10 Days on the Oregon Coast

Leaving July 6th we turn west towards the coast and Mill Creek Campground, but first a stop at Strawhouse for a quick bite. We arrive at Mill Creek just after 5 and secure a handicap site (#6). After 5 they become available for anyone on first-come-first-serve. The campground is full and we settle in and don’t have to unhook. The canopy of this park is dense and it’s hard to catch a glimpse of sky, a bit uncomfortable. Up in the morning we walk up the hill to where John lived one summer while working here, but it’s all overgrown and there is no sight of the tent cabin. After a quick breakfast we’re on our way. The roads aren’t that busy going north on Saturday.

Mill Creek Campground in Del Norte Redwoods State Park, under the umbrella of Redwood National Park.

Eating lunch right by the Pistol River along the Oregon Coast. Super windy day!

We have a reservation at Humbug Mt. SP #46 for two nights and arrive around 2 pm. Our site is short, not very private but manageable and like all Oregon SP’s it has electricity and water. The beach trail is across the meadow, and it’s an easy hike with the reward of an incredible beach. Not as windy as our lunch beach, as people are sitting in chairs, surfers are in the churned up waters, and kids are using pails and shovels. The campground is still packed with 4th of July groups, lots of kids and dogs. Lost in Space on the screen and salmon for dinner.

The meadow and a glimpse of the Airstream.

The beach trail is across the meadow, and it’s an easy hike with the reward of an incredible beach.

Sunday morning most of the campground is packing up and we chose to take on the Humbug Mountain Trail.  It’s a nice hike with a foggy sky, at times steep and trees to cross over or go under, not many views due to overgrown areas, but the flowers catch the eye. All in all it was a good hike, and after dinner we walk around the campground some more, with a total of steps at 19,185!

It’s the highest peak in the coastal area of Oregon at 1748, which means, that up and that down.

The foggy view that in a few years will be overgrown.

Maintenance can’t happen soon enough on the trail.

Douglas Iris has the right splash of sunshine yellow and black.

Leaving for more of the Oregon north, by 3 we settle in at Jessie Honeyman #264 for the next two days. Hopping on our bikes we ride around the park there’s about 3 Airstreams in it, ride to Woahink Lake which is gorgeous, and back to look at Cleawox Lake. Stopping at the visitors center on the way back to get information we chat with the volunteers telling us they only choose to do visitor centers as docents. We find this interesting as we have often thought about being future hosts, but don’t want to clean the bathrooms.

Tight quarters in the campground, luckily we had good neighbors.

Tuesday after breakfast we drive to Woahink Lake, pump up the kayak and hit the water. The ability to add to what we do when traveling with the addition of the kayak has enriched our experiences. Two other SeaEagles are on the lake along with jet skis and other varieties of kayaks. The wind at times bugs us, but there is warmth, and we wish we had bought our lunch. The lake has some cool inlets, vacation homes and a small island. After about an hour, we head back to camp, eat lunch, and decide to go out on Cleawox Lake. It’s intimate like Manzanita at Lassen NP, but instead of fly fisherman it’s loaded with kids swimming and sand surfers on the dunes. This park is very family oriented like all Oregon parks, and even has a playground area within the park.

Cleawox Lake is large, however there are some cool little inlets to explore.

Woahink Lake is small and a short walk from the campground.

Wednesday, July 11th is get away day. We head to Cape Perpetua, a USFS campground only an hour or so north, which we scoped out years back as a place we wanted to someday camp. Settling in easily to a private site #28, we then walk to the visitors center, watched a video, asked questions and hear about a minus tide the next morning and decided to give it a shot. Leaving the visitors center we hike the Giant Spruce Trail on the way back to our site. There are two other Airstreams in the campground and one has a slide out.

We reserved 6 months in advance for this site.

Always someone available to take a photo at a landmark – the Giant Spruce Tree.

Up at 7 and out the door we drive the short distance to Trail of the Restless Waters arriving on the beach with fog giving way to sun. The tide pools are amazing, with Starfish, Sea Anemones, and Mussels everywhere in the rocks. The tide eventually takes over and we walk back up the trail to take in Thor’s Well. Back at camp we meet the owner of the slideout Airstream and he takes us for a tour. Needing some groceries we head into Yachats, hit the local brewery for lunch, walk around, then drive back to camp. Before dinner we hike to the West Shelter on the Cape Perpetua trail. There also is the drive up, but the exercise is welcomed before dinner.

Minus tide was worth the early morning!

Thor’s Well, and the Yachats Brewery has a beer names after it which was very tasty.

Wish I knew the name of this!

Such the perfect day for the view!

Up on July 13 and it’s getaway day, John first does a bike ride he hears about from the Airstream couple and then we drive the long drive to Fort Stevens. Here for three nights, our first site #L1 is a pull through with hookups, and no need to unhook the hitch. It’s dinner time, and we walk around our loop and settle in. Next morning we indulge in showers, then ride our bikes to see if the other site #O38 is available. The density of where we are next camping is disheartening as it’s filled with a huge group in our loop. Luckily it thins out before our site, however we are in close proximity to our neighbors, but a close walk to the lake. I know that at this point in our camping lives we like a bit of isolation which stems from our backpacking days, and also the views. After another bike ride to Battery Russell and a great interpreter we head back. We manage to move in by 1 and later drive to the museum area, score a paid tour of the Battery Pratt, walk around the area, tour the guardhouse and look out on the Columbia River. Dinner and Pinky Blinders and thinking of our son Ian on his birthday.

Good TV reception and we can walk to the lake.

Russell Battery

Great history at Fort Stevens SP

Underground at Pratt Battery

So lucky to wake up Sunday and be able to watch the  World Cup. After the French win (no team favored) we headed to Coffenbury Lake to kayak. Such a sweet little lake, as we rooted out a bald eagle, saw kingfishers, and an egret. After lunch we head to Lewis and Clark Historical Park -maybe a twenty minute drive and Ft. Clatsop. They have a great visitor center, we watch a movie, tour the grounds which is on Lewis and Clark River. Leaving there we head to the South Jetty on the Columbia River.

Coffenbury Lake

Love the story of the Lewis and Clark expedition!

Love the font and the design of this little building.

Olympic Time! Up Monday and I do laundry at the cute little KOA laundromat across from Ft. Stevens SP, and we then begin the journey to Olympic NP.