Sometimes it's calm...
Sometimes there are boats, like this Coast Guard cutter...
Many times it's rainy, drizzly, cold, and windy and looks like this...
...but even then, since we're cozy and warm inside, with a view like this it's not so bad.
We knew when we planned this trip that arriving in late May, chances are we'd still encounter the cold, drizzly weather that Oregon is famous for, and most days we have. What we didn't expect was the bright, beautiful flowers in full bloom, like these rhododendrons...
And the ubiquitous Scotch broom bushes setting the hillsides ablaze with color...
(Roger here...Notice the ATV on the left side of the photo above. We are in the middle of the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. The ATVs are everywhere. We have a great view of them across the bay from our motor home as they drive down the road on the way to the dunes.)
Our first day in town was bright and sunny, and so we took Bandido and Tequila on a brisk walk to check out the nearby Salmon Harbor area.
The paved walkway from our RV site winds around and past a marina.
There's no doubt that this is a fishing community...
Finally we reached the small Salmon Harbor business district. Our first stop was in the Sportsmen's Cannery, where we purchased some frozen halibut and scallops, and two fresh crabs for our supper that were cooked and ready to eat.
While inside, Roger noticed most people buying fish in cans (I was outside holding the dogs.) Turns out, my friend Linda (who spent several Septembers here) said it is delicious local canned tuna, so we'll have to go back and stock up!
Next, we walked on into town to the Sourdough Bakery and Roger held the dogs while I bought some bread, some cheese, and a ready-to-bake pizza. I didn't quite think through how I'd walk home with a dog in one hand, a bag of bread and cheese, and a large pizza on a wobbly paper tray in the other, but somehow we made it home. (Roger couldn't help, because he had Bandido in one hand and a bag of fresh, fragrant crab in the other, so he had problems of his own!)
Those scallops are so huge that they look like biscuits, don't they? I think we'll be eating well while we're here. (To Bob and Linda, I picked the Tillamook garlic and pepper cheddar cheese after re-reading Bob's blog entries from 2006-2008 about your time here. I had never seen this variety of Tillamook before.)
Here's our supper that night: Fresh crab, fresh asparagus, and fresh sourdough bread. Yum!
Still taking advantage of the pretty weather, we drove over to the nearby Umpqua Lighthouse to check it out. We didn't take time for the tour that day, but went back on a rainy, drizzly day and took the tour. Most of the outdoor photos were taken on that sunny first day.
These photos will look very familiar to our friends Bob and Linda (Because We Can,) for they spent several autumns in a row manning the visitor center (Linda) and giving lighthouse tours (Bob). I read about it back when we were still dreaming of this full-time RV lifestyle, and it's a place I've wanted to visit ever since. I was not disappointed!
Our tour guide was a former pilot named Roger, and while there's no way he could have done the tour like I imagine Bob used to, he was still very good and we learned a lot.
The keepers wore special smocks with no buttons or buckles so that they wouldn't inadvertently scratch the beautiful glass prisms.
Of course, the highlight of the tour was to climb the stairs up to view the rare red-and-clear glass Fresnel lens, which was imported from France when the current lighthouse was built in 1894. Here are some photos of the rotating lens:
The above photo illustrates how this lighthouse's signature beam, two-white-lights-then-one-red, is achieved by the light shining through the rotating glass. Being from the midwest, I didn't even know that each lighthouse even had an identifying beam pattern.
Bob and Linda urged us to be sure to go back to the lighthouse after dark to see the "light show." I would have waited for a clear night, but our tour guide said that actually misty nights were best to get a defined view of the light rays. Well, it was certainly misty that same evening, so we drove the short one-mile drive back to the lighthouse to get a glimpse.
No photo could do it justice, but above is my pathetic attempt. The colored rays were really pronounced. What I wish you could experience were the dancing lights as they rotated and looked like fairies dancing through the surrounding trees (that's what the colored light spots are in the photo.) It truly was a light show!Here's a shot of the lens at night.
I'll close with a few more photos of this beautiful Winchester Bay area of the Oregon Coast:
And a zoomed-in shot of the lonely kayaker...
The pet picture of the day illustrates just what a dog-friendly area this is. Two things I've noticed here: Everybody seems to have a dog. And, they're not tiny dogs, either, but regular dogs like ours. This photo is of the man parked behind us Memorial Day Weekend with one of his two bulldogs, who obviously adored his master. This is my kind of guy!!
|Photo taken just after the bulldog gave his master a big, sloppy kiss!|