If #101 takes a short inland route, another route usually continues to follow the ocean and sometimes it isn’t a very good one. I took one that I thought I hadn’t taken before, but half way along it I recognized a place I had visited. That was all right. It jogged my memory and I would have missed seeing the couple on a tandem bike pulling a tiny supply trailer. People find their own way to travel.
For years I had a picture of the Coquille River Lighthouse and couldn’t identify it. Now I saw it but couldn’t reach it. Finally realized I had to drive through the Bullards Beach State Park day use area north of town to get to it. The Coquille Indians occupied the area once upon a time and the white settlers came in 1850. The town of Bandon surfaced in 1874 and the lighthouse was first lit in 1896. Chatted with the volunteer lady who ran the lighthouse gift shop and she knew the plover people I had met at a previous beach and stayed at the same RV park as they did. Bandon is noted for the export of cranberries from their numerous cranberry bogs north and south of town.
There is a lot to do in the Florence area like enjoy the sand dunes on a dune buggy tour or something I liked a whole bunch, horseback riding on the beach. I stopped at C & M Stables and did a sunset ride north of Florence. Also a great but noisy stop are the Sea Lion Caves, the largest in the world. It requires a bit of walking and don’t forget your binoculars.
Heceta Head Lighthouse also north of Florence had a special memory for me. A picture I probably took from the scenic viewpoint on my first trip along the ocean, I eventually painted on a wheel cover for my oldest brother and his wife to go on the back of their fifth wheel. He is gone now but the fading Heceta Head wheel cover still lives on the front of his tractor shed. It shows the lighthouse reflection in a receding ocean wave. May all your reflections be good ones.
God Bless until next time.
– Sharlene Minshall
At 45, Widow Minshall began 20 years of solo full-time RVing throughout Alaska, Mexico, and Canada. Sharlene canoed the Yukon, mushed sled dogs, worked a dude ranch, visited Hudson Bay polar bears, and lived six months on a Mexican beach. She lectured at Life on Wheels, published six RV-related books and wrote a novel, “Winter in the Wilderness.”