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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Winchester Bay

Yesterday (Monday) was a chilly, damp, "typical" Oregon day and the prediction was the same for today. Thankfully, the weather was much better today with sunny, partly cloudy skies, and was a good day for a road trip. Our last day here in Florence, we decided to head south on 101 to the community of Winchester Bay. Our first stop was the Dean Creek Elk Viewing Area near the little community of Gardiner. We found a nice herd of about 25 elk maybe 50 yards from the highway. There were quite a few young elk, many females and 2 bulls in the herd. The larger bull was obviously the "boss" elk who seemed to be busy checking on his harem and keeping the younger bull elk at a distance. We stopped at a nearby convenience store for some drinks and Pat noticed a display of alcoholic beverages with the name Carolina on them. She stopped and read the fine print, and low and behold, they were from a brewery in Kings Mountain, NC, very near our home in Shelby. The name of the brewery is Stout Brewery, which I never heard of until driving 2500 miles from home! How wild is that! Our next stop was to find Umpqua Aquaculture Oyster farm near Winchester Bay. Their oysters are farm raised and supposedly more sweeter than conventional oysters due to the method and area they are grown in. We purchased  two 16 ounce containers and cooked them for dinner tonight, and I have to say, they are the best oysters I have ever tasted, and I think the rest of our group agrees with me. From there, we went in search of the Umpqua Lighthouse, which was very near the oyster farm. This lighthouse is actually the second one built here as the original one collapsed not long after being operational. The current lighthouse was built further inland and on a more stable foundation. It is still operational but has been upgraded several times. This section of Oregon is widely known as having large sand dunes. There are several national and state parks in the region to provide large recreational areas used for off road vehicles and ATV's.

Tomorrow, (Wednesday) we're back on the road heading south on US Highway 101 with our destination being Charleston, Oregon, very near the famous city of Coos Bay. Tomorrow will be a short trip of only 50 miles. We have reservations at Charleston Marina RV Park for 3 days and look forward to exploring this area.

Herd of elk on Highway 38 near Gardiner, Or.

The "Boss" elk

Elk Viewing Center

Umpqua Lighthouse

View of oyster farm from Light House.

Oyster Farm. There are lines or ropes between the buoys. The oysters attach themselves to the lines and are suspended above the ocean bottom creating a more sweet oyster due to not having sediments in their area.

The oyster farm retail building

Our oysters for dinner tonight. Fried on the left and sauteed on the right. Man they were scrumptious!

Low lying areas on the west coast are in a Tsunami region. Warning systems like the above siren are in place to warn personnel in the event of  tsunami.

Alcoholic beverage brewed near our home in NC and shipped all the way to the west coast.

1 comment:

  1. Your blog is wonderful and your trip looks amazing. I have decided I want to be you when I grow up. Kerri Melton