This is part three of our Oregon trip. Read about our drive through Washington and camping at Nehalem Bay and Beverly Beach.
Carl G. Washburne memorial state park
Carl G Washburne park is located along an uninhabited stretch of coastline north of Florence. When camping here, be sure to stock up on supplies because there is no corner store just down the road.
Like Beverly Beach, the campground is located on the inland side of highway 101. The shortest way to the beach is to dash across the highway to the day-use area. There is also a slightly longer trail that follows China Creek and ducks underneath the highway at a bridge.
Washburne is yet another huge swath of sand along Oregon’s coast. We got drenched by a rainstorm shortly after I took this picture.
To the south, the beach looks out towards Hecate Head. At the far end of the beach are some rocks that have some wonderful tide pools.
Anemones and barnacles.
We found this feisty little Striped Shorecrab scuttling across the beach. Despite its diminutive size, it snapped its pincers at me as I tried to photograph it.
Exploring Washburne on a sunnier day.
On Hecate Head, around the bend from Washburne, is Hecate Lighthouse. A hiking trail leads from Washburne campsite to the lighthouse, but I shot this view from a roadside pull-out a bit to the south.
Going down the road a little bit further, there are views of the coast towards the south. Along that stretch of coast, ATVs and dirtbikes are allowed in the dunes and on the beach. We preferred the quieter coastline north of Hecate Head.
Bullard Beach state park
Bullard Beach state park is located near the town of Bandon. Like Nehalem Bay, Bullard Beach is on a sandspit that wraps around a river – in this case the Coquille River. To access the beach, one needs to go 1.25 miles (2 km) down the paved road that goes to the day use area. Our bikes came in really handy for that. The road ends two miles beyond the day use area, an easy bikeride. Here, there is a lighthouse that guards the harbor entrance of Bandon. The lighthouse is not in operation any more.
I can see why a lighthouse would have been needed. We sat out a storm that produced gale-force winds while camping in the Bandon area. I had trouble staying upright while shooting the next two photos.
Sea stacks at Bandon.
There is another way to the beach. Pearl’s trail starts in the campground and crosses sand dunes for 0.7 miles (1 km) before it reaches the sea.
The trail is lined with yellow-flowered gorse, which reminded us of the British coast. However, in these parts, gorse is considered to be an invasive species and efforts are being made to eradicate it.
A song sparrow sang us a ditty as we approached the beach.
Although not as wide as some of the other beaches that we visited, Bullard Beach is still spectacular.
Diana really enjoyed our beach walks.
I had fun shooting shorebirds. One of the most common shorebirds is the Sanderling. They run in the surf, back and forth as each wave comes in. They must run countless miles on those tiny little legs every day.
Sanderlings look like little wind-up toys, the way their legs move so quickly.
Every so often they do take a break from running. Here are some Sanderlings napping.
When they rest, they often stand on one leg.
This bird is called a Red Knot.
Wimbrels, with crashing surf in the background.
This gentleman was competing in a fishing derby, trying to catch Perch.
The most befuddling part of our trip came when we encountered a group of priests, clad in black robes, walking silently, side-by-side.
We went out to the beach for happy hour.
While we enjoyed watching the sun get lower and lower on the horizon, a pair of horse riders appeared.
They passed us in full gallop.
Roasting marshmallows on the fire.