Saturday, November 24, 2018
Greg and I spent Thanksgiving weekend in the Coos Bay area. We drove down Friday in the POURING rain, and since the weather was so abysmal we did a fun indoor activity: wine-tasting! We visited three tasting rooms in the little town of Elkton, which I visited on a much nicer day back in 2012:
We drove on, stopping at the Dean Creek Elk Viewing Area. Most of the elk were far away, but we saw a few that were close:
We checked into our yurt at Sunset Bay State Park, then backtracked 20 minutes into town for dinner.
The next day we did a hike that started at the Sunset Bay day use area:
Before long we reached a nice viewpoint:
Hiking on we continued to see cool rock formations and great views:
We also had views of the Cape Arago Lighthouse:
Looking back along our route:
Erosion is constant at the coast. We saw this broken fence dangling along the cliff edge:
Loved the clash of water and rock:
Saw several cool mushrooms:
As we approached the main part of Shore Acres State Park we crossed the old tennis courts:
Cool cannonball rocks:
Louis J. Simpson built a mansion here in 1907. It burned down in 1921, was rebuilt in 1928, and then the property was sold to the state in 1942. The second mansion was razed in 1948. This observatory now sits on the site. It has nice views and interpretive signs explaining the history and geology of this place:
Looking north from the Observatory. Starting to get colder and cloudier:
The botanical garden from the Simpson days is still here. We would return in a few hours to see the holiday light show here:
We made a loop by walking back on the old Simpson driveway:
After some hot tea back at the yurt we drove to the third state park in the chain, Cape Arago. We walked down a short trail to see the sea lions. What a racket!
There were a lot of them gathered on that rock out there, which we would see from a roadside viewpoint the next day:
After dinner we went back to the park to see the holiday lights. The backup of cars waiting to get in had been VERY long earlier, but later in the evening we only had to wait at the staging area for about 10 minutes.
An underwater scene:
I’ve been wanting to see the holiday lights at Shore Acres for decades, so I’m glad I finally got to see them!