Friday, January 7, 2011

Day 5 on the Oregon Coast

A little exploration of Bullards Beach State Park was on the morning agenda for Day 5. This is a large state park and we decided to drive around in advance of our return to Highway 101. Good thing. The lighthouse was three miles from the campsite. That would have been a long walk round trip with two little dogs, especially Buddy.

The Coquille River Light was built in 1896 and remained in operation until 1939. It was replaced by the automatic light on the south jetty (seen just to the left and behind the lighthouse below). Of the eight remaining lighthouses on the Oregon coast, this one was the last one built. It is also on the National Register of Historic Places. We had the area to ourselves on this gray morning.

Coquille River Lighthouse

Karl was able to get in contact with a fishing buddy the night before and plans were made to rendezvous with Roy later in the morning up in Charleston just outside of Coos Bay. The guys were going to try to get some fishing in.

Camper at Bullards Beach State Park
(Note kayak on plays an important part later in the day) 

Karl has mostly good memories of the Coos Bay area since he was stationed there during his service in the Coast Guard thirty years earlier. His ship was the USCGC Citrus. We drove by the old dock that definitely had seen better days. It looked like it was falling into disrepair. The new and smaller vessel that replaced the Citrus is now moored a couple of hundred yards further up the river.

The Citrus Dock in Coos Bay

We also had to swing by the auto parts store to pick up the new windshield wiper relay that was ordered for us a few days earlier. We replaced the relay and then tested the wipers. Problem NOT solved. Oh well, it cost under $12 so we weren't out much money. We'd have to postpone the case of the crazy wipers until we got home. At least it wasn't raining for the moment.

We met up with Roy but ocean conditions were not favorable for the guys to launch their kayaks. Off we went to Empire Lakes in North Bend. The sun was trying to make an appearance and was marginally succeeding.

Upon arrival at Empire Lakes, Karl climbed on top of the camper so we could offload the kayak over the side. I would be on the ground to help guide it gently down. As the kayak cleared the camper side, it tilted ever so slightly and water started to drain out and onto to me. I stepped back to avoid the temporary waterfall. A little angel must have been watching out for me because at that exact moment, the kayak handle broke and 70 pounds of orange plastic came plummeting down. Orange crush, anyone?

Silly me, I instinctively reached out to keep the kayak from hitting the truck and camper. It hit my hand and left it stinging for a couple of hours, but fortunately, I was not hurt. Karl was mortified!! I think it scared him more than me.

Things settled down, the yak sustained a few minor scratches but no cracks, and the guys launched to get some fishing in. Both of them are in a year-long tournament and they wanted to catch a large trout to increase their points total.

 A Heron at Empire Lakes



While they were on the lake, I went in search of an RV parts dealer to replace a vent cap that the kayak had knocked off when it moved during the storm two days earlier. The dealership was closed but I entertained myself by looking in the windows of the campers on their lot. It was a good thing they were closed or I might have had to indulge in some retail therapy. Oh honey, I got a vent cap and it came with a "new" camper. There was a used camper that would have fit nicely in the bed of the truck with lots of bells and whistles.

I checked back in with the guys at the lake and found they were not successful in their efforts to improve their standings in the tournament. :(

Later, the three of us went to dinner at a local Mexican restaurant that we previously had patronized. I ordered my go-to Mexican dish of Carne Asada. It was nothing like any previous meals I've ordered in other restaurants. I have an aversion to green peppers and this came covered, smothered, blanketed in green peppers and onions. Ugh! Not only that, I swear the meat didn't have any carne asada seasoning on it. Karl also ordered the Carne Asada. He likes onions and peppers and even he thought it was a terrible dish. Guess we won't be going back there.

We returned to Roy's where we camped out in his driveway. After watching a movie (The Book of Eli with Denzel Washington), we retired for the evening. It had been a long and eventful day, and we didn't even drive far! Less than fifty miles.

Next...are fish in Karl and Roy's future?


Cildemer said...

Great pics! Love the lighthouse and the one with the birds!
Hope your hand is OK.

Have a beautiful weekend****

don said...

I enjoyed seeing all the places you visited and the comment is informative and entertaining. Good post!

Gaelyn said...

Wow, what an eventful day. You were very lucky when the kayak fell. The lake they were on is quite beautiful, and looks a little cold. But then I'm not a fisherman. Nice old lighthouse. Don't think I've seen that one on my OR coast visits.