Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Highway 101 - Southern Oregon... (Day 4 - Morning of Thanksgiving Day)

November 27th, - Thanksgiving 2014. 

We got up and I had no itinerary for the day. The only thing I had figured out is that we would eat Thanksgiving dinner at the buffet, or one of the restaurants at the Mill Casino in North Bend, OR. It was pouring rain. We decided we would just take a road trip North of North Bend up Hwy. 101 and just goof around for a couple of hours. We figured if we drove until 1 p.m. and turned around, we would be back in sufficient time to get something to eat.

As we were heading through Northbend, along Highway 101, we seen that the "Myrtlewood Factory" was open. We decided to stop in and take a peek. I am a collector of wooden bowls. I just love them. I made a decision a couple of years ago to ditch all of the plastic in my kitchen for something more sustainable and a great collection of wooden bowls has served as a replacement. And, they're so rustic and pretty to serve salad, or soup in. The people who were at the factory were very nice. We stood around and visited for a little bit talking about the rainy weather and how many people come from all over with their ATV's and UTV's to ride the dune trails along the coast. They said last year was really dry. They were certainly happy to see all the rain, but the ATV'er's didn't seem to be. They were soaked. The 'Man-Child' helped me pick out a new myrtle wood salad bowl, some salad tongs and a really pretty spatula and we were on our way again, heading North on Hwy. 101.

As you travel through Northbend, you have to go across the "Conde B. McCullouch Memorial Bridge."

You can see it for quite a ways. It dominates the skyline in Northbend. The bridge was built in 1936 by architect Conde McCullouch. This cantilevered bridge is over 1 mile in length and its 150 feet high, to allow the large ships to pass under it. I just held on and gritted my teeth going across it. Thank heavens, there wasn't much traffic, but it was pouring rain.

As we headed toward Reedsport, we seen a pullout for the Umpqua Lighthouse and stopped to take a look. It was raining so hard, it was difficult to get a picture of the lighthouse from such a distance.

What a beautiful and unique picture it turned out to be though, with the waves crashing in at Winchester Bay behind it.

 From Highway 101, we turned onto the "Discovery Drive" loop. It winds through Umpqua Lighthouse State Park, along Umpqua's South shore, past Salmon Harbor Marina and into Winchester Bay.

It was really neat to see a lit, lighthouse that is still operational. It was neat to just sit there in the rain and imagine what it must have been like years prior, when the lighthouse was the only light that could be seen from the ocean.

There was an earlier structure commissioned in this area on the North side of the river in 1857. It was the first lighthouse on the Oregon coast. It fell into the river in 1861 after sand eroded its foundation. This current structure is 65 feet tall and overlooks the bay from a 165 foot elevation.

There is a Coastal Museum by the light house. It didn't appear to be open, of course it was Thanksgiving Day and really early, so we were pleased to get some pretty pics and keep driving.

It was really quiet at Salmon Harbor...

 We were struggling to find a cup of coffee anywhere because of the holiday.

 It was nice to have all the room in the world to enjoy Winchester Bay to ourselves and we did finally find a cup of coffee and a homemade cinnamon roll the size of a dinner plate at an artisan bakery that was open in the small fishing village.

Because of all the rain and I'm sure because it was so quiet, the birds were all enjoying their Thanksgiving i the bay too.

The mallards were picking on this poor big duck that happened to be by them. 

I'm clueless what kind he is. I nicknamed him, "Ugly Brother." It was Thanksgiving for heavens sake. A time to be nice to your "Ugly Brother"...

The gulls and ravens seem to be tired of fighting with the rainy weather too. They were gathering to see if there was a treat in our truck. They were begging from every vehicle that came by. They must be expert beggers at Salmon Harbor?

Or, maybe they were just enjoying the rest from all of the usual mobs of people?

We headed back North on Highway 101 from Winchester Bay. We were traveling through the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. The dunes are the dominant feature along the coast. There were a lot of campers in the Winchester Bay area with their ATV's and UTV's waiting for the rain to subside, so they could ride on Thanksgiving. On the East side of the highway were fresh water lakes.

Tahkenitch Lake is the only remaining large undeveloped lake on the Oregon coast.

 It was quiet and beautiful. sitting in a pullout along the highway we felt like the only people on the planet. Although, there was some development on the East shore.

Woahink Lake...
There was fresh water everywhere through this area along Highway 101. And, the Pacific Ocean is just 3 miles to the West. You could get out of the truck and walk along a fresh water lake, but hear the Pacific Ocean thundering over the West dunes. It was a strange experience...

We pulled off of Highway 101 to the East, into "Jessee M. Honeyman Memorial State Park" to enjoy the scenery along Woahink Lake. It was so pretty here, especially in the rain. We pulled right down by the water. There were huge, red toad stools everywhere. I have only seen these in cartoons...

And, of course I made a new little friend. It's in my nature...

When we drove back up out of Woahink lake day use area, we turned right, instead of left - oops...
(It was deliberate) 
And, this is where a whole new adventure took place...

Stick with me for our adventure to "Ada Station..."
What a place to enjoy a Beautiful Thanksgiving Day adventure~!


  1. Beautiful! So much wildlife. Those red things are natural?

    1. Those red things were everywhere along the lake shores. They don't even look real, they're so bright.
      There was a lot of bird life. It is GORGEOUS here. But, I remind myself it's that way because it's so wet here. I would probably go crazy living with so much rain. But, it is so pretty~!


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