About Maggie

Hi! My name is Maggie and I enjoy living in the beauty that is Oregon! I want to share all of it with you!


Adventures along the Umpqua River and the Oregon Coast

Oregon has added 3 free fishing weekends this year!  The first one is coming up February 19 and 20, Saturday and Sunday.  Then again June 4 and 5, Saturday and Sunday.  The one more time over Thanksgiving weekend, November 25 and 26, Friday and Saturday.  Don’t miss out on free fishing if you are in Oregon!

Once a year, the State of Oregon offers free fishing for everyone where fishing, crabbing and clamming are permitted! 

No license, tag or endorsement is needed because the fishin’ is free! Catch limits and other restrictions do apply.

Hosted by the Oregon Department of Fishing and Wildlife (ODFW), Saturday September 1st and Sunday, September 2nd are both days where you can fish, crab and clam for free! This opportunity is for anywhere in Oregon fishing, crabbing and clamming are allowed—rivers, streams, lakes and ocean.

This is a great time to find a…

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Scottsburg, Oregon II

We are going to pause in our adventures for a commercial break from Umpqua River Haven located at Scottsburg, Oregon http://www.umpquahaven.com This is a video about Scottsburg (a real ghost town) and the reasons we love living here!  Our Mayor, Henry Fryer, echos our own thoughts. If you are looking for a beautiful, quiet and friendly place to live, visit our website above and get in touch with us. Following the video, the original Scottsburg post on this blog is posted again. Lots of history there, too. Enjoy your virtual visit to Scottsburg, Oregon.


Picture18 miles inland from the Oregon Coast is the official Ghost Town of Scottsburg, Oregon, with its long and rich history.  Originally the home of the Penutian-speaking Lower Umpqua native people in the present-day Scottsburg/Wells Creek area, it was named for pioneer and politician Levi Scott who’s birthday is still celebrated every year at the Community Center. Levi, from Illinois, homesteaded here and founded the town in 1850.

And then more “Scottsburgs” were established creating an Upper Scottsburg, Middle Scottsburg and Lower Scottsburg.  Whew! Upper Scottsburg became a shipping and distribution port for the mining regions and communities of southern Oregon and northern California.  Hundreds of pack animals loaded here at one time.

And it was news!  The Umpqua Weekly Gazette was the first southern Oregon newpaper to be published out of Scottsburg.

Scottsburg declined as ports opened up closer to the market points in both Oregon and California.  In 1861 a great flood wiped out Lower Scottsburg which caused further decline. A bit of a revial came during the 1940’s and 50’s as Scottsburg had a boom when the timber industry ramped up production in this area.

On the south side of the river and up river a bit from the town (on Lutsinger Creek Rd) was a settlement known still as “Family Camp.”  Housing there held 350 people who worked in the timber or as staff in the timber camp on the north side of the river at Scottsburg.

I was hiking Lake Marie on the coast one day when I stopped to ask a fisherman if he was catching anything.  In the course of our chat, he revealed that he had grown up during this period of time as his dad was the camp cook.  He was well acquainted with one of our long time residents at Umpqua River Haven.   He described growing up in the timber camp and being around kind of rough men who worked the timber.  A bit frightening for a small boy.

Eventually timber in an area “plays out”.  The timber is re-planted to grow again over the course of 15 or more years.  But, the people move on which is what happened here.  All of the houses at “Family Camp” were moved out and only a large, flat, treeless area remains.  But everyone around knows about “Family Camp.” Scottsburg declined rapidly after that.  

A few old timers remained in the area and “Bob’s Market” opened in 1950.  Owned by Bob House the market eventually was taken over by his two sons, Tom and Bob and their wives.

In recent times, young Bob who lived across the highway from Umpqua River Haven, owned a Llama named Larry.  Larry liked to wander and came meandering up our road one day at a fast walk with Bob chasing after him.  The residents went out to help Bob round up Larry and get him back home inside the fence again.  No easy task.  Much as everyone wanted Larry back home, it was also some interesting entertainment during a quiet afternoon.

Llamas are raised in the Umpqua River Valley but also you will find them pastured with flocks of sheep as they are superior guard “dogs” against predators.  Larry was just a member of the House Family.   

The market is actually at Wells Creek which is 2 miles from Scottsburg and was recently sold by the brothers.  But it is still there providing groceries to the locals and tourists.  The market is often a destination for people who love Taylor Sausage which has been a staple item here for many years.

Scottsburg is on the Registry of Historic Ghost Towns but is very much alive. Walking distance east of the market is the Wells Creek Inn Restaurant and Lounge.

Two doors west of us at Umpqua River Haven is the volunteer fire department with a staff of well trained fire-fighting and EMT personnel.  When the whistle blows, they come quickly and are very professional in fire-fighting and emergency services.  The fire chief lives next door to us and we consider him and his family to be good friends.

Present day Scottsburg boasts a Community Church and US Post Office.  Several residents live within the town including the Mayor, Henry Fryer and his wife, Patty, who was a long term US Post Master.  Many of the buildings in Scottsburg are designated as Historic Sites.

The Scottsburg Post Office is much like a coffee shop where people meet, greet and visit as they pick up mail and do PO business.  Patty, and subsequent postal employees, was always very helpful and could relay about any information you might need or want. I walked into the post office one day and asked Patty if she knew of anyone who played a string instrument.  She was immediately able to give me the name of a cello musician who lived across the river on Lutsinger Creek Rd.  I was able to contact the cellist and we played together as a duo, in a trio (The Glissandoes) and in the Southwestern Oregon Community College Orchestra in Coos Bay for many years.

The advantages of moving to a small town!

The population surrounding Scottsburg increase the number of residents by many. Lutsinger Creek Rd runs east from the bridge and contains houses up and down the road.  There is also a Friesian horse farm. Traveling due west of Scottsburg before crossing the bridge is the Scottsburg West Rd with many very nice homes taking in their river views.  

On the north side of the river heading east out of the Wells Creek Area (remember Bob’s Market) are streets leading to river property on the south with a variety of unique housing.  There are also streets on the north leading to more housing and to the Historic Scottsburg Cemetary.  

Boating and fishing, which we will discuss more in a bit, are year around activities on the Umpqua River.  Two miles west of the town of Scottsburg is the Scottsburg Park which contains a boat ramp/dock, big parking lot, restroom facility and picnic areas. Quite a nice park for such a small community.

A bit further west is the Umpqua Wayside State Park which has a nice picnic area.  Oregon has beautiful, well kept state parks.  And the beauty of Oregon never ends.  She is a scenic paradise!

March Adventures Along The Oregon Coast–Bandon-By-The-Sea – Part II

Remember the cute vacation rental duplex?

A friend stays there occasionally on writing sabbaticals. The next two photos encompass her view as she writes (photo credit to Jacquie Beveridge). Yes, that is a seagull flying in the center over the water.

Back to the top of the cliff, I ventured down a road leading to the Devil’s Kitchen. There are a lot of areas with the title “Devil” something due to the churning waters. Here is a beach area with a lot of driftwood that may be different at high tide.

However, the water on and a ways offshore churns a lot. Might even be ‘stirring.’

This is the time of year when the mini-Daisies bloom all over the ground. But here at the Devil’s Kitchen hillside, I came across some pretty small flowers that are different. They have colored dots on the petals. I’ve no idea what they are but they blend well with the mini-Daisies.

Here’s a closeup of them.

Here’s a better photo of that cliffside house with all the buoys on the fence. You can also see how clear and beautiful a day it was!

Heading back, I pulled into this loop drive filled with oceanfront condos. What a view they must have!

Back down the hill and into Old Town Bandon is this mural depicting another era. You can see the Tall Ship. It’s really more art than mural.

Old Town Bandon is filled with great seafood and shops of all kinds—fudge, antique, secondhand and more. In more normal times, it is fun to peruse through the shops and maybe find a treasure or two and people were. But for myself, I avoid shopping anywhere these days and just enjoy the scenery. There were a lot of pigeons and they appeared to be posing here on the railing. Then something disturbed them and they flew off gathering others as they went and became a great flying flock.

There are many resident Seagulls everywhere. Walking, sitting and sometimes begging. They hang around because even though there are signs saying “Don’t Feed The Birds” people still do. Or they drop food and the birds will waddle in for the leavings. This one was sitting on one of the eating tables (probably didn’t pick that table for myself). 

Here’s a waddler just looking for a handout or droppings.

Some of the Pigeons came back to roost, even fighting for a position on the wire.

Yet another waddler. I love watching Seagulls. They each have their own personalities. Sometimes they can be quite aggressive. I was dive-bombed by one on the bridge in Charleston. I was walking across the bridge and it was seated above. Apparently, it didn’t like me being on the bridge as it kept diving at me and I had to duck a couple of times. I hurried across the bridge.

No one can visit here without partaking in some yummy seafood and I went to my favorite place, Fish & Chips Chowder House. They have good outdoor seating and some inside (no eating inside right now). But mostly they have great seafood. I had the fried clam strips basket with French Fries and Cole Slaw. It was enough for about 3 meals so I enjoyed it for a couple of days. I walked back to an area next to the river to sit and enjoy the food and ambiance of the water and Old Town. This fella came along and hung around. He would have gone for a handout but I didn’t. However, I did drop some coleslaw on the table. He was very patient. He just KNEW he was in store for a treat. Sure enough, when I got up, that bird didn’t hesitate to fly up onto the table and munch on the slaw. I should have dropped a fry or two but didn’t think to. They really are fun to watch.

There are some wood, ocean-themed, carvings as you have seen in some of the photos. This is an octopus crawling up something. They are fascinating creatures and very ancient. There is one at the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport in a tank. It needs constant tending as it keeps trying to climb out of the tank. If you are there at the right time, you can see it being fed and eating.

The Coho and Chinook Salmon are a very big deal here on the Oregon Coast and in the rivers. There are two salmon seasons – spring and fall. Many places along the coast have some displays/education about the salmon and this is the one at Bandon. I met two very nice and very young men at the display who know nothing about salmon and so the conversation started. I’m not usually into visiting with strangers but I could tell they were just a couple of nice, young fellas. Always nice to meet enterprising young people when so many aren’t that these days.

Here’s a shot of the boardwalk with Pigeons roosting on the information building.

Here’s a shot up the Coquille River. The pointed and white-painted posts are done that way so that the Seagulls won’t park on them (and leave their presents thereon). Rather clever, really. And one, puffy white cloud!

Time to head back to Umpqua River Haven at Scottsburg, OR. On the way out the back road is this mural reminiscent of those in Old Town Newport.

It is impossible for any of my family to pass by Windy Bay (Winchester Bay) without stopping at the Umpqua River Lighthouse for the view of the ocean and of the lighthouse. The sun was just brilliant!

This lighthouse is the favorite of one of our family members. They remarked that it has been cleaned up. Probably has a new coat of paint also. Sure is a beauty!

Watch for more Adventures Along the Oregon Coast to come!


March Adventures Along The Oregon Coast–Bandon-By-The-Sea

We’ll get back to more February adventures but first we’re going to Bandon, OR.  We have had a few gorgeous weather days but the last one was 3/3 and I took off for Bandon. Bandon is truly by-the-sea’ as you will discover. The first stop was at the mouth of the Coquille River to picture the historic Coquille River Lighthouse. We have toured it. Small, but tall enough for some great views all around. It is currently closed due to the pandemic but it sits at the edge of a beautiful, long beach to the north of it. That’s seafoam in the foreground. And a few gulls to the right.

Next is the beachfront drive. I went to the lower road first which I’ve never been on. This is where the lighthouse photo was taken at the south jetty. There are quite a few houses on the beach here and I drove through the neighborhood after taking this shot of the ocean and what Bandon is most famous for—the rock formations just offshore. These were created by earthquakes pushing the rock to the surface. This photo displays the beauty of the combination of the very blue, cloudless sky, blue water, white crashing waves and driftwood as well as the start of the rocks. That’s a fog bank out at sea.

Some of the housing is quite interesting looking. This duplex is a vacation rental.

These white geese are apparently residents of this lower neighborhood as I saw a woman come out of the building to your left and toss out some feed. I imagine the Blackbirds partook also. I wondered how the neighbors liked them.

Some of the homes had a lone Captain Sentinel standing guard.

The next adventure was up on the cliff road which is high above the beach and ocean with great views if you are a house on the edge. There are several small motels/hotels up here. Not many years ago, some of them were in bad shape and not in use. No more. They have all been spruced up or re-imagined and are up and running. Bandon is a very popular summer resort area so there are many rentals of various types. There is a huge Best Western on the south end of this road that has grown over the years. But this photo is of one of the spruced-up, small motels within the residential and vacation rental neighborhood.

Here’s another shot of the ocean from up top showing the vast expanse of the beach (and a few rocks). Bandon is notoriously misty due to all the crashing waves on the rocks and shore. But this day was unbelievably clear. It was a pleasant surprise!

This next photo displays some of the many rocks here. 

And another.

The most famous rock here is Face Rock. Inns and streets and more are named after Face Rock. There are many Native American legends about this rock and how it came to be but I picked this one.

A ‘potlatch’ (feast) was planned by the four chiefs of the coast in honor of the great Chief Siskiyou coming to visit, bringing his beautiful daughter, Ewauna, with him. Ewauna had never seen the ocean and was fascinated by it, thinking this was the place where the beautiful white clouds were made that she saw back at her home in the mountains. 

The feast was a great one as the tribes wanted to show how prosperous they were. There was much food and they feasted until they could eat no more and fell asleep where they were. Ewauna had been warned not to wander alone to the ocean but she could not resist and ran and danced and sang under the full Chinook moon coming closer and closer to the ocean until her feet touched the cool water.

She started swimming in the ocean and swam and swam further and further away from the shore until something grabbed her. It was the evil monster, Seatka, and he tried to make Ewauna look into his eyes where all his power was. But, she would not and just stared up at the moon in the sky, her eyes never wavering.

When Chief Siskiyou awoke and found Ewauna missing, he and all the tribes ran to the ocean to discover her laying out in the water looking up at the white clouds. Seatka was sitting behind the large rocks near the shore still trying to get Ewauna to look at him. She wouldn’t. Many, many moons she has been there and now they have all turned to stone. The following two photos are shots of Face Rock and clearly show the face of a woman.

Another variety of housing shows this street-level parking for the vacation rental’s roof you see looking out at the rocks.

The plant in this next photo of yet more rocks, with the yellow flowers, resembles Scotch Broom but in reality, it is Gorse. Like Scotch Broom, Gorse is very invasive and vastly more dangerous. It is covered with thorns and has an oil that easily fuels fire. At one time, Bandon was surrounded by Gorse that fueled a huge fire in the 1930s that killed 14 people and burned most of the buildings in Bandon to the ground.

This next shot of the ocean shows again how vast the Oregon beaches are. They are a great place to walk, explore and discover shells.

Another cliffside house. It would be fun to live here. Some of the housing is lived in year-round but much of it is closed up for the rainy season as the owners spend their winters in sunnier climes.

Watch for more Bandon-By-The-Sea adventures coming soon, along with continued ones from the North Coast of Oregon.





February Adventures Along the Oregon Coast Part II

Today’s adventure, as we leave Depot Bay heading south, has us traveling once again along the Coast Highway 101. It’s not long before we turn off onto Otter Creek Loop Rd which soon turns into a narrow, one-way road above the Pacific Ocean. Fortunately, it goes our way! We pass some beautiful coast homes as it goes. The north coast was developed with houses and hotels and motels before the State of Oregon declared the beaches off-limits for building and belonging to the people of Oregon. The areas that are built up are now required to give access to the beaches for the public and do.

We are on our way to one of my favorite places, Cape Foulweather. Captain James Cook traveled around the world several times. On his third trip in March of 1778, he spotted this outcropping on the Coast. It is 500 very steep feet above the Pacific Ocean. He gave it its name because of the really bad weather he encountered there.

There’s a wonderful gift shop on the point with breathless views. Unfortunately, it is closed right now as are so many places. There are a lot of things to see here also. Spend some time walking around this area and you will see a variety of sights. Sometimes you can spot seals and sea lions. There are many kinds of marine birds but crows are everywhere, including here in the trees.

The view off to the south shows how the beaches of Oregon go on for miles.

Where you find beaches in Oregon, you will also find surfers. They may not be distinct in this photo but they were there waiting to catch a wave!

Traveling on this back road you come to the turnoff to the Devil’s Punch Bowl. A local resident must have spent much time collecting these colorful boat ‘bumpers’ to hang near the entrance.

Arriving at the end of the road is this view looking north.

And this one directly out to sea.

And then….the Devil’s Punch Bowl, so called because the water swirls and splashes around as it comes in. Of course, high tied is the time it is most active.

I lucked out to spot these Cormorants roosting on the rocks just south of the DPB.

There are signs posted stating that drones are now allowed because they scare the birds, interrupt their flight paths and chase them away from their nests. Of course, some idiot brought his drone and sent it flying. I just gave them ‘the look’ as I don’t confront people like that. It doesn’t do any good and can create quite a scene. But I did want to strangle him on behalf of all the many birds.

Again, the Oregon beaches are vast. And this one was filled with surfers. It didn’t look to me like the surf was very good and most of them just fell when they tried to ride a wave. But this one fella made it up. He was standing backward on his surfboard for most of the ride before finally turning around for a bit before the ride was over.

I had the opportunity to visit with a surfer who was done for the day and changing from wetsuit to clothing for the drive home. I mentioned that the waves didn’t look very conducive to this activity. He said but you could catch one now and then and smiled. Surfing in the Pacific Northwest isn’t the romantic picture painted by surf films in Hawaii and California. The Pacific never gets above 55* and this time of year it’s even colder. Thus the wetsuit and not some cutesie swimsuit. You have to be hardy to surf off the Oregon Coast. But, too, they are all very young. You just don’t see the ‘old’ Kahunas hanging here.

We now get our first glimpse of the Yaquina Head Lighthouse just outside of Newport, OR. The clouds conspired with the slowly setting sun to create some nice colors.

On down the road a ways is the entrance to the lighthouse. All of the lighthouses on the Oregon Coast are historic, as is this one. They are all in official parks and you need to pay a fee or have a National Park pass for this one. Well, I have one but I couldn’t find it. She gave me a plastic hanger for when I found it. I actually did find it in the passenger door in its own hanger. I was relieved as I’d forgotten where it was and was concerned that it might be lost. Since all I wanted to do was take a few photos and leave, I didn’t want to have to pay the $7.00 fee. The ranger was really nice to believe me and let me in.

All of the coast lighthouses have been restored but need continuing maintenance on occasion. This one is closed, including the grassy area around it, for maintenance. I think they are closed anyway due to Covid 19. I’ve toured most of the Oregon Coast Lighthouses at one time or another, some more than once. I never get tired of visiting them.

South and East of the lighthouse (but not far) you can walk down to the tide pools. My family and I did one year. We got out of bed at like 2 am and on the road by 3:30 to make the 6 am low tide. It was worth it as we found all the creatures of the tide pools there. It wasn’t low tide this day so you cannot see all the many rocks that are exposed at low tide. There are also volcanic rocks on the shore that are precarious to traverse in order to get to the tide pools. Not much sandy beach here.

There is an old rock quarry as part of this park. It is an experimental intertidal area carved out of the quarry at Quarry Cove to see how it would deveop when left alone to become colonies of marine life. The experiment continues to this day. The quarry is fully accessible to the handicap, as well as the rest of us. It is closed right now due to flooding but we have been down to visit it when seeing the lighthouse and tide pooling here.

This is another picture showing the vast expanse of the Oregon Coast Beaches as you leave the park. I did stop and thank the ranger and show her my pass. She smiled.

There were a lot of boats out and coming and going everywhere I went. I think because the ocean was so calm! Most of them were fishing boats. They go out whenever they can as they make their living fishing.

A real treat, although not an unusual sight. Two Bald Eagles as we leave the park. You can’t miss or mistake these white heads for anything else. Sighting them never loses its joy!

Stay tooned to join me next time for a visit to Newport, Oregon.

February Adventures Along the Oregon Coast Part I

On the last nice February day in several (it’s raining now), I took a road trip up the Oregon Coast to many favorite places. I didn’t linger in one place very long in order to get it all in. It started at the Sea Lion Caves just north of Florence, OR.

The Heceta Head Lighthouse is the most photographed lighthouse in the USA, and maybe the world, and most of those photos are taken from this spot in front of the caves. It is said that this lighthouse is haunted, but many of them are. The lighthouse keeper’s house is still here and well preserved in the era of the 1890s. Apparently, Rue is the name of the ghost and will show herself on occasion. You can spend a night here as the home is a B & B. You will learn all about Rue and why she is still there. But be sure and book your stay way ahead of time as it fills up fast.

The Steller Sea Lions migrate to these caves in winter for shelter. You can see them in the caves, swimming in the water nearby and lolling on the rocks on shore. The caves were closed this day (we’ve been there–it’s very smelly) but these people were cleaning the statue that sits out on the ocean side of the gift shop. This 1,500 pound, bronze cast sculpture was created by Ken Scott and dedicated in 1982. Bronze contains copper and when it meets water and oxygen, it turns green just like the Statue of Liberty.

Heading north on 101, the next stop is on Cape Perpetua to visit the Devil’s Churn. The ocean is fairly calm today so it’s not churning so much. In the 2nd photo, when the tide is coming in and the ocean is busier than it was this day, the water splashes high up in this chasm.

A short distance north of Cape Perpetua is Yachats. Yachats is a very popular ocean resort town with more housing that the population would warrant. Most of them are summer homes, however big they may be. There is an ocean drive just before you cross the bridge into Yachats. It has great ocean views as you drive right next to the shore. At low tide, you can probably do some tide pooling and in the cove dig for clams. This is the housing you can see from Ocean Dr.

There are some interesting things in Yachats, like the really fun ice cream shop (Tillimook ice cream, of course), but I didn’t linger as I had miles to traverse yet. So, on to Waldport, OR. This is the Alsea Bay Bridge that is visible from a pull out before you get to Waldport.

From this same vantage point can be seen the sandbar peninsula. It probably has a name but I’ve never learned it. However, you can see the housing that is crowded onto this foundation of sand. When the winter winds blow, the sands move and can drift high against the buildings to inhibit entry into the houses. Most of these are summer homes however large they are. Not sure I’d want to live on a sandbar as I’m sure it could disappear at the ocean’s whim.

I have never stopped in Waldport but probably should research things to do there. I think there is a winery! Moving right along north again we eventually come to Newport and pass on through (but we’ll be back on the return trip) and head to Depot Bay. This bay claims to be the smallest bay in the world. It is busy for such a small bay as there are whale watching tours out of here. We’ve been on a few and actually seen a whale or two. Got seasick once also. There is a pod of Gray Whales that can sometimes be seen year-round as they don’t migrate. Sometimes they come into the outer bay area to rub the barnacles off of their bellies. It’s very exciting when you see your first whale either from a boat or from shore. The bay also has a few commercial fishing boats that operate out of it. The first 2 photos are of the outer bay areas.

And the bay…

This photo shows the entrance into the bay under the bridge. A captain has to know how to navigate this entrance so as not to crash up on the concrete. You can see how small the access to this bay is!

As we turn back South, there are two more examples of ocean side housing.

This day started out sunny with blue skies and not a cloud to be seen. But, it turned cloudy and stayed that way. No rain, though, and it didn’t dampen my enthusiasm for visiting familiar places. I hope you will return next time for part II of my February Adventures Along the Oregon Coast. Stay tooned….

January Adventures Along the Oregon Coast

January in Oregon is usually very rainy, but occasionally there can be a sunny day. They tend to be absolutely beautiful when they happen and a recent day was no exception. So, I headed to the Coast looking forward to new/old adventures there. Was not disappointed as it was not only sunny, but not much in the way of clouds and gorgeous blue skies.

The Historic McCullough Bridge is picturesque from the Veteran’s Memorial Park. The bridge was restored some years back. They found the original molds for the concrete walls and used them for the restoration. At this time, they have aged and look like the originals.

First stop was the bank (with a long wait) in North Bend and then pickup curbside groceries. They tried to give me someone else’s order but I KNEW I didn’t order cottage cheese….got the right order and headed West into a neighborhood I’ve never been. I roamed around there for a while until I realized I was going to have to wend my way back to Newmark Ave and did.

Then it was an easy drive to the bay road with water views and lots of interesting houses and businesses along the route. Did my heart good to see some new businesses that had popped up since the last time I was on this road. It has been a few years.

My first photographable site was what turned out to be a new statue of Charlie the Tuna. He’s popular where he’s located in Charleston Harbor. Several years ago, the original Charlie was stolen by a couple of teenagers and damaged. They were found out, got into trouble, but Charlie was returned and repaired. He sits at the Charleston visitor’s bureau. This photo is of the newer Charlie which is stationed on the north side of the bridge as you cross to enter Charleston, Oregon. There’s actually a lot of fun things to do in Charleston but that’s for another time. We’re off for ocean adventures….

There aren’t a lot of ocean views until you reach the turn off to Basdendorff Beach which I did. Basdendorff is a state park and has a very nice campground up above the beach. One of our family members often stays there. I stopped up top for this photo….

….before heading down to the beach. There are a lot of younger adults that hang at Basdendorff and they were here. There were also surfers. I think it takes a lot of moxey to surf the Pacific Ocean which has a mean temperature of about 55*. But this is the middle of January!!! Beautiful day but chilly. Not sure their wetsuits are all that insulating. Ah, to be young!

Could not get enough of this beach…..

On down the road is one of our family’s favorite places, Sunset Bay State Park. When the tide is out, you can go tide pooling to see all the small creatures that live in the tide pools, including purple Sea Stars, Cucumbers, Turban Snails, Mussels and more. And we have. It’s quite an adventure out to the furthest point on the right. There are also picnic tables and the beautiful beach.

Birds abound in this small bay which is more cove than bay in this writer’s opinion. Gulls and Terns…..

And this Black Bird flew right in front of the camera to pose for this one….

Traveling on we pass Shore Acres State Park. It is a fee area so I skipped it today. Shore Acres is where the best Christmas light display anywhere happens when there isn’t any Covid 19. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen this year but hopefully in December 2021! There’s a viewpoint here that is toted as the best place on the Oregon Coast to storm watch because the waves crash against the rocks and shoot up many feet.

Past Shore Acres is another family favorite state park, Cape Arago. There is a lighthouse as this picture demonstrates, but it is closed to visitors. Still quite the photo op….

On down, or rather up as the road climbs at this point up to the cape. A stop to view Simpson’s Reef where the many Harbor Seals, California Sea Lions, Stellar Sea Lions and Elephant Sea Lions hang out at various times of the year. The Harbor Seals have pups here on the beach. If you look closely at this photo, you can see them on that beach out on the reef.

When there are more of the various varieties, the Harbor Seals are often in the cove. At low tide, this is another great place to go tide pooling. One year on the climb back up, we stopped to sit on a handy bench about half way up. A young family member spotted their first whale here. It was feeding just beyond the reef. Real excitement

On the way back up the coast I pulled into Eel Lake. It is a small, inland lake along the coast road. There is a large, public park with a beach, dock, picnic tables and boat launch. On the south side is a campground. But, my favorite part is the hiking trail that goes part way around the lake. It’s a beautiful place to hike with the lake in view all the way.

We never pass up the opportunity to visit the Umpqua River Lighthouse perched up above the Dunes and Ocean view. Just behind the lighthouse is another small, inland coast lake, Lake Marie. This is another great place to hike. A shorter hike than Eel Lake, 3 rounds are great exercise. Here, too, is a small beach and picnic tables. No motorized boats on this lake but a row boat with people fishing can often be seen and canoes and kayaks enjoy paddling along here. There is a lot of fishing from the banks, too. One day I was hiking along the north side of the lake when 4 fellas suddenly appeared out of the forest. It was an abrupt surprise. They were mushroom hunting in the forest. Many people do that to make some extra income.

Parked to enjoy the expansive ocean view, oyster beds and jettys where the
whales can be seen during migrations north and south, behind us is our favorite lighthouse….If you get to this part of the Oregon Coast, don’t miss the chance to visit these ocean places.

The Musketeers

I’ve been watching a limited series on Hulu titled“The Musketeers.” It is based on the characters of the Alexander Dumas historical novel, “The Three Musketeers,” written in the 1800s.

In watching this series, the term “swashbuckling’ repeatedly comes to mind with visions of Dumas’s Musketeers and the Earl Flynn movies of the 1930s.

The Dumas novel is the epitome of “swashbuckling swashbucklers.” Swashbuckling is described as “engaging in daring and romantic adventures with bravado or flamboyance.” Swashbucklers are described as “heroic protagonistic characters who are skilled in swordplay, acrobatics, guile and chivalrous ideals.”

“The Musketeers” is all of this and I highly recommend this series on Hulu. You will be transported to a time in history filled with good, bad, divine, ugly, faith and a lot of swashbuckling! I didn’t want it to end!

  Aramis Athos D’Artagnan Porthos
Santiago Cabrera Tom Burke Luke Pasqualino Howard Charles

Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh, My….Part II

ZooLights at the Phoenix, Arizona zoo has new light displays scattered throughout the zoo grounds this year. They are totally awesome and are worth the trip alone. I will let them speak for themselves as the photos turned out well. Enjoy these great displays.

This could become an annual event on our holiday list. If you get to Phoenix during the holidays, don’t miss this one. It starts December 1 and runs through January 1.


Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh, My!


The Phoenix Zoo puts on a holiday light display that is second to none. Zoo Lights or Lights At The Zoo provides a spectacular array of light displays. We recently visited this night-time event at the zoo. I took 195 pictures, 57 of which will make it into 2 different blog posts! The first post here shows the colored lights creatively designed in oh so many ways.

This is the entrance to the zoo.

Many visitors dressed for the occasion with santa hats and lights that blinked, twinkled or stayed stationary. This photo is of a VERY young visitor being pulled in a wagon that is all lit up. She had a head band with 2 twinkling lights and was on the move as you can tell.

The lion and tiger here have tails that wave from atop this building.

This purple tree was spectacular and the photo can’t do it justice. It has shooting lights as well as what you can see.

Everyone walked through the tunnel of lights!

Entering the aquarium. A ‘jelly’ and a ray.

All along the paths there are moving/jumping/leaping light displays. I actually managed to capture this cricket as it flashed along.

The Saguaro Cactus is the Arizona state tree/flower and protected. They can be seen growing wild at a bit higher altitude than Phoenix. But, they are a popular plant in yards and gardens. Here on the Sonoran Desert you can see them in many landscapes. This time of year they are often wrapped in holiday lights as they are here at the zoo with a squirrel in the foreground.

There were a variety of trees wrapped or strung with lights. On this one, the lights rolled off and on. I somehow managed to capture it when the lights were at their best.

The next few photos just give you an idea of some of the many displays. The rattlesnake’s rattles rattle and the dragonfly’s wings flap. Can you spot Big Foot?


We are especially fond of Big Horn Sheep. The sculptures you will see are some of the most beautiful I’ve ever come across! I was actually taking a photo of the lizard and didn’t notice them at first.

Under the sea…

The humming bird’s wings flap….

There were reindeer visiting from California. Kids were fascinated. There was a set of reindeer horns for them to touch.

On one side of the lake light displays dance to music. And on the other side is this awesome sight…

The bees were definitely buzzing around their honey hive with flapping wings…

The Praying Mantis is a personal favorite. I used to play with them when I was a child.

Butterfly wings also flap….

Just a bunny and her carrot….

Watch for part II coming soon with this year’s new, different and awesome displays.