Shifting Sands

Current Location: Crescent City, California 53 degrees and raining

The title says more than you might think.  Isn’t it funny how life sometimes can be a metaphor of itself?  On the surface, the shifting sands that I refer to, are the famous Oregon Dunes. Our life is doing a bit of shifting as well, like the dunes, nothing stays the same.camping at Honeyman (17 of 54)

Mo and I needed an escape.  If we go more than a month without a MoHo getaway, that hitch-itch thing sets in and no matter the season, no matter the weather, getting on the road for a bit is a good thing.  Just to change the daily scenery now and then keeps things fresh.

camping at Honeyman (21 of 54)In spite of predicted rain, a trip to the coast sounded like the best plan.  Even without a “real” winter behind us, the deserts east of Klamath Falls that we love are much too cold, and the wildflowers in the southern deserts are just too far away.  Neither of us was up for another marathon trip south.

Instead, we decided to escape again to the Oregon coast and then travel south toward the beautiful Lost Coast region of Northern California.  Some of the shifting dune life thing has to do with some surgery coming up for me in April.  Nothing serious, but needed, and with the best surgeon for the procedure located in Springfield, we are making several trips there for pre-tests, consultations, and all the hoopla that goes along with this kind of stuff.  Boring.

We spent a night at the mall in Eugene between appointments, and then quickly made our escape after the last early morning doctor visit.  Eugene is just a little over an hour from Florence, and there are many campgrounds in that vicinity that we haven’t yet explored.

camping at Honeyman (2 of 54)One of the reasons we wanted to stay in the Florence area has to do with the amazing kayaking opportunities.  This time, no kayaks, for several reasons, predicted hard rain among them, and thinking about doctor visits and loading up kayaks didn’t seem to go together. 

Checking the maps and the campsites, we decided on Jessie M Honeyman State Park.  We have avoided this area in the past, choosing to stay away from all the ATV’s that come here for the dunes.  With Spring Break beginning, we had no clue what to expect, but in spite of having no reservation, we managed to find a sweet little spot in Loop F, just down from the ATV loop H, completely booked and reserved and already teeming with ATV’s, big trailers, and lots of little kids and little bikes.  It looked like great family fun.

We learned that unless you are actually camped in H loop, there is no public ATV access to the dunes via the trail that leads west from the campground.  That limits the crowds somewhat.  There are no ATV’s allowed beyond the H loop, and the background noise in the rest of the campground really is quite minimal.  camping at Honeyman (35 of 54)

Honeyman is a wonderful state park, second only in size to the huge Fort Stevens State Park near Astoria where we stayed a couple of years ago.  At Honeyman, the trees are huge, but access to the ocean is across more than 2 miles of dunes, and not something to undertake lightly.  camping at Honeyman (33 of 54)

camping at Honeyman (42 of 54)We didn’t even try, although we did manage to crawl around on the dunes a bit from the access trail near our campsite.  Literally crawl, I might say.  The dune was so steep I could no longer get up standing up and had to resort to climbing on all fours to get to the top.  Fun stuff!  Going down was interesting as well.  Seems as though sandboarding could be fun, but for me not worth the effort of trying to get back up!camping at Honeyman (24 of 54)camping at Honeyman (53 of 54)camping at Honeyman (27 of 54)

We spent a couple of days enjoying nearby Florence, once again exploring Old Town along Bay Street, having coffees on the protected patio of the Suislaw Coffee Company, and browsing the cute little shops.  We also explored both North and South Jetty roads, enjoying the gorgeous beaches and sand dunes in the beautiful sunshine. Structure construction with driftwood seems to be a big “thing” on the north beach.camping at Honeyman (10 of 54)

The predicted rains gave us a bit of a break on both days, coming only in late afternoon when we were through exploring and then again at night to drum on the roof with soothing sounds that make sleeping a treat.

On another day we explored the historic area of the park, with stone buildings and walls built by the CCC in the 30’s.  There are three fresh water lakes within the boundaries of Honeyman State Park, and while small, they would still be delightful to paddle and explore the inlets and byways.  There are actually more than 30 freshwater lakes nearby in the Florence area.camping at Honeyman (46 of 54)

camping at Honeyman (47 of 54)After a couple of days we headed south along our favorite stretch of the Oregon Coast, between Florence and Brookings.  Just north of Gold Beach there are several huge wide graveled overlooks that just beg for boondocking, without a single sign saying “no overnight camping”.

We used one for a great extended lunch stop, listening to the ocean and watching the light change on the waves.

lunch stop north of Gold Beach (5 of 9)Our goal this trip was to stay in places we haven’t yet, but we couldn’t resist making a quick drive through Harris Beach State Park, just to see how full it was on this pre Spring Break weekend.  Every. Single. Hookup site was either filled or booked, not a place to park anywhere.  Don’t even try to get a place at Harris Beach without a reservation this time of year.  Most of the sites were booked through the following week, so arriving on a weekday wouldn’t necessarily assure you a spot.lunch stop north of Gold Beach (8 of 9)

The sun was gorgeous for the rest of the trip south, with brilliant green everywhere and beautiful blue skies.  By mid afternoon, when we arrived at Crescent City, there was still no sign of the coming storm.lunch stop north of Gold Beach (7 of 9)

There are three RV campgrounds near town, and we chose what appeared to be the best of them.  Mo wanted to have a day to explore around Crescent City, something we haven’t done much in the past, simply driving through on our trips south. We settled in at Sunset Harbor RV Park, using the after hours/weekend check-in process.  The park advertises free WiFi, but we won’t have access to that, or to the bathrooms because no one is around to give out the codes.  The place is clean enough, and quiet, a simple stopover place while in Crescent City before we continue south on Monday.

In the mean time, we have a few plans for the rainy day ahead, including some writing and reading and probably a card game or two.  At least it is a break from all the shifting sands back home.

Those shifts have to do with our plan to eventually live on the property in Grants Pass.  We have begun the process.  In addition, I have decided to sell my house in Klamath Falls where my daughter has lived for the last almost 8 years.  She is ready to downsize and my granddaughter is ready for her first apartment.  Voila!  Mo has some apartments!  Just a small group of units outside of town that she has rented over the years, but they needed a ton of work before the next renters could move in.  We have been busy!  And now Melody and Axel will be moving there and Mo and I will be doing a ton more work on my house in town getting it ready for sale.  Hence the needed break!

Over the next couple of years, we will get Rocky Point ready for the change as well, and are already enjoying the process of looking at plans for the house that will eventually be our home in Grants Pass, land of no snow.  Although Rocky Point seems to be the land of no snow for the last couple of winters, but that can’t last forever.

Author: kyotesue

Soil scientist/mapper working for 35 years in the wild lands of the West. I am now retired, enjoying my freedom to travel, to hike without a shovel and a pack, to knit and quilt and play, to play with photography and write stories about all of it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: