Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Tillicum Beach State Park, Oregon

Thursday, July 25 was another day of mostly driving, but another wonderful day as well!  We left Brookings and made it to Bandon by lunchtime, where we found a wonderful place to park the carhouse  by the ocean to enjoy our lunch!  It was gorgeous--bright sunshine, but very windy, and quite cold.  As we sat by the window eating our lunch, we were amused by the many attempts by folks to pretend it was not cold--getting out of their cars in just bathing suits or shorts and tshirts, and in a few minutes, giving in to coming back to their cars to retrieve jackets and coverups!  After we ate, we gave it a go ourselves, walking along the cliffs above the beach.  Even though we were somewhat bundled up, we didn't last long in the wind!

We stopped for the night at Tillicum Beach State Park, between Yachat and Newport, and our luck continued to hold for us--as we drove into the campground, we met the hosts and asked them if they have room for us for the night, and, like countless other times on this trip, there was one campsite left!  As soon as we said we'd take it, the man headed out to the road with the "Campground Full" sign!  We had a lot of fun visiting with the hosts, a couple slightly older than we are who are full time RVers, and who come back to this place to be campground hosts every summer.  Another man who's been at this park for a week or so was also there, and they all had fun teasing and asking about what Santa and Mrs. Claus were doing in Oregon when we should be back at the North Pole busily making toys!  It's always so nice to see so many people outdoors, enjoying themselves and doing all they can to help others do the same.  I've said this before, but, even though there have been the occasional proverbial exception that proves the rule, for the most part the other RVers we've met have been really relaxed, easy going, outgoing and friendly.  I know this lifestyle is not necessarily for everyone, but so far it's been an incredible blast for us!!

Here it was cold and windy, too, so we bundled up with heavier layers than we had at Bandon and did a long walk along the beach before dinner.  The wind was really strong, and there were lots of places where it was just swirling the sand along the beach--tried to get some pictures to show this, but don't think they really do the trick.  Anyway, as we walked we saw a man out flying a kite--not just your dimestore model, but one with heavy duty line and wrist straps to hold a line in each hand.  He would use different directional pulls with each arm to accomplish different maneuvers with the kite and it was a joy to watch him work.  The kite was not too big, but had a glorious long red tail and he would have the kite turning big loops and the tail would carve beautiful spiral patterns against the sky.  Then he would have the kite hovering out over the surf, just a foot or so above the water, and then bring the kite back over the beach to skim the sand and then have the kit just appear to be almost dead still in one spot in the air, as he judged the wind and used the lines--very impressive, and very entertaining!  Also saw some lovely houses along the cliffs above the beach.  The next morning we went out early for another walk before leaving, and the fog was so thick, at times we literally could not see the ocean on one side, or the houses on the other!  It was the beach version of a whiteout in a snowstorm, and at times, a bit disorienting--a couple of times Trisha thought I was trying to walk her into the ocean, but it was just that I had difficulty maintaining a straight line from time to time.  We literally had to rely on the time to figure out when to head away from the water to find the path back up to the campground.  But quite invigorating to do a long walk in these conditions first thing in the morning!

As the day went on, we were getting more and more excited about getting closer to Seattle, where we would see Todd, Karen and John, our only grandson!  Ended up spending the night near Astoria, just before leaving Oregon to cross into Washington.

These are some shots as we left Brookings, headed toward Bandon--this first one is almost a gag, but representative of Trisha's frustration as she would grab for the camera just as we would see an interesting view, only to have to wait for the camera to turn on and focus, and then have something like a tree, or road sign, or in this case, an oncoming truck, block the view!

Some pretty flowers as we came into Bandon

Beach in Bandon where we stopped the RV for lunch

 As we were starting our walk

 Love these little openings in the rock formations--distance and then telephoto of same shot

 Bandon Lighthouse
 Carved wooden sculpture by the harbor
 Coming through the Oregon dune country

How quickly the fog appears!
 Always love tunnels--every time we go through a tunnel we always blow the horn, a practice ingrained in each of us by our fathers over the years!

Lovely grove of trees surrounding campsites at Tillicum Beach State Park

 Beach walk at Tillicum
 They've apparently brought in these boulders to help fight erosion of the cliffs
 You can see what the wind is doing to Santa's beard!!
 Trying to show how the wind was blowing the sand along the beach

Some of the lovely beach homes along the way

 Would love to have been able to see the inside of this barrel like structure beside this lovely home!

Tried to get a lot more pics of the kite, but it was moving so fast it was hard to catch it!

 Remains of a sandcastle, soon to be victim of the incoming tide
Early morning walk on the beach
 Quite remarkable how these pics turned out, in view of the dense fog

 What the water did overnight--a microcosm of the way water will find a way and cut through any obstacle, as we saw evidenced in the canyons of the southwest.
 Looking back down a path to the beach from the campground, as the fog began to lift.

Bridge near Astoria, as we approached the Washington state line.