Day 9 - Sunset Bay State Park
|Monday, August 21, 2023: We had originally planned to drive down to Crescent City, California, and then head north on the Pacific Coast Highway. However, the wildfires in northern California had caused US Highway 199 to be shut down, making that a much longer and smokier option, so we decided not to do it. Instead, our drive time for today shortened by about three hours, so we took our time leaving camp this morning.
|Near our campsite was a combined bathroom and shower, so we took advantage of the shower rather than waiting for tonight's campground when we wouldn't have heat or electricty.
|While we were showering, this cute little toad hopped out of a corner of the shower stall and took refuge near Tom's shoes.
|Back at the camp site, we watched the chipmunks scurry around the campground. They even tried several times to come into our tent.
|Even though Debbie calls them "rats with better marketing," we both agreed that these were the most photogenic chipmunks ever.
|Our first stop was in Medford at Harry and David, ...
|... first names in quality since 1934.
|We walked around the store, which was a combination grocery store, liquor store, and gift shop.
|After looking over absolutely everything in the shop, we settled on a small box of milk chocolate covered cherries and some clearance-priced cherry chocolate cookies.
|We stopped across the street at Fred Meyer to restock our soda supply and were delighted to find the peach citrus Fresca that we'd first encounter earlier in the year at a grocery store in Arizona, and even more delighted to find a black cherry-flavored Fresca as well. We ended our brief visit in Medford with a stop at Del Taco for lunch and then got back on the road.
|We were only about 75 miles from the wildfires in California, and you could really see the smoke in the air.
|This part of I-5 is on the California Trail National Historic Trail. That's hard to say. It seems like it should just be the California National Historic Trail, doesn't it?
|Oregon only recently passed a law allowing for self-service gas stations, but it seems that not everyone has gotten the word. This service station attendant seemed shocked that Tom would want to pump his own gas. He did a great job cleaning the windshield, but overall, full service gas stations are just weird and outdated.
|We got off the interstate and headed west on state highways through some really pretty countryside.
|The roads were narrow and winding, but very pretty.
|We were followed by the same Escape campervan that we'd seen the day before at Crater Lake National Park.
|Just before 6:00 PM, we arrived at the town of Bandon on the Oregon coast.
|The coastline is famous for having lots of rocky islands just offshore. These are a good example, ...
|... and Bandon has one known as Face Rock. Let's zoom in, shall we?
|It's not hard to see how it got its name.
|Here are more rocky things looking along the coast to the north. It was here that we realized that the smoke and haze was gone. It was just clear blue sky out there.
|We drove north out of Bandon, and were thrilled to discover that we were on part of the Pacific Coast Scenic Byway. We love a good scenic byway.
|A little while later, we also discovered that this was part of the Charleston to Bandon Scenic Tour Route. Yippee!
|There was evidence of recent logging, but it did give a great view of the pretty valley in distance.
|We were close to the coast and wound through the coastal hills to our destination.
|We stopped very briefly at Sunset Bay, ...
|... on the way to our campsite at Sunset Bay State Park. We got everything set up quickly, ...
|... and since we had reserved a primitive campsite, we made dinner using our butane stove.
|Dinner was rehydrated spaghetti with meat sauce from Adventure Meals, one of our favorites. Our campsite had wild blackberry bushes on two sides, so Debbie picked a handful to serve as a side dish.
|It cooled down quickly after sunset, so we used the butane stove again to make hot chocolate, which is always a treat. Since we wouldn't be able to use our space heater, we had put on the rainfly and used a Neat Sheet between the tent and the rainfly to hold in more heat. We had first done this on our trip to Texas earlier in the year, and it worked really well.
Copyright © Deborah Schilling/Thomas Bundy