Umpqua Lighthouse State Park – Winchester Bay, Oregon

The original Umpqua Lighthouse. Photo courtesy of lighthousefriends.com

The Umpqua Lighthouse was originally constructed on the north side of the Umpqua river mouth, and was finished in 1857. However, the surveyors that had picked that location had never seen the Umpqua river at flood levels – and the original lighthouse tower tumbled down after a brutal  storm in 1863.

Umpqua Lighthouse 2019

After two decades of a dark coastline, the Lighthouse Board eventually approved the funding to rebuild the Umpqua Lighthouse, as well as construct the Heceta Head Lighthouse, her sister to the north. The lighthouses were built simultaneously, and with almost identical plans. Heceta Head was lit first in 1893.

View from the lighthouse today.

Having learned their lesson with the first lighthouse, the second Umpqua Lighthouse was built on a headland above the mouth of the river, where it is the farthest away from a river or the ocean of all the lighthouses along the Oregon Coast.

The rotation mechanism needed to be restored in 1985, but it is still the original mechanism.

The mouth of the Umpqua river at Winchester Bay was finally lit up again on December 31, 1894.

This former U.S. Coast Guard facility built in 1939 was restored by the Douglas County Park Department and dedicated as a public recreation facility on June 19, 1960.

The lighthouse was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977. The old housing facilities have been turned into a museum, but the lighthouse is still an active U. S. Coast Guard lighthouse base today.

On site Museum and Gift Shop

Development of facilities for Umpqua River State Park began with trails and a picnic area at the nearby Lake Marie in the 1930s. Access to the small freshwater lake was provided for fishing and swimming. In the late 1950s, the overnight camping area was added.

The campground is small with only 20 hookup sites, plus tent sites, yurts, 2 log cabins, a hiker/biker camp, and well-maintained restroom and shower facilities.

They also have the jawbone of a whale on display because we are fucking savages on the Oregon Coast.

The nearby towns of Winchester Bay and Reedsport, Oregon both have shopping, recreational supplies, and restaurants. We recommend Don’s Main Street Diner right on Highway 101 in Reedsport. Their clam chowder is delicious, and their pies are to die for!

Mmm. Pie.

Nearby attractions include the marina in Winchester Bay with crabbing, fishing, and beautiful views. Reedsport offers grocery stores, river views, and the Umpqua Discovery Center, which is an educational and cultural resource for all ages.

Winchester Bay Marina
Railroad trestle near the Umpqua Discovery Center
Lots of great photo ops nearby!
The whale watching station near the lighthouse.

More information

Umpqua Lighthouse State Park

Don’s Main Street Family Diner

Umpqua Discovery Center

The Weirdest Dog Bark Ever by Rusty

Hi! It’s me! Rusty! It’s awesome that you’re here!

One of my people’s had a weird idea. We went and played in a giant (and I mean GIANT) kitty litter box! Well there was no actual box, but there was sand EVERYWHERE!

Look at it! How awesome does that look?

There were lots of tall sand hills, and if I ran to the top I could do the fastest zooms back down the hill! It was so awesome! I actually didn’t even smell a cat around, which was a relief because I am not sure how big a cat a would be that would need that much sand to poop in – but I reckon that I don’t want to find out!

I’m winning!

Anyway! Back to my zooms! I don’t have an official record of how fast I was because speed and time are a matter of perspective, but from my perspective my zooms were the awesomest ever! Even Milo agreed!

Look at Milo getting zoomy!!

There were lots of bushes and trees around the cat litter hills. We smelled some small stuff, but like I said, no cats! Thank dog! But there were birds and a boobplesnoot must’ve crossed by the night before. I smelled lots of peoples – maybe they chased all the cats away.

There was plenty of room for me to kick Milo’s butt in a dog wrestle!
I’ve been working on my war face. Is it awesome yet?

Our person took us the litter hills for like 7 days in a row. It was so awesome! I am still finding sand in places that I didn’t know it could get! How do cats deal with that all the time? Is that why they are grumpy? Anyway, it’s been a few days since we went and I am working hard on getting my paws clean still. But don’t let that you stop from visiting the sand litter hills.

The ZOOMS are totally worth it!! OH! You can dig…a lot! And wherever you want! It’s so awesome! Go visit!

There was a booplesnoot here!!



Coos Bay Boardwalk – A Dog Bark (sort of) Review by Milo

Coos Bay Boardwalk in Coos Bay, Oregon

Hello everybody!! It’s Milo here! Okay, so we’ve been to a few dog barks in the past 49 weeks, but they were ones that we have already given paws to, so I decided to tap out a review of the boardwalk in the Coos Bay place that is our old home.

This is me, Milo. Okay, so I tried out a new ear style, but I don’t think I like it. What do you think?

Okay, so on the boardwalk you have to keep your leash clothes on, but there were so many cool things to sniff that I didn’t even pay that much attention to it, really. 

This was a cool spot with doggo pee and a hint of gull poop.

There were big metal things that the peoples called training cars. I don’t like to train unless there are treats involved, but training with treats and cars could be cool.

I didn’t smell any treats in the training cars.

The smells on the boardwalk are to bark for! So, it’s salt and water and fish and people and dogs and wood and food and birds. It was great! Oh! Speaking of water, make sure to drink lots before you go because you won’t like all the salt in the water there. My human mom sometimes has salt with her gold water, I wonder if that tastes like yuck, too?

Birds! I love birds. Especially when they drop food! But sometimes you get surprised because it’s actually poop.

Fish foods! My people’s don’t let me eat fish foods, but it smells good.

This guy seemed a little fishy, though.

Follow your noses!

Okay, so there were sidewalks made from trees, and there are even sidewalks ON THE WATER! And there were water cars! Can you believe that? I need to go for a ride on a water car, okay?! I have put this #1 on my barket list! Right after #7 which is to eat all the foods.

Tree butt spots, too!

And it smelled good, too! Rusty found a really good smell right there. I was jealous.

Those are sidewalks between the boats. I mean…sometimes the peoples can be smarter than they look, okay?

You can walk on water. It’s just…I just…woof.

So okay, I think that you should go visit the Coos Bay Boardwalk and take your doggo’s with you. It’s a fun time! I give it two paws, but just because I couldn’t take my leash clothes off for some good boardwalk zooms.

OH! Did you know that you can follow me and Rusty on Facebook?  Well, you can.

Oregon’s Central Coast

Oregon’s Central Coast

I have managed to wrestle the computer away from the dogs so that I could get back to work on my own blogging, but I imagine that they will take over again! Once they learn a new trick...

Beverly Beach State Park is about five miles north of the city of Newport along the central Oregon coast. I would love to tell you wonderful things about the park, but we barely left our trailer because they have mosquitoes the size of tanks.

Actual Size.

The one thing we did notice at Beverly Beach is some really cool trees they have there. These high-rooted trees grow this way because of high water in the soil.

The trees make the park feel like a magical realm where gnomes and fairies could be hiding.

Sir Didymus awaits your arrival to help guide you through the bog of eternal stench.

And none may pass without my permission!

A wraith guarding the tree nymphs

A gnome home.

Tillamook Cheese

If you are traveling the Oregon Coast, Tillamook Cheese Factory is a required stop. I have an unnatural love for cheese – and free cheese really tickles my pickle. 

Slug Bug

Once inside, at first glance, I thought I was going to get to pet some cows – but, sadly, they are just plastic, which explains why it doesn’t smell like cow crap inside the cheese factory.

Not a real cow.

There are a bunch of displays explaining how the milking process works, along with information on how they make (and age) their cheese.

A farm milking station – or maybe something from the farmers pleasure room. I try to not judge what tickles someone else’s pickle.

This huge line is for free cheese.

Because Free Cheese.

 

Sand Non-Camp – California Highway 199

We don’t like to pay for our campsites, and do so as little as possible. The idea of paying an average of $40 a night to have neighbors that are too close just seems silly to us. So we use an Android app called ParkAdvisor and the website https://freecampsites.net to find hidden little gems.

Hoban (the truck) and Serenity (trailer) hiding in the forest.

Our most recent hideaway was just north of the Redwoods on Hwy 199 in California. I found it on the freecampsites.net website.

Sand Camp…?

The spot was right on the river with a vault toilet and no other campers. There were quite a few visitors during the day for potty breaks, and a few local kids that slung gravel at our truck, but it was quiet and calm most of the time there.

Those darn punk kids!

We also had a fox as a late night visitor. 

This beauty came by for a visit too.

The only water in the forest is the river.

We stayed at Sand Camp for three nights while we explored the Redwoods during the day.

I would recommend this hideaway to anyone – except on the fourth day a Park Ranger came by and told us we couldn’t camp there. Meh. Who am I to argue after three free nights? So we packed up and headed north a few days early to start our tour of the entire Oregon Coast.

…and the scenery on the way out of our non-camp.

10 Things You Don’t Really Need to Know About the Oregon Coast, but I’m Going to Tell You Anyway

10 Things You Don’t Really Need to Know About the Oregon Coast, but I’m Going to Tell You Anyway

We are heading out of Coos County this coming week and traveling all the way up Oregon’s Highway 101. While looking for things to do and see, I came across these Oregon Coast facts – You’re Welcome.

10. All 363 miles of Oregon’s ocean beaches are designated as public land. No snobby private beaches here!

Bastendorff Beach – Charleston, OR. No fancy-pants beach snobs here!

9. Along the 363 miles of public beaches there are 9 public Lighthouses.

Coquille River Lighthouse – Bandon, OR.

8. 18,000 Gray Whales migrate twice a year along the Oregon Coast making whale watching a popular dillydallying adventure.

Whale watching in Coos Bay, OR. I have lived near the Oregon Coast for most of my life and have yet to get a decent photo like this one found at kcby.com – Oh whale.

7. The largest sea lion cave in the world is located just north of Florence, Oregon.

We went to Sea Lion Caves just north of Florence, OR last fall, but the sea lions were all out to sea while we were there. Tickets are good for one year after purchase so you can return when they are in the caves. I would have loved to have gotten some of my own photos of the sea lions, but I just couldn’t seal the deal.

  1. In 1970 a beached whale carcass on an Oregon beach was blown to bits by dynamite. 

  1. The sun goes down about ten minutes later on the Oregon Coast than in inland towns like Portland or Eugene. 

    On the other hand, the coast range mountains will cause the sunrise to be later on the coast – so hit the snooze button twice to balance it all out.

    4. The Tillamook Cheese Factory is the largest cheese factory in the world. And they have free cheese samples. Are you excited? No? FREE CHEESE SAMPLES! 

It ain’t easy being cheesy – but some of us just have natural talent. (Follow the photo link to read a great blog post about visiting the Tillamook Cheese Factory.)

  1. Sand Dollars are not actually accepted as currency…apparently.  

I’m suddenly creeped out by the mobility of my preferred currency.

  1. Lincoln City is the proud home of the world’s shortest river. D River is just 121 feet long.

The size of the D shouldn’t matter….

  1. During the Great Depression, the coastal town of North Bend used wooden coins as currency. – I would have rather had a sand dollar…

I couldn’t find an awesome picture of an original North Bend, OR Myrtlewood coin – BUT I did find this sweet Myrtlewood Gondor Pipe! Whichever reader buys this for me will get to share the first load of Halflings’ Weed with me.

 

A Short Trip to Central Oregon

A Short Trip to Central Oregon 

One of my favorite things about living the RV life is that we are able to see friends and family so much more now that we are on the road. Living in a sticks n’ bricks, I was working 40 hours a week and by the time the weekend came around and I had a day off to go visit someone, I was too tired to do it. Now – I have the ability to nap on the go (and trust me, I do), so I can go visit anyone whenever I want!

We just left the Oregon Coast and headed towards Central Oregon to Doggysit for my Dad in Prineville. Of course we decided to make a few stops along the way.

On our way out of town, my daughter showed us a super cool World War II Bunker in North Bend. It is within the city limits, but is fairly hidden. The Mr. and I tend to enjoy abandoned places since we have an unhealthy desire for the zombie apocalypse.

I’m not even sure what this sign is saying not to do – but knowing my luck, it probably says No Photography.

The Bunker – Heavily spray-painted and some used condoms. So – in our pretend dystopian world people are still artists and the artists still get laid.

Well, yes. There is a lot of green smoking in Oregon.

“It’s never to late to do the right thing…” Like not painting graffiti on historical buildings.

 

We left the coast by Highway 38, which connects the coast to the I-5 Corridor. Near Reedsport is the Dean Creek Wildlife Area. Dean Creek is a Roosevelt Elk Refuge area, and you can see as much as 120 Elk up close. The animals are so beautiful and noble. This is a stop worth making! 

Roosevelt Elk

Elk Herd

Our next stop was in Cottage Grove. Cottage Grove is a small town close to Eugene, Oregon. One of my dearest friends from adolescence just moved there, so we stopped to stay a few nights and catch up. Our furry kids, Milo and Rusty, were able to meet her furry kids, Liam and Piper. Liam is a Mastiff – he seems unaware of that and thinks he is the size of Piper, which is a Chiweenie. All the kids were a little leery of each other, but nothing too stressful happened – even when Piper let her Chihuahua demon side come out. (Those little teeth are slightly terrifying!) It was a lovely visit, and Cottage Grove seems like a pretty quaint little town nestled against the Coast Fork of the Willamette River. They have a pretty adorable covered bridge right downtown, too.

Liam Wallace – the Mastiff with a heart as big as his head.

Piper – The Chiweenie that is possibly in need of an exorcism.

Rusty making sure to not make eye contact with Piper.

Covered Bridge in downtown Cottage Grove. http://www.cottagegrove.net/history/covered_bridges/

To get from Eugene area to Prineville, we followed Highway 126, which is a gorgeous drive. The scenery is amazing and most of the highway follows the beautiful McKenzie River. We crossed over the Santiam Pass, which still has some snowfall on the ground.

The top of Santiam Pass

We arrived in Prineville two nights ago, a few days before Doggysitting duties begin to make sure all the fur kids will get a long. They’re all doing great! Meet Toby and Sissy.

Little Miss Sissy.

The photogenic Toby.

Sissy sticking her tongue out at the big, stinky dogs, Rusty and Milo.

Next Blog –

Central Oregon Sights!

See you Soon!.

 

Diary of Oregon Coast RVers – North Bend, Oregon

Diary of Oregon Coast RVers

Day One – April 3, 2017 – Rogue River, Oregon. Rained a bit today. But we’re back in Oregon, so it’s to be expected.

Day Two – April 4, 2017 – Rogue River, Oregon. Mostly cloudy. Rained this afternoon. Good to be back in Oregon where everything is so green!

Day Three – April 5, 2017 – Rogue River, Oregon. Rained all day. Spent the day in our trailer, watching the rain fall outside our steamy windows.

Day Four – April 6, 2017 – Rogue River, Oregon. Wind blew like crazy. Trees falling in the Valley of the Rogue State Park. Far away lightning and thunder. So glad for electric hookups to be able to run our heater – until the power went out. Trailer is damp. Still happy to be back in Oregon….?

Day Five – April 7, 2017 – Rogue River, Oregon. Sun was out this morning. Had coffee on our way out of Grants Pass area. Rain started while driving to the coast. Coastal weather. It happens, right?

Day Six – April 8, 2017 – North Bend, Oregon. Rain. All. Day. Silver lining; coastal weather is consistent.

Day Seven – April 9, 2017 – North Bend, Oregon. It’s raining. Just a bit here and there, and cats and dogs in-between.

Day Eight- April 10, 2017 – North Bend, Oregon. Rain. Our trailer smells like wet dog.

Day Nine – April 11, 2017 – North Bend, Oregon. A strange glowing orb showed itself in the sky today. If it occurs again tomorrow we may call in the authorities for investigation.

Day Ten – April 12, 2017 – North Bend, Oregon. No worries. Orb is gone. Rain is falling. All seems normal.

Day Eleven – April 13, 2017 – North Bend, Oregon. Heavy rain with intermittent showers.

Day Twelve – April 14, 2017 – North Bend, Oregon. Rain, followed by tears from heaven.

Day Thirteen – April 15, 2017 – Coos Bay, Oregon. Showers this morning. Break in the rain in the early afternoon, followed by coastal flooding.

Day Fourteen – April 16, 2017 – North Bend, Oregon. Rain has slowed to a constant dreary, trickle. Considering selling our RV.

Day Fifteen – April 17, 2017 – North Bend, Oregon. Rain. Trailer is damp enough to turn it into a greenhouse. Growing your own food is good, right?

Day Sixteen – April 18, 2017 – North Bend, Oregon. Rain.

Day Seventeen – April 19, 3017 – North Bend, Oregon. Heavy rain.

Day Eighteen – April 20. 2017 – North Bend, Oregon. Rain, with occasional rain.

Day Nineteen – April 21. 2017 – North Bend, Oregon. Surprise rain storm.

Day Twenty – April 22, 2017 – Coos Bay, Oregon. Cooler with rain showers.

Day Twenty-One – April 23, 2017 – North Bend, Oregon. Heavy rain. Why does God hate Oregon?

Day Twenty-Two – April 24, 2017 – North Bend, Oregon. Praying for drought.

Day Twenty-Three – April 25, 2017 – North Bend, Oregon. Possible 2 minute clearing, following by constant rain.

Day Twenty-Four – April 26, 2017 – North Bend, Oregon. Cloudy with persistent showers.

Day Twenty-Five – April 27, 2017 – North Bend, Oregon. Rain showers, followed by dreary drizzle, followed by rain showers.

Day Twenty-Six – April 28, 2017 – Oregon. Leaving the coast for one week to travel to Central Oregon. Sunshine on coast all weekend. Rain to return as soon as we do.

Tiny Home and a Huge Cold

Tiny Home and a Huge Cold

I make fun of my husband a lot when he is isn’t feeling well. I’ll tease him relentlessly about his “man-flu” as he whines and asks for another cool rag. But the truth is, I get sick every time we come back to the Oregon Coast. I have always had severe allergies, but as soon as we get back into this damp weather I get all wheezy and sneezy and act like I am patient zero.

No, no. I’m sure I’m fine! Ah-choo. Cough. Choke. Cough. Snot. I don’t even think I’m contagious anymore.

So how’s being sick in a tiny home? If you take enough NyQuil, you won’t notice the size of your home.

Okay – it’s honestly not all that different, except you can’t hide in your room away from everyone. Instead, you and the Mr. and two full-sized dogs are all hanging out in your Costco-sized tin can together. Breathing each other’s air. – I sincerely hope that I am not patient zero, or you are all screwed.

What? Do I have something on my face?

Just stock up (maybe two bottles will fit in the fridge?) on your orange juice and NyQuil. Buy stock in cough drops, and wear your surgical mask to save the lives of your loved ones in your enclosed space.

Okay. I swear I’m actually starting to feel better!

You know what? Never mind. You all go on ahead – go back to Twitter or Facebook or wherever else you came from and save yourselves. I’m just going to lay down here and die.

Just give me a kiss goodbye….C’mon! Gimme some sugar, baby!