This morning we drove north of Coos Bay on US 101 to Umpqua Lighthouse State Park in the Winchester Bay - Salmon Harbor area. The Umpqua River Lighthouse was built with plans identical to those of the Heceta Head Lighthouse, except that it is slightly taller than Heceta. It sits on a bluff overlooking the mouth of the Umpqua River.
The Umpqua River Whale-Watching Station, across the road from the lighthouse, was built by the Douglas County Parks Department in cooperation with the Umpqua River Spyhoppers under a Coast Guard land agreement.
During our visit, we had an interesting conversation with Stars. He has given up his original name and now goes only by the name, Stars. An Army veteran, he lives in a subsidized apartment on an army base in California. He travels by van. He sleeps in the van and carries a camp stove in it. He uses showers at truck stops. He carries a walking stick everywhere, which is decorated with all sorts of little mementos given to him by people he has met along the way. We were sorry we didn't have anything to add to his collection. He gets a new walking stick when he starts on a new adventure. He told us a tale about seeing one of Big Foot's tracks.
On our way back south, we stopped at the Winchester Bay Wayfinder Point, where we could see the Umpqua River Lighthouse behind the trees.
At another viewpoint near North Bend, we had a good view of the McCullough Memorial Bridge, which was built in 1936.
From this viewpoint we also saw several large sand dunes, which are part of the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. There were quite a few people on these dunes. We watched one fellow do 'wheelies' all the way to the top. The incline on most of the dunes is very steep.
Before going on south of Coos Bay, we stopped at the Pancake Mill Restaurant for lunch. I had vegetable quiche and chicken vegetable soup, both of which were very tasty.
Then we were off to the south. We took one scenic route, which turned out to be not so scenic. It was just a winding road through the forest. We had seen enough of trees!
At Bandon-by-the-Sea, though, we had a good visit. First, we drove into 'Old Town' to check it out. The best part of our visit, though, was the beach area. The Coquille Point - Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge is very pretty. The heavy surf crashing against the huge rocks was impressive and beautiful.
Before leaving Bandon, we stopped at the Dairy Queen for some refreshments. Then we headed back north on US 101 to Coos Bay. The cool sunny weather was perfect for such an outing, so we had a wonderful Labor Day.