Florence, Coos Bay and a Bike Ride

On Friday Morning, we all went to the beach, so I could fly my new kite. It had been 50 years or more since I had a kite. Joanette thought it would be a fun birthday present, given there were miles of beach with constant wind to make kite flying easy.

After lunch, We drove the 11 miles North to Heceta Head Lighthouse. This lighthouse is one of the must see attractions near Florence.

Bill in front of the lighthouse

Sunday, I planned a ride from our camp to the North Fork of the Siuslaw River valley and later met Bill in Florence for lunch. Keith and Joanette had driven to Eugene to walk in a MDA fundraiser.

The river valley had extreme high cliffs, but was fairly wide and was filled with small farms. There was almost no traffic on a Sunday morning. I enjoyed the peace and quiet and the beautiful vistas.

Monday, the four of us drove down the coast to Coos Bay. Coos Bay is a logging town that has been an important commercial center since the mid 19th century. Originally called Marshfield, after a city in Massachusetts, it was founded in 1853. At that time transportation over the Oregon Coastal range was very difficult, so most goods came and left by ship. The natural protection provided by the bay and the mining and logging interests made the bay and the adjacent Marshfield very active places. A rough road over the Coastal range opened land travel, but it remained difficult. Finally, a rail line was completed in 1916. Then growth was steady the next few decades. Today Coos Bay remains an active logging center and tourist destination, but the mining industry has disappeared.

After visiting the boardwalk and having lunch at The Blue Heron, a decent German restaurant right in downtown, we stopped by Mingus Park to visit the Choshi Japanese Gardens, named in honor of Coos Bay’s sister city relationship. Choshi is also a Pacific coast city, located east of Tokyo.

Tuesday was a warm and sunny day, so we decided to go to the beach. We chose a little cove just off the North jetty as the Siuslaw River empties into the Pacific. As we arrived, we noticed the tide was heading out, and after an hour or so, the water level had dropped enough that there was a visible sandbar crossing the cove. During the morning, we were treated to a bob of seals, playing in the cove. As the water level dropped, most headed out into the river. It was a very relaxing beach day. Keith and I decided to walk out on the sandbar to get a closer look at the seals. That didn’t work, as they just moved farther away as we approached. But that water was cold on our feet.

Since it had been a very nice day and the evening was still warm, with very little wind, we went to Heceta Beach to watch sunset. It wasn’t a spectacular sunset, but we enjoyed it nonetheless.

I realized that I haven’t mentioned Mouse in a while. Well he is doing great. He gets his daily walks and plenty of time in the tent room to soak in the sun.

Well that is it for now. I tried a new format that Joanette is using. It allows various ways to display the pictures. I am checking it out.

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