On Thursday, Bill and I left Keith and Joanette at camp and drove 1 3/4 hours to Cottage Grove, the start point of the Covered Bridges Scenic Bikeway. This bikeway passes 6 covered bridges, the Row River (pronounced like cow) and the beautiful Dorena Reservoir.
The bridges were not particularly spectacular, but traveling by bike was fun way to see them. After passing the first four bridges, we had a long distance along the river and past the reservoir before we reach the next (and our last) bridge.
We stopped at our turnaround, had Club sandwiches that we had purchased in town and then headed to our last bridge before heading back to Cottage Grove. It was a easy ride along the former rail trail.
The above picture is the Oregon, Pacific and Eastern Railway, which operated this line until 1987. This picture was during the time, 1972-87, when the railway operated a tourist passenger service, after the freight operations had been suspended. I actually remember this open area on the trail.
On our way back to Florence, we passed a little winery with a tasting room. We had noticed it on our way up and thought it would be a nice stop for the return trip.
And finally, on our drive back, we stopped at the “Elk Viewing Area.” Now, I don’t know why the Elk hang around to be viewed, since the are no visible fences, but they were there on both the outbound and return drives. They are hard to see in the photo, but there are several resting near the bottom of the hill.
We made it back in time for lasagne and garlic bread. Keith made his special recipe. Great! We enjoyed an evening around the campfire, drinking wine, and Keith’s lasagne.
On Friday morning, the four of us planned a kayaking trip on the Siltcoos River, a three mile river connecting Siltcoos Lake and the Pacific Ocean. Now, 3 miles each way may not sound like alot, but the trip took 4 hours. The river has lots of turns, lots of fallen trees and submerged stumps, so we took it nice and slow.
On the way back be saw family of Otters near the river dam.
And for our final activity in our stay in Florence, the four of us went for a little bike ride in the Jesse Honeyman State Park. It wasn’t a long ride, we rode the trail and park roads from the dunes at Cleawox Lake to the eastside of Woahink Lake. We used the pedestrian/cycle bridge across US 101, which added both mileage and elevation to the ride, but avoided crossing the highway.
Tomorrow, we head our separate ways. Bill and I head south toward home and Keith and Joanette begin making their way slowly back to Montana.
We have 2 nights, each in Eureka and Guerneville, and a single night in Gilroy. Our plan is to be back home next Sunday.