2/23/15

Wildly Wonderful Weekend

We're back from our trip to Winchester Bay, Oregon, where we rode our ATV's on the dunes that make up the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. The weather was nothing short of marvelous. In fact, most every person we talked to said something on the order of, "Can you believe this weather? In February?!?" It was the "In February" part that really got to us. We had checked the forecast, and we were expecting good weather. Still, it was positively magical to have such lovely weather this time of the year.

We got under way a little before noon on Saturday. We took the camper this trip, and this is the reason we bought the camper in the first place...so that we could tow our toys along with us...something we can't do when we're towing the fifth wheel. No way can the camper match the fifth wheel for comfort, but we love it for these short and simple trips when we're not taking much, and we're just going for a few days.


The trip to Winchester Bay goes south along I-5 until we get south of the Eugene, Springfield, Cottage Grove areas, and then we turn off and head west along the Umpqua River.


I took this picture out my window, which explains the reflections. On the other side of the road from here, out Mike's window, was an Elk Preserve and a large herd of elk in residence.

As we drove into Reedsport, we noticed this:


Noted. We sometimes joke about our tsunami risk in Oregon, but this area was hit after the big Japanese earthquake and tsunami a few years back. Also, the area to the north was hit following the big Alaska earthquake in 1964. So, it really is no joking matter.

We were staying at the Winchester Bay RV Resort, which is very nice, and at $29 per night, cheap this time of year. There was almost nobody there, and we had a nice spot at the edge of the park where we had ATV access to the dunes without needing to tow them anywhere. We just suited up, started them up, and drove off. Nice.


It was a little windy and chilly when we arrived in the late afternoon, but around sunset the wind died down and we got out for a walk. Of course, our shadow selves insisted on coming along.


Even though it feels as if we're at the beach, we're actually at the mouth of the Umpqua River and there is a nice walkway around the park


When you get around the bend, you can see the marina.


These next couple of images were actually taken the next day when we walked in the opposite direction.



Both days we saw sea lions in the waters near the marina.


And we were treated to a couple of breath-taking sunsets.



Sunday morning, there was only a little bit of breeze. I don't think the weather could have been more perfect. IN FEBRUARY! Impossible.


Of course, we had to take the requisite selfie.


This is an especially beautiful part of the dunes since the forest grows right down to the ocean's edge.


Even as we were sitting on our ATV's it was hard to really appreciate how massive they are until someone rides off a little ways, and you can see the area in contrast. That little speck in the image below is Mike.


Here's a panorama. Remember that you can make the image larger by clicking on it.


For the first time ever, I got myself stuck in the sand. I was going up the hill and didn't give myself a good enough run at it.


Both ATV's have winches on the front. For whatever reason, Mike's wouldn't retract, and he had to dig me out. As Matthew put it, I bravely watched while Mike dug me out of the rut I dug myself into.


As we rode back to the camper for lunch, we noticed the Umpqua Lighthouse off to the right.


There is no access by ATV, and so we stopped by there this morning before we headed for home.


Its history is interesting. It was the first lighthouse in Oregon, originally built in 1857 near the mouth of the river. Sadly, it was destroyed by flood only 4 years later, and not rebuilt until 1891 in a different location. The lighthouse is still operational, but closed to the public except by guided tour. Here are its statistics.


So now we're home, and we have the camper unpacked, but things aren't put away yet. 

On our way to Winchester Bay, we passed through Drain, Oregon, a tiny little town. Amazingly, there was a quilt shop there, and I visited. I'll tell you about that in a separate post. For now, I'm going to go sit for a while and get some things put away. Back to the usual schedule tomorrow. We have food for tonight, but I'll have to go to the grocery store tomorrow, and then I'm hoping to get some sewing done.

It was a wonderful weekend. I hope yours was as nice.

16 comments from clever and witty friends:

WoolenSails said...

What a beautiful place to visit, love the area and history too.

Debbie

Marei said...

Sounds like you 2 (the Darth Vader twins) had a wonderful time. Glad you were able to get out and enjoy the remarkable weather. And Drain? Been through there many times but never stopped at the quilt shop.

Junebug613 said...

Looks like a really neat place! Glad you had a good time, other than the getting stuck in the sand!

Christine M said...

Great photos, Barbara. Looks like a lovely place to visit.

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Welcome back home. Always love to see the shadow people on your trips - so nice to travel with someone so close to us. I'm not an ATVer, but would find it so fun to walk in that sand.

Michele said...

Those are some gorgeous pictures. Glad that you 4 had such a good time.

Quilting Babcia said...

I hope you had a chance to stop at Tomaselli's in Elkton. One of our favorite restaurants/bakery when we head down to Bandon every year. And a quilt shop in Drain! Who knew? I've been through there many times and never saw it!

Dana Gaffney said...

That is a really beautiful place, thanks!

treadlemusic said...

Awesome weekend......and to think it was only that short time!!!!! Thank you for taking us along!!!! I'm not sure we will ever make it that direction......our country is so-o-o-o large and there's so much we haven't seen!!!! Have an awesome "getting back in the groove" day!!!!

Jacque said...

Looks like so much fun! Woke up to three inches of snow here in SC. Seriously? (I hope it melts fast, I'm ready for spring!)

Lyndsey said...

Looks like a fabulous weekend and what glorious sunsets.

Diane Wild said...

Wonderful weekend excursion. I'm sure the fur children were glad to have you home again.

Kate said...

Beautiful country side, gorgeous photos. What a great weekend.

Kaisievic said...

Wonderful pictures and ATVing looks like so much fun! Thanks for including some history for me as well. Lol!

Brown Family said...

That is a beautiful place. The Lighthouse is amazing. Looks like you had a lot of fun.

quiltzyx said...

When you get stuck in the sand, you sure do a good job of it! Looks like a great place for camping with wonderful scenery & sunsets too. Glad to hear you had such a fun weekend!