It was an interesting week in Gold Beach, Oregon. The weather was brutal the first 3 or 4 days and great the last few.
Here are a few weather stats for the first three days:
Peak Wind Rain
- Monday: 58mph 2.50 inches
- Tuesday: 62mph 3.50 inches
- Wednesday: 58mph 3.65 inches
- TOTAL: 9.65 inches!
The trailer was rockin’ and rollin’ with moderate to severe turbulence and sleep was hard to come by. The creek outside our back window got closer and closer. Even so, poor Arleen insisted on doing laundry. It’s one of the few times we missed our house!
We developed our own “Storm Conditions”:
- Storm Condition 1…Awning half way in and slides fully extended
- Storm Condition 2…Awning all the way in; slides fully extended
- Storm Condition 3…Awning all the way in; slides half way in
- Storm Condition 4…Awning and slides all the way in
Here is our turbulence scale:
- Winds 30-40mph = light to moderate turbulence
- Winds 40-60mph = moderate to severe turbulence
- Winds 60mph+ = severe turbulence…no fun!
We were in “Storm Condition 4” for three days! The trailer is very cramped with the slides in. We were constantly climbing over each other and the dog. It got old quick! When we finally extended the slides again, the trailer felt huge.
Now we have a much better sense of what the trailer and we can handle. It certainly wasn’t fun and we hope it doesn’t happen too often.
Strong high pressure over the Four Corners and a strong low pressure system off the coast means a steady flow of moisture and nasty winds in Oregon and Washington.
Arleen coming back from the laundry room in 50mph winds and horizontal rain
That’s our trailer on the shrinking peninsula!
The Rogue River museum was very informative. The Rogue is an impressive river with an interesting history. Here is Arleen posing with the bear in the animal display…
The weather finally gave us a 12-hour break so we explored the beach by the campground. We hunted for agates and enjoyed a spectacular sunset. The next morning I fished near the turtle rock and got skunked.
Arleen trying to keep her feet dry…it didn’t work!
Turtle Rock at sunrise on Thanksgiving morning
That’s me fishing for the small run of king salmon on Hunter Creek. Those are storm clouds on the horizon.
Our first Thanksgiving on the road was very memorable. The campground had a big potluck and about 40 people showed up! There were 3 differently prepared turkeys, a ham, various pasta dishes, all kinds of stuffing and potatoes, tons of roughage, and a whole bunch of dessert. We met some nice folks and got some tips on what to see in the San Francisco area. I joked that the table of food below was 30 feet long…the same length as our trailer!
We celebrated Thanksgiving again a couple of days later. We wanted to start our own tradition so Arleen cooked up some tipsy Cornish hens and a great green bean casserole.
Arleen had never seen a wild river otter. I went out to fish one morning and a river otter was playing in front of the turtle rock. I called Arleen and she got down in time to see the otter swimming up stream. Then Arleen walked back up to the trailer and the little guy stopped on a rock right in our back yard! We love seeing critters!
We drove a few miles south to go tide pooling near Myers Creek. We saw a bunch of star fish and anemones. The anemones with the turquois green mouths were huge. Some were as big as my boot!
After learning the history of the Rogue River, we wanted to drive upstream and check it out. The narrow, windy, hilly, rough road took us to historic Agnes. There were a couple of places to eat, a small store, and not much else. The eating joints were closed but we met the lady who runs one of them. Her parents ran the joint for many years before she took over. She told us about the floods. The sign on top of the roof in the upper right hand corner of the second picture below shows how high the water got in December 1964. That’s roughly 100 feet above the river!
On the way back we checked out “one of the world’s largest known” myrtle trees. It’s almost 90 feet tall and 42 feet around. These rare trees only grow in parts of southwest Oregon and the north California coast. We’ve seen quite a few shops that sell myrtlewood carvings and furniture. It’s very pretty wood.
We entered Oregon on 1 October…almost two months ago! We have had an amazing time. Below is a recap of our coastal adventure.
- Favorite area:
-- Nehalem / Manzanita
- Areas we want to spend a bunch more time at:
-- Nehalem / Manzanita
-- Cape Disappointment / Long Beach WA
-- Cape Blanco to fish the Sixes and Elk Rivers
-- Gold Beach / Brookings
- Favorite restaurant:
-- Harbor Light Family Restaurant in Reedsport
- Most memorable experiences:
-- Mushrooming: The first few chanterelle mushrooms we found at Cape Mears… the five pounds we found near Reedsport… each time we tried new ones (king bolete, lobster, and hedgehog)
-- Cycling the Discovery Trail from Cape Disappointment to Long Beach… having ice cream at “Scoopers”
-- Watching huge waves explode on the rocks at Shore Acres
-- Playing in the dunes… following bear tracks in the sand
-- Hiking down to Crescent Beach in Ecola State Park and having it to ourselves
-- Weathering the storm in Gold Beach
-- Catching nice trout at Fort Stevens and Umpqua Lighthouse State Parks
-- Visiting Pat and Don in Oakridge
-- Sitting in the hot springs by Salt Creek in the rain
-- The little stand of maple trees with the yellow leaves on Aubrey Mountain
-- The Umpqua Lighthouse’s white and red rays at night in the fog and drizzle
-- Flying the kite on beaches at sunset
-- Kayaking from Nehalem State Park to the town of Wheeler and having warm drinks and blueberry muffins
-- Watching the Oregon vs Stanford football game with the “locals” in Winchester Bay
-- Walking the beach from Nehalem State Park to Manzanita
-- Our first Thanksgiving on the road… our first campground potluck
The Oregon Coast was a perfect place to start our adventure. There were great campgrounds spread at perfect intervals. Each town had a character of its own. There was always access to supplies, places to do our laundry, and good restaurants. There was no concern about pipes and tanks freezing. The roads were usually wide and smooth. People were friendly and there was plenty to see and do. We usually traveled 70-100 miles and spent a week at each location. We would gladly make more stops and stay longer. We could easily spend 4-6 months exploring the Oregon Coast.
Now we move into California. We’ll spend 10 days in Klamath to thoroughly explore the Redwoods.