Saturday, May 30, 2015


Tolowa Dunes State Park
On our penultimate day in Brookings, we decided to drive south to Tolowa Dunes State Park which is just north of Crescent City.   This is a beach that has areas of small pebbles with people laying flat on their stomachs scratching around in the stones for agates.  It is the strangest sight, almost like a bunch of beached whales except they are gemstone hunters.  We had hoped that we would get some sun for our beach day, but no such luck as you can see in the photo, I am layered up to protect myself from the biting cold wind and damp fog.  
Unger Bay Fish n' Chips
Wednesday was our day of travel.  We drove up to Winchester Bay RV Park which is on a bay where oyster harvesting takes place.  The park is beautiful and is owned by the Salmon Harbor Marina.  Nice wide spaces with grass and trees, modern hookups, and views of either the inner harbor or the outer bay from every site.  The down side is that the wind rushes up the bay almost 24/7 and the fog is pervasive although we did have about an hours worth of sun when we arrived.  The first thing we did after getting settled was head over to the harbor for fish and chips.  The restaurant is actually a floating barge and has some of the best halibut and chips ever.  
In the evening we took a drive around the end of the peninsula to see the dunes.  This is ATV heaven, with trails running every which way over and around the sand dunes.  They had their own campgrounds, thank goodness.    
Dean Creek Elk Reserve
Winchester Bay is located about 5 miles south of Reedsport where we went the following day.   We had breakfast at the Harbor Lights Cafe and then drove east about 5 miles to the Dean Creek Elk Reserve.  Every time we are in this area, we drive to the reserve in hopes of seeing the elk, with no luck at all.  But finally we saw some elk and they were everywhere.  Plus they did not seem at all perturbed with all the people taking photos.  
This reserve was created in the 1990's by the combined efforts of Duck's Unlimited, Fish and Game, and (I think) the Dept of Interior.  In addition to the Roosevelt Elk, the reserve is for migrating birds to have a place to stop, eat, and rest on their flights north or south.  There were four large ponds created and various kinds of bird sanctuary houses were built for the different kinds of birds.   The reserve runs about 5 miles along the Umpqua River.  It was a lucky day in more ways than one because in addition to seeing the elk, the sun also came out.  

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