Sunday, November 04, 2018

A Busy Month In Bandon

We’re finishing up a month’s stay in Bandon after completing all of our annual medical and dental appointments (everything went well, thank you).  Bandon has become a familiar place for us, and this time we’ve enjoyed a stay at Robbin’s Nest RV Park, a place with wonderful owners, great location, and reasonable rates.  Soon it will be time to head south to Las Vegas, where we’ll spend the winter.  Lorretta and Nancy, two ladies who came for a few days to catch and stock up on Dungeness Crab for their winter stay in Arizona.  They must have noticed our sad looks of longing….and generously shared a few of their catch! 

Fresh Crab
There's so much beauty here - our visits always energize us for the trips to come.  We're looking forward to the change of scenery that Las Vegas offers, but will miss the ocean while volunteering at the Desert National Wildlife Refuge.  During our time in Ohio it seemed that every town had a fall festival with pumpkins, food, and games for the kids.  There's not much of that here on the coast, but we did find something similar at the Mahaffy Ranch Pumpkin Patch.  It was a pretty drive along the Coos and Millicoma Rivers to the tiny town of Allegany where the "ranch" is located.  It was a beautiful weekend day and the parking lot was packed with visitors.  The main draw is pumpkins - at 37 cents a pound some of the shoppers were racking up a pretty good tab as they filled the wagons that the ranch provided.  We strolled the grounds watching the children having fun at the corn maze, the hay maze, the "mole hill" slide, and the "corn cannon" where they could fire a propane cannon loaded with a corn cob.  There was of course a gift shop and food vendors.  Picnic tables under the trees were full of families, and there was even a bit of fall color on some of the trees. 

Leaving Allegany, we drove another ten miles along the river to Silver and Golden Falls Natural Area.  Once an area with logging and farms, it has reverted to quiet forest with few roads or people.  

We met a couple from Pennsylvania who were getting married at Golden Falls, so to keep clear of their wedding party we took the trail to Silver Falls.  The trail was of course uphill but was well maintained.  Walking along listening to the stream flowing below us and surrounded by deep woods was peaceful, except for the sound of two senior citizens truing to get enough air into their lungs.  But finally we glimpsed the falls through the trees, and then finally had a clear view.  There wasn't much water flowing of the falls this time of year, but even so it was well worth the hike.  

Coos Bay has been economically depressed for many years due to the reduction in commercial fishing and logging.  But as we walked the downtown area we could see signs of improvement.  The historic Egyptian Theater, closed for many years, has been completely restored - it is beautiful!  You can take a tour here.  Along with some new businesses, we were impressed by the huge murals of Steve Prefontaine, a local man who held may world records in long distance running.  He was killed in an auto accident at the age of 24, but remains a hero here.  He was an avid advocate of cardiovascular health; in fact Brenda's cardiologist  is located in the Prefontaine Cardovascular Center a the local hospital. 

 We seldom visit Coos Bay without making a trip up the Cape Arago Highway to view the seals and sea lions.  On this day, the ocean was roaring and large waves were crashing against the rocks below our overlook. Even though the waves were roaring and some of the sea lions were barking, these California Sea Lions and Black Oystercatchers didn't seem to mind and were happily sleeping next to each other.  

Back in Bandon, we visited Bullards Beach State Park to walk some of the trails.  We took the short walk to the "secret cemetery", and unmarked trail that leads to the cemetery of the original family (the Bullards) that settled here.  It's not really a secret, but the parks keep the trail unmarked to avoid overuse and not many people visit here.  Looking at the old tombstones we were struck by the fact that people back in the 1800s seemed to either live into their 80s of die as children.

We’ll leave you this time around with a couple of sunsets – we’ve some interesting places to visit on our trip south, so check back!