Mill’s Casino in Coos Bay was a pretty nice set up. They give you the option of paying for a FHU site inside a nice, clean campground area, or you can dry camp in the very large, gravel overflow parking area. They still charge $15 to dry camp, but for a few days stay it was a good choice. The place is right on Coos Bay, in the middle of downtown North Bend, and the casino provides food and entertainment on site. We got to see a nice fireworks display over the bay, put on by the casino. A short hike in the hills took us to Silver Falls and Golden Falls in Coos county. Woody had a good time off leash and the falls were scenic as are most waterfalls you encounter.
Coos Bay boardwalk
All kinds of vessel float the bay in Coos Bay…
Critters call anywhere home in Coos Bay.
A bit of a collage of fireworks for the 4th of July celebration at Mill’s Casino.
Continuing north along the Oregon coastline, our next stop was the Chinook Bend RV Resort in Lincoln City, OR. This was a dump/dive of a “resort”. Dirt/grass sites, lots of long term residents in broke-down beat-up trailers/rigs in various states of disrepair. The park charged extra for just about everything they had. The park is right on the Siletz river which is popular with salmon fishing and they had a small dock and boat launch area. They charge $8 for the boat launch ramp, and in our case we have a nice inflatable kayak we wanted to take on the river, but they still wanted us to pay $5 to launch that. We toughed it out a couple of days so we could sightsee the area.
We stopped by the Boiler Bay lookout where, at low tide, you are supposed to be able to see part of a boiler from an old shipwreck. Well, it was not low tide, but we did catch a glimpse of a whale (or whales) cruising the coastline.
Wally the Whale cruisin’ the Oregon coast
“Thar she blew!”
Who needs a boat to whale watch?
Depoe Bay is touted as the world’s smallest harbor, and it appears to live up to that reputation. The area is basically a whale watching and deep sea fishing tourist area and you do not want to blink when you drive through, you will definitely miss it.
Or so they say…
Entrance to Depoe Bay, pretty skinny if you ask me.
OK, yeah, Depoe Bay is the world’s smallest harbor!
The Devil’s Punchbowl State Park is a beautiful beach area with soft sand, grotto-like rocky formations, and tidal pools full of the typical tidal critters like starfish & sea anemones. And of course, the namesake for the park, the Devil’s Punchbowl, has a nice overlook from the parking area above it where you can look into an empty “cauldron” at low tide and a partially filled one at higher tides.
Land locked fish during a low tide period at Devil’s Punchbowl State Park.
Woody checking out some of the terrain.
A view from the inside, out.
Jeanne and Woody enjoying the sandy beach.
Sea critters at low tide.
More sea critters hanging on the rocks.
Namesake for the park, the Devil’s Punchbowl, empty at low tide.
But when the tide rolls in, the “punch” spills in…
Yaquina Head National Area has a couple of lighthouses and spectacular tidal pools. It is also a hangout for year-round harbor seals. The park has personnel overseeing the visitors as they wander around the tidal pool areas, and they are very informative about the geology and zoology of this particular area.
Yaquina Head Lighthouse.
The lighthouse as guardian of the coast.
Yaquina Bay Lighthouse.
Overlook to the tidal pools.
Seals lollygagging under the lighthouse.
And even more seals working their tans on an overcast day.
Tidal pool denizen, sea anemone in full bloom.
Sea Urchins galore!
“Dive! Dive! Dive!”
Drift Creek Falls was a nice hike up to a tall suspension footbridge overlooking the falls. We found it appears to be a favorite spot for locals to play in the water at the base of the falls, there were several families doing just that when we arrived.
The trail to Drift Creek Falls.
This is absolutely the furthest Jeanne would walk out onto the bridge! Vertigo, anyone?
The waterfall at Drift Creek Falls.
Pretty solid as far as suspension bridges go.
When we got ready to blast off from the Chinook Bend campground, Jeanne was doing some of her classic blog and net surfing when she found an ad for some assistant camp hosts at a park in Olympia, WA – the Washington Land Yacht Harbor RV park. A phone call and we were on our way. This was formerly a coop Airstream-only park with campsites for Airstream members only, but they recently changed and began allowing non-Airstream members to stay in the RV sites. We arrived and got set up, all ready to stay through the month of August. During our off time, we got to take in some of the local sights such as the old Olympia Brewery building, the poor, dying Capitol Lake (closed since 2009 due to extreme invasion of some type of foreign snails), Tumwater Falls, and Mt. Rainier Nat’l Park.
The old Olympia Brewery building.
Capitol Lake, looking to the dome.
This grating covers the large fish ladder at Tumwater Falls.
Some of the Tumwater Falls.
This looked to be an old, concrete type fish ladder along the river/creek.
More Tumwater Falls.
Christine Falls in Mt. Rainier Nat’l Park.
Narada Falls in Mt. Rainier park, complete with rainbow.
Myrtle Falls in Mt. Rainier park
Sadly, after our first week here, my (Charlie’s) mother had her second major stroke back in Sacramento, CA. Again, this one affected her speech, but she managed to recover quickly again. We remained in Olympia, planning to finish out our commitment then head back to Sacramento. However, one more week and my mother had her 3rd and most devastating stroke, leaving her half paralyzed and unable to speak. We left immediately and returned to Sacramento, where my mother was released home with hospice care and eventually she passed away at 6:30 am, July 31, 2015. She is in a far better place than we are now, peace to you, Mom, in all eternity, we love you.
So, now, life goes on. And our next destination is…