Oregon’s South Coast (and III)

Day Three — Going back home

This is the last piece of a series about the Oregon’s South Coast. You can read the first part here: Oregon’s South Coast (I), and the second one here: Oregon’s South Coast (II).

Last day and still a lot of things to see. We had a long drive to Portland ahead of us so we decided to cut it short and come back another time to visit the places we were going to miss (basically, everything north of Reedsport and south of Newport, say: the Oregon Dunes, Florence, Cape Perpetua…).

So we finally spent our last day visiting three places: Cape Arago, the Umpqua River and a very last minute nice surprise, Cottage Grove.

But first things first, we took a short hike near Port Orford and then we stopped at Bandon again.

Deer in Port Orford; Bandon

Cape Arago

Cape Arago is one of the few State Parks around Coos Bay. We accessed the park using the “south path” (if that’s a thing), and that means we drove for more than half an hour on terrible roads. We left it using the northern route and that was much easier and faster.

Anyway, the first thing you see is a little bay called “First Creek”.

Deeper into the park, you have really good views of hundreds of sea lions hanging out and being loud. Some people didn’t seem to mind and they were having a picnic, some of them even cooking on a grill.

Among the local fauna, we located a few specimens of hillbillies. Dogs on the back of trucks trying not to fall off, and big fat guys driving Jeeps.

Reedsport and Umpqua River

Reedsport is a small town on the Umpqua River delta, and the gate to the Oregon Dunes. Something we didn’t have the chance to see on this trip. But we drove around and checked out some cool bridges, farms, and abandoned rail trails.

Elk — Finally! After seeing signs warning about elk all over Vancouver Island, and in some places in Washington and Oregon, this time was a true warning. There are a couple of places called “Elk Viewpoint”, and somehow there they were. Really far away, truth be told, so we had to use the binoculars at the viewpoint (notice that on the photo on the left).

Leaving the coast, the road goes by the Umpqua River, a pretty nice place.

Cottage Grove

Following signs for “Historic Town”, and attracted by the proximity of the sunset, we decided to give it a try. This town was named one of the 10 “All-America cities twice, the most of any town in Oregon. I don’t really believe in those kind of awards, but I have to admit this little town was very charming and I’ll be going back soon.

It’s also called “Covered Bridge Capital of Oregon” because of its 6 covered bridges. They even have an scenic bikeway.

Going from Cottage Grove to Portland took us more than 2 hours, so there were no more stops. It was a really nice and sunny weekend in one of the most beautiful parts of Oregon to which I’ve been. All the nature and small towns really deserve another visit. We’ll be coming back for whale watching and to check out the area between Newport and Reedsport.

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