ghost town noun a town that was busy in the past but is now empty or nearly empty because the activities that kept people there have stopped
The town of Kent is located on Highway 97, south of Grass Valley and north of Shaniko. The town site was originally called Guthrie, and a smaller town site, named Kent, was in a nearby canyon. When the Columbia Southern Railway arrived in Guthrie around 1900, the people of Kent moved to the larger town, and the town of Guthrie was renamed Kent. The post office is the only active business in town.
August Scherneckau moved to the area in 1874, after the Civil War. It is said that the town was named after the way that the local Native Americans pronounced Scherneckau’s name. The Shaniko Post Office was opened in 1900, and the town was incorporated the next year.
The town of Shaniko became a transportation hub between the Columbia Southern Railroad and the Union Pacific Railroad. Between the years of 1901 and 1911, Shaniko was known as the “wool capital of the world.” The largest building in town was a wool warehouse, which still stands today.
In 1911 the Union Pacific Railroad began using an alternative route to Portland, and Shaniko started losing businesses and population right away. Shaniko was first called a “ghost town” in 1959. According the last census the population is now 36.
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.
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.
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 mouth of the Umpqua river at Winchester Bay was finally lit up again on December 31, 1894.
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.
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.
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!
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.
What do you give your loved ones that are full time RVers? Not much, unless you’re going to get them a larger RV to put more shit in.
We purposely got rid of all our crap to live on the road, and we try not keep things that we don’t use. If we have forgotten we even own something (which happens more than it should, really), then we don’t actually need it do we? So, it gets donated to a thrift store that we come across in our travels (this is also where we buy most of the stuff that we donate – that’s what we call the thrift store circle of life, my friends).
So, again, WHAT do you give your loved ones that live in their RV? Well…I have made a list…make sure to check it twice.
A thermal backpack picnic set. You may think that this is something that people don’t really NEED…but it has a detachable thermal wine holder. Everyone needs this; even you. Order 2.
Food. Unless your giftee’s are people that don’t eat (in which case you should call in a welfare check on them) then food is always a win. Something delicious that they wouldn’t normally splurge for.
Games! RV people (well, at least these RV people) love to play games! Especially, the RVers that like to spend their time offgrid. Also…this is great for people like my husband that likes to make up words and call himself a wordsmith.
Do you know what every RV traveler needs? Whether it is a travel trailer, motorhome, 5th while or even a tiny house they will all need some petrol to move on to their next spot. Unless they have teleportation devices, which would really just take away the enjoyment – happiness is in the journey, not the destination. So, gas cards!
If you’re one of those people – you know the kind…they spend so much on their gifts that everyone else is ashamed of their homemade macaroni necklaces – then a membership to an RV club would be a great gift. RV Club memberships include some pretty impressive discounts for the RVers, as well as free stays. Do a little research, click buy, and WHAM! You are more awesome that Santa this year. You want cookies or carrots left out for you?
I saved the lamest, but probably the most useful for last. Gift cards. To Wal-mart, Kroger, Clothing Stores, Outdoor Stores, or just a prepaid Visa. This gift lacks imagination on your part, but will really be appreciated by your RVers.
Oh! I forgot the most important part. Have a happy and beautiful holiday season – and ditch the gifts, because the best gift is probably you – unless you suck.
Brought you by the lack of common sense of our recent camp neighbors!
If your camp neighbor has decorative items at their campsite, make sure to let your small children play with it! Your neighbors are going to LOVE you!
If you pull into a small campground and there is only one other person there you can go ahead and crank up your sorry-ass country music as loud as your minivan speakers will let you! It’ll turn into a boot-scootin’ party.
If you find a little free library at your camp neighbors site, you can take as many books as you like! Shit, take all of them! There are no library police at camp!
When there are lots of signs telling you to keep your dogs on leashes, do not even worry about it. They don’t mean YOUR dog, just everyone else’s!
When you think, “Gee, I think I should run around in my underwear!” Yes! This is definitely what you should do!
Okay. I’m done being the grumpy old lady yelling “get off my lawn!” But seriously…stay off my lawn.
I’m angry. I am angry that I even have to write a post like this. So, I will keep it short and simple, and try not to use profanity.
We enjoy dry camping. We will drive right past even the coolest of RV Parks and go out in the middle of nowhere where our puppers can roam free and we can have peace and quiet to work on our writing, reading, and napping.
More often than not, when we are dry camping we come across the tracks of the most vicious animals to walk the earth.
We have found everything from mattresses to an obscene amount of bullet casings. And we always clean up what we can. Not to toot my own horn, but we always leave our camping spots in better condition than we found them.
And it is really that easy! Whether you are out in the forest fulfilling your ammosexual fantasies or parking your RV to find your peace – just leave your spot better than you found it. Take a garbage bag when you go. Clean up your shit and whatever other shit you see laying around.
This is your earth. You don’t get another one, so stop pissing her (and me) off.
Sights to See in Coos Bay and North Bend, Oregon
Construction on the McCullough Bridge, north of North Bend, Oregon, began in 1934 and was finished in 1936. At the time it was completed, it was the longest bridge in Oregon.
Coos Bay Boardwalk
The Coos Bay Boardwalk is a wonderful place to take a stroll right on the bay. There are boats docked, a seafood restaurant on the water, and a display of an actual tug boat.
The Hollering Place is a historical site in Coos Bay. It was originally used by the Qaimisiich Indian Tribe as a place of communication, trade, and travel.
Stay tuned for more to see in Oregon’s Bay Area!
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