OK, on from Ashland to the coast!
Loved our stay in that town. One of my favorite places in the world.
I had originally planned to go up to Eugene first, to kinda scope out that cool city. But a couple of contacts fell through, the place we were going to stay fell through… It felt like a sign. A sign to go straight to the coast! So, going on recommendations from Aunt Maggie and Meg and Kyle, we reserved a room in the town of Bandon. But first, we looped down into the top of California, so we could see some redwoods. Hiked around the Jedediah Smith grove until it got too dark. First time Angie had seen the really big redwoods (though we’d seen giant sequioas on a couple of occasions). Always a beautiful and humbling experience.
The drive up the coast took us through various quaint fishing villages. I had remembered from a trip many years ago of a place that had life-size dinosaurs. And we found it! Prehistoric Gardens. It was late, so the place was closed, but at least we got to see the T-Rex! I recall that it was originally built by a guy who felt that since there was no proof of how the dinosaurs were actually colored, he decided to give them some “interesting” colorations and patterns.
We finally got to Bandon, and spent a couple of days in this nice little fishing town. Beautiful coastline and formations. Something I’ve always loved about the Oregon coast. Angie was happy because there was lots of bird action. Had a really good meal of fish and chips, which was also recommended by Kyle.
On to the Umpqua River Lighthouse State Park, where I had reserved a Deluxe Yurt! It was situated on this gorgeous, calm little lake. Lake Marie, I believe. And it was just a 10-minute walk to the lighthouse and the beach. What a great spot! The yurt was very comfy. Heat and water, kitchenette, enough room for 4 or more to sleep comfortably. Great experience — we’d definitely do it again. The lighthouse is over 100 years old, and has this amazing lens that rotates, which is made out of 661 hand-carved pieces of glass.
Next morning, after another little hike around the lake, we’re off. Ultimate destination, Mt. Hood. But we take our time, and make a couple stops. One was at the Sea Lion Sea Cave. Cool! It’s a very large cave carved out by the ocean, and hundreds of sea lions hang out there! It’s loud and stinky and cool! Also made a stop at the Devil’s Punchbowl, another formation. And there happened to be the store for a small winery, so we bought a bottle (turned out to be quite yummy!).
Driving into the night, and after trying to follow incorrect GPS directions, we finally came to the cabin that cousin Cindy had rented. What a great place! The whole thing was pine logs, even the furniture. A bunch of bedrooms, a big fireplace, balcony, huge windows. It was even equipped with snow sleds and an air hockey table! We stayed there for 2 nights, along with Cindy, husband Steve, son Jacob, son Zach and his wife Jessica and their 2 kids. Plenty of room for all of us.
Next day, Zach and I went skiing. I haven’t been since, wow, 1998 maybe? I’ve never skied Mt. Hood. There wasn’t a ton of snow, but there was enough. I rented skis, and felt right at home as soon as I put them on. We tore it up! Only fell once, on one of the last runs, and that was because of a patch of ice I couldn’t see. Nice bruise! Angie and the rest of them went sledding at the place where the exteriors for The Shining were shot – Timberline Lodge. Apparently, they have actual lifts to take you up the hill for sledding — who knew?
That night, we had a marionberry pie to celebrate Cindy’s birthday. We learned something about a birthday pie — if you’ve just taken it out of the oven, and try to put a candle in it, the candle will melt! Somebody ended up getting a piece of cheese, sticking the candle in that, and putting that on top of the pie. Ha!
Next day, our last in Oregon, the whole group took a hike, just in the area. The lodge is in view of the Mt. Hood, and the hike was beautiful. We found a trail that went through the woods, and Angie thought the family hiking in there looked like a postcard. Very nice way to end our trip.
All-in-all, we had a fantastic vacation. I don’t think we’ve been on a long vacation just for fun together ever!