Thanksgiving 2015, Oregon Coast

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After a sunny day enjoying the redwoods we found ourselves at Harris Beach.

 

Harris Beach
Harris Beach

 

We hit the beach for a bit.

 

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Travelling the coast there aren’t a lot of backcountry dispersed sites, but the trade off of beach access makes staying in the overly developed state parks worth the stay.  On the southern Oregon coast in November it’s not uncommon to be out on the beach without another person in sight.

After breakfast, coffee and a stroll on the beach we continued north, headed toward Sunset Bay. We stopped a couple times including a trip around Port Orford head. I hoped we might get a glance at a whale somewhere along the way, but it didn’t come to pass.  We had to settle for the view, it was rough.

 

View from Port Orford Head
View from Port Orford Head

Days are short in November so just a few stops on the way north consumed the day. It was a great Thanksgiving.  We settled in to Sunset Bay for the next few days.

 

The next morning we headed into Charleston to procure a couple dozen oysters. Mission successful, we hit the docks to check out the boats. What a diverse mix of vessels tied to the docks at Charleston.

 

Charleston Boat Basin
Charleston Boat Basin

 

Once we had our fill of boats, we headed to Shore Acres to check out the gardens. We had plans to check out the holiday lights, but wanted to see it in the daylight first. Shore Acres is a formal garden established by the timber baron Louis J. Simpson and later sold to the state.

 

Shore Acres
Shore Acres

 

I’ve usually visited in the “off season” and always wonder what it look like if visited at the peak blooming season. Nevertheless, we didn’t have trouble finding roses and other plants still in bloom.

 

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Rosebud, Shore Acres

 

 

November Roses, Shore Acres
November Rose, Shore Acres

 

Shore Acres
Shore Acres

 

Then it was back to the beach before dark.

 

Simpson Beach
Simpson Beach

 

We tried a couple approaches to Cape Arago lighthouse but were cut off by the tide.  So we settled for a couple nice sunset views.

 

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Cape Arago Light

 

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Cape Arago Light

 

Then it was back to Shore Acres for the evening Christmas light display.  This year about 325,000 lights adorn the garden including several animations.

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The next day we started out at Cape Blanco. We weren’t able to tour the lighthouse due to some “structural issues” but enjoyed the view from the cape.

 

Cape Blanco
Cape Blanco

 

Cape Blanco Light
Cape Blanco Light

 

We spent most of the day walking the beach south of Bandon and then headed to a viewpoint to catch the sunset.

 

Sunset, Cape Arago
Sunset, Cape Arago

 

Then, all the sudden, it was Sunday.  My how time flies.  We headed back to Bend to find the road conditions hadn’t improved, but at least we didn’t spend another 6 hours on Lava Butte on the way home….

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Grey pelicans ‘surfing’ the waves

 

 

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