(C) 2002-2014 J. Watson       All rights reserved  

Gold Beach.  From here you can take an inflatable fifty miles up
the Rogue River for lunch – it’s fun.  Learn of the floods as you
travel through the gorge of a swift flowing river, famous for salmon
fishing.  We saw a bear on shore, standing up on its hind legs and
munching some tasty berries.  Continue north on US-101 to…

Coos Bay, a lumbering town throughout the 1900s.  A casino is at
the north end of town.  From the center of town drive to the coast
Charleston and pass the Shore Acres State Park.  A couple
of miles south of the park is Simpson Reef, a remarkable
observation point that overlooks a rocky area with hundreds (yes,
hundreds) of seals and sea lions.  This is the largest
concentration of seals and sea lions on the Oregon coast.  Their
barking can be heard a half mile away.  Then, if plants are in
bloom visit the
Shore Acres State Park gardens – outstanding,
especially the rose gardens.  

Go north to pass
Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area,
maybe you’ll want to explore, then go on to …

Reedsport.  Take time to drive east of Reedsport about three
miles on Route 38 to the elk viewing area.  Several years ago we
saw 76 elk, all in a single line, like soldiers on review.  What a
sight!  More recently we’ve seen two or three groups of over a
dozen at one time.

Approaching Florence, on the western side of US-101, is
Sandland Adventures.  Several years ago we each rented an
ATV.  They offer a variety of rides.  Ride over the great sand
dunes – as much as 250 feet high, of the
Oregon Dunes National
Recreation Area
.  It is a lot of fun.  Head north along the coast to…

Florence.  A bit north is Sea Lion Caves, which is a large cavern
inhabited by sea lions.  Picturesque and informative.  Further
north, just past Pacific City on the ocean, is the…

Cape Kiawanda.  Distinguished by the monolith (referred to as a
“haystack”) with surfboarding (photo), dory launching, and it’s a
popular hangout for young people with a micro brewery.  Climb
the high sand dune for a splendid view of the beach.  From here
you can continue to…

McMinnville.  Did you ever hear of the Spruce Goose, which is
displayed here?  This is the large plane, a flying boat, built in the
1940s.  Howard Hughes built it of wood during WW2 and it was
intended to carry as many as 500+ troops at a time over the
Atlantic Ocean when German subs were sinking US ships faster
than they could be built.  As a point of reference: at that time the
DC-3 was the largest passenger plane in commercial use and it
carried twenty-one passengers.  The
Spruce Goose wasn’t
completed until 1947, two years after the war.  Learn of its flying
history.  (In early 1946, I saw the giant pieces being transported to
Terminal Island, outside of Long Beach, California where it was
later assembled – the sight of it at the time was beyond belief.)

After seeing the
Spruce Goose, if it is a clear day, go to the
nearby airport and take a glider ride up a mile or so – what a
sensational view.  We could see over 150 miles and it was not
considered unusual.  At this point you can consider Bend and
Crater Lake National Park, or return to US-101 and head north to
Tillamook.  Two places put Tillamook on the map.  The Tillamook
Cheese Factory
provides a view of the production of cheese.  By
all means enjoy some of the cheese curds – when they are fresh
they are delicious.  The
Naval Air Station Museum is on our “to
see” list. Continue along the coast to…  

Cannon Beach.  This is a popular picturesque family beach, so
popular that it has lost some of the character that people
associate with the community – but family kite flying and kids
making sand castles are in style.  A monolith dominates the beach
as well as the remains of a ship’s skeleton.  Then for a taste of
history head north to…

Astoria.  Just south of Astoria is Fort Clatsop National Memorial
. This is a replica of the log fort constructed by members of
the Lewis and Clark expedition in 1805.  Exhibits describe the
remarkable journey across the wilderness of western US.  A visit is
well worth the time.


From here connect to:
Route C   Northern California & Oregon - Interior route
Route E   Washington State to New York State
Route F   Oregon to Colorado
The lone haystack dominates the Cape Kiawanda view
Lewis & Clark spent the winter of 1805 at Fort Clatsop
Oregon has done a marvelous job of protecting much of the coast from over-development.  
There are numerous scenic oceanfront overlooks and state parks along the way.  It is truly
one of the more beautiful parts of your coastal trip. Take time to enjoy.  You don’t gain any
time by rushing on the narrow road.  The Oregon coastal road (US-101) is two lanes wide
and has numerous twists and hills.  The road surface is good.  It is worth the hassle.  Large
timber trucks travel the road so it is quite passable.  Going north you are inboard of the sheer
unprotected drop-offs on the ocean-side.

Inland (Route C) is a scenic mountainous area with numerous volcanoes.  Visitors can climb
the volcano cones or go into volcano caves (or tubes).  
Crater Lake National Park is formed
in an extinct volcano.  With a mild climate, the Bend area is a popular retirement area.   
Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area goes for miles and miles along the coast
Elk can be seen at several places in the redwood area as well as Reedsport
Travel Letters
Gliders at McMinnville, OR airport
Seals at Simpson Reef, near Coos Bay