Driving to California, Part 1: South Oregon Coast

Arch Rock, Southern Oregon Coast
Arch Rock, Southern Oregon Coast

Driving down to California from Seattle for my Bachelor Party, so why not take the scenic route? My original plan was to drive straight to Crater Lake for camping, but last night’s lightning brought a couple dozen forest fires to the area around the park.  The gas station attendant had printouts of the latest fire news and was super helpful.  Thanks for the beta!

Instead, I decided to head west to the Oregon Coast.  I reached Highway 101 at Bandon around sunset and then drove south in the dark for a couple of hours.  When the fog began to really set in, I decided to stop in Gold Beach so I could really enjoy the coast the next morning.  I had ambitious plans to camp overnight in a Walmart parking lot in California (since Crater Lake was out), but instead I buckled for the really, really nice upgraded Motel 6 in Gold Beach.  Ahh, roughing it.

Saw some deer foraging in the parking lot while I fetched my complimentary morning coffee from the office.  The deer and I enjoyed a brief moment before we got bored of each other and went about looking for more food/coffee.  

I’m glad I stopped overnight so that I was able to see the stunning Southern Oregon Coast in the daylight.  The coastline is really dramatic and powerful, even in the morning fog.  

Sea Stacks? Check.  Viewpoint at Myers Creek, Southern Oregon Coast
Sea Stacks? Check.  Viewpoint at Myers Creek, Southern Oregon Coast

The rest of the drive on the Southern Oregon Coast was still amazing.  One note for the future:  just north of Brookings, OR is the amazing Harris Campground.  This area is just a short walk from town and has easy beach access, and it has a couple of campsites that are on a bluff with commanding views of the ocean.  All of those sites seemed to be dominated by RVs that looked like they weren’t planning on leaving anytime soon, so I drove onward and passed the border into California.

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