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Old 04-15-2013, 04:32 AM   #1
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TWOLOST: Oregon Coast; April, 2013


Just returned home from a week on the Oregon Coast.

It was another GREAT trip for us.



Cheers,
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Old 04-15-2013, 04:33 AM   #2
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Re: TWOLOST: Oregon Coast; April, 2013 (In Progress...)


April, 06: North Bend, WA to Depoe Bay, OR

This trip had been penciled in and on our calendar for well over a year. My wife had done a great job of grocery acquisition and advanced meal preparation. Our three year old daughter was amped and ready to go. However, on departure day it was me - once again - that was woefully behind. I was still checking wiper fluid levels, applying Rain-X to the windshield, and working down through my packing list long after we should have been on the road. Our plan was to drive from North Bend, WA to Depoe Bay, OR in one day - with a few stops. One of those scheduled stops was in Tillamook, OR for ice cream (something I had been building up to our daughter for weeks). With my latent preparation, I was now putting our Tillamook stop in jeopardy as everything else that day would have to go just right in order for us to catch the Tillamook Creamery before they closed for the night.


Even though we had our camper van on this trip... we opted to stay in a time-share condo for our home-base of operations. The time-share sits on a small bluff within spitting distance of the Pacific Ocean and is a great place to unwind, relax, and take it all in - one slow day at a time. While I am sure that was my wife's expectation… I had other ideas (off-road ideas).



The Astoria Bridge (from the Washington side).



The Astoria Bridge (from the Oregon side).



With 20 minutes to spare before closing, we landed in Tillamook. This was an important victory for me (as I would have had a lot of explaining to do to our three year old had I blown it).



Future Sportsmobile pilot??






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Old 04-15-2013, 04:33 AM   #3
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Re: TWOLOST: Oregon Coast; April, 2013 (In Progress...)


April, 07: Depoe Bay, OR

Today would be a ‘by foot’ day only. We perused the condo grounds and watched over our daughter as she burned off copious amounts of energy on the outdoor playset.




Sunset view from the balcony of our condo.









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Old 04-15-2013, 04:33 AM   #4
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Re: TWOLOST: Oregon Coast; April, 2013 (In Progress...)


April, 08: Depoe Bay, OR

Today was also a non-travel day. Local activities included taking our daughter swimming in an outdoor seemingly un-heated pool, followed immediately by a warm bath, and then some local wildlife viewing from our condo balcony. On previous Oregon Coast trips, we had seen migrating whales, sea lions, seals, and pelicans from this location - but not on this trip. We were pretty much batting zero in the aquadic mamal department and I had only seen a lone pelican since our arrival. Still, it was fun and restful to maintain a fixed location - while watching the natural chaos of the world revolve around us (for a change).


Black Oystercatcher





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Old 04-15-2013, 04:34 AM   #5
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Re: TWOLOST: Oregon Coast; April, 2013 (In Progress...)


April, 09: Depoe Bay, OR to Reedsport, OR (and Oregon Dunes National Recration Area)


We stopped at the USDA Forest Service Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area Visitor Center in Reedsport, OR to get an Oregon Dunes OHV permit, rules, maps, and information. Permit (sticker) attached to the back of the van, we headed south on Hwy 101 toward Coos Bay to the 'south' dune area. In anticipation of a dune adventure, I brought an orange 8”x12” flag from home. The south dune area (Horsfall to Spinreel) has the largest stretch of dune area at 9 miles in length. This area also has year round motorized vehicle access to the beach.

Our sand entry point was at the Horsfall Beach staging area. Prior to entering the sand, I zip-tied my flag to our light bar and locked the hubs. At first, I did not bother airing down (tires were all at 55 psi). I managed to follow the sand road for a few hundred feet and then up and over a small dune to gain access to the beach. Once on the beach, I was pretty confident that we were going to get stuck and I was going to have to start digging (even with front and rear air lockers engaged). I parked the van on the most solid surface I could run up to and then aired the tires down to 30 psi each. It was a new vehicle. I could still get it easily stuck if I wanted to but with a little care, planning, and momentum I could go just about anywhere I wanted to go. The tide was too high for comfort, so we opted to head back over the small dune and continue on the sand path that parallels the beach. Once we reached the halfway point (Hauser Beach), we drove back out onto the beach and spent an hour or so playing in the sand. We had the place to ourselves (not a single other vehicle in any direction or as far as the eye could see). Amazing. We then got back on the sand path and continued north past Saunders and up to Spinreel. There was one other pickup with a couple of quads at Spinreel. Once we hit the paved staging area, I aired back up to 55 psi all around, removed the flag, and disengaged the hubs. From there it was about 100 miles on Hwy 101 back north to Depoe Bay.

We never got stuck, not once.



Sand entry point; Horsfall Beach staging area



Alone on Horsfall Beach







Sand path that parallels the beach is known as Coast Guard



Stopped to play on the beach @ Hauser Beach































Airing back up from 30 psi to 55 psi.




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Old 04-15-2013, 04:34 AM   #6
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Re: TWOLOST: Oregon Coast; April, 2013 (In Progress...)


April, 10: Depoe Bay, OR


Another no-travel day. More swimming in the morning and then a walk around the town of Depoe Bay. Many of the shops were still closed for the season and the place was pretty empty.










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Old 04-15-2013, 04:34 AM   #7
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Re: TWOLOST: Oregon Coast; April, 2013 (In Progress...)


April, 11: Depoe Bay, OR to Florence, OR (and Oregon Dunes National Recration Area)


From Depoe Bay we headed south to Florence, OR and the ‘north’ dune area (South Jetty to Siltcoos). After first driving out to the South Jetty (via pavement), we flipped a 180 and entered the sand near the South Jetty staging area. This area also has year round motorized vehicle access to the beach. Same drill as before. Install flag, lock hubs, air down to 30 psi, and (this time) setup GoPro on light bar. Navigating north to south, we drove along the sand path (Coast Guard) that paralleled the beach until we got to an area where the path briefly intersected the beach. Again, we parked on the beach and played for an hour or so before moving on. This time, I think that we encountered four quads the whole time that we were there. We continued further south on Coast Guard until we reached a dune access point that was mostly underwater. We entered the dunes here and drove around for a while on mostly flat wet/damp terrain. We exited the dunes the same way we entered and headed south on Coast Guard again until we exited the sand at the Siltcoos Beach staging area. After returning the van to its paved road personality we headed north on Hwy 101 to Depoe Bay for the evening.



South Jetty



Airing down to 30 psi



Beach access near South Jetty staging area




























































Heceta Head Lighthouse








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Old 04-15-2013, 04:35 AM   #8
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Re: TWOLOST: Oregon Coast; April, 2013 (In Progress...)


April, 12: Depoe Bay, OR to Pacific City / Cape Kiwanda


Today we headed north out of Depoe Bay and up Hwy 101 to Pacific City and Cape Kiwanda. My intention was to do some exploring on another OHV dune area (Sand Lake). Well, before we got to the Sand Lake recreation area we entered the beach at the Pacific City/Cape Kiwanda. It was cold, overcast, and windy. We looked at some tide pools and then our daughter decided that she wanted to climb up the ‘sand dune’. The sand dune was the most prominent feature on the beach and was the jump off point where people were sand-boarding and paragliding. I agreed to help her get to the top. After a few switchbacks, photos, and rest stops… we made it. No small feat for a three year old.

After leaving the beach we headed to Tillamook for some lunch (Subway). After lunch we made it out to Sand Lake but it was just getting too late in the day for me to air down, explore, and then air back up again (at least not without adversely impacting my two travel buddies). The decision was made to head back to Depoe Bay and grab some fish and chips to-go in Lincoln City - for dinner. Even without exploring the Sand Lake recreation area to its fullest, this was still a successful and fun day.


Pacific City; Cape Kiwanda; Haystack Rock




Pacific City; Cape Kiwanda; Sand Dune



Photo sequence of just one of the many surfers that were catching waves today.


Pacific City/Cape Kiwanda; Surfing Sequence #1: Spot your opportunity for a wall ride.




Pacific City/Cape Kiwanda; Surfing Sequence #2: Commit.




Pacific City/Cape Kiwanda; Surfing Sequence #3: Wish you had committed a half second earlier.




Pacific City/Cape Kiwanda; Surfing Sequence #4: Drive through the wave collapse anyway.




Pacific City/Cape Kiwanda; Surfing Sequence #5: Emerge on-top and intact.




Pacific City/Cape Kiwanda; Surfing Sequence #6: I’ve got this.




Pacific City/Cape Kiwanda; Surfing Sequence #7: Too slow. Tip of board, submarines on the descent.




Pacific City/Cape Kiwanda; Surfing Sequence #8: A face plant is a face plant - regardless of the medium.




Pacific City/Cape Kiwanda; Surfing Sequence #9: Fish food.








The top of the dune (evidence we got there).




Let’s hurriedly get down this hill and move the van before the tide comes in...




Paraglider preparation




Advertisement for Wooden Boat Show and Crab Feed in Depoe Bay.




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Old 04-15-2013, 04:35 AM   #9
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Re: TWOLOST: Oregon Coast; April, 2013 (In Progress...)


April, 13: Depoe Bay, OR to Reedsport, OR (and Oregon Dunes National Recration Area) via the Siuslaw National Forest.


There was one more dune that I wanted to visit before this vacation was over. It was the ‘middle’ dune area of the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area (Umpqua/Winchester Bay). Umpqua was home to the tallest dunes in the area. To get to Umpqua from Depoe Bay meant another hour plus drive south on Hwy 101 past Florence, OR (something we had done a number of times already). This time, I wanted to retrace the Sasquatch Dual Sport ride put on by Sound Rider that I had attended back in 2010. While I was not familiar with the area, I still had my GPS tracks and waypoints from the 2010 ride. I recalled that the last two days of that five day **EPIC** 2010 ride tied together a number of FS roads from Coos Bay to Astoria in the Siuslaw National Forest. The forecast was for heavy rain at times and it was Saturday (which, in my mind would lead to less working forest traffic). No time better than now to wander through a costal rain forest. The idea was to drive south on Hwy 101 first and then return via the GPS tracks.

Because we had so much ground to cover we got out of Depoe Bay relatively early (on the road by 8:00am). We got just south of Yachats on Hwy 101 when we encountered a white dodge pickup hauling a quad that was purposefully blocking both lanes of traffic. The driver was not in the truck. There were two cars in front of us that were also stopped. Turns out there was a semi tractor-trailer rig that had crashed (flipped on its side and pinned between two sand drifts) just over the rise behind the dodge and it was totally blocking all lanes of traffic. The wreck had basically just happened and there was no emergency staff on-site yet. The driver of the dodge was rendering assistance. Cars began to slowly stack up behind us. Once we learned of the issue and that the issue was handled, we made a u-turn and headed back to Yachats and Waldport. Turns out, that my GPS tracks could get us around this blockage, off-road - starting in Waldport. Once in Waldport I tried to find some diesel (to no avail). I asked a gas station attendant where the nearest diesel was and he indicated that it was in Yachats. Back to Yachats we go to fill up before we go wandering around in the forest. From Yachats, I was able to locate a connecting road that met up with my GPS tracks (which meant that we did not have to back track to Waldport). Ultimately, we only did the portion of the 2010 ride that got us around the accident as my wife was getting car sick. The FS roads were as incredible as I had remembered them. Oregon has the smoothest best maintained FS road network that I have ever had the privilege of traveling on.

Once we got back on Hwy 101 we made a b-line straight for Umpqua. Umpqua does not allow vehicles on the beach, at all. That said, we parked at a wayside and went and played on the beach for a little while (once again, having the place to ourselves). Before leaving the dunes, I did put up the flag, the GoPro, and locked the hubs in preparation for some light dune travel. I did not air down this time in an attempt to save time. We entered the dunes near Banshee Hill and were able to travel across the flats and onto some light grades with little issue. The Umpqua area had the most OHV traffic, which was negligible (we may have seen up to a dozen vehicles, total). After a half hour of playing in the dunes, we reconfigured for highway use and reluctantly headed back to Depoe Bay on Hwy 101 (one last time).

In all of the dunes, sand pathways, beaches that we drove on… I never once had to use a single piece of recovery gear to get us un-stuck. With a 12,000 pound van I would not have had to try very hard to get stuck. The point is that with some care and a little caution - we drove unhindered, all over the place. I had two sets of sand ladders, a Pul-Pal, winches on both ends of the van, blocks, jacks, and a shovel… and even for an admittedly non-savvy sand driver I still did not have to use any of them.



Siuslaw National Forest; NF-58
















Beach access; Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area; Umpqua; County Road 251








Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area; Umpqua; Banshee Hill












Heceta Head; pull-out




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Old 04-15-2013, 04:35 AM   #10
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Re: TWOLOST: Oregon Coast; April, 2013 (In Progress...)


April, 14: Depoe Bay, OR back home to North Bend, WA


Columbia River; Raining in WA and sunny in OR



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