Date: August 21, 2012
Tonight’s Location: Bullard’s Beach State Park, Bandon, Oregon
Weather: abundant sunshine
Temperature: start 60º
High 82º (reading inland at Agnes)
Wildlife count: Gray Whale, Black bear, Black-tailed Deer, Harbor Seals, King Salmon
Birds: Canada Geese, Bald Eagles, Barn Swallow, Common Merganser, Osprey, Little Green Heron, Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Great Blue Heron, Turkey Vulture, Brown Pelican, Kingfisher, Cedar Waxwing, Black-capped Chickadee, California, Western & Heerman’s Gulls
We picked up the gals at 6:15 am – WAY too early to be awake! Our route led down the coast through some beautiful scenery to Gold Beach, where we boarded the Mail Run Jetboat – we carried the mail to Agnes, OR. Along the way we saw a Black Bear foraging for blackberries on the side of a cliff and then emerge for us all to see. We found the blackberries pretty enticing as well when we were walking along the road at Agnes.
We passed through thousands of mayfly hatches, which drew the spawning salmon to the surface, as well as loads of birds. The river was truly alive! One of the Bald Eagles we saw was just finishing his first molt into full adult white-headed plumage – he was truly showing all of his glory. Lots of Osprey nests bordered the river and we watched Osprey hunt, catch, and carry fish off to feed.
Our lunch stop was delightful – at Lucas Lodge, which was a hunting lodge built around 1903. It was the only place in Agnes we had not yet eaten, and though it was not overlooking the river, the food was excellent. We sat outdoors under netting. The food was served family style with fried chicken, mashed potatoes & gravy, cucumbers & onions, smoky green beans, coleslaw, watermelon, biscuits & jelly, and ice cream with blueberry compote for desert. The gravy looked like hot Italian dressing, but it was very tasty, even though we could not figure it out – it might have been thickened with cornstarch and thus stay clear. We met folks from all over at lunch, and there were 49 people on the boat from Minnesota.
Of course the boat did a number of 360° turns attempting to get folks wet, but we were in the second row, and when we ducked, the folks behind us got the water. We had a great time! A stop at Misty Meadows and we were home. The gals packed and we relaxed till dinner, when we picked them up and ate at The Station Restaurant. Afterwards we walked the beach below their hotel, searching for more rocks. What a great day!