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.