There is no bad weather, only inappropriate dress” – Oregon coastal saying from the Pacific Coast Scenic Byway brochure

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Bandon  002We finally arrived in beautiful Oregon.

And, Island Girl, who was originally purchased new in Oregon (she wound up in Colorado where we found her) has returned home at least for a little while.Bandon  003

Bandon  006Our campground is in Bullard’s Beach State Park in the town of Bandon, which we read about on the blog Wheeling It.Bandon  004Bandon  005Bandon  007

On our first day, we explored old town Bandon, a few square blocks with shops and restaurants, some in restored buildings. There is a boardwalk that runs along the waterfront where the Coquille River empties into the ocean. The town is very cute and compact.

Bandon  010We are assembling quite a collection of these funny cutout pictures :-).

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Bandon  008A standout little restaurant was Tony’s Crab Shack and Seafood Grill on the waterfront.  We love little seafood shacks on the water, although this one doesn’t have a view.  But lunch was fresh and good and we also bought fresh oysters and clams for my birthday dinner.

Bandon  011Bandon  012We also found a fabulous chocolatier – Coastal Mist Chocolate Boutique. Oh boy, that was a dangerous find. Hector bought a couple of yummy individual cakes for my birthday and a few beautiful chocolates. And we had some very fine hot chocolates there.

Bandon  015Bandon  016That evening, Hector made the most delicious Cosmopolitans to begin my birthday celebration. Followed by dinner which included raw oysters, steamed clams and artichokes. And, of course, the fabulous chocolate desserts! Yum! It was much better than any fancy restaurant could have been.Bandon  017Bandon  018Bandon  014

Bandon  024Bandon  030It was quite windy when we arrived in Bandon. Not windy enough to have to stay inside, but just enough to be bothersome.Bandon  019

But we still spent time out on the beach most days. The state park had a trail to a gorgeous beach. Because of the high surf, we kept Angel on leash. She loves to walk on the water’s edge, but she’s not a water dog, and there were lots of warnings about “sneaker waves” so I didn’t want to take a chance.Bandon  032Bandon  029

It was a huge beach and the only other people we encountered on the beach were a couple of folks on horseback – very romantic.  Since we forgot Angel’s travel bowl and it was a ¾ mile trail back to the campground, we found a deep shell to use for her water. She looked so cute sipping out of the seashell!Bandon  025

Bandon  040Bandon  021Bandon  036We also visited the beach in town a few times. There are actually several public access points to this other gorgeous beach.

And we got to observe seals and their pups once again. Getting too close can spook the mother seals and cause them to abandon their pups, so we only observe them from a distance through our binoculars and long lens. The pups should be a couple of months old at this point and are pretty big and fat – adorable!Bandon  037Bandon  031

The scenery in Oregon was just as spectacular as northern California with lots of huge rocks out on the water.Bandon  046Bandon  039Bandon  045Bandon  038

Bandon  100The next few days became even windier. In fact, when we went to the fish market to get some fresh fish they were running low on their fresh fish because the fishermen hadn’t been out for a few days.Bandon  047

Bandon  044But we found a semi-sheltered beach in town where we could hide behind a large rock during our walks. Angel loved to run with the wind at her back, but was not happy going back into the wind.Bandon  043Bandon  042

Bandon  101Bandon  052Bandon  051Bandon  054Bandon  060During this windy time, we saw a Coast Guard rescue training exercise. This is the second time we see the Coast Guard on a rescue mission, the first time was actually a real rescue in San Diego.Bandon  055

Bandon  058There is a sandbar at the mouth of the Coquille River, which shifts and can be quite dangerous. This is where the training exercise took place.  The wind was howling at 30 + mph and the surf was high.   Bandon  059

A helicopter flew low close to the water so that a Coast Guardsman could leap into the water to “rescue” a swimmer.

The Coast Guardsman then helped the swimmer get to a Coast Guard boat that was stopped in the water near the sand bar, an impressive feat in itself in these high winds.Bandon  057

Bandon  058We thought the exercise was over but then the helicopter came in to hover in a pretty precarious spot just above the water.  Then, incredibly, the Coast Guard rescue swimmer jumped off the boat and swam against the tide and wind to a spot where the helicopter lowered a sling and lifted him back.Bandon  062

Just another day at the office ….

Just another day at the office ….

Bandon  061Needless to say, a crowd had formed to watch this rousing display of daring and skill.  Once again, we are so impressed by the Coast Guard, they rock!

Next, we visited the Coquille River Light, an adorable little lighthouse that was lit in 1896 to guide ships past that same nasty sandbar.Bandon  053

Bandon  101 (1)The lighthouse is pretty unique; it’s a cylindrical tower attached to an octagonal building that used to house fog signal equipment.  The lighthouse was decommissioned in 1939 and its original light, a fourth-order Fresnel lens was removed. It was abandoned for years and sat in disrepair but several restoration projects since 1976 have brought it back to life.   It’s cute and compact, just like the town.

Bandon  066Bandon  068We returned to the semi-sheltered beach for sunset, a challenging photography session for Hector due to the heavy wind. And, because it was a very clear night, sunset was a bit subtle, but beautiful.Bandon  067Bandon  069

While in Bandon, I found out that a couple of other bloggers, Leigh and Brian, whom we’d never met, were at Cape Blanco State Park.  Hector and I planned to visit the Cape Blanco Lighthouse, so I sent them a message and we planned a rendezvous.Bandon  070Bandon  071

Bandon  073We took a tour of the Cape Blanco Lighthouse, the oldest continually operating lighthouse in Oregon, first lit in 1870. The lighthouse is located on the most westerly point in Oregon at 245 feet above sea level on a headland bordered by dramatic cliffs.Bandon  074

Bandon  080Bandon  075The road out to this windy and dramatic point reminded me of the setting of another lighthouse in New Brunswick, Canada named Cape Enrage, that we visited last summer, although the lighthouses themselves are very different.Bandon  077

Bandon  072Bandon  079Cape Blanco Lighthouse’s original first-order Fresnel lens has been replaced by a second-order Fresnel lens. But the working second-order Fresnel lens is quite a marvel.

Afterwards, we drove through the state park to check the campground out.  And that is where we bumped into Leigh and Brian, whom we were planning to meet at a restaurant called the Crazy Norwegian. Although we weren’t sure it was them, we recognized their dog, Curtis, whose photographs frequently grace their blog, Aluminarium.Bandon  085

Bandon  084It’s always fun to meet fellow bloggers and full timers.  Leigh and Brian have a beautiful Airstream Trailer, and are another young couple who work on the road.  We had such a great time with them!Bandon  099

On our last day in Bandon, we went to the farmers market. It’s a small market but we found a few nice things, including some very yummy cheesecake. Bandon was turning out to be quite fattening.Bandon  098Bandon  097

Bandon  086Bandon  088Then we headed out for one last sunset at the beach where we had watched the sunset a few evenings earlier. Another clear and windy day but the sunset was a bit brighter and the setting was spectacular.Bandon  087Bandon  092Bandon  090Bandon  096Bandon  095

Bandon  093Bandon  094Island Girl’s homecoming is turning out to be pretty fabulous.

~ BrendaBandon  089

19 thoughts on “Beautiful Oregon

  1. Belated Happy Birthday Brenda! I’m making more Strawberry Vinegar in your honour. Spectacular photos Hector! Funny, we heard the same statement about weather and clothing when we were in Norway – and they certainly knew how to dress in layers so they could sunbath and ski on the same outing. Greetings from the far east coast from both of us.

    • Thank you! Oh boy, we’ll have to find a way to go back and get some more. I love his photography too. We were in Norway in July a couple of years ago, it really was crazy weather. We miss the maritimes, hopefully we will return within the next couple of years. Let us know if you’re traveling to the Western U.S. anytime.

  2. The Oregon coast is so beaitiful. I do wish they would order up a little warmer weather and less windy occsionally:)

    Hector, I’ve never seen such gorgeous photos of the area. I love looking slowly at each shot. Those sunset photos are so special:)

    How neat to meet Leigh and Brian. I hope to meet them one day soon. I cook many of Leigh’s recipes.

    Sounds like a special birthday celebration. Happy Birthday, Brenda:)

    • I know, a little warmer, a little more sunny and a little less windy, right? So glad you’re enjoying Hector’s photos. We loved Leigh and Brian. It was a lovely birthday, at this stage, I prefer a simple celebration, if you know what I mean. Thank you!

  3. Awesome and amazing, as always!!! Wow!! Gorgeous!!!!

    Happy Birthday, Brenda!!!! Sending you a great big birthday hug!! Here’s to a wonderfully fabulous year!!! : )

  4. Not quite Florida beaches but spectacular! I love the juxtaposition of big rocks and big ocean, so well captured in the pics!! Another terrific location and blog! Thanks! Happy Birthday again!

  5. Sounds like you had a wonderful birthday! We spent some time at Bullards Beach SP a few years ago and loved it. The amazing beach at the park was almost always empty and it felt so special to have such a gorgeous beach all to ourselves! Glad you got to meet Leigh and Brian 🙂

    • Yes, I did. The beaches in that area in general were all empty, but I think the wind had something to do with that. We got together another time with Leigh and Brian further north on the coast, they are great.

  6. Absolutely beautiful photography! My comments are so repetitive. But I just love love love looking at Hector’s photography. Enjoy Oregon!

  7. Belated birthday wishes to you Brenda. Hector really knows how to spoil the birthday girl. We loved Bandon and Bullard’s Beach SP. We met up with Nina and Paul there and it was so windy that first day we could barely stand upright while walking on the beach. We loved the little farmers’ market and the chocolatier. We also thought that this part of Oregon was one of the most scenic, the little Coquille Lighthouse and that rugged coastline. Hector’s photos are some of the most breathtaking I have seen of the coast.

    • Thank you! Yes, he does. Hector has a big smile on his face hearing how you and others enjoyed the photos. We are continuing to enjoy Oregon, still a bit behind on our blog – too much fun!

  8. Belated Happy Birthday Brenda ! Wow Hector really knows how to spoil his lovely wife! And I missed that artichoke, can’t find it here in the East. We also enjoyed our stay at Bandon by the Sea and went to the same places you explored. When we were there the town and the coastline were covered with yellow flowers, not sure what they are called but it was an awesome sight.

    • Thank you! I think we just missed some of the spring flowers, but have seen some beautiful summer flowers along the way.

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