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Southern Coastal Oregon


Winchester Bay
Having read about Umpqua Triangle Oysters, we made a point of stopping in Winchester Bay to look for the “Shucking Oyster” sign, which means the oysters are available.  A triangular aquaculture area, at the end of the Umpqua River running  into the Pacific, grows the widely renowned oyster.  Winchester is a popular crabbing, clamming and fishing area, but we restricted our activity to enjoying the products found in the local markets.  Grilling oysters for dinner that evening, we were not disappointed. 

Near Charleston, we camped at Sunset Bay Beach State Park.   It’s one of 3 state
parks with a network of hiking trails, which includes Cape Arago and Shore Acres.  Heavy fogs masked the ocean views for the days we were in the parks, but we were still able to appreciate the Shore Acres Gardens.  Developed by Louis Simpson in 1906, the Simpson family donated the property to the state of Oregon in the 1940’s; park staff and volunteers now maintain the gardens.  Even though our visit was not during the prime growing season, there were a wondrous variety of flowers available for viewing.

Bandon Beach
Bandon, like most of the other coastal towns, offers great hiking and fishing, but unlike other towns, it is the Cranberry Capital of Oregon.  Since the 1890’s,  cranberry bogs have been found in the area; they produce 1% of the nation’s overall crop.  Since we would be missing out on the annual Bandon Cranberry Festival, we tried to locate another source.  In downtown, Cranberry Sweets store provides a wide variety of fruit and chocolate candies, in addition to cranberry jam, vinaigrette, salsa, relish and syrup.  We also found a dark chocolate-covered cranberry, which just happens to be a favorite. 

Rock hounds on Bandon Beach
Bandon is known for their spectacular rocky beach.  Our walk was limited to a few miles due to cold, high winds, but it was gorgeous.  Strolling along the beach, we noticed most other walkers were looking for treasures.  Agates, petrified wood and jasper are frequently found here.  Alan found some pretty cool rocks to add to our collection back home, but the agates were being found by someone else. 

Numerous galleries are in town but the most exceptional is Washed Ashore.org—Art to Save the Sea.  This non-profit organization creates sculptures from marine debris to increase awareness of ocean pollution. 

We bypassed an opportunity to experience a jet boat on the Rogue River in Gold Beach.  But just south of town, Turtle Creek provided a tidal pool kayaking experience as the waters run out to the Pacific.  We happened to catch it on a perfect tide.  As our final stay in Oregon, this couldn’t have been better.
Turtle Creek tide pool


Cape Blanco Lighthouse-westernmost point in the lower 48

Conde McCullough designed bridge over the Rogue River

Along Hwy. 101

Pistol River State Park

Pistol River State Park

Coquille River Lighthouse

Along Hwy. 101

Pistol River State Park

Along Hwy. 101

 Turtle Creek and the Pacific


At Shore Acres

At Shore Acres


Douglas squirrel helping me pick huckleberries
One of many great sculptures on Bandon dock and boardwalk

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