Coquille River Lighthouse

Coquille River Lighthouse

We stopped at Bullards Beach State Park, two miles north of Bandon, to see the Coquille River Lighthouse. This 47 foot tower was active from 1896 to 1939. The temperatures were cool and cooler yet with the wind, but the sky was blue.

We walked the Coos Bay boardwalk. Coos Bay, founded in 1854, was originally named Marshfield until a referendum vote in 1944. Coos Bay is the largest deep-draft harbor between San Francisco Bay (475 miles north) and Puget Sound (400 miles south of Seattle). The cities of North Bend and Charleston also share Coos Bay. Historically, lumber products and coal were exported from Coos Bay. In fact, it claims to be the world’s largest lumber shipping port from the late 1940s to the 1970s. We learned that the Hanis and Miluk tribes are now what are called the Coos tribe. I was surprised to learn that Francis Drake in the Golden Hinde on June 5m 1579. The boardwalk museum houses the wooden tug Koos 2 and celebrates tugboats with interpretive signs about tugboat history.

Six miles south of Reedsport we photographed the Umpqua River Lighthouse, although one can’t approach it because it is an active Coast Guard facility. This 65 foot lighthouse, originally built in 1837, was rebuilt in 1894. A nearby dock, a popular resting site for seagulls, near where the Umpqua River meets the Pacific Ocean, has been condemned.

We stopped for lunch at the Lodgepole Picnic Area within the Siltcoos State Park. We had a view of the Siltcoos River which is popular with kayakers.

Sea Lion Cave

Sea Lion Cave

North of Florence, we paid too much for the Sea Lion Caves. After seeing so many seals in San Simeon, California for free, it was disappointing to visit this profit-making effort. The 125 foot hig cave was interesting although few sea lions were present. Also, there are nice distant views of the Hecate Head Lighthouse.

Our final stop before reaching Newport was at Cape Perpetua within the Siuslaw National Forest. I walked the Captain Cook Trail past a Civilian Conservation Corps camp through wind sculpted salal, and around Native American middens (from mussels). If the wind had not been so strong, I may have explored the tidepools. Because it was low tide, I did not see the Spouting Horn. We also hiked a short distance on the Oregon Coast Trail which is carpeted with needles. The trees were a barrier to the strong winds. The Oregon coast is wonderful!

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