2013 USA Pacific Northwest travel blog

Florence, OR - Pacific Pines RV Park - syte 44

Florence, OR - Pacific Pines RV Park - site 44, another view

Florence, OR - Pacific Pines RV Park - site 44, and another

Florence, OR - Pacific Pines RV Park - site 44, the mural...

Bandon to Florence, CA 0 - our route - 77 miles

Bandon to Florence, CA 1 - huge piles of woodchips along the...

Bandon to Florence, CA 2 - The Conde B. McCullough Memorial Bridge...

Bandon to Florence, CA 3 - the beginning of the Oregon Dunes,...

Bandon to Florence, CA 4

Bandon to Florence, CA 5 - crossing the Siuslaw River coming into...

1st Trip 0 - our route - 130 miles

1st Trip 1 - Oregon Dunes National recreation Area

1st Trip 2

1st Trip 3

1st Trip 4 - a couple of ATVers

1st Trip 5 - the Umpqua Lighthouse

1st Trip 6

1st Trip 7 - a very colorful place in Winchester Bay

1st Trip 8 - starting up the scenic highway CA 38 from...

1st Trip 9 - every trip we get stopped for one lane...

1st Trip 10 - a group of bull Roosevelt Elk

1st Trip 11 - a couple more

1st Trip 12 - perhaps a little symbiosis going on here

1st Trip 13

1st Trip 14 - this one looked like the boss of the...

1st Trip 15 - then we found the cows about a mile...

1st Trip 16

1st Trip 17 - the calves were lying down

1st Trip 18 - the Umpqua River

1st Trip 19

1st Trip 20 - the Siuslaw Forest covered the mountains all around...

1st Trip 21

2nd Trip 0 - our route - 97 miles

2nd Trip 1 - the Darlingtonia Californica (Cobra Lily) the only carnivorous...

2nd Trip 2

2nd Trip 3 - this shot shows the enticing tendrils underneath the...

2nd Trip 4 - the Heceta Head Lighthouse, taken from above and...

2nd Trip 5 - an obstructed view of the lighthouse from below...

2nd Trip 6 - the bridge we drove over and then wound...

2nd Trip 7 - another view of the bridge and some pretty...

2nd Trip 8 - headed around the Devil's Elbow

2nd Trip 9

2nd Trip 10 - headed down, literally, the Hobbit Trail with its...

2nd Trip 11 - the ground is also moss-covered

2nd Trip 12 - now we are really starting to feel like...

2nd Trip 13 - she doesn't feel so height challenged now!

2nd Trip 14 - close to the end and the beach

2nd Trip 15 - aah, the beach - now all we have...

2nd Trip 16 - the little town of Yachats

2nd Trip 17 - this must be the saying in Yachats -...

2nd Trip 18 - the bridge across Alsea Bay crossing into Waldport

2nd Trip 19 - their shops are very colorful

2nd Trip 20 - looks like they are painting the bridge

2nd Trip 21

2nd Trip 22 - a very different building

2nd Trip 23 - ocean views form Seal Rock Wayside

2nd Trip 24

2nd Trip 25

2nd Trip 26

2nd Trip 27

2nd Trip 28 - views from the Cooks Chasm area

2nd Trip 29

2nd Trip 30 - the bridge across Cooks Chasm

2nd Trip 31

2nd Trip 32 - one of the best swimming beaches we have...

2nd Trip 33 - these are the coastal dunes just south of...

2nd Trip 34 - just a little inland you can see the...

2nd Trip 35 - Old Town Florence

2nd Trip 36

2nd Trip 37

2nd Trip 38

2nd Trip 39

3rd Trip 0 - our route - 55 miles

3rd Trip 1 - the Siuslaw River running beside the highway

3rd Trip 2

3rd Trip 3 - a railroad bridge that turns 90° to allow...

3rd Trip 4 - the hills are full of fir trees

3rd Trip 5 - the business district of Mapleton, OR

Sweet Creek Trail 1

Sweet Creek Trail 2

Sweet Creek Trail 3

Sweet Creek Trail 4

Sweet Creek Trail 5

Sweet Creek Trail 6

Sweet Creek Trail 7

Sweet Creek Trail 8

Sweet Creek Trail 9

Sweet Creek Trail 10 - Sweet Creek Falls

Sweet Creek Trail 11 - the trail to the upper viewpoint of...

Sweet Creek Trail 12 - a new tree growing in the middle...

Movie Clips - Playback Requirements - Problems?

(MP4 - 2.95 MB)

Oregon Dunes NRA


It was a 77 mile drive from Bandon to Florence, OR. It drizzled most of the way so there are just a few pictures of the trip. We are staying at the Pacific Pines RV Park on the north side of Florence, it is a great park. We have a 50 amp, full hookup, concrete pull-through with great free WiFi. Verizon service is about three bars and we have a clean shot for the satellite. The only thing we have found to gripe about is the wind the last couple days of our stay and there isn't much the RV park can do about that. It goes with the territory on the Oregon coast. Florence is a nice mid-sized town of about 8,500 so they have most of the amenities one would want for some place to stay awhile. When we start staying put for a month or more in a couple of years, it will be high on our list for getting out of the heat of summer.

On Wednesday, our first trip was south down to Reedsport. We saw the Oregon Dunes NRA on the way then made our way to the Umpqua Lighthouse which we were able to drive right up to as opposed to many of them that are remote and inaccessible for visitors. Next was a ride out the scenic route of the Umpqua Highway or OR 38. This was a pretty drive along the Umpqua River but the most important part was the two small elk herds we encountered near their viewing areas. There was a small herd of about 14 bulls and then about a mile later another of about 20 cows and calves.

On Thursday, the second trip was north up to Seal Rock, OR. Just north of Florence we first stopped at the Darlingtonia State Natural Site which is dedicated to the preservation of the insect eating Darlingtonia Californica otherwise known as the Cobra Lily due to its unique physical features. After that short walk we stopped and hiked the more adventurous Hobbit Trail just a few miles farther north. This trail descends from the highway about 100 to 150 feet down through an overgrown sand dune to the beach. At least it takes it about a half-mile to get that elevation change. It was a different trail as you are actually about shoulder high in the sand with a dense green canopy over you. The trip down wasn't bad but coming back up was a bit of a cardio workout!

We then drove to where we could see the Heceta Head Lighthouse. They have a parking lot about a half-mile from the lighthouse and you can actually walk there and tour it. We have seen enough lighthouses and no interest in touring this one. The lighthouse is partially obscured by trees from the parking lot but I did include one picture. A better picture was from the highway much farther away but higher where we had a clear view of it. Next we drove the coast through little towns like Yachats and Waldport until we reached Seal Rock. This is a prime area for viewing the sea lions but they are not there this time of year. The scenery was still great!

On our third trip Friday we took a scenic drive west on OR 126 along the Siuslaw River up to Mapleton where we crossed over the river and drove back east about 10 miles to take the Sweet Creek Falls Trail along the Sweet Creek and numerous small water falls. It was a great hike but pretty arduous due to the rocks and roots in many places making it a little difficult for Doris to navigate. She does well on the even paths but she is really cautious when we start going over rocks and roots due to fear of falling and messing up the back surgery. Also if you have that many falls, you must have a significant elevation change. It was a three-mile round trip hike and she survived it very well. The only problem is it is far enough away from the coast so that it wasn't as cool as we have been used to and we actually perspired one of the few times this summer - eat your heart out the rest of the nation!!

Saturday was rest time and getting a few things done around the coach we had neglected for a little while. Tomorrow we head for Lincoln City where we will spend a week.

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