Ahrens' Camping Adventures

Episode 4: Pacific Coast; Ilwaco WA to Arcada CA

Fort Canby State Park

Fort Canby, at the mouth of the Columbia river is one of the nicest Ocean Beach parks in the Washington State Park system.

	leave mouth of Columbia
Located next to the Columbia River North jetty, you can see ships coming and going through the mouth of the river.

	examines a driftwood fort
With the massive amount of water and debris coming out of the Columbia River, there is a lot of driftwood on the beach.

Near Cannon Beach OR

Travelling down 101 from Fort Canby to Newport OR, we stopped near Cannon Beach and found these views.

View up the beach.

Much of the Oregon Coast is a result of volcanic activity adding layer after layer of basalt, which has since worn down with weather leaving large haystacks and sandy shorelines.

After stopping at Depoe Bay to view the smallest harbor on the Oregon Coast, we continued on to Newport where we spent the night at South Beach State Park.

Sea Lion Caves

Sea Lion 
Travelling South from Newport on a cloudy day, we stopped at Sea Lion Caves 11 miles north of Florence. Sea Lion Caves is the largest sea cave in the world. This cave is home to a large number of Stellar Sea Lions which are fascinating to watch, unfortunately the cave is too dark for still photography, so we have no pictures of the Sea Lions. We did get some pictures of the Heceta Head Lighthouse from the cave.
Heceta Head
	Lighthouse from inside Sea Lion Caves Coastline
	near Sea Lion Caves

Jessie M. Honeyman Memorial State Park

We spent two nights in Jessie M. Honeyman Memorial State Park just south of Florence. Florence is the north end of the Famous Oregon Dunes and the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area.
Oregon Dunes Oregon Dunes

Dean Creek Elk Viewing Area

Three miles east of Reedsport on Oregon Highway 38 is the Dean Creek Elk Viewing Area. Even though it was noon when we visited, we still saw plenty of elk.
Elk Elk

Umpqua Lighthouse

Cross the Umpqua River south of Reedsport, and come to the Umpqua Lighthouse State Park. This beautiful lighthouse is also a popular whale watching area, although we didn't see any whales--it was the wrong time of the year.

Cape Arago

Turn right off highway 101 in South Bend (Near Coos Bay) and drive out through Sunset Bay, Shore Acres, and ultimately, Cape Arago State Park. This is a narrow, windy road but we did see fairly large motorhomes at the lookout.
Surf pounds 
	rocky coastline Surf sprays up 
	from rocks Surf sprays up 
	from rocks

Bandon OR

We rejoined highway 101 just north of Bandon-By-The-Sea. We spent two nights at the Bandon RV Park. This park is situated within easy walking distance of downtown Bandon.
Coquille River 
	Lighthouse The Coquille River Lighthouse across the river from Bandon.
	Haystack rocks Beach at 

West Coast Game Park Safari

Travel south from Bandon for about six miles and come to the West Coast Game Park Safari. This park contains many animals from around the world, including some endangered species.
Nikki pets a
	tiger Nikki pets a
Nikki pets a baby tiger and lynx.
	Tiger Zebra Ostrich Wild pigs Very large 

Cape Blanco

Cape Blanco is the westernmost point in the contiguous 48 United States. There is also a small state park. When we were there the wind blew right through us actually rocking the motorhome.
Cape Blanco
	Light House Cape Blanco
	coastline Cape Blanco

Gold Beach and the Rogue River

From Cape Blanco, we went to Gold Beach where we stayed at Four Seasons Resort. The next day we went up the Rogue River on the Mail boat, a Jet boat trip well worthwhile. We saw two black bears along the bank feasting on blackberries, several deer, and numerous birds, including an osprey catch a fish.

Rogue River
looking downstream
The Rogue River looking downstream from the Four Seasons campground. We had a front row view of the river from our front window.

Deer at 
water's edge
Deer at the water's edge along the Rogue River.

Black bear at 
along the Rogue
Saw this black bear (a total of three on the trip) while travelling up the Rogue.

California Redwoods

From Gold Beach, we went on down the coast to Brookings where we stayed at Harris Beach State Park.

From Brookings we travelled south into California, where we stayed at the Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park. We had a relatively close encounter with a black bear while hiking in the park. He came within about 40 yards before he saw us and took off over the hill before I could get a picture off.

On our way on down the coast, we stopped at Trees of Mystery.
This, known as the Cathedral Tree is actually the location of many weddings. To get an idea of its beginnings, see this:
Baby Cathedral 
This collection of trees will be like the previous Cathedral tree in a few hundred years. The sign in front of the trees says that you can book your wedding there starting in about 600 years.
The brotherhood tree is something like 19 feet in diameter.
View from the
top of the Sky Trail
View over the hill from the top of the Sky Trail.
Remains of a 
burned out tree Remains of a 
burned out tree
This tree was struck by lightning in the 1950's, and today all that is left of one of the largest trees in the preserve is this.
Tree size, with 

John in front Tree age

From there we continued to Arcata where we spent the night at Mad River RV Park before taking California hwy 299 to Redding, where we stayed at Mountain Gate RV Park. The next day took us over the Siskyious to Roseburg where we stayed at Twin Rivers Vacation RV Park. Then on up I-5 home.