August 21st thru 23rd – Central and South Oregon Coast & Bandon, Oregon

Sunday, August 21st

The drive from Waldport (on Oregon’s central coast) to Bandon (mid-way on the state’s southern coast) was prettier and provided far more scenic and dramatic coastal views than the northern section.

The one frustration we experienced was that many of the overlooks and points of interest either come up so suddenly that making a turnout is difficult and/or there are no indications as to whether they are “big rig friendly” … in other words, is the pullout double ended or the parking area large enough so we can turn our motor home and tow car around.  As a result, we had to bypass spots we’d like to have stopped at.

That said, however, we thoroughly enjoyed what is one of the most spectacular coastlines we’ve visited.

Areas of huge sand dunes,

which, at times, creep onto road surfaces.

Mid-afternoon, we arrived at Rick Rahmlow’s and Patty Nash’s home in Bandon, Oregon; a town which was burned nearly to the ground twice in the last century, once in the 1920s  and a second time in 1936 (when only two buildings survived).

Rick was my business partner during the 1980s when we owned and operated a residential and land development company.  Today, he is the owner of Second Street Gallery in Bandon’s Old Towne District, one block from the waterfront, perhaps the most elegant such retail operation I have ever visited. As luck would have it, Rick and Patty were honeymooning on Cape Cod (MA) last summer when Debbie and I were there … and we got to spend some time with them.

While his driveway is noticeably smaller than an RV campground, we were able to fit our rig comfortably in it.

This evening we walked down through Old Town and along the water front.  Old pilings stand as a silent reminder to the wharfs and factories which operated on and beside the river’s edge in bygone days,

boats moored in the harbor’s quiet waters,And, of course, there were Canadian Western Gulls everywhere.

Monday – August 22nd

This morning Patty took us on a tour of the area, including Bandon Dunes, rated one of the Top-10 Links golf courses in America.

From there we drove by some cranberry bogs.  As Debbie and I were raised in Massachusetts and summered on Cape Cod, it was the cranberry capital of the world as far as we were concerned.  We have since found that New Jersey and now Oregon have huge cranberry industries, Bandon’s the largest in the State.

Finally, she took us by the Coquille River Lighthouse.

Originally constructed in 1895, it is now undergoing a refurbishment, including the installation of a solar-powered light.

We then joined Patty and a group who play, primarily Scottish music at seniors’ centers and other places in the region. Today, they were performing at an Alzheimer’s facility.

The patients who were present for their performance seemed to really enjoy the interlude in their otherwise challenging lives.

During the afternoon, Debbie and I drove out to a jetty at the end of the channel leading into the Coquille River.

And then southward along the coast to view some of the so-called “Oregon Islands”, 1,853 rocks, reefs and islands and two headland areas and spans 320 miles of the Oregon coastline.

Its beaches, while wide at low tide, are nearly all under water and many of the large exposed rocks on the beach surrounded by water at high tide.

This evening the four of us

Rick, Patty, Debbie and Dick

had an incredible dinner and the newly-opened Edgewaters Restaurant, overlooking the mouth Coquille River … after which we were treated to a gorgeous sunset.

Tuesday – August 23rd

We took a bike ride back to the Bandon Beach Loop to revisit Elephant Rock. Where we were treated to more displays of waves surging up and around the rock monoliths.

This afternoon, we joined Rick, who, aside from being the owner of Second Street Gallery, has and continues to teach photography for over three decades, on a field trip with several of his current students.

The first stop was at Cape Arago, a secluded cove where there were dramatic uplifted sandstone formations

some topped with volcanic debris.

More spectacular, however, was the show the ocean put on as it crashed into more rock formations

and ran up onto the beach.

The second and final stop was at a formerly private estate (since burned); although the incredibly beautiful gardens remain was well maintained as when the estate was a residence.

While the pond was still, producing great reflections

the extensive flower gardens were simply dazzling!

And then there were the bees and yellow jackets I pursued.

On the way back to Rick’s house, we drove through Charlestown, a tuna fishing community, whose most famous inhabitant is

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