Touring Coos Bay

Sunset Bay at low tide. There are two kayakers in the distance and numerous coves and bays around those cliffs and rocks.

We’ve recently returned from a few days in Coos Bay/North Bend, OR. We left the kayaks at home for this trip as it was more a nostalgic revisit and research trip. It was while kayaking at Sunset Bay about eight years ago that Ed realized the marine mammals in ocean bays are larger than our crafts. First there was a seal sighting and the realization the beach was a long way back, with only paddles to get us there. We’re familiar with the size and antics of seals from a few trips to Newport, OR and observing seals at sea level, in watercraft smaller than they are, is different than being on a tourist bridge while seals bark from the docks or rocks…

Then we looked out to sea and a humpback whale breached above the surface, rolling so the large fin created quite the splash. There was no more discussion, Ed has never paddled so fast for the beach.

This is only a small section of this massive event taken from the parking lot at the lighthouse.
This is only a small section of this massive event, taken from above. We had pulled into the the parking lot at the Umpqua River lighthouse on a whim, but got a whole lot more than a view of the ocean.

However, there were things about that trip to Coos Bay we wanted to revisit. We had no idea our spur of the moment trip coincided with Dune Fest, an annual event that features drag racing, motocross, and every type of all-terrain-vehicle designed or modified to race around and over the sand dunes. It was really loud but as it was the midpoint of the event when we discovered it, we didn’t have traffic issues and instead toured throughout Winchester Bay at its busiest weekend all year. Our youngest was into motocross for a few years and our grandsons are into dirt bikes, so we had a great time being spectators for this huge event. We know a bit about these vehicles; the motors, the wheels, the rider’s gear. I’m curious and Ed likes to figure stuff out, so we’re a good team when on an adventure.

We also sampled award winning clam chowder at a tiny deli in Reedsport.

Our lifestyle has been turbulent in recent years and it is significant for us to dwell on these changes because we’ve been married for 35 years. We’ve been through some major life events and now face choices of – what do we want to do now? Who do we want to become now?

We’ll be off again, on another adventure soon. I was raised under the Armageddon umbrella of Apocalyptic destruction. I never bought into the defeated-at-birth mentality. The future is yet to be written and I will write the stories I want to read.

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