The noise from my neighbors packing up this morning at 7AM woke me up. All of the Oregon Statue football fans packed and departed this morning. All of the orange and black team colors were gone today. When I walked around later only I saw one Oklahoma State fan, but all the Oregon State fans had disappeared. I wonder if they left because they lost.
Today was a bright sunny day with only a few clouds. The temperature peaked in the low eighties with out much wind. After four weeks of highs around seventy along the coast it was a real change. The heat combined with my early wake up call and a general lack of a plan resulted in a very lazy day. It seemed like every time I sat still for a few minutes I dozed off for a few minutes.
I wasn’t a complete couch potato. I got the car prepped for touring by removing the bicycle along with its rack and storing the towing paraphernalia. Later I got the gas grill out and cooked a couple of hamburgers with sauteed onions for the main meal of the day. For exercise I walked around the campground a couple of times taking pictures of the flowering plants.
Tonight I watched another Oregon football team lose. This time it was the Oregon University Ducks getting defeated by the Auburn Tigers in the last few seconds of the game. This is not the state to be in if you want happy football fans this weekend.
It was cloudy overnight and into the morning. I didn’t experience sunshine until after three in the afternoon, but some of that was caused by my direction of travel. The coast probably cleared off around noon.
I was on the road north and inland shortly before 11am. My departure was delayed by a neighbor having to engage me in conversation while I was packing up. The guy had ignored me for two weeks, but this morning he had to ask if I had property in the path of the hurricane. He assumed from my Florida license plates that I must be worried about hurricane Dorian. I’m not sure he got the concept of full time RV living. He couldn’t understand why I wouldn’t be back in Florida until late next year. My problem was that I had to recheck a number of tasks to make sure I didn’t skip anything important while having the conversation.
Once I was on the road, my first order of business was filling the gas tank. I had previously scouted a station with good access. It wasn’t the cheapest station in town and it had more than a ten cent markup for using a credit card. I think they also raised the price a few cents for the holiday weekend, but I wasn’t going anywhere without fuel. In the end, I spent more to fill the tank than I ever have. The $3.379 per gallon price may not have been the highest, but by the time they put 54 gallons in, I’d spent $182.47.
Traffic was heavy as I worked my way inland on the secondary highway. I was often in a line behind slower vehicles waiting for the section of road with a passing lane. On a couple of the hills the line was behind me. For the most part all of the traffic kept moving. Once I reached Interstate 5 the traffic got heavier, but moved along at a steady pace. I arrived for my return visit to the Albany/Corvallis KOA just before 2pm. I stayed in this campground in the middle of July. It was a convenient place with openings for the holiday weekend.
The campground is close to full tonight. In addition to travelers and holiday weekenders, there are a number of Oregon State University Football fans. There are many OSU Beaver Flags and team colors around the campground. The fall football season began tonight at the OSU stadium a few miles from here. To be confusing OSU is playing OSU. The Oregon State University Beavers are hosting the Oklahoma State University Cowboys. As I’m writing this blog entry the local team is behind by 22 points. My neighbors may not be in the best mood tomorrow.
There were two rain events last night. The first was just after midnight and the second around four in the morning. The thunder associated with the early morning rain was very impressive. I can’t say how long either event lasted. I rolled over and went back to sleep. It was dry, but very cloudy when I got up this morning. The cloud cover remained overhead all day. The sun made an attempt to break through during the afternoon, but a hazy layer of clouds remained. With all the clouds, the temperature only climbed into the mid sixties.
I missed another one of Mother Natures events today. An earthquake centered only 183 miles off the coat from Coos Bay occurred this morning. It was a 6.3 magnitude earthquake that some people in the area felt. I didn’t know it happened until I listened to the TV coverage. I may have still been in bed when it happened. My practical and cautious side doesn’t want to experience an earthquake, but I am curious. I’ve experienced a few little rumbles in the northeast, but not the property damaging kind of earthquake.
Today is my last full day in the Coos Bay area. It was a day to get a few pre-travel chores completed. I’ve caught up enough that I only have the normal travel day tasks to complete in the morning. I didn’t get a head start on the outside tasks, but I have plenty of time in the morning. The one task I didn’t get to today was the laundry. The laundry facility was full when I checked this afternoon.
I have about 140 miles to travel tomorrow. I’ll be returning to the Corvallis KOA for six nights. The campgrounds along the coast that I checked were all full for the holiday weekend. The campgrounds in the Willamette valley seem to have more openings. Oregon has many campgrounds, but it also seems to have more campers than most states. Next Thursday, I’ll move back to the coast in the Astoria area for a week.
There was real fog this morning a lot heavier than the usual low clouds. The sun didn’t make an appearance until after 11AM and the temperature never crossed the seventy mark. Inland they were still experiencing record highs. By late afternoon the cloud cover was returning and it cooled off even more.
I made the fifteen plus mile drive into Coos Bay with the intent of visiting the farmers market. Parking was difficult to find. I drove around in ever bigger circles looking for an empty space without success. When I reached the road out of town to the west, I gave up and kept going. I bought the peaches I was looking for at Walmart along with this weeks collection of provisions.
When I crossed the bridge over Coos Bay there were many small boats hovering in the channel on both sides of the bridge. In past trips over the bridge the water was empty. My guess is that one of the salmon runs has begun. I stopped on the way out of town at one of the parks to see if I could get a better view of the fishing action, but didn’t have much luck. I hope the salmon are running in the Columbia River when I’m back in the gorge in a little over two weeks.
Tomorrow is my last full day in this area. I move inland for the holiday weekend on Friday. My focus tomorrow will be chores around the rig and getting ready for travel. As I look around my RV home tonight, it is apparent that I haven’t been doing a good job of putting things away after I use them. The living space is full of clutter and will require more than the usual amount of packing.
Today’s weather wasn’t like any other day I’ve experienced this summer on the Oregon cost. It was hot. The temperature peaked in the mid eighties with much less wind than normal. It wasn’t bad compared to other areas in the region. Inland, in the Willamette valley record high temperatures in the triple digits were achieved. Tomorrow is forecast to be another warm day.
There was more turnover in the RV park today than I expected. My noisy neighbors were among the departing guests. They left just after checkout time this morning, but not without a little drama. In their hast or disorder to leave, they forgot to close the rear storage bin in their motorhome. A couple of other neighbors start yelling at them and one guy started running after them waiving his arms. I don’t know if they ever got the message. The guy running after them had to stop before the RV reached the main road, but he sure got his exercise for the day.
This afternoon I drove to the shore along the Oregon Dunes area of the coast. I wasn’t real impressed with all the sand. To reach the actual coast it was necessary to climb up and over a very sandy dune. I climbed to the top, emptied my shoes, looked around and turned back. I had to empty my shoes again before I got into the car. Finishing the walk across the dune in the deep loose sand wasn’t worth it in the bright sun. I’m just surprised at how different the Oregon Dunes area of the coast is from the areas north and south of the dunes.
As I mentioned in yesterday’s blog entry, I’m in my fourth week in this area. I need an extra push to get out and tour some of the things left to see in the area. Since I’m a solo traveler that push has to come from within. Tonight, I’m trying to talk myself into a return visit to the Coos Bay farmers market tomorrow. Stay tune to see if I’m successful.
Today was a clear sunny day. The usual overnight cloud cover didn’t arrive last night. The remainder of the day fit the pattern. The high temperature was around seventy and a good breeze filled the air in the afternoon. Tomorrow is forecast to be warmer than normal. That means mid seventies along the coast. Inland it’s forecast to be in the mid to upper nineties.
The nice quiet that arrived yesterday afternoon with the departure of all the weekend residents continued this morning. It help contribute to my sleeping in for an added hour. All of the quiet came to an end around 1PM. An RV with four elementary school age kids arrived on the site across the drive from mine. Nobody communicated quietly. The kids talked with each other at the top of their lungs, screamed and complained to their parents about every altercation with their siblings only to hear their parents prove they can yell louder. I don’t have any real issue with kids having fun, but this was something else. At the dinner hour it got worse. Half of southern Oregon arrived to have a cook out with the noisy family. Three or four car fulls of adults, kids and dogs arrived to have dinner cooked over a smokey fire. The noise level went up and I closed my windows and turn the AC on for white noise. I think my other neighbors did the same thing. The party ended around 9PM. Everything is back to the pre-party noise level, but the peace and quiet of this morning is long gone.
I am in my fourth week in this area. Consequently, my enthusiasm for touring is waning. There are still things of interest to do and places to visit, but I can easily be swayed by an interesting TV show or a good story to read. That is what happened today. By the time I thought about leaving the RV park it was mid afternoon. I didn’t have a specific plan for the day, so it was easy to just keep reading and watching TV.
The weekend crowd departed the RV park this morning. The park is back to its sleepy mid week form. The park is far from empty, but there are fewer people out and about.
I was bored with sitting around this morning, so despite knowing it would be very busy on the roads, I ventured out. As soon as I reached US 101, the main coastal highway, I knew it was a mistake. It was necessary to merge into a long line of vehicles. Every third or fourth vehicle seemed to be an RV or a trailer with ATVs. Traffic was heavy enough that every hill and intersection caused a backup. During the week you can go for a mile or two without seeing another car. It was not fun traveling today.
My original plan was to drive up the coast to the high cliffs north of Florence, but the traffic changed my plans. Instead I turned east at Reedsport to check for more Elk at the Dean Creek Elk Viewing Area. I found a herd of 8 or 9 elk in front of the main viewing area. Many cars were stopping to get a closer look at the animals. The elk are wild, but they get a lot of help with their habitat from the Bureau Land Management and conservation groups. The meadow area is very well groomed.
When I arrived three of the elk were lying down. The rest were grazing. After a few minutes one of the grazing animals laid down and all the remaining standing elk followed the leader. Once on the ground the elk are statues. I didn’t see any movement before I decided to return to my RV home. I wasn’t going to resume my battle with the traffic for any longer than necessary to get home.
The day ended with a very gusty northwest wind under sunny skies. The temperature peaked at a consistent seventy degrees.
The temperature peaked a little over seventy today following the standard weather pattern. The overnight clouds gave way to sunshine followed by a strong breeze in the afternoon. It is easy to see why Oregonians flock to the coast to enjoy this weather.
This is the fourth weekend I’ve been in this area. I’ve leaned that the areas along the coast that draw people to the area are very busy. During the week you can find parking, but on the weekend it’s not always possible. I choose to stay at home today watching preseason NFL games and doing travel research.
After getting the winter and first quarter of next years travel plans locked in, I’ve started to research next year. With reservation windows for some public campgrounds opening a year in advance, I’m already late making some of next summers reservations at my preferred type of campground. It is pretty hard to make reservations when your not sure where your going. The last few years I’ve waited far to long to make a plan. The area between the mountains in 2017 and this year worked out, but last year was a mess of random travel in the mid west and east. The only common element was the high stress associated with the process, so I’m trying to get things locked in early.
My starting point is Arizona in the middle of April and my ending point is Florida around the beginning of November. In between I plan to focus on the area between the Rocky mountains and the Appalachians. There is far too much territory in the middle of the country to see more than a tiny part of it. A rough plan is to go north along the eastern side of the Rockies, then turn east in Northern Wyoming or Montana. My list of “want to sees” is a lot longer than six months of relaxed travel will support. You’d think it was just a matter of prioritizing, but it gets complicated when you throw in some of the constraints. For example, I don’t want to be in the Black Hills of South Dakota during motorcycle gathering season in August, but visiting earlier short changes my time along the eastern side of the Rockies in New Mexico, Colorado and Wyoming. Clearly I’m trying to do too much, but what to cut. Maybe I need to come up with a rough plan for 2021 to pick up the excess first.
The normal summer weather pattern has returned to the area. The overnight clouds burned off mid morning followed by a gentle wind from the north. The temperature a few hundred yards inland from the coast made it to about seventy. It was cooler right at the coast and a lot warmer a few miles inland.
Today I went for a walk on the beach. I chose to explore Bastendorff Beach near the mouth of Coos Bay. The tide was on its way in while I was there providing plenty of area to walk. There were a few brave people playing in the cold water and cool air. The air temperature over the water was in the sixties. Wispy fog was in the air where the ocean air met the slightly warmer air over the ground. The ocean floor in this area seems to be fairly flat making for a lot of surf.
This was a very sandy beach that didn’t have as much driftwood as some of the other Oregon beaches I’ve explored. Along the water line at this beach was plenty of seaweed. Some of the species of seaweed are new to me. There is one plant that looks like a long snake with a round ball for a head. I haven’t seen anything like it on the east coast, but there was plenty on the beach today.
I also encountered a bird that I haven’t seen before. It is probably a variety of seagull, but it is very gray in color and its beak is red with a black tip. There were a pair of them in one area of the beach. Further down the beach there was collection of the more common seagulls.
Back at the RV park this evening, the place is returning to life. During the week many of the seasonal trailers weren’t occupied and others were occupied by people that didn’t leave their rigs. Last night and today the families started to arrive. Tonight there are kids riding bicycles and adults walking around. More significantly, it is not as quiet. Diesel truck motors, ATVs and people talking loudly make the area more lively.
The heavy mist and rain let up overnight, but the clouds remained when daylight returned. It took until early afternoon for the sun to make an appearance in the sky. My the end of the afternoon the temperature had made it to around seventy.
Once the sun was shining bright, I hit the road for some touring. Today’s destination was the Dean Creak Elk Viewing Area just east of Reedsport. There are a series of pastures along state route 38 that the Bureau of Land Management maintains to support a local herd of around 100 Roosevelt Elk. I wasn’t sure what to expect. The middle of the afternoon didn’t seem like a good time to see Elk, but I did.
The viewing area is spread out along the road. The central area has a kiosk with descriptions of the area and the wildlife. The overview provided by the placards was interesting, but I didn’t see any elk. I started to scan the far side of the meadow with my binoculars. I still couldn’t find any elk. My binocular search finally locked in on a couple of other tourists down the road a piece that were using their own binoculars. Following the direction of their search I found two elk about a third of the way across the meadow. One was taking a nap and the other was foraging on the side of the creek. I moved down toward the other tourists for a better look.
I stayed at the viewing area for about an hour. I saw tree elk in that time. The main herd was probably back in the tree line on the far side of the meadow. I will try to visit the viewing area again while I’m in the area. Next time I’ll try for an earlier or later viewing hour.